Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pitching for the Home Crowd

Good morning! The day after the big homecoming and the sun is not shining but the natives are happy. Yesterday's game was terrific and the big guy poured on the steam....sort of.

I do believe that dad and I were watching two different games. he gave the big guy's performance a C+. On the other hand, I though he was more of a B. Why the variation? I guess dad expected more and I expected what I saw (which was fine).

Leading up to the start, I was naturally uneasy. Although I love to watch the kid pitch, you never know what you are going to see, so I live with a fluctuating level of anxiety which can hit its peak during an inning. Actually, there are scientific levels of anxiety which are located on a continuum from queasy to panic. My own BPM Theory of Anxiety is somewhat complex, but I tend to grade anxiety as follows:

Low level: uneasiness....water.....Skittles (small package)

Moderate level: leg tapping....arms food or drink...holding rosary...say little to me....

Panic: constant movement...saying the rosary.....prayers.....Snickers Skittles....don't talk to me.
The first item on the agenda was to get BP Grandmom and Grandpop to the game and not be late. So, I picked them up 90 minutes early to quell the high level of anxiety which was starting to percolate. I never know what traffic is going to be like or if I am going to find the field, so I leave early and naturally sit in either the stands or car until it is time to enter the stadium. I can catch warm ups and get a decent seat.

OK, so we were early, but they did not seem to mind. Unfortunately, I forgot the huge bag of Skittles in the pantry, so we were Skittle-less since there was no snack bar. This is fine, we toughed it out.

Then the family began to arrive....all of my siblings plus Cupcake and Big M made it to the game which warmed my heart as well as the big lefty.  Also in attendance were the Produce guys from Tink's supermarket. The big kid was thrilled to pitch before the home team and his posse. We actually had the most fans until a freshman from the area arrived in busloads. He has 11 siblings...countless relatives....and his ball team from high school came to the game. So, I assume that there were about 70 or so cheering this kid on. When I looked at the other side of the stadium (which is more of a field), there were 5 or 6 fans (school is out). The game's attendance was posted at 477 (95% were cheering for our team).

Anyway, the kid held the opposition to 1 run which could have been avoided if he had covered first base. Yet, he left the game with the score 1-5. It looked like a victory although it got dicey in the 8th and 9th inning when the opposing team scored 3 runs. The Czar went nuts in the dug out and screamed for several minutes. Yikes...I could only imagine what he does to the team after the game when no one is around.

With that said, the big guy got the win....yeah! Then he came out to see us and posed for photos. This is a far cry from freshman year when he never acknowledged his family and we pretended that we did not know him. Now, he tips his hat and waves.

After the game, he mentioned that he threw 70 pitches in warm ups until the pitching coach felt that he was ready. Hmmmm....some guys don't throw that amount of balls in a game let alone warm ups. SO, he was pitching in a hole when he finally took the mound.

He also had to lift and do heavy squats. When he complained about lifting before pitching in the fall, the Czar screamed at him. So, he had to lift and his legs were shot before he got to the mound, yet he prevailed. Anyone who knows anything about training and anatomy and physiology would laugh if you told them that the kids have to lift before pitching. They need to rest their muscles not tire them. Anyway, Friday's starter hurt his back yesterday when he was doing the squats. Great....Doesn't anyone listen or read a book here? Sheesh....

And so, it looks like the guy's junior year is over and he has overcome quite a few roadblocks. After yesterday's game, the Czar said to him "the mental toughness game has worked for you." OK, if you want the truth....what has worked for the big lefty is that he has been doing his Texas work outs behind the Czar's back at night when no one is around. You see....mental toughness is important...but strategic arm care is more important, 'cause you can be the toughest SOB out there, but if your arm hurts or is not flexible...then you have nothing to give.

This will make a great story in the future. For now, we have to keep it to ourselves knowing that people with the big jobs often do not know what they are doing.....

Have a great day!


No comments:

Post a Comment