Monday, March 31, 2014

Hard work means something

Good morning! Long day...short post....we begin with Diva's trip to see her eye doctor and end with a long afternoon meeting....






With that said, the big kid really surprised me yesterday. I thought that he would be devastated after the deactivation on Saturday and rain out yesterday.  I know that he was peeved about Saturday, but yesterday, he was up and happy. He found an old video of his pitching from freshmen year....reviewed it....thought about what he was doing wrong today....fixed it in the pitching cage after all of the players and coaches left for the day.



Yes, he was throwing to tinker with his mechanics. This is fascinating....this is why this guy has what it takes to succeed whether it is in baseball or life. I have never met a person so passionate and focused on his goals than this guy.



He wants this career so bad, he can taste it. Last night at dinner, dad and I discussed how he has far surpassed our expectations. What do I mean by that? Well, as a kid, he wanted to play baseball...so he made the elementary school team....had good success.....then he made the high school varsity team....was overlooked for years ....then boom...bam...All State....smashed records....nice....recruiting....then he eyes D1....nice goal. Dad said to him "your baseball will get you into a college that you have desired but would not have been admitted without it." He was right. The big kid's grades were marginal yet his fast ball was knock out. And so, the college coach called in a chip and he was admitted to his university....he had some success in his freshman year then was injured...the rest is history....



On to today....I figured that he would say "Screw it..." and move on. Nope....all a person has to do is say "you cannot do this" and he will prove them wrong. He could have left the field yesterday, gone to the library, hung out with the boys, and played video games....Nope....he stayed, moved his right leg and carved out the plate.

Where did he get this passion? Hmmm...well, we see his dad working 7 days/week from 7 a to 9p during tax season as well as other times of the year. Me? Eh, well....not so much...oh sure, I have a few extra degrees and a sweet job, but my role had always been to support dad and to care for my tykes....which I did. I was there for them all the time despite having a full time job. Teaching in a college environment gives a person a great deal of personal flexibility. First, I had to earn my status through jumping through lots of hoops like taking tests, doctorate, good teaching evaluations, service, and so on. All of the work was worth it as I considered myself a full time mother versus educator (don't tell my boss). Most of the kids' friends and parents had no idea that I even worked, because I never talked about myself....boring....the focus is on the kids and their development not me. Too egotistical....

Back to the big leftie...so I have no idea where he gets these big dreams...as I kid, I was going to be a rock star until I discovered that I could not sing or play an instrument....on to other dreams...yep, I was going to have 20 kids like the Yours, Mine and Ours starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Well reality took over my insane mind and if you subtract 18 kids, you have my family. I thought about being a cop, but they get shot at....cross that one off the list....I thought  about elementary school teacher, but then I started to dislike little kids from my babysitting adventures. So, I nixed that one. Then I decided that I wanted to work at a store. I loved cash registers. My neighbor worked in the store and I watched her ring up the items. That was cool.....Are you getting the picture that I am not the reason why my son is insanely responsible about his choice of professions? He mastered this one on his own. My assistance was to drive him around town, wash his uniforms, throw a WaWa hot dog at him when he was hungry, and buy his cleats.



As he looks back on this adventure, he might be grateful to his folks, not because we motivated him, but because we gave him the opportunity to follow his dream. I will never take any kind of credit for where he lands, because his drive and ambition are something that he cultivated on his own. In other words, all I did was hang out in the stands and wait for him to enter the game from the bullpen.



And, whether he makes it to the pros or not, there will be no regrets because he did his best and will not look back and say that he should have worked harder....

OK, 'nuff said...time to take Diva to her appointment.

Later!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do I have to grovel?

Dad said to me the other night: "You are only happy as your saddest child." Which in a way, he is right on target. A friend posted on FB, "When your child hurts, you hurt." Boy does this ring true
Why? Well, yesterday, the big leftie was left 'inactive' for the game. In other words, the other pitchers including guys who have not pitched since the fall were eligible to play in the conference game. On the other hand, the kid with one of the lowest ERAs on the team, sat on the bench and breathed.



What is going on? Well, he and I did not speak yesterday. Either he was too emotional, did not need to speak to his ma about his disappointment, or he did not want to burden me with his angst to call. I am not sure what the reason was, but I went with it and intentionally did not make contact, yet I watched half of the game with a sad heart.



As the game began, LW was back on the mound and pulled after 2.1 innings with 8 hits and 3 walks and 5 runs.....not great pitching....then they put the walk on freshmen in and this must have killed my boy as he sat and breathed....hard....deep...angrily....Mind you, they played a team that was worse than them in the conference, so the win was so so, rather than a big deal. Hey, play against a team that can hit and watch the bravado be flushed down the toilet. I even cussed yesterday when I heard the news....I instantly regretted it, because these guys should not affect me in any way. I am just sad for my son.



After a few hours, dad called and had an epiphany.....he recalled all the conversations that he had with his son about the coach and realized that the big leftie has been benched because of his confidence in the Pitching Doctor's methods. In other words, no coach wants to be told what is the best method for his players. They have fragile egos and want the players to acquiesce to their power. Therefore, having this passion for another coach's system placed my guy all the way down the ladder...until he....


grovels to get his position back. That's right. He has to go to the coach...although he did and was promptly benched and deactivated....(another story for later)....he has to tell the coach that he knows best and will never mention the PD again. If the coach wants him to throw 70, he will suck his breath in and toss the ball to the batter. He has to get back onto the mound, therefore, in my own poetic words....he has to kiss the coaches' butts.


This messes with the confidence that he has struggled to build since his surgery. He needs it to face the batters yet, the coach will only put him in if he is broken...not ruined....like the coach screamed at him one night.

And so, I wait to see if the kid is active for today's game. Yes, I took yesterday's benching hard because I knew what it did mentally to the big leftie. It is humiliating for him. He has the stuff. He was told by the coaches and a scout that he is 'dirty' and so...what the heck!?

OK, I will continue to watch and type. This will make a good movie of the week when we finish this story. Until then, I have to stop cussing.....work out my own frustration because it is not about me. It is about a little boy with a big dream and a huge boulder called the coach standing in front of him.



As St. Pio always said..."Pray, hope, and don't worry...." Praying and hoping are there...got to work on the worry part....



Peace!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Time to reflect

Greetings...the rain is holding off. However, today's game was moved to 10 am. Last night started conference play and the team was playing a team that was worse than them. They won with the use of 5 pitchers, none of them were my guy. Yes, the walk on freshman was used before him.

Talk about a slap in the face. I am now pretty sure that the coach does not like him as opposed to respect him as a player. What do I mean? Well, if he respected his pitching skills, he would play him no matter what. At this point, throwing 5 guys and never asking him to even warm up indicates to me that this will be a long season.

If it were me, I would be ready to walk, He pitches to 4 guys in a scrimmage each week. How is his command going to return? He was told at  the beginning of the season that he has the best stuff on the team. Further, his fast ball is topping at 90 without pitching much, can you imagine how fast it would be if he spent more time on the mound?

They claim that he is not mentally tough. So he sits. However, if anyone reads this blog, he or she knows that this kid has overcome so much in his career, most guys would have packed it in. Some of the players who are in his boat, have begun to let it ride, so to speak. They are biding their time until the end of the season, because they know that they will not hit the field. Nice, huh?

And so, he took our advice and asked the coach were he stood in the rotation since he needed clarification. As a result of the conversation, he dropped on the depth chart. There is no way that he will approach him again, ever. The pitching coach is even more unapproachable. And so, he sits....in the bullpen...waits for the chance....that may come or not.

Peace!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Box of Wine and Redneck Wine Glass


Good morning! I just heard this song sung by Phillip Phillips (who would double name their son like this? Sheesh....)

When life leaves you high and dry
I'll be at your door tonight
If you need help, if you need help.
I'll shut down the city lights,
I'll lie, cheat, I'll beg and bribe
To make you well, to make you well.

When enemies are at your door
I'll carry you away from more
If you need help, if you need help.
Your hope dangling by a string
I'll share in your suffering
To make you well, to make you well.



Boy, do these lyrics ring true in this house..........

It is going to rain all weekend, therefore, I am hanging out at home with my computer to watch the games. Although Saturday and Sunday's games will be broadcasted on network television. Oh joy! I can sit in my family room, eat carrot sticks (still dieting... although the cake that I had for breakfast was terrific), and watch closely for the kid's number to be called.

There are multiple advantages to the broadcast such as.....

I do not have to travel with my game supplies which take up my entire car. The Skittles are in the cooler in the garage and  I can access them and my Kashi bars without them being confiscated by the guys at the gates.

I will not be saturated from sitting in the rain, therefore, I can sit with slippers and pj's on, if I desire.

I won't be traveling 6 hours round trip to sit in the rain and wait until the 9th inning of the third game to see my son throw.

I can sit in the comfort of my home with the dog on my lap and the ability to turn the game off, which I won't, because I always stay until the bitter end or last out. This is what a momma does.

The negatives are also numerous such as not being able to see the big guy in person especially if he needs to decompress or speak to someone he can trust. Yesterday he shared that the team had to be on the field at 7:30 to pull the tarp. When he asked if it was am or pm, the coach looked at him and told him to 'stop complaining'. I loved this one, 'cause I happen to know when people are complaining and he was not.

Admittedly, I was once the biggest whiner in town. Then I saw the light, so to speak....actually it was one of the cooks in a restaurant where I waitressed schooled me. He sarcastically said: "Yep, you are the only one who got up early to serve breakfast. No one else..." Hey, I was out until 3 am.....give a girl a break.....Then a colleague at work asked me how I was doing and I said...."Work, work, work...exhausted..." She looked at me and said: "Oh, are you the only person working?" I believe that her statement was also full of sarcasm.... Yeah, both were/are right. We are all in this together. Whining or complaining does not help but often dampens the spirit. So, I learned to shut my mouth and not complain. It doesn't do anything anyway except give a person the nickname of Wendy Whiner or Debbie Downer.  

Back to the weekend series, if need be, I will go to campus and hang out for a game or three. Yet, I do not think that he will be playing unless there is a lopsided score. After yesterday's coach conversation, the coach still feels that he does not throw enough strikes but is improving. Mind you, he does walk a fair number, but he always gets out of it without a score, hence his low ERA but higher on base percentage. Yesterday, one of the coach's golden boys was nailed for 6 runs. I guess that he was throwing strikes as evidenced by the number of hits and runs against him.

Look, I am not anti-coach. I am not in the locker room or field. I wish all of them the best that life has to offer. All I know is what I see and what is reported to me. What I do understand is that the coaches are often inappropriate with their praise and criticism. They seek to hurt and demoralize the guy in order to motivate him. My kid is not the only one to be on the end of the criticism. They are all being humiliated in some way or another. Morale is low and now conference play begins.



When he pitched on Wednesday in the scrimmage, he hit 90.  The only person to notice was his catcher. Yes, he went back to the Pitching Doctor's program and his arm feels great. The other arms on the team seem to be suffering and it is only March. What is going to happen by the end of April? His friend, Dip, commented that his personal velocity was down and asked the big leftie if he wanted to throw weighted balls together. Buddy then said that he left his stuff at home (a lie) and did not have time for it. In other words, he could not even tell his friends that he was back on the PD's regimen for fear of reprisals. This is bad when a person is fearful of confiding in a friend. What kind of team do we have here? Oh, I know...every man for himself.....



With that said, game time tonight is 5 pm. I will have the game on and will not move until it is over. Perhaps it will be time to crack open the box of wine. If things are truly bad, I will forgo the redneck wine glass given to me by BD and just turn the spout into my mouth.

Have a great day! TGIF!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blech....

Good morning! Poor Diva is sitting on my lap with her cone on her head and eye looking nasty. I cannot imagine what it is like to have a plastic thing around my head affixed to my neck. This has got to be torture.
 
Blech!

On to other issues in the mountains....The leftie pitched yesterday with his new 'tude and walked the first batter in four pitches. Yikes! However, he pitched to four more batters and had no problems. Further, his velocity was way up.



What does this mean for breaking into the line up? I don't know but he has a meeting scheduled with the coaches today and will plead his case. He also will 'play the game' with them acknowledging the impact of their coaching on his renewed game and how grateful he is that they are taking the time to work with him....

Blech....

Ok, let's call is what we need to call it.....he is playing politics because he knows that they are standing between him and the mound. So, if he has to mow the lawn, he will do it. If they tell him to cut his hair, he will do it. If they tell him to eat oatmeal, he will do it.




He has come a distance from Sunday when he was packing his bags and looking to juice up the Silver Bullet and drive it home. Once he calmed down, he knew what he had to do. Did the beast help? I doubt it. He is a strong guy, so, he figured it out on his own.

 

When I met with friend, Big Girl, to discuss coaches, my question to her was simple: "Are all college and professional coaches like this?" Once I shared examples with her, she was appalled but not surprised. Her sons told her that this was an anomaly, although the middle son (Lil C) has been pushed around the football field quite a bit. He also attends Buddy's school.

 


They met up with each other yesterday to share horror stories. I can see the both of them sharing a brew or two exchanging crazy coach stories. This is the little guy (OK, now he is 6'6") who sold ice pops with the kids in front of the house one hot summer afternoon. They made quite a bit of money, then quit, counted their cash, and ate the rest of the pops.Consequently, there were quite a few stomach aches.


BG's advice is on target....do what they want you to do. Keep your head down. Don't say a word. Bullies will attack you in a personal manner, so tell them nothing.

This is the new mantra...say nothing....head down...breathe....yes coach...no coach.....does this go against a competitor's sensibilities? Uh, yeah....but the coaches have what he wants, so he had to play the game. This is also true with Big Girl's middle son, Lil C. It is amazing how the guys are bonding over their disdain for their coaches. While in California, the big leftie hung out with another big name D1 baseball team who were staying at their hotel. These guys also discussed their hatred for their coaches while hanging out at the pool. It's amazing what a person finds out if he or she asks.

This is why, dad and I are constantly hounding him about speaking to the coaches face to face. Come on, dude, if you want it, go and get it. But...keep your head down....mouth shut....nothing personal in the conversation...do what they tell you to do.



Blech...why can't we all just rest on our hard work ethic and results? Politics....that's why....

Later!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My mound; My terms

Good morning! The beast has been quietly placed back into the cage. Unfortunately, I have not spoken to the kid since our "discussion" but he has kept in touch through dad and his journal.

The journal is a great idea for an introvert who needs a way to express his or her feelings in the only way that they know how. Sadly, since he is an introvert and quiet, he is greatly misunderstood by the team and his coaches. If someone would take the time to connect, they would be pleasantly surprised by his dedication, kindness, intensity, and work ethic. Yet, this is not the case when millenials are accustomed to instant gratification. They do not want to work for their knowledge and therefore use the internet to attain quick information. With that said, I received the latest installment of the journal last night.....



This is an amazing person who has been bounced on his head a number of times, insulted, called 'retarded', told to slit his wrists, benched for being too quiet, yelled at for talking too much, and assured that he has been ruined. What's a momma to do? Nada. I cannot do a thing but listen, and keep the beast in a cage. When I rage, it is through frustration with the process. I am not helping by getting angry, but on Monday, I felt that he needed to hear it. I could not stand by and listen to a defeatist attitude, because I know that it is the pain talking and not him. With that said, he is one good guy and I am humbled by the way that he has bounced back. Here is his plan (in a nutshell)....
 


He knows that the Pitching Doctor knows his stuff. The coaches are intimidated by his knowledge, hate change, think they have all of the answers, and rather than listening to the physics of the pitch, they choose to call him names and belittle him. They bench him. What they tend to forget is that most winning teams are incorporating this program. In addition, the PD is now the pitching coach of a major league baseball team. Hmmmm.....he knows his stuff. lastly, with the program, the kid's fast ball without even trying is 91 mph. Yet....he knows nothing as the starters are pitching max 88.



Ok, here is the plan....don't tell anyone....he is going back to the PD program. He will use his legs, weighted balls, and arm care. He feels amazing since he went back to his program. Further, he can throw the 300+ yards without a hop. This is a kid with an arm and the potential to dominate.



he is going to use his legs and the program. If he is going to be benched and humiliated, it will be on his terms. He is no longer going to follow the coaches instructions as far as technique is concerned and therefore will follow his own program. If he succeeds, he succeeds. If he fails, it will be on his terms and he will never look back and say: "I wish that I had enough courage to use the techniques that I know will improve my performance."

With that said, the new leftie takes the mound in a scrimmage today. He is preparing mentally and physically. He is ready to go. Tomorrow, I will update readers on how he did.

This weekend, the conference games begin. I feel that the team has a false sense of security and bravado as they defeated two incredibly bad teams narrowly last week. They have a pumped up sense of accomplishment. It was as if they played a high school team, except the high school team might have beaten them.

As I said to the big kid, they have no idea. They pound on each others' backs and jump up and down. The coaches give speeches on how tough the team is but let me tell ya', BP grandmom could have struck some of these batters out. Stevie Wonder could have done it too. Hey, if I had a decent elbow, I might have had a chance.



With that said, I am not 'sour grapes' but a person who is looking at what happens and seeing these games objectively. After all, my kid is not playing, so it is as if I am watching a typical sports game. With the number of years watching baseball under my belt, I know good and bad playing. Time will tell as they take the field this weekend.



'nuff said....time to work.

peace!




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Unleash the beast

Good morning...glad to be up and writing today. Yesterday, I did not have the psychic energy to put any words onto paper (so to say). The weekend series was unbearable and I spent yesterday talking the big kid off the ledge....(so to say).....again.....fade to black....



As you know the kid was benched because he is not "mentally tough" (MT). Uh huh. That's right. He has the LOWEST ERA on the team and he is not MT. Hmmm. I get that. A MT person is one who stays on the mound while opposing players pound the ball into the outfield and score lots of runs. Oh, right, a mentally tough person does not strike out three players on a nationally ranked baseball team, because, let's face it, they are not MT.


And so, the kid is on the bench...breathing...the coach likes it but not enough to put him into any of the four games this weekend against another sub par D1 team. In fact, he continued to sit on the bench and breathe (he has the highest oxygen level on the team) while pitchers with 17.0 and 20.0 ERAs started. That's right. In baseball, it is all about performance and stats. Unless you are my kid...here is my take on it....

He spent time in Texas with the Pitching Doctor this summer. His fast ball rose to 91 mph. Further, he worked his mechanics out with Coach P. Lastly, his friend, the pitching All-Star with a World Series ring gave him advice on being in the moment while pitching. All of this is good, right?

NO, wrong! It 'ruined' him according to the coach. Huh? Working out and being given advice by a guy who had done it (captured a World Series title) ruined him? Yike! I want my money back!

As we sit back and do some Monday morning quarterbacking, dad thinks this benching is because the big leftie continued to challenge the coaches' methods by talking about the Pitching Doctor's arm regimen. These coaches don't like it. Presumably, they hate it because they do not endorse it since they did not invent it. I believe that they are offended by all of this talk and since they have fragile egos, they are not going to put someone in to a game because (once again), they cannot handle it. They are out of their league (so to speak).

Rather than working with the kid, they have ignored him in the hopes that he would disappear.

Now, we get to the Monday Meltdown.....actually, it began on Sunday night. With the texts that started with "I am outta here" to "I am quitting..." I began to stop reading them and responding. Obviously, he is salty and did not need his ma to tell him to chill. Actually, his ma told him to speak to the coaches before the weekend series, which he did not do, so he sulked in the dugout for the entire weekend as he watched lesser pitchers enter the games and give up runs to a clearly inferior team. Naturally, Tink and I watched from the stands with our hand warmers and blankets on....it was frigid!

On Monday, I asked him to call and we got into a heated argument. Yep, I let it roll, 'cause he would have ignored my wisdom.....

It started with "I hate them. I will bring them down....they are scum....yadda yadda yadda......" I stopped listening at that point....


Then I unleashed her....figuratively, naturally....I rarely do this...but, when necessary, I take the key from the cabinet and unharness the beast that I try to suppress....



"Huh? What? When did you turn into a quitter? I don't care of you are sick of it. This is the life that you have chosen, good or bad, and you are going to figure this out. You must go to the coach and find out what is going on. Further, you sit back as if they can read your mind. Well, Buster, no one can read anyone's mind. Yes, I know that you are special and have gifts, but honestly, maybe you are not MT. They are right! Do you want them to be right? What are you going to do about it? Stop whining. Get moving."

"The measure of a man is not what he does when things are going well, but what he does when they are not going well. So, how will you handle it? Go fight for yourself. This is not kindergarten. You are not going to get a trophy for participating. Move your butt, get into their faces. Show them what you got."

"Forget about revenge. The best revenge is to live well. You are catastrophizing everything, Get a grip. next week, they team starts conference play. You will be in there because you have the experience of shutting good teams down. Until then, play their little MT game with them. Then as dad says, pitch well, drop the ball in front of them, then walk away."



Click.

Well now...I hit a nerve or five. He also texted me that he wanted to leave campus so I invited him home. He never came home, but spoke to his dad after he calmed down and created a plan for today. And, here is where we are.....he is going to play mind games with his completely mental coaches. He will report back later today.

By the way, I finally had happy hour with Big Girl who gave me great advice. But first, I had to know if these coaches were the norm or abnormal. She felt after she conferred with her three football playing sons that they were over the top. Great. Good to know. Then she told me a few things that were said to her son who plays football at Buddy's school. He had broken his leg and played on the break for 5 weeks. When he finally got it casted, the coach called him a "girl". Really, I am offended by that one!

What will happen today is a mystery. But I am keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for something positive...anything...please...something....



Have a good day!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Double header=double fun

Mornin'



Double header today and tomorrow. The question is "will the kid play or sit on the bench and breathe?" Frankly no one knows, although poor Tonto is on the shelf with shoulder soreness. He cannot understand why his body has not bounced back like it did in high school. Doesn't he know that he is older? Geez, he is almost 20 years old. Bodies especially the ones that are in movement and training each day do not return to normal as they once did.



I am definitely a testimony to that statement especially when I kneel down. I often have to grab something to pull my self up rather than bounce up. To counteract that one, I am going to start weight training. However, I have to be careful of the knees which are on life support. That makes things a bit more complicated, wouldn't you say?

Is my body crumbling from years of activity? Oh, yeah. Definitely. I can see it and feel it. Can I reverse the process? Nope. But our Tonto can. He has to shut down, probably for the rest of the month rather than the weekend. That means that the big kid might be dusted off and placed on the mound for a batter or two. He's mentally ready and waiting for his moment.

He has the breathing....images of seeing the catcher's glove....mental preparation....body is ready to go. He may squeak a bit as he loosens the joints, but he is craving the chance to prove himself in competition.


Therefore, I will be in front of the computer for 6 hours today watching...watching...watching....watching....will we be treated to a sighting? I hope so. If not, Tink and I are going to hit the road tomorrow morning and take a trip to the mountains to watch double header number two at noon. Frankly, it is going to be cold again, so I am keeping my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that he plays today. This way, I can sit in the family room with my laptop and watch the games rather than traveling, sitting in the cold for 7 hours, then seeing him pitch the last inning of the second game. By that time, everyone would have left except for me because I would be waiting for him to play and will be frozen to my chair.





Have a good one!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Am I crazy?

Hi! I'm back online. I took a day off to regroup, work, wash the car, volunteer, and read a mystery novel. In other words, it was the perfect Thursday. The nice day culminated in a positive call from the big kid.



Yep. He was finally put back on the mound after his 'punishment' for not being mentally tough. They call it 'benching', I call it a 'time out.' He was placed on the bench and watched the weekend and mid week games. He was earning the ole golden splinter award as he was relegated to carrying the buckets of balls while having a seed spitting contest in the dug out. Dull, boring.



Yet, while he was benched, he used the mental exercises that the coach suggested which incorporates breathing. While the pitchers threw, he would watch and breathe. This would have driven me nuts, which is why I would never have been the "guy". Who is the guy?



Well, the guy is the one who wants the ball when the going gets tough or when there are just a few seconds on the clock. He or she will score and lead the team to victory. They will sink their foul shots. They have this innate sense of confidence and know that they are champions.




No doubts. On the other hand, toward the end of any tennis match, I pray that the ball will be hit to my partner. let her take care of it. She is mentally tougher than I am. If the ball is hit to me, I will swing and miss or hit it over the fence. OK, maybe I am not that bad, but there are matches when I don't have the stuff and need my partner to be tough. For example....fade to black.....

Muscles and I played as partners for 9 years. We were pretty successful. Like any partnership, there were days when I was untouchable and days when she was. Yet, there had been a few matches when either I got sick during it or felt terrible. I would then say to her...."Uh, Muscles....I am feeling like poo. You gotta take it." And little Muscles (we were funny looking as I am tall and she is petite) would hit the lining off the ball. Boom, boom, see ya.....Yep, we would win the games when I could barely lift the racquet, 'cause Muscles would not die. All I had to say was that I was sick...then she was unstoppable.

What does that have to do with baseball? probably nothing....Or perhaps something. It's this mentally tough thing that has me pondering the mind, body, spirit connection. By being tough, a person does not allow their emotions to spill into their performance. You can watch the pitchers on television in their close ups. They have locked the crowd out. if they haven't, then they are doomed to fail.



My son, in his stubbornness, would assume that talent and hard work is all a person needs. yet, he is wrong about this one. A person needs the attitude that no one can hit their pitches. This mentally tough thing has him more confident as yesterday's inning on the mound had him striking out two, pop up and two walks. The coaches were thrilled with his aggressiveness. They called him dirty and nasty (this is a good thing). He walked away with a smile. He was pumped. he called home. He told me what had happened.

Then I did something I rarely do. I told him to get over himself. One good outing. Great. Move on.



Why was I so unaffected? here's why....

He lives and breathes for a positive word from the coaches. With a compliment, he is happy and golden. With a negative word or criticism, he is despondent. So, I said, "get over it. Move on. You let their opinions reign over your emotions and self esteem. You have to treat criticism and praise the same way. You cannot be affected by either. Focus on your task. Listen, analyze, move on."



I think that he was startled that I did not jump and down about two K's, but I was not impressed. Perhaps he should have had three K's and no walks. Let's get serious. This is an OK outing. The next time, amp it up. Be un-hittable. Work on command. Delivery. Strikes. Aggressiveness.

Is this too much for a mom? Nope. I have seem where he is up and down like the sun each day. he has to compartmentalize his successes and failures because with each strike out, there will be a home run or a triple hit off him. Never sit back and think that this outing is your best. Improve. Work out. Tinker with mechanics. Take care of the body. Treat each pitch like it is your last.



Wow, BP mom, you're a toughie.

Am I? Nope, I am also trying to teach him a different type of mental toughness. Baseball is not everything. But what you are learning on the field will translate into life lessons. Do not live in the past. Great. Two K's. Move on and study your accounting.


As he knows, you are only as good as your last pitch. More pitching is forthcoming. Deaden the emotions. Pump up the confidence. You are unhittable. But, do not let a phony compliment or stunning criticism affect how you feel about yourself. There should be a place in the brain where you can 'flush' these words. I think that it is called a toilet...maybe a sewage system. After all, when I hear of all of the nasty things that the coaches have said to him, I wonder how sincere they are with the compliments. Maybe I am jaded. Maybe I know when a person is trying to be manipulative. After all, these coaches lack consistency in their messages. Therefore, I take everything with a grain of salt and move on.

Move on, big guy. There is no reason to sit back, puff up the chest, and read the paper. Back to the weight room and focus on the plate. Get some rest. Kick butt on your philosophy test....

Later!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Home Opener

Good morning. Tink and I returned early this morning from attending the home opener last night. The game was everything that I thought it would be...how? Well....

I was completely prepared for the weather or so I thought as we loaded the car with the heavy coats, gloves, blankets, and hand warmers. The game time temperature was 45 degrees. While sitting at the game, they announced that if the temperature stayed below 55 during the game, we could bring our ticket to the campus diner and get a free cup of coffee. Nice. The offer is good for seven days. What a bonus.



As Tink and I walked through the gates, the coeds in front of us were stopped by the security guards. "You can't bring the sunflower seeds and peanuts in." The girls flipped their hair back and started their cute-college girl with tight pants and Uggs repertoire. "Oh please...we don't have any money for the concessions...." Head tilt....sweet smile.....The security guard were smitten with the hair and tight jeans, and told them to place the goodies under their coats and not be seen.



Now, this is hypocritical! Last year, they took my Kashi bar from me as I tried to enter. I, too, had tight jeans on....OK, perhaps they were tight from too many Skittles....nonetheless, they were tight. And my hair did blow back, 'cause it was windy. Sheesh. No one told me to try to squeeze the Kashi bar into my already too tight pants. This is discrimination!



Ok, I'm over it. We found our seats. NO Kashi bar or peanuts....just some Tic Tacs in Tink's coat pocket.

As the game began, who was on the mound? LW! Yep. He was skewered on Friday night and stripped of his starting role in front of the team, YET he was the starting pitcher. Seriously? This is somewhat hypocritical, huh? Or is it the coaches way of demoralizing a player then at the brink of despondence, they become the player's savior and allow him to throw. So if they are willing to let LW pitch, why not my kid?


The team that they played was from NY. Honestly, they were built like a high school team. The lead off batter was tiny. He came up to Big Red, the catcher's nipple line and he was one of the tallest players. With that said, the home team won. Yet, it was a win that was joyless.



The reason I say this is that they should have killed this team 20-0. Instead, they won 7-3. Coaches are happy, yet from my viewpoint, the team was so inept, the score should have been more lopsided. This means that the home team is really really bad. There were three pitchers in the game, the big leftie was not one of them. He would have dominated this team. I am clueless as to why the coaches don't see it.

LW pitched three. The next kid who entered the game pitched over the weekend. He gave up two runs. When he came off the field, the coaches congratulated him and called him tough. Huh? BP Grandmom could have struck these players out with her sore shoulder. Diva could have struck them out and she only has one eye. This kid gave up two runs to a very bad team. Are we watching the same game? Apparently not.

The next pitcher had some trouble with command, but since he also plays on the weekend, he figured it out. Again, he gave up a run and was also called tough. I give up trying to figure it out.

At dinner, I spoke at length with the big kid. I said to him: "Your high school team could have beaten this team." He agreed. Then he shared with me a few more tidbits of information.

The coach called him out on his personality and told him that he was 'phony.' Huh? He also said that the coach made sure that the documentary team (the one from the Communications department who was doing an internship) followed him into the locker room after the game so that he could give his post game congratulations on a tough win speech. Once again, the coach is a hero.

As Tink and I stood in line to collect our tickets before the beginning of the game, there were two guys wearing the coach's tee shirt that he created with his name on it. I asked Buddy about it since I figured the coach must have been giving them out for free. His response was "Nope, those guys bought the shirt." Ew. I might buy one and clean my toilets with it. A bit mean spirited? Naw, the shirt looks absorbent.

We spoke more at dinner in Wegman's cafeteria. He looked tired, sad, and tan. The tan part generated less sympathy from me. He is still trying to figure out life and how to get back into the line up.

Then it happened. I had to make him feel better and what better way than with comfort food therapy. I then pulled out his birthday cake...a big fat-laden smooth cheesecake made with love in the BP mom kitchen. I grabbed two forks, no knife, and said 'dig in.' As we dug our forks into the cake,  momma began to speak.....and eat.....speak...eat...speak...we were like the Golden Girls....



"I know that you are upset, but your turn will come. They will be on their knees begging you to help them. This is what happened in your freshman year and high school. No one knew until you entered the game, then boom....boom....boom..."



"You did not want to play against this team. They were awful. Does it matter in the stats that you struck out three high school players? nope. Scouts read the stats. They will think more of a player who strikes out the conference players as opposed to these meaningless games at the beginning of the season. All of these guys now have inflated egos, but they are not thinking ahead. They cannot and will not make a dent against any conference team. As such, they will go down the depth line during a crisis, then figure they have nothing to lose by putting you in."

"You go into the game and stop the hemorrhaging. Suddenly, they are aware of what they have with you. So, be prepared. Don't let your emotions get the best of you. Be patient. Your day is coming and you will shine."

As one quarter of the cheesecake disappeared, I knew two things....One, I had to stop talking. Two, I had to stop eating.

And with that thought, I put down my fork and he spoke.

"They will regret it. My book will sell big and they will want to sue me, but I have witnesses. Also, I will send them copies with an inscription....$#^(* U a."



OK, plotting revenge may get you through the next few weeks, but let me tell you one more thing that I know for sure. Rather than expending negative energy on something that you cannot control, expend positive energy on something that you can control. You are destined for something big. I can feel it. I know it. So, put your energy into your gifts and empty your mind of bad thoughts. Lastly, there is justice. Everything will level off and you will be the cream that rises to the top.

Do I say this because he is my kid? No. I actually believe it. I see the gifts, work ethic and skill. Given a chance, he can turn the team around. At this point, the coaches think that they have the answers. They could not be more wrong. Until then, I will continue to sit in the stands and watch the implosion.

Peace!