Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baseball is almost over

We played a rain makeup game last night, and there's only one game to go. I have mixed feelings about it. I really enjoy seeing the boys play, and they've gotten so much better than when they first started playing. But at the same time, I'm ready not to have to worry about getting to the games and figuring out which field we're playing on and making sure Biscuit's uniform is clean.

I think next year will be the turning point for Biscuit. I think if he plays next year, he'll realize he either loves it or wants to trade it in for something else (hopefully not soccer, for Jeff's sake).

This year, Biscuit is about 50-50. Sometimes he's so serious and really gets into the game, and sometimes, he is easily distracted and jogs along between the bases in no hurry at all and doesn't even realize the ball has been hit.

That last one happened last night.

In this league, the coaches pitch to their players. They're supposed to throw four pitches, and if the kid doesn't hit it, they get to use a tee. But I've seen the coaches throw several more than four pitches, just to give the kids extra chances. And I've never heard anyone from another team complain about that. The main goal of this league is teaching and having fun.

When they're playing the field, they put players in all the regular infield positions (first, second, third, shortstop). Then they add in a few extras. A player between first and second. Two outfielders (one on each side) that play just after the grass starts. Then they add one player on each side of the pitcher (aka the other team's coach).

During one inning, the coach positioned Biscuit on the third-base side of the pitcher. Biscuit found the dirt around the pitcher's mound quite interesting. So interesting, in fact, that when the kid from the other team hit the ball, Biscuit never saw it happen. He heard the other kids scrambling and started looking around in a panic.

What Biscuit didn't know was that the ball was hit near first base. So the first baseman grabbed the ball and ran it to the base. What Biscuit did know was that there was a ball on the ground at the pitcher's feet (to speed things along, the pitchers usually have at least three balls at a time).

So Biscuit runs toward the pitcher, grabs the ball and starts looking around to see who he should throw it to.

My clueless kid!

Luckily, the pitcher (who, remember, is the other team's coach) told Biscuit that the ball he was holding wasn't the live ball. The live ball was at first base.

I just shook my head and laughed.

The boy thought he was making a great play when actually, he grabbed a leftover ball that wasn't even in play!

Now some might say that there shouldn't be extra balls on the field, and that's probably true, but my argument is that if the boy had been paying attention instead of playing in the dirt, he would've known which ball was in play.

The main thing, of course, was that if you aren't paying attention, you could get hit with a ball. One of our players stepped in front of a ground ball that bounced up and hit him pretty hard in the chest. You could tell right away that it hurt him - not badly, but enough that they stopped the game for a minute. So I called Jeff over to the fence and told him to fuss at Biscuit. I don't know if he fussed at him or not, but as we walked back to the car after the game, Biscuit didn't seem surprised when I called him on it.

Sometimes he pays attention ...
... and sometimes he doesn't.

Okay, now I'll share something good he did!

Biscuit got to bat twice, and he got good hits both times. It's funny because the kids still seem stunned for a second when they actually hit the ball.

One of the assistant coaches said to the team at the last game, "Guys, as soon as you hit the ball, run! Don't stand there in amazement that you hit it. Run!"

Biscuit did a good job running the bases. The very first game, he took his sweet time getting from one base to the other. I told him after that game that I wanted him to haul it! And since then, he has for the most part.

I was also impressed when one of the assistant coaches gave Biscuit some instructions, and he followed them to a T.

Biscuit was put on second base, and the coach walked with him and showed him where to stand.

"If the ball comes on THIS side of second base, you get back to base as fast as you can," he said. "One of the other players will get the ball and throw it to you."

And that's what Biscuit did. Every single time the ball was hit.

One sad thing about the season ending is how the boys have found so many routines. When they're batting, they know the batting order, and they'll call each other on it.

"No. 2 is up. No. 3, you're on deck. No. 4 get your helmet," they'll all say to each other. It's funny to hear 6-year-old giving instructions to each other.

They've also started using dugout chants. "Let's go Michael, let's go!"

When I told Biscuit there was only one more game, he seemed kinda sad. But then he said, "That doesn't mean that Dad and I can't play in the backyard, right?"

"Right," I said. "You and Dad can play in the backyard and get ready for next year."

No comments: