Little League is over. Thank God! Having one kid in Little League is enough of a time suck by itself. Having four kids in it is ridiculous.
My triplets graduated to Farm League and were all put on the same team so that they could play together. At first the coach thought this was a good thing because they would work well together as a team, which they did. It became a bad thing when, because of family events, we had to pull them from a couple of games. All of a sudden he was three players short and had to forfeit a couple of games.
Farm League is also when the playing gets a lot more serious. It’s no longer, “It’s just a game!”, or “The kids should just have fun!”.
Now the coaches and the parents get in the kid’s faces with, “You should’ve got that one!”
Coaches are also stacking their teams. There was one team this year, the Dodgers, that I swear had kids who were shaving and they were put in the 7 to 9 year old category. Those kids were hitting the ball out of the park.
The good times are there too. The thrills of hitting a double, tagging someone out, or scoring a run are very real now. The innocence is gone though.
But, we still had Tee Ball.
When we told Matthew he was old enough to play baseball he jumped up and down and yelled, “I’m not a mascot now, I’m a player!”
For the past two years we told him he was the team mascot so that he could feel involved. When the kids were on the Pirates he would come to the games dressed in his little Halloween pirate outfit and yell “AAARRRGGHH” a lot during the game.
Now he’s a Yankee. This made him the villain for a short period of time because the triplets were on the Mets. There were a couple of early arguments in the house on who was the bad guy until I told them all that the best team was really the Chicago Cubs. My wife and I are from the Midwest.
Tee Ball is a trip. If you’ve ever watched a Tee Ball game it’s like herding cats. Sometimes the batter runs to third instead of first. An excited fielder jumping up and down might not be a motivated player. He might have to go potty and will simply run off of the field if nature calls. Throwing the ball usually involves some kind of floppy hand gesture that gets it about three feet. After multiple attempts the player just picks up the ball and walks it to where he wants it to go.
The funniest experience was when Matthew put on his athletic protector for the first time. He stood proudly in a Superman stance and yelled, “Go ahead! Hit me in the penis! It doesn’t hurt!”
During the games, when he was bored in the outfield he was seen by everyone smacking his fist into his cup, just pounding away.
Tee Ball has no losers, every game is a tie. Boy , if life was that simple…