Saturday, May 05, 2007

100 and Counting...Softball & Insanity

Welcome to my 100th post! I'd like to thank the insanity that pervades my life, which has supplied 100 posts-worth of material that is hopefully at least mildly entertaining. Here's looking to 100 more.

The past two weeks have been chock-full of insanity with dog-sitting, SEVEN softball games, and me working nearly thirty hours of overtime. Last week the girls had five games in five days, three of which were makeup games from rain-outs. Kailey played three games, all of which were Blue (Balls) Bandits victories where she got a lot of hits and scored a lot of runs. Kyra and her Purple (Nurple) Pixies played twice. Coverage of Kyra's Pixies has been noticeably absent from my blog for a number of reasons. First, tee-ball is tedious and boring. Most of the girls can't hit, can't field, and can't pay attention. Some of this is mildly amusing, and the girls will get an occasional good hit or make a good play, but we enjoyed it much more when both of the girls were playing in the same tee-ball league. Now that Kailey has moved on to the next level, tee-ball has revealed it's true, bland self.

In Kyra's league, each batter gets four pitches from the coach. If they don't hit the ball in those four pitches, then they bring out the tee, a symbol of shame and defeat. Which brings me to the second reason: until recently, Kyra was underperforming at the plate. I know, I know...this makes me sound like the controlling, ultra-competitive dad who rides his kids mercilessly, but let me assure you that I'm not. I regularly pitch to the girls in the backyard where they both proceed to pound the crap out of the ball. Kailey has been able to translate this to the ballfield while Kyra hadn't. I don't know if it was just game day nerves, but she would just whiff at those four pitches, and then hang her head as the coach moved the tee into position. THEN she'd pound the crap out of it. Her coach could sense her mounting frustration, and in one of her at bats last week, he walked to the plate and took a moment to give her a little pep talk. He held the yellow ball right in front of her nose and said, "Kyra, I KNOW you can hit this ball." And she did...nearly took his head clean off. And about time, too.

Kyra had a game this morning that her coach wasn't able to make. I told him and the assistant coach that I could give a hand if they needed me, and shortly before the game started, she asked me if I would coach third base. Why exactly a third base coach is needed in a tee-ball game is beyond me, but I obliged her nonetheless. I headed out to third base where the extent of my coaching ability was whittled down to a one-word utterance, screamed repeatedly until I was nearly hoarse: "RUN!" Each of the girls I encountered at third base were more interested in just about anything OTHER than running.

"My name is Taylor, what's your name?"

"I have a family...I have a Mommy, a Daddy..."

"There's a big dog!"

"...a brother, a Gramma, a Grampa..."

"Hey look! There's a little dog! He's so cute!'

"...an auntie, and my cousin...they're all over there! Hiiiii!"

"Huggie!"

That was Kyra. She'd run to third base, then give me a hug. She was excited to have me helping out with her team, and I didn't have the heart to tell her there are no huggies in baseball, er, softball. Besides, today she deserved her huggies. She was one of only two girls to get hits off of the pitcher, crushing the ball on three of her four at-bats. She only had to hit off of the tee once. Atta girl. Better late than never.

4 comments:

BigGuns said...

Hey, Battered Ham...just wanted to let you know I've been enjoying these posts! mIss ya out here in Chi-town!

the battered ham said...

BIG GUNS!! Great to hear from you, my friend! I miss you and Chi-town as well. At least the Cubbies have clawed their way back to .500! Take care!

KateB said...

Heya, this post made me laugh because I spent the day watching Sparrow play basketball. 2nd-4th grade and some of the girls had never seen a bball game before. It had its moments! And I had to keep reminding Sparrow to pay attention to the ball and not do pirrouettes in the middle of the floor.

the battered ham said...

Yeah, attention spans are definitely an issue at their age. Towards the end of her games, Kailey likes to practice her fast pitch technique. At least it's game related and she's not digging in the dirt. Great to hear from you!