Thursday, April 17, 2008

Distracted by Spring, with Baseball Report

Spring seems to have finally arrived here. It's been sunny and warming up; flowers and trees are blooming; and the goldfinches have returned to the feeder:

At this time of year, I spend an awful lot of time outdoors. I went for a long 4 1/2 mile walk this morning, and it felt very good. I haven't picked up the doily, but I did do some work on the STR sock club socks, guessing that the next installment would arrive before I finished these if I didn't get a move on:

This is STR mediumweight, on size 2 needles. I've never used this yarn before, since I typically prefer the thinner sock yarns. It's pretty cushy and soft (again, unlike my typical experience with STR). The picture of the sock on the pattern doesn't have as much color variation as mine does, however. I'd prefer it with less variation, but this is still a lot less eye-singeingly bright than last installment. The pattern is pretty easy to follow, and goes quickly on the size 2 needles.

Baseball Report -- Long

The other reason I spend so much time outdoors this time of year is Little League/Babe Ruth baseball. Here in Arlington, Babe Ruth and Little League are two separate entities. We started our kids out in Babe Ruth, because you could pick which kids and coach you wanted to play with. Mr. T coaches Jr. Jr.'s team with a friend from down the street. Sr. Jr. started out on one team with a very nice and very good coach, but after two years, we switched him to another team to be with boys from his school. He played with his new team for three years, I think. His new coach, while a very nice guy, just wasn't able to control his team very well. The kids were losing a lot and sniping at each other, and a couple of parents who were assisting him were taking over the team. All in all, it was getting pretty dysfunctional. We thought about switching him back to his original team, but we didn't want to risk hurting his new coach's feelings. Several other kids from the team also left. So this year we switched Sr. Jr. to Little League. In Little League, the teams are chosen by the coaches in a draft system, so the teams end up roughly comparable in terms of skill levels, and there's no favoritism shown by the coaches toward their own children. Sr. Jr.'s new coaches are just two young guys who want to coach. They've been very good so far.

Sr. Jr. pitches. Even though I'm his mother and therefore pretty biased, I can see that he's really good. Last night was the opening game. As fate would have it his old team (with the not so good coach) was playing his first team (with the good coach) one field over from where Sr. Jr. was playing his game. I got to say hello to friends and keep an eye on their game too.

Sr. Jr. was the starting pitcher. The game started even though the ump hadn't shown up yet. Up Sr. Jr. goes and fans the first two batters. The next batter made it onto base on a pop-up that should have been an easy out, but all the infielders called for the ball and at the last minute backed off, in a typical Little League play. It was okay, because Sr. Jr. fanned the next batter to end the inning. When the other team was about to start, the ump arrived. At this point, the opposing coach started complaining that Sr. Jr. hadn't been pitching from the right place on the mound, and it wasn't fair because he'd "blown it right by our players." So the ump made them redo the game. Sr. Jr. walks up to the right place on the mound and proceeds to fan the first three batters all over again. Ha!

This meant, however, that when he came up to pitch the "second" inning, he was really in his third inning of pitching, and was clearly tired. He started throwing balls and walking some kids, so the team switched pitchers. In the end, the score was 11-11, but the game was called because there was another game scheduled. Sr. Jr. had been about to come up, with the bases loaded. He was so upset! He was mad about having to pitch the first inning twice, because if he had pitched two scoreless innings instead of one, the team would have won.

I pointed him to the scoreboard of the game his old team had been playing. They had lost, 19-7. I reminded him that no matter what, his team was in the game and being competitive, and that he should be proud of his pitching.
At the end of their game, Sr. Jr.'s first coach -- the good one, whose team won that game -- came over to say hi and chat. I said, "Looks like your team had a good game!" "Nah," he said, "It wasn't competitive. We must have had 21 walks in the game."
(I promise I won't do long play-by-play baseball reports for all the games this season!)

Gotta run to the bus stop now, so I hope you're all enjoying your days, as well.

1 comment:

kippi said...

Great baseball story. That stinky-petes that he had to pitch the inning twice. You counseled him well, Mom.

Wow, that sock certainly has more variation than the pattern photo! I'm so impressed that you are working these as they come in. I start them and then get sidetracked or second guess my stitch count even if my gauge is spot on.

I have started a couple of the doilies in the book but have ripped them all out. One of them I think the start numbers are off like the one you chose. Do you think it is safe to say that the cast on should be equal to to the number of star points?

I started with 'Asta', p 19. I got hung up right from the start. c/o 6, knit two rounds. but see line one? yo, knit two. which on the first round makes for an odd number (9). which didn't seem right at all but now that I think about it maybe it is. Then by row 17 I'm back to even. yikes.

I also started p57. I think I was knitting waaay too tight as it was really fluttering. also forgot a yarn over, etc. etc. so that was ripped about 17 rows in.

Need a lesson in not being a perfectionist. The good news is that my stitches let go of their death grip on the needle. I like working with 000 a lot. I'm magic looping it on an addi turbo 24".

Yay Spring!