Monday, June 30, 2008

Baseball is a Cruel Mistress

All-Star season has begun. The kids have practice for 2 1/2 hours each day, twice on Saturday. They've played two games already, against Vienna, Virginia and Great Falls, Virginia. They lost the first 15-0 and the second 10-0. Not a single kid made it on base in the first game. Ouch. Poor Sr. Jr. has gone from being the star of his team -- starting pitcher, infielder, power hitter -- to being the bottom half outfielder. He hasn't pitched yet (which is a shame, because he's better than some of the kids they've got pitching). His self-confidence went from as high as I've seen it at the end of the regular season to down in the dumps. Luckily, he's not threatening never to play baseball again. Here he is right before the first game:

There was, of course, a thunderstorm in the middle of the game. We waited out the storm for over half an hour to finish the game. The park had a misting station set up because it was so hot. Jr. Jr. availed himself of the misting station before AND after the storm, when he was already soaking wet:

The coaches tell me that these other Little Leagues sometimes wriggle around some of the rules in order to make their all-star teams better. Each area's Little League has two divisions, a National League and an American League. Players are supposed to be selected by a straight draft situation, so that no team has a concentration of the better players. At the end of the season, the coaches choose the all-star players from all the teams, who then come together and practice for the all-star tournament. This is the way it works in Arlington. Sometimes random things happen, and one league is better than the other. This year, the league that Sr. Jr. is in is clearly better than the other (the other all-star team lost their game 20-0). But the other locales supposedly choose their all-star team at the beginning of the season, and put all those kids together on one team. Then, at the end of the season, that whole team is "chosen" as the all-star team. Thus, those teams have had the benefit of playing together all season long, as opposed to the week and a half that Arlington's team has been together. Arlington also has the disadvantages of being 1) a small county compared to the others; and b) split into two different leagues (LL and Babe Ruth), so the talent pool is somewhat diluted.

The last game that Sr. Jr. will be playing in will be on July 4th. I'll be glad when this is over. I think he's learned an awful lot, but I'm not sure whether it was all good, or what the long-term results will be for him.

Unfortunately, my predictions that this will be a virtually knit-free summer seem to be coming true. In all of last week, I managed to knit two (2) rounds on the Fleece Artist sock and 1 1/2 (1.5) rows on the Star of Evening shawl. Mr. T was supposed to do stuff with the kids yesterday, in part to make up for being gone a lot this week, including all day and most of the evening Saturday at a bike race, but that didn't happen.

I hear the Summer Knitter's Magazine will be out soon, and I hear it's going to be just as bad as the last one. What a waste.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Sharon!


Sharon said...

Thanks for remembering, Loren!!! Ah yes, the trials and tribulations of community team sports. My daughter played both soccer and lacrosse this spring, while my son played soccer and ran track for Kenmore. Her teams won one game the entire season, respectively, while Jacob's wins and losses were more evenly spread out. I honestly think she had the better "athlete experience" (this, from a back of the pack triathlete), but it's tough to watch their faces when they sustain a loss (or especially repeated ones). Sounds like your son had an awesome season, overall, so hopefully some time off for the summer will put the game back in perspective.

Have a great time at the beach. I'll miss your postings if you're also planning a blog vacation.

You really do write so well.


Loren T said...

Thanks, Sharon. I'm always amazed at how resilient my kids are; I think I take things harder than they do.

We always seem to travel with at least one laptop, plus cell phones and the ubiquitous Blackberry, so I may get a chance to do some vacation blogging after all.

Scott T. said...

Mr. T has been defamed, but has no reasonable response at this time. His lawyers will provide a written response via appropriate channels.

The vacation house will have high speed internet, and you can use my laptop (or bring a second one).

Loren will also have a bunch of time to knit if she chooses, because I'll be able to take the young'uns off to the beach etc. I know it's not the same as home, but bring your stuff.

Sharon said...

Well, Scott, unless you're a lawyer too, it looks like you're outnumbered on the comment board at least. (2-1)


Loren T said...


As my husband's attorney, I am authorized to reveal that he, too, is a lawyer. We're like vermin here in the DC area, aren't we?

One of the consequences (?) of this is that Sr. Jr. had perfected his cross examination technique by the time he was 2, all on his own. People used to follow us and laugh in the supermarket as he honed his craft on me. He loves to argue. If I say the sky is blue, he'll take the position that it's really green. Someday I'll blog about the African squirrel incident. Hmmm, maybe for his birthday post...