A Couple of Random Thoughts

This post is nothing special, just a couple of random things I noticed yesterday that I thought I’d write about.

I was covering a youth baseball tournament at the Boys & Girls Club in Machesney Park yesterday. There were four teams, one from Rockford and three from Michigan. The three Michigan teams were from Hutchison, Sterling and Oakland. I’m not sure where those are geographically, but figured I’d throw that in just in case anyone who reads this is familiar with Michigan.

Anyway, it was  a 12-and-under tournament and while I was talking to some of the officials for the tournament, the coach of the Rockford team, an anchor from one of the local TV stations and the coach of the Sterling team, a conversation occurred that sort of struck me.

The anchor asked the Sterling coach where in Michigan Sterling was located, the coach said it was a little north of Detroit and then commented “Right where everyone’s losing their jobs.” The TV anchor (who’s name I’m not omitting, but I honestly just don’t remember, but I will tell you he was from WTVO) then replied “Yeah, that’s the same pretty much everywhere.” The Sterling coach then said the interesting part of the conversation. He smiled and sort of half-chuckled before chiming in with “It’s interesting though. Here you don’t see “For Sale” and “Foreclosure” signs all over the place like you do up there.”

It was just sort of an offhanded comment, he didn’t mean anything by it other than making conversation, but it just sort of made you think. Sure, everyone’s struggling financially nowadays, but you don’t see or hear about it firsthand very often, at least not about the Michigan/Detroit area.

Anyway, I just had sort of found that interesting. On to a lighter note:

Baseball parents are freaking crazy, especially those on the big travel teams like what I was covering Saturday.

All the moms yell. They just yell. Constantly. Even if it’s not a situation where they need to yell, or it doesn’t make any sense, they yell.

“Come on Nick! Be smart Tyler! Stay in there! You can do it! Come on guys! Let’s go B-Dub! Good pitch! Way to go!”

Notice that all of those statements were in one quotation. That’s because they were all said by the same woman and in that order with hardly a breathe between.

Now I understand there’s not really anything wrong with that. It’s great that these kids are getting so much encouragement from there parents, especially at a time when absentee parents are so common. But it was just funny to watch how into these games the parents were.

At one point, a parent’s other kid came up to her during the game. The kid was probably no older than 6 or 8 years old and could’ve cared less about the game. He was running around the complex with other children and he came up to his mom, who was sitting next to another mom, and tapped her on the shoulder. His mom replied:

“Not now, hunny. This is a very important part.”

The other parent then turned to the kid and said:

“Yeah. Now is the time when you can’t bug any parents, OK?”

The kid looked confused and just said “Can I have one dollar?”

The mom, clearly annoyed, gave him the dollar and turned back to the game.

And that’s not even to mention all the dad who couldn’t sit in the stands during the game. They paced back and forth throughout as nervous as can be. And anytime their kid got close enough to the fence that they could talk to him, they would start coaching immediately. Telling the kid things that were so obvious the kid would just nod his head and turn away.

It was utterly ridiculous.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Couple of Random Thoughts

  1. Doug L

    Ahhhh… youth baseball parents. They are all smarter than the coaches and umpires. I once shot a big Babe Ruth tournament back in the early 1980s in Robinson, IL. There was a team there from Hopkinsville, KY. This one guy in the stands… and I don’t care what the score was… constantly yelled, “It’s all tied up. All you need is seven hits, four walks, three creeps, two crawls!” It was funny the first three times….. and then down right annoying.

  2. Joe G

    Yeah, parents get way too heated over these games. I’ve coached travel for two years. Have seen it all. Had parents who lied and played for two different teams in order to get their daughter the ‘right’ situation. Let’s get these kids playing in some backwoods lot away from parents so they can learn and have more fun – and so they won’t have to hear: ‘Just throw strikes.’ ‘Hit the ball.’ ‘Catch the ball.’ I know the kids never thought of these before.

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