Feed on

If a sucker is born every minute, then Matt and I lay claim to our respective minutes of birth.

About two months ago, as soccer at our recreational league was ending, we got recruited to sign up for and help out with baseball. Simon would be playing with R, a friend from school and old old soccer teammate, and we’d be reunited with Simon’s first soccer coach (R’s dad) and the head coach we worked with last fall.

Matt thought it was a great idea and got Simon on board. I came along reluctantly. I do not play, pay attention to, nor particularly like baseball. I explained that I would help out in terms of calling the roster, taking roll, making sure the kids have water and wear sunscreen, but that was it. I could not be a coach and didn’t want to be listed as such.

Somehow I failed to communicate this to Matt, so I ended up on the roster as a coach. Fine. I’d go and help manage the kids/herd the cats, but once things were settled, I planned to lay low for the 8-week season and watch like the other parents. Also, I was NOT wearing the ugly parchment colored coach’s shirt this time around, even when I was helping. I was not, under any circumstances, to be treated like a coach. Got it?

Well, best laid plans and all. First practice, our head coach delivered some surprising news. He needed to leave the first game early (no biggie) and would miss three games in a row in the second half of the season due to various family vacations and plans. Bigger Deal! This is in no way a one-person operation. Just  lining the kids up to bat and keeping them from killing each other while they wait is one job, to say nothing of catching, helping the kids at bat, and advising the players on bases. Also, one of those weeks we thought we were going to be out of town. So our head coach lined up the father of  sibling players R (different R than Simon’s friend) and B to stand in for us.

And this is where we turn to the second part of our story. If Matt and I ended up way more involved than we expected, the opposite seems to be true for many of our players. F missed at least two games in a row, but seems to be back now. A is about 50/50 for practice and games. B and R haven’t been around for three weeks now, making me think they quit. The other R, Simon’s friend, has missed three in a row alongside his dad. Tomorrow is the game B and R’s dad was going to coach, so it’s a good thing Matt and I will be around after all since (1) R Senior clearly won’t be; and (2) Our head coach is off the grid and would not be able to make back-up arrangements.

The hemorrhaging doesn’t’ end there:

  • K left with two weeks left; her family is heading out on vacation;
  • C is also out, a fact we learned at our second to last practice from his friend
  • T, who is also out effective immediately.
  • Simon’s friend R, the coach’s son, will be back for the last game of the season!
  • But by then F will be off on vacation.

By my count, this means that weeks 1-3 of our 8-week session we averaged about 10 players out of 12. Then we had a rain cancellation on game day followed by a practice cancellation due to extreme heat. Once we returned for weeks 5 and 6, our roster was down to 7 or 8. At this Wednesday’s practice, there were 5. For the last two games, the most kids we can have is 6. We might not even have that many.

I’m pretty miffed–where the heck did everyone go? And how did I get stuck doing so much?–but Matt is looking on the bright side. Our tiny practice was our best ever since it was easier to work with a small group. We’ll probably get through more innings these last two games since our roster is so depleted. Because I’ve been thrown into this mess more than I ever wanted or planned, I had Simon teach me how to bat. (Yes, you read that right. I never learned as a kid. Matt got me started, but then Simon took over as my primary coach and, even more hilariously, started pitching to me. He’s a good teacher.)

And the most glittering silver lining of all: In two weeks this mess is over. I just wonder if by then the celebration will be the sound of one hand clapping?


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.