My last post was about a good practice hopefully turning into a good game. Well, that did not happen, to say the least.
We started out, as we typically do, well. We held them in the top of the first scoreless. Great pitching, great defence. On the offensive side of the ball, we were able to score a run. Not bad at all.
In the second, the wheels started shaking when my starting pitcher threw and hit the batter. It doesn’t matter that the batter is the only girl in the league, but she is. He didn’t do it intentionally, at least I highly doubt that he did. I wouldn’t ask a pitcher to throw at a a batter. I might talk about it, but in the grande scheme of things, that isn’t my style of ball. Even if it was, we don’t have enough control to actually hit someone.
So, she got to first and I figured it might rattle my pitcher. It did. He made it out of the inning though, threw around 50 pitches in 2 innings, far too many. His day on the mound was over. The other lefty, new to pitching this year was next on the hill. His control was an issue from the get-go. The strike zone, although consistent, was low. He couldn’t find it.
I went through a few more pitchers, each having some location issues. Defence behind them wasn’t good, not at all. Run after run cross the plate. The opposing Manager didn’t seem to fall into the category of when up by 10+ runs, you go station to station. When they were up by a mere 8 runs, their runner on third straight stole home. When I returned to third base to coach the next inning, he assured me that the player went on his own. That is a good way to get yourself plunked…
We did chip away at the massive lead, but a majority of the team didn’t care about the game any longer. Signs were missed, base running mistakes were made, defensive errors piled up.
At the end of the 5th, we ended up losing a 2 hour 20 minute game by a score of 25-8. That. Is. Ridiculous.
I am not sure where we go from here. I really don’t know. We have a batting cage session on Friday. I will have another talk to the boys. I don’t know if it will work, none of the other talks have. We will see.
I am going to give them a choice. We can either start playing as a team and giving 100% regardless of score or we can stop practising, having batting cage sessions and showing up 1.5 hours before game time. Why put in all the extra effort if all they want to do is play the game and have fun and not care about wins, losses, improvements, etc. If they do decide to take that route, and I hope they don’t, then this will be my last year as a coach. I will hang them up. I won’t give up in the middle of the season, but I don’t need to put in any future years.
I can join the Board, as I plan to anyway and I can return to umpiring. Putting in hour after hour and getting little or nothing on the other end is wearing on me. I am sure it is wearing on my coaches and the parents. I can only hope it is wearing on the players enough for them to want to do something about it.
Time will tell. We are back to action on Saturday. Wish us some luck. Hell, wish us a LOT of luck. We need it.