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Blog Entry

Little League update

Posted on: June 2, 2008 3:41 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2008 6:27 pm
 

I have not had the heart to make updates but that will become apparent if you dare to read further. :-) The game we played on May 28th was awful. By far the worst game of the year. I was so frustrated at our lack of enthusiam and effort. Instead of yelling at the team, I managed to keep it positive.

The interesting thing was the way the game ended and it's affect on our next two games. We were losing 13-1 and it was the bottom of the last inning. The ump for some reason decided to expand the strike zone in the last inning while rushing my kids along. He called two kids out on third strikes that were not even close. At least, three parents and the other coaching staff said I was right to be upset.

Anyhow, the game ends, the kids are dejected and I am furious. I tell the kids to line up and shake hands and I proceed to have an animated discussion with the umpire. The umpire would not even look at my in the eyes. He was trying to leave as quickly as possible. The gist of my unhappiness was that he was being unfair & unprofessional by rushing to finish a game that was pretty much over. 13-1 final score...our record now 0-7. Somehow, I managed to make my points without embarrasing myself or my kids.

Fast forward to this past Saturday, May 31st. - The kids have a lot more energy. They were so lethargic the last game but you know what I understand. It's hard to lose every game. Anyway, we start slow but grag a 6-2 lead. They score two to cut the lead to 6-4 heading into the last inning. Unfortuantely, my kids ran off the field yelling we finally. No, we have one more inning to play kids. Now, I really start to panic. Can we finish this? Should I take out the starting pitcher? He's pitched great though.

Needless to say it all feel apart. We don't score any runs in the top of the last and they came up for last licks. Yikes, it was brutual. The first kid hits a HR, a 6-5 lead and my guys are visibly nervous. The next kid hits it to the pitcher who fields it, sets and throws the ball into the stand. Tieing run now on second. I don't have the heart to re-live the rest but we lost 7-6. The kids come off the field stunned and crying...

What do I do now? I look at the boys and tell them pick your heads up guys, "we have a game tomorrow, let's re-group and try again."

I feel terrible all day and have trouble sleeping that night. 0-8 and Sunday, June 1st  is our best chance and most realistic chance to win this season. No pressure though.

I won't keep you in suspense. We won! We won! The kids came ready to play on Sunday. We went up 11-2 then held on for an 11-7 win. We had last licks in case we needed it but luckily we didn't...the victory is a blur in some respects but to see those happy faces was priceless. I put my son  to bed last night and the last thing he said was..."Dad, I'm so happy we finally won."  Me, too buddy. Me, too!

IrishNY

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: June 4, 2008 5:04 pm
 

Little League update

It is great that you guys got the W.

As far as not having a pitch counter I don't think it is a huge deal as long as you have a ballpark number on the kids. If a 10 year old throws 65 pitches it is not that much different than 60. The real problem comes when the coaches forget about the kids (and focus only on winning) and pitch the same kid all the time...for 80-90 pitches. Not only is it bad for the team (in terms of not developing other pitchers) but for the kid who will have a worn out arm by the age of 12.

I wouldn't call myself an expert or anything, but I think it is crazy  how some kids are sooo overworked. There are 12 kids on the team that I help coach and all 12 of them have seen the mound this year (and we are 11-5). The kid with the most innings only has 15 and the kid with the least has 3. I would say we have lost a game or two because we refused to extend pitch counts on some kids. Sometimes there are more important things than winning a 9 year-old baseball game...

Since it seems like your team is struggling a bit make you push them mentally so that when they "catch up" physically the transition will be easier. Good luck the rest of the way.




Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: June 4, 2008 10:33 am
 

Little League update

bigtenboy07,

Thanks for the message. You are right about what the real rewards are. The problem is that society always focuses on winning. At least, my kids got one win. It might honestly turn out to be our only win but it will be enough to instill confidence in these kids.

In answer to your question, it's kind of weird but we don't have pitch counts per say. I have talked to friends in other states and their little leagues are much stricter about it. My coaches and I try to use common sense though and we do keep a tight "book".

Anyway, back to your question, my starter that day was 10 and he threw about 60 pitches. Through 4 innings he had only given up 2 runs and had only walked three batters. Again though, we don't actually track pitch counts...kind of scary but then again our rule (my coaches & I) is no pitcher goes more than 6 inning in a given week...appreciate your thoughts on the pitching, pitch counts etc.




Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: June 4, 2008 10:12 am
 

Little League update

hammerpitas, Thanks! We are supposed to have a game tonight but it's raining. I hope it works out. Enjoy!



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2008 6:30 pm
 

Little League update

Congrats on the win Irish!

It was great that you guys won a game, it is really bad to have the kids work so hard and get what they see as the reward. Although the real reward is growing as boy and learning how to be a team, and how to work hard for yourself and others. It is tough to convince kids of that...and sometimes tough to convice parents of that as well.

Just one question because I am a coach, but focus mostly on pitching. How many pitches had your pitcher thrown (when you were debating on taking him out) and how old is the kid. I heard a couple of really good doctors takling about this issue. The concensus was that kids should throw about 6 times their age in terms of pitches in a game situation. So if the kid is 10 then the pitch limit that should be enforced is approximately 60. This depends on the kid, the size and strength of the kid, the mental capacity of the kid (knowing when to let up), and the time of year (obviously more can be thrown later in the season than earlier). Just thought I would share that with you.

I bring this up because the other day a coach let a kid (9 years old) throw 80+ pitches in a game. The kid was big and was tiring but that is too many pitches on such a young arm that is still growing.

Good luck on the rest of your season!




Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: June 2, 2008 8:51 pm
 

Little League update

congrats thanks for the update my ex wifes and i had to girls so living thru you.



Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: June 2, 2008 6:38 pm
 

Little League update

Steve,

Thanks. I wanted to update you guys and write about the ongoing experience but the last two losses were really tough. I really couldn't put it into words. The ump last week was a big disappointment. I made sure to give him an earful.

Funny thing the parents on my team were very appreciative that I stuck up for the kids. It was uncalled for and unnecessary on the umps part. My team wasn't hitting at all and the game ended like 20 minutes early. Poor ump doesn't want to see him again. I never crossed a line but I explained the reasoning for my displeasure loudly and clearly...

May the winning ways continue for you and the kids......

Much appreciated. We are going to be the underdog in our next three games but we'll have fun and enjoy!

IrishNY




Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: June 2, 2008 6:30 pm
 

Little League update

Coaching at that level is one of the most most rewarding experiences a parent can have.

 

It really is. The kids are so earnest and eager to please. I was so happy that they could experience the thrill of victory for a change...




Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: June 2, 2008 5:59 pm
 

Little League update

Thanks for keeping us updated. I felt so bad for these kids while reading the recap of those games, that I nearly had to choke back a tear. Good thing I kept on reading though, great way to start off the month with a win!!!

Made a smile spread across my face...

About that ump, he's a real arse. How can you do that to kids? I know it's a job, and everyone likes getting out of their job early, but when you're dealing with kids you have to be more understanding of the situation. If I were you, I'd make sure to give it to him over the head the next time I see him.

May the winning ways continue for you and the kids......




Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: June 2, 2008 4:15 pm
 

Little League update

I am glad you guys won a game.  The thing about being a Little League coach is that every year every, or almost every kid on your team will cry at least once during the season.  Coaching at that level is one of the most most rewarding experiences a parent can have.


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