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

Little League update

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
Posted on: May 15, 2008 5:32 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2008 1:41 pm
 

0-5

Yes, sad to say that my team has not won a game. 0-5. I keep it all in perspective as I am coaching 9 & 10 year old boys. That's not to say that I don't joke about my winning percentage or coaching abilities.

We had a great game the other night. Yes, obvioulsy, we lost (7-5). A really close game but a few late errors cost us. We were winning for the better part of it but in the end the other team prevailed. The remarkable thing is that my kids were not devestated. Perhaps, the fact that they had a chance to win the game was satisfaction enough. Is that possible in this day and age?

Most of our games have been close with the exception of the one game we lost 16-9 but even then my guys were ecstatic about scoring nine runs. Yes, they were thrilled because they scored a bunch of runs.

I find it amazing as I'm learning a real lesson while trying to teach these kids sportmanship & baseball skills.That's life for you, I guess. Here I was worried about teaching these kids and they are teaching me things in the process. Never to late to teach an old dog new tricks?

BTW, Our team motto...have fun, play hard & smart.

Update - May 19th

We lost again tonight 14-11. It was an amazing game. We were actually down 12-0 after two innings, playing the best team in the league.

A funny thing happened though. Similar to what my cyber friend,  bigtenboy, described in his comment. I very calmly told the boys to sit down in the dugout and started encouraging them to play hard & have fun. It was interesting because they all seemed to relax and started to play the game.

Next thing you know we start chipping away, five runs here and then we start playing well in the field. We actually had a 1,2,3 inning. You know three up, three down.

Hold onto your hats but by the fourth inning it's 12-11 and my guys are smiling and having a great time. I hear a few kids exclaim, we can win this one coach.

Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out in the end but we had the winning run at bat and our star player on deck in the last inning.

Like Bigtenboy mentioned kids are resilient but I could sense that they were a little disappointed by being so close to their first win. I gave quite the pep talk afterwards and praised these kids to high heaven and you know what, I watched them all walk off the field laughing, hugging, wrestling (they are boys after all) and in great spirits.

The other great part is when I tucked my son in bed tonight. I asked him if he was disappointed. He said "no, we played a great game Dad but the other team just played a little better"...0-6 but Wednesday is another day and we'll have another chance at that elusive "W"

IrishNY

May 28th update - 0-6 and holding...

Actually, no real updates to speak of. We haven't had a game since last Monday, the last update. We have a game tonight though, against the second best team in the league. We also have about 4 games in the next week so let's hope the boys continue to have fun and play well in search of the elusive "W". If we win tonight, I'm sure I'll have more to add. Stay tuned.

 

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 28, 2008 11:43 am
Edited on: April 28, 2008 4:40 pm
 

Little League Debut

I mentioned it here the other day. My son getting his first chance to pitch in little league. His Coach decided to give the young lefty a chance to show his stuff since we have another game two days later and I am trying to preserve the young arms.

Yes, I'm the coach. I love the responsibility and the opportunity to teach 9 & 10 year olds a game that I love. I have always enjoyed baseball, always been a fan of the game, reading my daily boxscores. Baseball conjures thoughts of spring, carefree summer days shagging baseballs or just enjoying a game on TV or in person.

Anyhow, the little league season just started in the Northeast. Second game into the season and we have a third game two days later. I'll give the boy a chance to pitch.

Saturday game day - I'm nervous. I'm not worried about W's or L's. I'm worried about the kids having fun and not losing their confidence. Still, I've told my son he's pitching today or Monday. I have three kids who can pitch at this level. Let's see if I have another one. Gotta start somewhere.

Fast Forward - the game is going pretty well. We are playing one of the best teams in the league and we are holding our own, trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Hey, buddy. I want you to pitch in the top of the fifth. Hold the phone. Oh, my. My team ties the game. Am I still going in Dad? Yup. Oh, my!

I notice when he's warming up that the boy is nervous. Is this a mistake? Is he ready? Well, he really wants to do this so here goes.

The poor guy has the jitters bad and has a hard time finding the plate. I look at my wife and see the anguish in her face. Yikes, I tried not to push the kid and still I put him in a postion that he wasn't ready for. This is unbearable.

All of the sudden, we get an out. Still the boy struggles finding the strike zone. I shout encouragement. He relaxes a bit but has difficulty finding his stride. Bases loaded three runs in. A shot up the middle, the shortstop grabs it in the air and races to second, tags the base...unassisted double play, inning over.  Yes!

My son runs off the field beaming. He just gave up five runs, three earned but he's excited. I'm a glutton for punishment. Buddy sit down and relax you're pitching the last inning.

Last inning - a few errors to start off. Oh, no. Not again Mr. Bill. Bases loaded. Yikes.

The most wonderful thing then happened. I sent the assistant coach out to calm the boy. Next thing you know, it's looney tunes and bugs bunny. One, two, three strikes yer out. What? One out then two. Two strikeouts with the bases loaded. The kid is dancing around the mound. We are almost out of this. A shot to the shortstop. He grabs the ball. Tags second. Oh, yeah! Inning over. We go down quickly but the kids are ecstatic especially my boy.

I'm not sure when he'll pitch again but he has the confidence now. His coach sure is relieved and proud. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 3, 2008 4:59 pm
 

Opening Day turns into Opening Night

Opening Day  Opening Night at Yankee Stadium

My nine year old headed down to Yankee Stadium on Monday with his dad and good friends of ours. Unfortunately, the weather gods did not smile upon us. We were standing inside the stadium when they announced that the game would be played on Tuesday night. My son started to cry because he figured his chance of seeing opening day at Yankee Stadium was finished. In a way, he was right as we had to go to Opening night on Tuesday instead.

What a thrill it turned out to be. A warm night in the Bronx. Some outstanding plays by Melky. It really was a great way to start season especially considering that the good guys won. 3-2 Yankees.

I am really excited for another baseball season. BTW, as much as I hate to see the Old stadium go, the new one looks nice!

Category: MLB
Tags: Yankees
 
Posted on: January 18, 2008 1:30 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2008 11:14 am
 

Why I love the New York Giants

First, my brother and his wife decided to buy some tickets for the big game Sunday. They are flying to Milwaukee and heading to the game. She's from the area, never been to Lambeau,and  never seen Favre play in person. My bro is a New Yorker and big Giants fan. They will be there flying the respective colors for their teams. Go Giants! Harumph, Harumph...

All these leads into my being a Giants fan and why I love the New York Football Giants. I've been a Giants fan a good thirty plus years, don't recall when it started exactly. I just know that I watched Joe Picarcik fumble live on TV. I know I went to a Giants Eagle game in like 1978 at the Meadowlands. Well I think you get the idea but I what I really need to mentio,  what made me a Giants fan for life. It's not LT, the Super Bowl winners or Phil Simms although they have brought me much happiness.

Perhaps I should say who made me a Giants fan for life. A classy man who's contribution to New York and the NFL were remarkable. A selfless, generous family man named Wellington. I was lucky enough to meet him through a charity that my father was involved with years ago. The charity was just getting started and the Giants were a valuable contributor and instrumental in getting it started because of Mr. Mara.

I was 14 or 15 at the time. I had kind of forgotten the story but I asked my dad when Wellington died a few  years ago and he confirmed what I thought...

I meet Mr. Mara a few times but one of the last times I ever saw him he introduced me to a man named Alan Ameche. Yes, the Iron Horse. The Alan Ameche who had scored the winning TD against the Giants in one of the most famous games in NFL history. Mr. Mara had invited Mr. Ameche to a dedication ceremony for the charity. Anyhow, I was introduced to Mr. Ameche, a very nice, kind man. He was larger than life eventhough he was "middle aged".

Here I am, 15 year old or so, IrishNY, talking to Mr. Mara and Mr. Ameche and the subject of Mother Theresa comes up. The conversation was about charitable endeavors, good people, something along those lines. Mr. Mara mentions that Mother Theresa is visiting NY and staying in the South Bronx at the time. Mr. Ameche says what an honor it would be to meet her etcera.

Well, the next thing you know Mr. Mara has made a few calls and made arrangements for Alan Ameche to go meet Mother Theresa in the South Bronx. For some reason, Mr. Ameche had to go right away and Mr. Mara was unable to go with him.

Mr. Ameche approaches my dad and I, asks would you like to go with us? My dad is unable to go. Like I said before, I didn't remember the exact details for awhile and had to get grandpa IrishNY to verify. I guess it was such an unexpected and surreal experience.

Anyway, my dad can't go but says, hey kiddo, would you like to go with Mr. & Mrs. Ameche? This is unreal. I think. Well, it is the South Bronx and this is back in the day when it was kind of dangerous but Mr. Mara has arranged it all, Mr. Ameche is still a big, strong guy although he seemed more the gentle giant type.  A  car service is going to take us there and back home or I should say drop me at home and bring the Ameches to their hotel.  I honestly don't remember where Mr. Ameche and his wife were staying because the car dropped me off after we met Mother Theresa and I never saw them again.

One thing I will never forget though is how kind and generous Wellington was to the charity and what a gentlemen he was to Alan Ameche a man who had scored a famous TD that certainly disappointed the Giants and the Mara family tremendously. I think I even asked them about it because the subject certainly came up as I recall looking at the Mr. Ameches NFL championship watch. Yes, they didn't get rings in the 1950's.

So, there you have it. My New York Giant fanhood was sealed for life. A kind man with class and dignity had given me a once in a lifetime opportunity. The memories of games are there, fun times, disappointing times. You know the average life of a fan but I will always associate the Giants and the Mara family with class and dignity....  

I desperately hope the New York Giants win on Sunday. I am very excited to watch the game. I will be with family and friends so win or lose, I will have fun and be grateful for all the I have and try and act with an iota of the class that Mr. Wellington Mara had. Go Giants!

Sunday game day - NFC Championship - Giants v. Packers - My brother and his wife made it to Wisconsin. Snow in Atlanta almost messed them up and caused them to have to drive 14 hours.

An addendum to my story: Mr. Ameche, his wife and I got to the South Bronx were ushered into a room and had an audience with Mother Theresa for about five minutes. What a great experience! Again, thanks to Wellington Mara. I'm sure that Mr. Mara would be very proud of this Giants team for sticking together and exceeding expectations. Win or lose, I am proud of the Giants as well. I want them to win though. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Go Giants!

Super Bowl Sunday - Also, my wife's birthday! It's game day. Time for Super Bowl XLII.  The New York Footbal Giants are playing the undefeated 18-0 New England Patriots. The Giants have had a great run through the playoffs...will it continue? It will be a tough task beating the Patriots today but we will see soon enough.

I hope it's a great game. My family is going to have a fantastic day and I will still love the Giants no matter what happens...

Roll on, Big Blue. Go Giants!

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 16, 2008 11:59 am
 

Cowboys whine...

I really don't like all the excuses I hear coming out of Big D. Bad playcalling, Jones ticket junket, TO's ankle, Romo's poor passing, Crayton dropping the ball...

The Giants won, move on. Sure there are a number of storylines but how about the Giants D or Eli getting some credit instead of all the negativity...There. Now, I can focus on Green Bay.

It should be a great game this weekend. Green Bay has a formidable team. Luckily or I hope it is, the pundits are really downplaying the Giants chances.

Category: General
Posted on: January 15, 2008 6:52 pm
 

Giants

New York Football Giants - Boy, I sure have been smiling the last two days. Totally unexpected but awesome! I sure read a lot on the boards about how bad the Giants are!

Wade Philips still thinks that Dallas outplayed the Giants. Why did Dallas lose then Wade? Bad coaching IMO. LOL. Well, that's it for now.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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