Sunday, April 21, 2013

Please Refrain From Casting Stones, Lest One Bounce Off Me and Into Your Glass House

This is one of those posts that is likely to plunge Val into hot water. To elicit a flaming-torch-brandishing mob to call for Val's head on a silver platter, which they will then tip into a pot of boiling oil. Indeed, it is one in which Val tippy-toes along the razor wire of the high tightrope without a net, suspended over a moat of tooth-gnashing crocodiles with anger issues. So let's get right to it.

Last week, I mentioned the illustrious youth baseball career of the early-elementary Pony. How he was not exactly a star athlete, and played on a team of scrubs in a league that allowed every player to bat at least once every inning, and did not keep score. Let's revisit those days of yesteryear, when everyone was a winner, and all players were equal.

On The Pony's team were twin girls who were differently-abled. I don't know the nature of their abledness. They had some motor control issues, but were ambulatory and playing with full decks. Sweet girls, really, as best I could tell about somebody else's kids in which I don't have a vested interest. I make this determination based on the facts that they got along with the other kids, didn't have temper tantrums, didn't swear like sailors through hand-rolled cigarettes dangling from their lips, and didn't show up all painted like harlots in platform heels, halter tops, and gold lame' miniskirts. They came to practices and every game just like the other kids, and looked like Bobblehead Dolls in the batting helmets just like The Pony and his other teammates, but were a little more frail.

Now I shall enter forbidden territory. The coach always batted the Bobblehead Twins 3rd and 4th in the lineup. Anybody who knows anything about a batting sport knows that your power hitters go there. The Bobblehead Twins were not power hitters. In fact, they did not seem to enjoy batting very much at all. They would come to the plate, look into the bleachers at their mom, and give a body-heaving sigh. If not holding a bat, I'm sure they would have given her the WTF, palms-up, shoulder shrug.

I'm not lobbying for my own Pony, wishing he would have been batting 3rd or 4th in the order. As Tom Cullen would say, "Laws, no! M-O-O-N. That spells, 'The Pony was a terrible batter, and belonged next-to-last in the lineup every week.'" He was barely better than the kid after him, who stepped behind the plate every single time, facing the pitcher, and had to be stood to the side by the umpire. No way would I have wanted my boy any earlier, with a chance of batting more than once per inning, with me having to listen to the parents who forgot who he belonged to complain how he NEVER hit the ball. They must have thought their kid was playing in some We Actually Give A Crap Who Wins league.

My question is, why did the coach put these two girls so early in the batting order? Was he bending over backwards to be politically correct? Was he patronizing them? Did he think he was building their self-esteem? Did he fancy himself to be their physical therapist? Because trust me, those girls were not headed to the major leagues. They rarely hit the ball. I think their main enjoyment came from picking dandelions in the outfield, wearing their uniform, and having snow cones after the game. Just like The Pony, with the exception of the uniform. If the coach was trying to make them better batters, why didn't he move that pitcher-facer up from the bottom of the order?

Because everybody was supposed to bat every inning, the Bobblehead Twins sometimes were required to bat TWICE every inning, when the opponents had a lot of players and we had to go back though our order. You would think that coach would have rotated part of the batting order each game. Not his kid, who batted first, because he was a really good batter. But the others were mostly interchangeable, and several hit the ball more than the Bobblehead Twins. No need to put those little gals up there ten times a game when they did not seem to enjoy the batting part.

What say you? Am I being unreasonable? Is this something that should not be questioned? Can you think of a reason that coach batted those girls 3rd and 4th all season? Or why he kept them together as a pair? I must be missing his point.


  1. But you've pointed out that this wasn't real baseball, not with the rules as you've explained them. Time to let this go I'm afraid.

  2. I was roadblocked by WTF. I keep trying, and cannot figure out that that means.

    Why The Fa├žade?
    Wailing Tiny Frenchmen?
    Walruses Thrashing Furiously?

    Please educate me.

  3. Stephen,
    Just came to mind after thinking about The Pony's baseball experience last week. I'm writing 14 posts a week between this and my supersecret blog, and sometimes I run thin on topics. I guess I should write about my Mediterranean cruise, and finding diamonds in my back yard, and the time I shook hands with Wernher von Braun...OH WAIT! I didn't do any of that. Tomorrow, I might treat you to a poor cell phone photo of the contents of my bellybutton. Thank goodness it's an innie.

    It's an expression used by wee wisps of elementary school girls summoned to home plate, loaded down with a metal club and an unstylish hard plastic bonnet, looking at parents in the stands, trying to figure out why they bat twice as much as their teammates. It's shorthand speak for "What's this, family?"

  4. I'd say the very minor league coach knew he had a team of losers and it didn't matter the line up, it was all for fun. Now the majors...that's another story.

  5. Linda,
    Yeah. Maybe that coach was just too lazy to change the lineup. A cosmonaut on the International Space Station could have seen that what he had there was a team of non-winners.