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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The worst third base coaching job in history. Also, brief card show recap

I got to the card show today. It was pretty good even though my two favorite sellers weren't there. Before the show I was at my son's little league game. I've been helping out with coaching and the manager made me the third base coach. I'm not a good coach. Not even going to deny it. I've got a decent grasp on the fundamentals, but I get situations screwed up occasionally and I can't keep track of runs and outs to save my life. Also, I'm 'quiet' in real life and quiet and getting hyper distracted kids to listen to you is a lousy mix. My son especially hates to follow my instructions on the basepaths and would routinely run through stop signs until mom gave him a lecture. I try hard, but I really need a crash course in coaching before next season if I'm going to be doing this again.

I had done ok so far this season. I was a little too conservative the first game. I was way too aggressive the second game. I kinda hit a balance the last two games, then today Murphy struck. Except it wasn't Murphy's fault, it was me. The next time you are watching a game and your team's third base coach does something idiotic, just remember how lucky you are that I'm not out there. Here's the highlights of my game:

First inning: Two outs, the fastest runner on the team is on second. The batter hits it to short left field, I hold the runner thinking the left fielder could make a play at home. This is coach pitch little league. No outs are ever made at home. The runner looks at me like I'm insane and holds at third. The next batter gets out and I cost the team a run with the stop sign.

Second inning: Manager's kid is running, there's a hit to the outfield. I put up the stop sign, kid blows right past me like I'm invisible. Throw goes home, beats the kid by 20 feet. THE COACH PLAYING CATCHER TAGS HIM OUT. The hell just happened??

Third inning: Runner on third, one out. I tell her to hold up if it's in the air and I'll tell her when to run. Batter hits a pop up to the third basemen. I watch to see if the kid catches it and when he does, look to the bag to tell the runner to stay put and see her halfway down the line. Tag, double play, inning over. Oops.

Fourth inning: Bases loaded. We're losing by five. Snakes are in my head right now and I'm terrified of screwing anything else up. There's less than two outs so I make SURE everyone knows not to go if it's in the air. Immediate pop up to short. Everyone dutifully stays on their base. The pop up is over the shortstops head and it looks like he's going to miss it. He dives backward, I see the ball hit his glove and think it popped out so I say GO. Really loud. The kid friggin' caught it. Seriously, this was a Web Gem play right here. Batter is out and I just told the runners to run. Pants were shat, I told the kids to get back to their base and miraculously everyone made it back probably because the rest of the defense was so amazed by the catch. The fast kid from the first inning is on second during this debacle and he completely loses faith in anything I have to say. So now the kid refuses to run on ANYTHING the rest of the inning. Two long hits ensued after the pop up and I literally had to beg him to run to the next base with the parents in the crowd yelling along in the stands behind me.

Fifth inning: We're down by five. We're visitors, so unless we score 6, the game is over. I'm a complete nervous wreck at this point. One more bonehead decision by me and I'll be breaking Jimmy Dugan's first rule of baseball right out there in front of everybody. Manager's kid is on the basepaths again on first. Loooong hit, kid rounds second. I put up the sign to stop at third, Manager overrides me and tells him to go. Out by a mile again. Hooray! It wasn't my fault this time! I can relax! I'm off the hook!


Girl from the third inning is on first. BIG hit from the tallest kid on the team. It's deep but the outfielder tracks it down quickly. Girl gets to third, I wave her home. Tall kid gets to second, I tell him to stop because the outfielder is throwing it in. Tall kid keeps running, finally stops halfway to third. We're screwed by this point so I tell him to keep on coming. I look to the bag and the girl I waved home also stopped herself when I threw the stop sign up for the tall kid. So now she's 10 feet off of the base the tall kid is about to be on, the ball is already at the cut off man and you can't have two runners on the same base. I somehow tell her to go on home (I think I was having an out of body experience by this point, I'm not really sure what was going on) and she runs. She's out by 12 parsecs and the other team's manager took pity on us and told the catcher not to tag her out. God bless that man, he saved my sanity today. The inning continues despite me, I manage not to get myself or anyone else killed out there and we score the maximum 7 runs.

And after all that? The kids save my tuchas, and get the other team out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to win the game.

I will never, EVER, yell at Brian Snitker again.

Ok. card show. I took my son with me who was jazzed after the game because he made the play to get the last out. He had no money because mom took it all away when he decided to take a bubble bath with mom's expensive shampoo. I spotted him a fiver because you can't have no money at your first card show. I will admit I steered him to some dime boxes and a couple of piles of cheap auto/relic cards. He had none of it. His purchases:

A Who's Who of Baseball book from 1976. He got that for a dollar. When he opened it up to see what players were inside he asked me why Chipper Jones wasn't in there. I pointed out that Chipper Jones was 4 years old in 1976. He still kept checking out that book the rest of the time we were in the show. This cost 1 buck. The other four bucks went to a 1990 Fleer factory set. that was my fault. I pointed out that there were complete sets at a table for 4 bucks without actually looking to see what kind of drek was over there. I panicked slightly when I saw what he picked, but he loves it. There's stickers in there! And rookie cards with TWO players on it! But the cards aren't in order! Hell put them in order when he puts them into a binder! Hey dad, can I have a binder with some pages? If I don't see the set scattered all over his room in a couple weeks I'm probably going to give him all my crappy factory sets from the late '80s too.

Ok, here's the list of my goals for this show along with the result.

COMPLETE ONE SET. - Failed. Not for lack of trying, though.

COMPLETE ONE SERIES. - Mission Accomplished!

COMPLETE ONE TEAM SET. - Mission Accomplished!

FIND A '53 TOPPS CARD I DON'T HAVE - Mission Super Accomplished!

FIND ONE J-HEY CARD I DON'T HAVE - Expectations Exceeded!

Four outta five ain't bad.

Here's the very first card I got at the show.

I picked it up for a buck, which is a bargain at half the price. The shopkeep had the nerve to tell me that it would cost a lot more if it weren't marked up, creased and quite frankly warped in a couple places. Thanks for that info buddy. If  I had $999,999 more dollars, I'd be a millionaire. The reason I got this card (and was dang exited to find it too) was that it accomplished one of those goals up there. You've probably guessed which one, but I'll show it off in another post. All the stuff I got today (actually yesterday now that it's taken me so long to write this) has given me enough material for posts that will keep me busy probably through December. And that's not even counting all the Cartoon, art, sticker and pony posts!

Speaking of ponies, not ONE person asked me to draw them a pony. I am disappoint.


Captain Canuck said...

what am I??? Chopped liver??

TJ said...

Oh man ,your making me nervous. I'm going to be a first time basketball coach this winter for my daughter's team. I don't know if I can handle the pressure. The Capri-Suns and orange slices after will help, I'm sure, right?

deal said...

The heck w/ the card show and sticker posts I want more Little League posts.

dayf said...

Canuck: You weren't at the card show! And you keep asking for Rainbow Brite!

jacobmrley said...

hey, draw me a pony! (that sounds like some kind of odd euphemism...)