So this is what it’s like to be a baseball dad: While We’re Waiting

Cleveland Sports

It’s a weird week man. I love that it’s a short one, but I hate the weirdness of a mid-week holiday. Anyway, here’s hoping it’s a good weekend. Let’s start talking about some sports things.

The mild confessions of a first-time little league dad…

I have no idea what happened. I lost 30 seconds of my life and I will never get it back. I had no control over my actions and when it was over, I looked at the person next to me and asked, “Did I just scream ‘GO!’ at the top of my lungs for 30 seconds straight?” My companion nodded with a look that told me everything was going to be alright. This is my first out-of-body rooting experience as a dad with a kid in a sports playoff game.

My seven-year-old is playing his first full season of coach-pitch baseball and they have a fun little playoff at the end of the season. I’m a low-pressure sports dad and just wanted my son to improve over the course of the season. They didn’t keep score the whole regular season, preferring to let all the kids bat and play all over the field. My son got better overall, so the experience was a success. Just so you fully understand, we’re talking about an age group where only about one out of every five players can hit the ball out of the infield dirt in the air. It’s just important to get experiences, but now that the season is finishing up that means a little additional experience with the real competition of playoffs.

Here’s the situation (which I’m only illustrating as a way so that you can understant the depths of my psychosis.) My son Ben got on base and advanced to second. He overran second, but realized it was a mistake and scrambled back safely. Then one of the few kids with shallow outfield power came up to bat. As a kid who has just learned not to overrun second base, I know that Ben still has to think and think hard before figuring out what to do on the base paths. Again, this game doesn’t matter, but I just want him to do well and then “CRACK!”

The ball went flying into left field and bounced past the outfielders. Ben got a delayed start and then I lost time. As his tiny legs motored from second, around third and finally home I think I might have yelled “GO!” 175 times.

In my defense, I didn’t yell at a kid, umpire, or criticize or anything. At the same time, I wasn’t planning on getting anywhere near that exuberant either. I spent most of the game clapping for great plays by both teams because it’s little kid rec league baseball and anything resembling real baseball is impressive and deserves respect. These kids only catch a third of the pop-ups so when one gets lodged in a kid’s glove for either team it’s a great play.

But something grabbed hold of me when my kid was on second. I’ll always keep myself in check in terms of not becoming an awful little league parent. I think. I’ll always try to set a good example. I didn’t violate those principles this time either, but wow was it surprising to me that I fell so fast into rooting on my kid in what I had convinced myself wasn’t really important in the sense of being competitive. I guess it’s equally surprising that a guy who writes and podcasts at a sports website almost exclusively for the love of sports is surprised.

And with a seven-year-old, it’s really just the start.

Indians are the best in the business at Twitter…

I love that @indians on Twitter refuses to take any crap from silly fans.

In honor of the July 4th holiday and also the fact that I bought Katy Perry tickets… You’re welcome.