Thursday, July 09, 2009


Patrick was nominated by the school counselor to go to Washington, D.C
for a youth leadership conference know as JrNYLC. He would need to fly out there by
himself. April and I were not too comfortable about it. One the return
trip he would need to change planes because there were no direct flights
in the time frame they required to drop him off. He does have a direct
flight out, and calls after he gets there to tell us it was long and
boring. The conference emails us each day with links to pictures. He
is not in the first days set of 85, which was weird to me because he
is usually a ham for a camera. He does show up about 50 pictures in
on day 2. Of the hundreds of photos, he is in 3. He did have a great
time, going to Harper's Ferry, the American History muesam (which
was closed for renovation the last time we were there), and the
Newseum amoung other places.

The flight back was delayed taking off, and he missed the connecting
flight. April called the airline, and was told the next flight was
full, so they'd send him back. She had to explain that he was heading
home, not leaving. Ok, then they can put him in a hotel. Right, an
11 year old by himself in a hotel. They called about about a half
hour later to tell April he was on the next flight. My guess is
that they bumped somebody rather than be responsible for a child
(takes up one employees time).

Baseball 2009

I coached baseball again for Patrick this year. There is a new
guy running Ogden City youth sports. He allowed coaches to form
up to 6 boys on a team. Boys not selected go to a tryout. Coaches
then evaluate the tryouts, and do a round robin draft. I selected
4 players I had last year, and 2 more from cub scouts (that had never
played baseball before). I managed to pick up another player from
last year in the draft, and 5 more I didn't know. Given that, it
was not a bad team. A few interesting things I noticed. Last year,
I had 10 boys, 8 of whom wanted to pitch. This year, I had 12 (one
more would be added just before the first regular game), and only
Patrick wanted to pitch. 3 others would do it if I asked, but reluctantly.
Last year, I had 1 kid want to be catcher, this year 1 more wanted
to do it. The first 2 boys to get a hit and score a run were the
2 that had never played before. In the end we only won 1 game,
but 3 of the boys (aside from the 4 who are school friends of
Patrick) wanted to know if they could play for me next
year. That makes it all good.

The fourth or fifth game into the season, Patrick is playing
shortstop. The ball is hit out to him, takes a bounce, and hits
him in the knee. He manages to pick it up and throw the batter
out at first. My assistant coach tells me my son is lying on the
ground. I carried him off, and April took him to the doctor the
next day. X-rays didn't show a break, and the doctor thought it
was a bruise. He said he could not walk, and was on crutches for
the next week. He was playing again by then. This, however, is
not the last of the story. The X-ray tech called the next day to
tell us something strange was on the shots. If there was any more
problems, we needed to bring him back in. It would happen last week.

Thomas made the same baseball team as last year. The coach seemed
a little stressed this year, and complained to me a few times that
there were too many kids on the team. I guess this was a hint, but
Thomas wants to play with his friends so I didn't take it. He did
say that Thomas had a strong arm and was one of the few boys who
could throw from third to first base. We showed up to all the
practices on the schedule he passed out, and I noted that the
contact list had my cell number as the primary number. Thomas sat
out all but one inning of the first few games. Then I started to
get questioned on why we were missing practices. I told him I
didn't hear about any more practices. I assumed we had missed a
call, but I didn't find any numbers on my caller id for the cell or
home phone. Toward the end of the season April told me she didn't
see him bat even though they had gone through the line up twice.
Thomas confirmed he didn't, and when he asked the coach about
it he was told to sit down. I asked about this, and the coach got
defensive and said yes, he did. and how could even suggest that
happen?I wasn't there, so I could not say what went on. I do
know he did get up to bat at the games before (he gets upset
with himself if he strikes out). The last game I watched very
closely, and he got ready, only to have some of the other boys
on the team yell at him. When I asked the scorekeeper where his
number was in the batting order, she told me he was on second base.
No, he never batted. I think now I know what happens. The games
he did not bat the kid who bats before him was not there. This
confused some of the boys who told him it was not his turn. The
unfortunate part is that I lost my temper with the coaches (the
one I talked to was not there). I don't understand why nobody
noticed. He goes to school with these kids, his teacher was there.
I probably shocked them because only Thomas has seen me lose my
temper before.

Not everything that went wrong had to do with the team. Pictures
were done at Lindquist Field where they had base running, pitching,
and hitting. April and Rachel had a Girl Scout activity, so I
had the boys. Thomas went off with his team, and I stayed with mine.
My team was in line to do the hitting, when a halt was called to
do the flag and introduce the guest. After most of the teams,
including Thomas, went to get free hot dogs. My team wanted to
go back and hit. That took another 15 minutes, and when we went
out to get food, there was no sign of Thomas or his team. I started
calling cell numbers of parents on the team, but found him by a
table. He was mad at me because he didn't know where I was.
Another time he had a game that started a half hour before Patrick
had Boy Scouts. I dropped him off at the game, watched it for ten
minutes, then got Patrick in the van to go to scouts 15 minutes away,
planning to drop him off and go back to the game. 10 minutes into
the trip, it starts to rain. 2 minutes later, the coach calls; they
called the game, and where was I? One of the parents dropped him off
at the Boy Scout meeting.

The upside is that Thomas still wants to play baseball, but not
with this team.

Is anybody there?

It's been a while, but I just have not felt like posting. I have a few to post now.