Clearly Jimmy Dugan, Tom Hanks’ character in “A League of Their Own,” never coached in a YMCA league. If he had, he never would have never claimed that “there’s no crying in baseball.”
My son is playing his first season of player-pitch baseball this summer, and we’re encountering some growing pains. He’s actually done better than I thought with the idea of being selective at the plate (especially with a wild pitcher), but that doesn’t mean it’s always good.
Take Friday night’s game. We’re facing a pitcher who’s struggling to get the ball to the plate, and when he does, it’s usually with an “eephus pitch” that happens to drop down right over the plate. It’s not any evil strategy on the other team’s part; it’s the only way this boy can get the ball to go 45 feet in the air. But it’s frustrating for the boys on my son’s team.
Adding to the frustration is an umpire who decides to have a huge strike zone that’s much larger than what the boys have dealt with in previous weeks. I recognized this problem when I watched a pitch land six inches next to the plate being called a strike. Eventually, my son got his at bat. He took a couple of pitches that went wide, then took a strike. He was still fine, though he was a little unsure of himself so he swung at a pitch he probably shouldn’t have. Then came an inside pitch that he didn’t swing at.