First, the recent updates. Rabbit is seeing the ball amazingly well. He has not struck out in his last 15 or so at bats. A few hits, including a nice one to center in tonight's LL game, and a few hard liners right at people. He has worked very hard and now has a stance and swing that is providing some power. Fun stuff.
On the hill we are working on driving more off the front elbow. To help accomplish this we are turning the glove hand palm up while in the wind up. This is forcing him to keep the hand high and creates a nice lever-whip motion on the way down. Initially it has led to some more pop on the ball without sacrificing any control. In his LL game he threw 2 inning with no hits, 2 strikeouts, no walks and no runs. The very next day he faced an 11U majors team. From 50' (he had thrown from 46' the day before) he went 2 innings with 6 hits, 3 ER and no walks with 1 k. A very respectable outing.
Now buckle up, double barrel screed coming.
Little League - Get over yourselves coaches. You embarrass yourselves with petty tyranny and selfish playground antics. Tonight a coach waited until 5 minutes after game time to threaten to take his team off the field unless the umpire was changed. The umpire had already been changed once. I have previously railed on the officiating and it is not getting any better using local, rather than District, umps. The three managers in our division are all trying to out clever and out maneuver each other. It is stupid. Let the boys play. These kindergarten mind games are a joke. The other coach was tossed before the game even started. He missed a gem. 2-0 in our favor. The umpire, while not great, had no effect on the outcome. Now the coach missed that game, and the next by rule. All of this posturing for a berth in Tournament of Champions? Get over yourself. The kids got it right tonight. The adults, both dugouts, looked foolish. Knock it off already.
Travel - I really think we have had enough "character building" for the spring. It is time to let our boys play other 10U teams. I realize that it is very difficult to balance two squads covering 8-12 year old players. I know that everyone wants a chance. I also know how good the team can be when they get a chance to play 12-15 games together. I really feel that "rec ball" (LL and Pony) is killing any momentum we garner. I cannot wait for the summer season when we can play the same 12 boys in their natural positions. Facing 11U teams is fine, but getting run out of the building by an 11U majors team does nothing to improve the squad. I actually fear it will leave a bad taste in the mouths of new players. And finally, I look forward to the day when we can select our roster, rather than having to rely on who is available. Call me an elitist scumbag, but there are simply some boys who are not on par with the core of the team.
It is very easy from the stands. Every call I make is correct, and I never mess up on positioning or bating order. One of the true revelations in my life is that I no longer coach. I understand the task that the coaches face, and I remain supportive. But every now and then I just want to scream!