We leave on Thursday for the Vegas tournament again. This time with Mizuno. We played it with Blue Wave last year, and looking back I fear that was the beginning of the end. I am not subtle, or quiet, or meek so I tend to create communication where none exists. We had very limited communication at Blue Wave, and occasionally too much with Mizuno. I really believe that Mizuno has a chance to make a good showing this year. 41 teams entered, I expect something between 12th and 25th. Last year they came in second in D2, so approximately 14th overall. Blue Wave finished in the mid 30s.
Rabbit is throwing quite well lately, and his pitching coach has paid some major dividends. We will certainly miss Paul next season, but I expect some major league franchise will need him more than we do. Rabbit is introducing a cutter (slider, really, but don't tell him that) and can throw it up to 4 times in a game. After that he is supposed to shake off the catcher. It will be interesting to see how he rolls with it as the game progresses.
We are bringing in two "mercenary" players for this tourney. These are boys who are not part of the regular roster, but play with us some times in the bigger tournaments. I have no problem with this and like the kids. It is kind of funny though to think of having a mercenary in a 12U setting. In fact, since we are facing a very limited tournament schedule next year Rabbit may very well be a mercenary for some local teams. Our family rule is we will play if he is the 9th or 10th boy on the roster, only if his being there makes the difference in being able to play or not. We really want to avoid a scenario where the merc comes in and takes a spot from a team member. With the two mercs, Mizuno will have 10 boys (one of whom is 9yo) in Vegas.
Spent Labor Day Weekend at youth baseball tournaments and team parties, but did not play. Instead it was a weekend to catch up with friends and watch some games with no pressure. It is gratifying to see people genuinely enthused to see Rabbit. He is a good kid and would have these friends if they met at baseball, football, the library or knitting class. It is energizing to see good kids, invariably from good families, after reading the news and hearing all the gloom and doom the future holds. I say relax, go watch them play a game or two, you will feel better also.