I am also in a good mood because I am outside, on a sunny but cool late spring day. I am watching boys (mostly) playing baseball. Or a modest approximation of baseball, as played by children of ages seven and eight.
I'm a coach for my team, though not the one who pitches today. So, when my team is up to bat I coach near first base. My job is to keep on the boys about paying attention to their running and not the ball. And running through the bag. Also, of course, offering positive feedback about their hitting and running as much as is reasonable. On defense, I have to position several of my players almost every inning, since they have very little idea of where they should be playing. Then I watch them to make sure they are ready and paying attention. (Small boys lack much focus, and baseball as played by this age group has much down time.) And I yell at them to throw to first, remind them of where forced outs are, etc. I try to encourage them all even when they fail. It's all very low key. We are losing 5-2 after the first inning, but that is not really dampening my mood at all.
I am out in the field, watching my guys fail to get another out at first base, although they do try, when I get a text. I pull out the phone and have a quick look, but I cannot read it at all in this bright sunlight, and I should be paying attention. After the next hit, there's a delay as the other team gets their next boy up to bat. I take off my sunglasses and shade my phone with my other hand, and I can read it. It's Jayne.
a lot more starbase defenders.)
Meanwhile, the ball game rolls on. My team is up to bat, bottom of the second. We get several hits, but the opponents have a couple of good players in the infield. These kids can actually throw and catch decently, unlike many at their age. So, combined with my team's underwhelming hitting, they are getting outs. We don't score at all. Back into the field, and the last inning repeats itself. We get one out before the opponent gets their five runs, which is the league's per-inning scoring limit. And we swap again. My team is up to bat, and I am near first base in foul territory. Buzzzt. A new text arrives. This time I am right on it.
But back to important
Their raps. This inning we have one of our weaker players playing pitcher. The "pitcher" at this level does not actually pitch; the other team's coach does that. But he is allowed to stand at the pitcher's mound. The pitcher is about the most important defender at this level of baseball, because the majority of hits will be fielded by him. If he can throw, and the first baseman can catch, you get outs. If he can't throw, or does not know where to throw, you don't. In this case, he can't throw effectively. He gets close on one hit that goes right of the mound, but otherwise is not even getting close to getting outs. After the other team loads up the bases, he gets confused on two plays and does not get a throw off to anywhere. They get their five runs.
By this time it is clear the other team is just better. They have slightly worse hitting and much better fielding. We get a few more runs, while they score their five in each inning. Final score: 20-8. We do the post game "good sportsmanship" rituals, and I award the game ball to a kid for trying hard and paying attention. Then most of the kids have to leave. (Chop chop! On to the next scheduled item!)
I am still doing the "post game talk with parents" thing, gently encouraging one of my players' Dad to get out and play catch with him. New text.
Just as I get home there's a new text: