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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Sounds to me like the conflict stuff is much ado about nothing. I'd follow TG's advice here. Sure we all want to win games. Both my kids pitch I told them a long time ago, when you think you can go through a season without making an error, then go ahead and get pissed at your teammates. Otherwise be a servant leader and let them know it's fine, get the next one. Let the catcher be the heavy, those guys always seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Remember when they make that error everyone sitting there sees it (at least those not playing on their smartphones/kindles). They wanted nothing more than to make that play.... Just pitch, and have fun, and tune out the noise. My filter runs 24X7. What TG suggests carries over to work, marriage, traffic, family issues, whatever...

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    • I haven't done much posting this season..... to be honest the season has been so bad that it's hard for me to come home and report.

      It's no longer if we can win a game or not but if we will score a run. We've been getting blown out each and every game with scores like 15 to 0, 12 to 0, 9 to 1..... so on and so on and so on.

      I've never in my life seen a team this bad. We can't play defense at all and I mean at all..... my boy was pitching against a top 6 A school and 7 simple pop fly's were hit to the outfield.....SEVEN! Easy easy catches....the easiest catches in baseball..... all of them dropped. Add the errors the infield gave up and it was a slaughter.

      Only one kid on our team can hit.....and it aint my boy. The coach has a rule about not letting anyone know the stats so I have no idea what the batting averages are but my best guess is only one boy is hitting over .200.

      Hard to win games when you can't hit and you can't play defense.

      I've never seen a team this bad in all my years of baseball and to be honest my boy is part the blame. He needed to step up and be a leader but I think he pretty much doesn't care anymore.

      The season is over Saturday. So far our record is 9 and 27..... all of the 9 wins were early in the year against small 1A and 2A schools. Every 6A school has just blown our doors off.

      We have four games left in the next 3 days all of them against top 6A schools.


      Sparks

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      • Got word from the school regarding the $30,000 helicopter bill.

        They sent us claim forms and turned it over to their insurance.

        Thank God,
        Sparks

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        • Sparks are you guys in upper NW Alabama? If so my in-laws live in your town. They actually drove over to Chattanooga when we played our spring break tournament up there, but they are from Florence.

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          • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
            Got word from the school regarding the $30,000 helicopter bill.

            They sent us claim forms and turned it over to their insurance.

            Thank God,
            Sparks
            I hope this makes your life easier. This was inevitable, though I didn't want to say so since I'm not familiar with Alabama laws on governmental immunity or the specific facts, but if a school district's insurance doesn't cover this, what would it cover? Breath easier now. As to the team's lack of success, I'm sure he understands that his personal performance still means something and how he handles this will carry over to a lot of future acticivities. Hey, Summer Ball is coming.

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            • Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
              Sparks are you guys in upper NW Alabama? If so my in-laws live in your town. They actually drove over to Chattanooga when we played our spring break tournament up there, but they are from Florence.
              Yes

              Sparks

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              • Sparks, glad to hear that the helicoptor bill is going to insurance, and hopefully that'll resolve it.

                At this point, your boy's focus (apart from being a good teammate) is to get himself noticed. For these last four games, he'll get some pitching in against teams whose coaches will have the ear of college coaches, so he will want to put on a good show when he's out on the field. He's got to be the one flower that peaks up out of the manure, so to speak. His teammates will probably either be screwing around or hanging their heads, so he can stand out simply by way of his demeanor. And, you've established that the head coach - however incompetent - cares about your boy's future, so the youngster owes it to the man to try to make this last week as tolerable as possible. If nothing else, he's the one whom college coaches will be calling, so his final memories of the boy this season should be good ones as to on-field performance and overall demeanor.

                What is essential is that you come up with a plan for getting him seen by college coaches this summer, particularly the first part, whether it's travel ball, showcases, on-campus camps, etc. Do your homework now as to colleges that might be a good fit for him even if they're not exactly where you are, then get in touch with 'em. (Schools like to have out-of-area players because it looks like they've got a national recruiting base - two boys I've coached in the past here in California were recruited by and are going off to small colleges next year in Ohio and Louisiana.) I'm guessing that DII may be a reasonable fit - those coaches often have tiny recruiting budgets but on-campus camps, so they're reasonable candidates. But they're lining up their players now - if you start talking to schools in August, most have 'chalkboarded' about half their rosters by then and, if they're full-up on pitchers (or think they are), the best you'll get is to be put on their 'waiting list', which can be agonizing.
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                • We played our last two games yesterday...... there is no way things could have been worse.

                  To start it off the coach didn't even let my boy play the first game. Not at all....

                  The second game he put him playing 3rd base. My boy's first at bat he hit a fly ball to right for an out. His second at bat he got a hit. For some unknown reason he took my boy out of that game and my boy only played 2 innings of the last two games of the season. Oh and we were playing a 3A school and were mercy ruled before the 5th inning started.


                  So ends my boy's jr year.

                  I'm just out of words to say at this point.

                  Sparks

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                  • One more thing....

                    The night before our last two games of the season we played a double header.

                    My boy got the ball to pitch. It was against a 3A school but they are a powerhouse and have already won their division and (I looked this up) are ranked 10th in our state among 3A schools. From what I hear they are a favorite to win the state. I looked at the scores from their games this year and they had been mercy ruling all of the 6A schools they had played.

                    Well my boy was pitching and it got into the 5th inning. He'd given up 5 runs (ONLY ONE WAS EARNED). So it was our at bat in the top of the 6th and the score is tied (5 to 5). Now my boy has been pitching his brains out to try and get this win. The coach DH'd for him and wouldn't even let him bat during the game.

                    Well we have runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the 6th.

                    I swear you won't believe what happened...... all I can tell you I couldn't make this up if I tried.

                    Top of the 6th with the go ahead run on third and another runner on second.... what does our coach do????? Get ready for this........ he put in the team manager to bat. God as my witness this happened. This boy is not even on the roster and as far as I know has never played baseball in his life. He just helps the coaches with the water and equipment and stuff.

                    Of course the pitcher blows three strikes by him to end the inning.

                    One boy on our team quit right then and there when that happened. He was one of our top 3 pitchers. He took his stuff and walked out and never came back.

                    This is the kind of year we've had to put up with.

                    Sparks

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                    • Sparks,

                      Keep using forum as an outlet but whatever you do don't express these disappointements to your grandson.

                      I learned the hard way unfortunately.

                      It would have been funny if your grandson's team would have started chanting "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy" when the team manager went up to bat.

                      Maybe the coach is making bets against his team? :gt

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                      • We got the official word today..... the coach was fired.

                        Sparks

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                        • That would explain the actions of the coach. He probably knew he was getting fired and put the team manager into bat as a sign of protest.

                          Hopefully anyone who quit will come back to the team.

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                          • Any player who quit because the equipment manager was allowed to bat isn't committed to the game. I'm not sure I would have him back. I would be grilling the kid and making him beg in our meeting. I wouldn't chase after the kid. He would have to initiate the discussion. He better not show up at tryouts or off season workouts like nothing happened. He quit on his teammates.
                            Last edited by tg643; 04-19-2013, 12:52 PM.

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                            • Maybe you guys aren't familiar with this story about a coach putting in the manager at the end of the season (NSFW, guys you may have to get out the hankies).

                              Last edited by songtitle; 04-19-2013, 11:53 AM.
                              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                              • Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                                Any player who quit because the equipment manager was allowed to bat isn't committed to the game. I'm not sure I would have him back. I would be grilling the kid and making him beg in our meeting. I would chase after the kid. He would have to initiate the discussion. He better not show up at tryouts or off season workouts like nothng happened. He quit on his teammates.
                                Agreed. When you quit, it isn't the coach you're quiting on. By this age, kids should be held to a greater level of responsibility by their peers. I'd let them back after they got approval from their teammates and earned my respect. Run 'em 'til they puke! OK, maybe not.

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