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  • Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
    All this drama for HS baseball. I have been following this thread for some time now. Too be honest, most of the stuff I have read here just does not sound right too me. I sometimes wonder if it is all fiction and Sparks is just pulling our leg (isn't he a writer?). If he is not then I feel sorry for all involved, what a shame to waste away 4 years of HS baseball and not be able to really enjoy the experience.
    Oh, it can be a lot worse. Some day I'll write about our head coach who makes Sparks' coach look like Joe Torre. There are actually several programs in our area that are a lot like what Sparks is describing.
    The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

    Comment


    • Originally posted by JJA View Post
      Oh, it can be a lot worse. Some day I'll write about our head coach who makes Sparks' coach look like Joe Torre. There are actually several programs in our area that are a lot like what Sparks is describing.
      Sad, but probably true.

      Comment


      • Small update:

        Word got around to a coach from another team that my boy will probably be changing schools next year. The coach invited my boy and his dad to have a meeting with them yesterday about playing for his school. The principal was also in on the meeting.

        This coach was an assistant coach on my boy's 8th grade football team. (they also want my boy to play QB for them).

        Anyway, they were talking to my boy and trying to convince him to come play for them and the conversation ended up on what happened this season with our Varsity team. The coach talking to my boy shook his head and said he wasn't surprised. My boy asked him what he meant by that?
        The coach went into detail that our Varsity coach (the one that just got fired) would tell anyone who would listen that our school would never have a good baseball team because all they cared about was football. He was dead set on recruiting the football players to get an interest in baseball.

        This of course explains this season. The coach put 5 players from the football team in the starting lineup.... just handed them the positions even though it was clear they were either not good players or not ready. He didn't care about the schools record last year or this year or next year..... he was trying to get football players on the team.

        My problem, and all of the other parents problem was this..... what about the boys who have spent their lives getting ready for High School/Varsity baseball? They only get to live this once. Let's face it, probably none of them will play after high-school. This coach took it upon himself to do away with their high-school career. I mean he let these football players play every inning of every game and not a single one of them was hitting .100 and all of them were so bad on defense it was embarrassing to watch. This went on all year.

        All of you can disagree with me if you want......that's fine. Winning doesn't matter and do what's best for the team. Meanwhile kids who have worked for 10 plus years to play Highschool baseball were forced to watch this crap. Mind you, the coach would never explain anything.... he had this rule about never talk to him and his number one rule to parents was NEVER EVER EVER EVER AND I MEAN EVER TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR KID AND PLAYING TIME!

        What we couldn't understand was why didn't he at least put them on the JV team and let them get some games in? Get the JV coach to teach them the game. You people have no idea how bad it was...... I could tell you countless stories.

        Here is one: We were down one run in the last inning with two outs against a top 6A school..... one of these football players got hit by a pitch then stole second base. There are two outs in the last inning mind you. My boy comes up to bat and hits a bomb to the outfield for a stand-up double. What does this football player do? He stands on second base and watches the ball role all the way to the fence....everyone is screaming RUN RUN RUN! He finally runs and gets thrown out at 3rd base and ends the game. My boy is standing on second base shaking his head.

        This is just one story of many that happened this year. But the jist of it is this.... none of these boys had the most basic idea how to play the game. Mind you we had good quality players sitting on the bench who have played all their lives and have shown they are good players.

        I know the coach was trying to build a program but along the way he lost the team.

        Sparks

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
          Small update:

          Word got around to a coach from another team that my boy will probably be changing schools next year. The coach invited my boy and his dad to have a meeting with them yesterday about playing for his school. The principal was also in on the meeting.

          This coach was an assistant coach on my boy's 8th grade football team. (they also want my boy to play QB for them).

          Anyway, they were talking to my boy and trying to convince him to come play for them and the conversation ended up on what happened this season with our Varsity team. The coach talking to my boy shook his head and said he wasn't surprised. My boy asked him what he meant by that?
          The coach went into detail that our Varsity coach (the one that just got fired) would tell anyone who would listen that our school would never have a good baseball team because all they cared about was football. He was dead set on recruiting the football players to get an interest in baseball.

          This of course explains this season. The coach put 5 players from the football team in the starting lineup.... just handed them the positions even though it was clear they were either not good players or not ready. He didn't care about the schools record last year or this year or next year..... he was trying to get football players on the team.

          My problem, and all of the other parents problem was this..... what about the boys who have spent their lives getting ready for High School/Varsity baseball? They only get to live this once. Let's face it, probably none of them will play after high-school. This coach took it upon himself to do away with their high-school career. I mean he let these football players play every inning of every game and not a single one of them was hitting .100 and all of them were so bad on defense it was embarrassing to watch. This went on all year.

          All of you can disagree with me if you want......that's fine. Winning doesn't matter and do what's best for the team. Meanwhile kids who have worked for 10 plus years to play Highschool baseball were forced to watch this crap. Mind you, the coach would never explain anything.... he had this rule about never talk to him and his number one rule to parents was NEVER EVER EVER EVER AND I MEAN EVER TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR KID AND PLAYING TIME!

          What we couldn't understand was why didn't he at least put them on the JV team and let them get some games in? Get the JV coach to teach them the game. You people have no idea how bad it was...... I could tell you countless stories.

          Here is one: We were down one run in the last inning with two outs against a top 6A school..... one of these football players got hit by a pitch then stole second base. There are two outs in the last inning mind you. My boy comes up to bat and hits a bomb to the outfield for a stand-up double. What does this football player do? He stands on second base and watches the ball role all the way to the fence....everyone is screaming RUN RUN RUN! He finally runs and gets thrown out at 3rd base and ends the game. My boy is standing on second base shaking his head.

          This is just one story of many that happened this year. But the jist of it is this.... none of these boys had the most basic idea how to play the game. Mind you we had good quality players sitting on the bench who have played all their lives and have shown they are good players.

          I know the coach was trying to build a program but along the way he lost the team.

          Sparks
          Sparks,
          I do not feel that any of us who know you doubted for a minute that what you were describing wasn't miserable for all involved. But, to me, it sounded like it could have been handled better by the you, the players, the school and certainly the coach. I feel if you would have explained it the way you did above to the athletic director, and if that did not work then the principal, and if that did not work the BOE, then things might have changed sooner.

          I understand the pain of a season like this - I went through it once as a father.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

          Comment


          • Sparks,

            If you son changes school will he have to sit out a season?

            Comment


            • Sparks ... Are you familiar with salesmanship? Are you familiar with unprofessional salesmanship? I would be very cautious about transferring to a school where a couple of "experts" from the outside think they know what the problem is at your school. I would be very leery these experts were sharing this information with your kid. An adult selling to a kid when the kid wants to hear certain things and they know it is a scary proposition. What if your school was saying negative things about their school? Its a very unprofessioanl situation. Most people would say nothing and let you read between the lines rather than criticize a peer. It's so unprofessional. They may not even being looking out for your son's best interests. They may just be interested in his baseball skills.

              I also want to add I've never seen any parent/guardian get more caught up in the drama of a team sport as you have. Your grandson must be having an additional miserable time based on how you've dealt with the situation. Now you're in a situation where you're hearing what you want to hear rather than what might be the truth.

              As a parent I went through high school baseball watching a poor coach and constantly saying "you can't make this stuff up." He had every flaw as a coach. He was poor at judging talent. He started some of the wrong players until they fell on their face. Younger brothers of former players always got first shot regardless of ability. He had zero in game coaching skills. He was passive on the bases. He threw pitchers until they blew up. He had zero communication skills with his players. He saw parents as the enemy. Fortunately the team had too much talent to lose. They won two conference titles and a second place. But over my sons three years of varsity they lost at least ten games due to poor coaching. When my son was a freshman on jv the varsity was 6-16. They lost twelve one run games. That's usually bad coaching. The only thing this coach did right was run an organized practice. He once worked for Ripken. Practices were straight out of a Ripken video. Had I not known this coach played college ball I would have bet he didn't play high school ball.
              Last edited by tg643; 04-24-2013, 09:50 AM.

              Comment


              • I feel the need to add this....which school will he get the best education? We're a few years behind you and recently went through shopping high schools for next year. We are going with educational value, the basebal program is sub par.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Standballdad View Post
                  Too be honest, most of the stuff I have read here just does not sound right too me. I sometimes wonder if it is all fiction and Sparks is just pulling our leg (isn't he a writer?).
                  Yep, my thoughts exactly.

                  Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                  Small update:

                  Word got around to a coach from another team that my boy will probably be changing schools next year. The coach invited my boy and his dad to have a meeting with them yesterday about playing for his school. The principal was also in on the meeting.
                  While I know we're in different states, but that is a complete violation of CIF rule 510 in our state "Blue Book", as recruiting ("undue influence") at the HS level is usually forbidden, and sanctions against that recruiting school would certainly be handed out (and the player would be ineligible for one year, in any sport he participated in at his previous school).

                  Not just in the baseball program, but in all of their sports programs, since the principal was participating in it.

                  From reading here, I thought Sparks and his wife had custodianship for this player due to prior issues with his birthright parents, so I'm wondering why it was written that "The coach invited my boy and his dad", instead of "The coach invited my boy and myself to have a meeting".

                  Sounds a bit odd to me.....just saying.

                  EDIT: To add this as just an example from one CIF section's own written policy on the matter....
                  Last edited by mudvnine; 04-24-2013, 12:15 PM.
                  In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                    Yep, my thoughts exactly.


                    While I know we're in different states, but that is a complete violation of CIF rule 510 in our state "Blue Book", as recruiting ("undue influence") at the HS level is usually forbidden, and sanctions against that recruiting school would certainly be handed out (and the player would be ineligible for one year, in any sport he participated in at his previous school).

                    Not just in the baseball program, but in all of their sports programs, since the principal was participating in it.

                    From reading here, I thought Sparks and his wife had custodianship for this player due to prior issues with his birthright parents, so I'm wondering why it was written that "The coach invited my boy and his dad", instead of "The coach invited my boy and myself to have a meeting".

                    Sounds a bit odd to me.....just saying.

                    EDIT: To add this as just an example from one CIF section's own written policy on the matter....
                    I'm not sure if there is any state where what was described is not in violation of the rules. Unless we're talking about a private school, then, maybe...

                    At the same time, before we start jumping on Sparks for what he does (or doesn't do), we have to step back and appreciate this thread for all of the reasons it's been of great value. Sparks speaks all of the things many parents (and many of us) have thought, but knew better than to say out loud (or to even admit we think them). In Sparks words, we see much of ourselves. Sparks has, for the years he's written on this thread, been completely unfiltered, and I wouldn't have it any other way nor would I discourage him from acting in this manner by instructing him on how he SHOULD react. I'm sure he knows how he SHOULD react, but still is honest enough to let us know how he DOES react. There is value in that. Additioanally, it takes only a little research to know who his grnadson is and a little more to confirm that much of what he says is the truth.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
                      I'm not sure if there is any state where what was described is not in violation of the rules. Unless we're talking about a private school, then, maybe...

                      At the same time, before we start jumping on Sparks for what he does (or doesn't do), we have to step back and appreciate this thread for all of the reasons it's been of great value. Sparks speaks all of the things many parents (and many of us) have thought, but knew better than to say out loud (or to even admit we think them). In Sparks words, we see much of ourselves. Sparks has, for the years he's written on this thread, been completely unfiltered, and I wouldn't have it any other way nor would I discourage him from acting in this manner by instructing him on how he SHOULD react. I'm sure he knows how he SHOULD react, but still is honest enough to let us know how he DOES react. There is value in that. Additioanally, it takes only a little research to know who his grnadson is and a little more to confirm that much of what he says is the truth.
                      Good post! .
                      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                        Yep, my thoughts exactly.


                        While I know we're in different states, but that is a complete violation of CIF rule 510 in our state "Blue Book", as recruiting ("undue influence") at the HS level is usually forbidden, and sanctions against that recruiting school would certainly be handed out (and the player would be ineligible for one year, in any sport he participated in at his previous school).

                        Not just in the baseball program, but in all of their sports programs, since the principal was participating in it.

                        From reading here, I thought Sparks and his wife had custodianship for this player due to prior issues with his birthright parents, so I'm wondering why it was written that "The coach invited my boy and his dad", instead of "The coach invited my boy and myself to have a meeting".

                        Sounds a bit odd to me.....just saying.

                        EDIT: To add this as just an example from one CIF section's own written policy on the matter....
                        This would be illegal recruiting in our state also. The program could go on probation and the player suspended from playing. Unless its a private school not part of the state athletic association. In Pa it takes a good reason and a written request to the state association to transfer to a nearby school. A majority of requests are declined.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
                          At the same time, before we start jumping on Sparks for what he does (or doesn't do), we have to step back and appreciate this thread for all of the reasons it's been of great value.
                          I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.....

                          While I'm sure there are a great many things that are accurate, there also appears to have been some discrepancies as related to the HS baseball portion, wrt the somes rules, and scenarios of what has or hasn't happened.....and I appear to not be only one to have noticed them.
                          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                          Comment


                          • Just to clear things up a bit..... my boy is my grandson and his dad is moving to a nearby city.

                            So the transfer rule will not come into play because my boy will be moving with his dad to this nearby city.

                            As far as this coach talking bad about our school..... pretty much all he said is what I posted. He just said that it was common knowledge that our coach was trying to get the football players involved in our baseball program. He actually didn't say weather that was good or bad he was just stating a fact.

                            As far as how we handled things? Personally, my wife and I stayed out of it but a group of parents went to the AD of our school after a few games into the season. We had a double header with a local rival team who is a 5A school (we are 6A). While at the game I noticed the AD was in attendance and this was unusual for him. It spread around pretty quick among the parents that the AD was attending that game due to complaints from parents and was evaluating our coach. At the time I didn't think much of it but we did get beat 18 to 0 one game and 13 to 0 the next game that night. It was a disaster.

                            Anyway, I don't know how much more I could have done. You all may not remember that after last year I sent an email to our coach asking him about my boy and why he was left off the Varsity squad while 6 other JV players were promoted. I said all this in as nice of a way as I could. If your remember the coach sent me back a reply that simply said my boy's numbers did not justify him being promoted to the Varsity. All my boy did on the JV team was lead the team in Batting average, ERA pitching and Wins and completely dominated the strikeouts pitching by a wide margin.

                            We did look into transferring my boy after the season last year to another school but we could not get around the 1 year rule. This year, with his dad moving it will eliminate that problem.

                            Sparks

                            Comment


                            • One more thing...... we still haven't decided if he will transfer to another school or not... at this point I would say it's 50/50.

                              My personal opinion is I think my boy needs a change. He's had the life taken out of him the past couple of years.

                              Early in the season this year we played a double header on a Saturday.... perfect weather and we were all looking forward to watching my boy play. He never left the dugout and we got slaughtered by the team we were playing. My boy came home after the game, his eyes were sunk deep in his head and his heart was broke. That day he lost his spirit and I fear his love of the game. Maybe just maybe going to another school is what he needs.... I don't know I really don't. I'm torn with this myself. We have left he decision up to him at this point.

                              It's hard to come and post and people criticize.... it really is. We've been through so much these many years and we were lucky.... we found something my boy was good at. It just so happens that it was something we all love and loved to share. I've said it many times and I'll say it again.... I'm probably the worst grandparent who ever lived because I make so many mistakes. I just do the best I can and try to do it with love. I've been criticized on here because of not making my boy be a team member and just suck it up. Well, you didn't see the look in his eyes that day after the double header. He's spent his short life loving this game and he's always played it at a high level. For him to get it taken out from under him for no reason just took the life out of him and I must admit it took some out of us too.

                              Should we have done more? I don't know..... if I had complained to the coach several on here would tell me it's the coaches team and stay out of his way (I actually agree with this). I do know this.... if I had done anything nothing would have changed.... this coach was set to do things his way and nothing was going to change that.

                              Sparks

                              Comment


                              • Sparks,

                                You've got nothing to apologize for. You've done a great job raising your grandson under very adverse circumstances and I admire you a lot for it. Apparently unlike others, I think you've been honest and forthright throughout and were willing to put your feelings out there that few here would dare to express. I think your patience with the coach and situation was actually far better than many parents I see in our high school program. Complaining on a bulletin board to us is a lot better than bringing it up with your high school coach in my estimation. Many situations in our high school program have been far uglier and you're to be commended for not letting it come to that. You also kept your boy from quitting and I can say with absolute certainty and experience that a lot of dads would have let their boy quit by now no matter how much postering they do on a bulletin board. My life philosophy is not to let naysayers stop me from doing what I want to do, so take what criticism you think is valid and throw the rest you know where. You have absolutely nothing to apologize for in my opinion. It's really hard being a parent and all you can do is your best. The love you have for your grandson has been poured out in abundance on these pages for all to see, and he is very lucky indeed to have such a person in his life.

                                As for transferring, I'll give you some unsolicited advice here. Due to our head coach, who is actually much worse than yours, our program has had many transfers. For the most part, these transfers have rarely worked out that well. (In our area, folks get around the transfer rules by renting apartments near the high school they want to transfer to and use that as a fake residence in order to get around the 1 year rule. Yeah, guys around here are serious about baseball.) Some of the transfers have become instant starters, but in many cases they don't get off the bench. A big part of why this is was reflected in mud's comments who has coached high school baseball. The coaches frequently look down on guys who transfer, sort of like traitors who bailed on the previous coach. Bottom line is that the new coach doesn't trust the kids, figuring there must be something wrong with them that they transferred. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, and it isn't always in my experience, but it is an awful lot. Thus, I really encourage your boy to stick it out. The new coach will have a lot of respect for the kids who didn't quit, viewing them as kids committed to the game, so I see little to be gained and a lot to be lost by transferring. Just my two cents from a program with a lot of transfers in and out.

                                Good luck in your decisions and please keep us abreast. It's been a true joy to follow you boys journey so I sincerely hope this can continue for several more years!

                                Take care - JJA
                                Last edited by JJA; 04-24-2013, 08:02 PM.
                                The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

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