Coach, Asst.

That’s right. Watch out, umpires. I am now the official assistant coach of the Central-Clemson Rec League’s Fightin’ Tarheels.

Wyatt and Seth are playing their first year of t-ball, and they landed on the same team. At the first practice, I joined up with management.

I had thought most of my duties would be spent teaching the artful slide into home, demonstrating for aspiring pitchers the wizardry of the spit ball and tweaking that elusive perfect batting order (do we want to keep the clean up hitter in the 4 slot even though he can switch hit and we might could mess with the opposing pitcher’s psyche better elsewhere?).

However, to date, most of my coaching has included encouraging batters to actually face the pitcher, cajoling fielders to stand up and stop digging tunnels in the dirt, tying shoes and opening snacks. You gotta start somewhere.

I do plan to work a scene so I get tossed from a game. What kind of coach would I be if I didn’t have that under my belt?

However, I could more easily foresee a scenario where a small mob of parents toss me. In this league, before we place the ball on the tee, the coach actually pitches (it’s a soft underarm loft, from like 10 feet away) three balls for each batter to attempt to hit. In the first two games, between me and the head coach, we’ve beaned five players. It’s harder than you think pitching to tikes whose reflexes are…well, developing.

6 Replies to “Coach, Asst.”

  1. Isn’t Nathan an umpire in that league? I can’t think of any story I’d rather be able to tell my friends who aren’t connected to dcf than the one about when one of my pastors was forced to eject the other one from his sons’ tee-ball game for ________ (fill in the blank with your choice of ridiculous, offensive, or creative outburst).

  2. Indeed, Nathan is an ump in the Central-Clemson Rec League, but actually the t-ball level doesn’t have umpires, so I think it will in truth end up being a thwarted dream – for me and apparently for you also, Ed.

  3. I know that you have to make sacrifices for your kids and all, but wearing a UNC hat, I just don’t know.

    I hope your kids one day understand the sacrifices you’ve made for them.

  4. Yes, Ed, et al., I umpire in the Clemson-Central Rec League, as Winn says. Only, I umpire the sophisticated 9- and 10-year-olds. No digging holes in the ground, but plenty of “I forgot my hat in the dugout.”

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