I normally don't brag, but last week was so awesome I just have to spill my guts....even if nobody reads it!
I have coached a school baseball team for the past 8 years. Every year we either fall one or two games short or finish around 500. This year things were really looking up. Great group of kids and some big ones to fill positions I thought I was going to be weak in. Heck, I went beyond my normal superstitions and even predicted being champions at a pep rally in the gym! (of course I knocked on the wood podium...I'm not THAT stupid!)
Well....after hours and hours of hard work and long practices.....EVERYTHING fell right in place and worked perfectly last Thursday evening. It was amazing how even the little things worked out well. The team we played was undefeated and our one loss was to a team from their division which they crushed. So they showed up to the game with swagger thinking we were going to be a pushover. I had already scouted them and had pitching sequences for every player and had a few trick plays we practiced to counter their aggressive base running. When we walked the lead off batter of the game, he promptly stole second on a wild pitch. It was time to put up or shut up..... I signaled my catcher to throw down on the next pitch and he promptly back picked the kid leading off to far for an out. THAT set the pace for the game. The other coach NEVER attempted to steal again. And in the bottom of the first, knowing from the scouting report that their coach throws nothing but fast balls on the outside corner.... our first four batters hit frozen ropes on the outfield gaps. They were shell shocked. They tried mounting a come back in the 4th with runners on second and third with two outs. The batter hit a sharp line drive to right field and my right fielder made a play we had practiced over and over.....charging the ball....scooping and firing to first without hesitation. We got the kid out on the force play by one foot to end the inning. The coach was waving his arms sending runners to score and didn't even see what happened. He was stunned. One and a half hours later....my kids were storming the pitchers mound and dog piling on our pitcher. It was the kind of thing that gives you goose bumps.
Things that were funny:
..... I have a tiny kid I kept on the team because he has great mechanics, great heart and a funny attitude, just two feet short of being a good player. Well...I noticed he was first one out of the dugout, but then stood aside and waited for everyone to jump into the pile of bodies....THEN he leeped on top. SMART kid! LOL
..... Me and the assistant coach went to a sports bar to celebrate (like we always do after a win)...we were soooo looking forward to a few beers....we get there and 3/4 of the team is there! parents and players. It took us 40 minutes before we could slip off to a seperate booth with a few Dad's for a beer! It stinks having morals and not wanting to drink in front of the kids.....LOL.
...... the Principal was going to throw out the first pitch at the championship game. I pulled him off the the side 2 minutes prior and told him if he bounced it...there were 22 kids in the dugout that would NEVER let him hear the end of it. HE STARTED SWEATING! LOL
...... we tried a squeeze play at some point with my cleanup hitter (totally unorthidoxed). He bunted both attempts backwards and then drew a walk. He appologized and said his bunting sucked. I put my hands on his shoulders....looked him in the eyes and said "Don't worry Richard...we will teach you have to butn NEXT year...if I don't cut you"...... I can still see the big smile now.