Things You See And Hear At An Amarillo Baseball Tournament
A not so little secret, I have a tendency to spend my weekends out at the baseball fields coaching my kids' teams in tournaments.
As you stand on the field, you get an opportunity to see and hear a LOT of different things.
This weekend was no different. Some good, some bad, some just flat-out strange. Here are a few things I observed with either my eyes or ears this weekend.
UMPIRES WHO REMEMBER IT'S ABOUT FUN
The first game of the day that I coached on Sunday had quite possibly the most entertaining umpires I've ever had in my eight years of coaching baseball.
Before the game started and they had their plate meeting with the coaches, they looked at one another and asked each other if they were ready to go in a vibrant way. Then they hollered out to the team on the field and screamed, "are you ready to play some baseball". All the kids enthusiastically responded with "yeah!". They turned to our team and asked the same thing, kids responded in kind. They moved on to the coaches and shouted, "are you ready to coach these boys?" and the coaches responded loudly. Then they moved on to the parents and asked if they were ready to watch their boys play some ball and they all loudly responded with cheers and clapping.
"THEN LET'S PLAY SOME BALL!" the home plate umpire screamed. The energy given to start that game got the kids and parents jumpstarted for a 9 AM game and is something I've never seen in my entire coaching career.
PARENTS THAT CHEER FOR LITERALLY EVERYTHING
There was a team at the tournament that had one of the loudest cheering sections I've ever heard. When something, and I mean ANYTHING, happened in the game they were boisterous. We're talking if one of the kids on their team threw a strike, it was like they just ripped a double down the line. If a kid on their team got walked, you would've thought you were at a soccer game with all the different noisemakers.
I love the energy and devotion to the kids, but maybe not EVERY pitch needs to be celebrated.
COACHES THAT COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PLAY
We ran into a team this weekend that had traveled in to play this weekend. We were up big in this game, 14-5 to be exact. We were down to the final inning of the game, feeling good about where we were, then it began.
We'd throw a pitch, it would get called a strike. Coaches on the other side start getting on the umpire about the location of the pitch. I wish I could say it stopped there. It seemed every time we got an out on the field, the other team would call time and challenge it. The worst part about it? They won every single call they challenged.
After going back and rewatching that last inning, one of my coaches said one of the overturns was correct. However, the other two calls they challenged? Yeah, they definitely should've stuck as outs. When it comes to challenging a call, there's a way to go about it. There are also times when you just let it go. This team didn't understand any of that.
In summary, I love this game. I love coaching all the kids I get a chance to step on that field with. It's just interesting to see all the different things that go on between the umpires, coaches, parents, and kids during these tournaments. It's not life or death and no one is getting a college scholarship today. Kick back, let the kids play and enjoy it.