Maddy started playing softball this year. I had heard stories about parents who get their knickers in a knot over bad calls, coaches who act like Bobby Knight, and other drama at their kids' games. I got to experience it first hand last night.
Maddy games start at 6:15. They play until 8:00ish. There are no lights on the fields. The umps are high school kids. The coach of the team we played last night apparently has a history of saying "let's play another inning" if they are a couple of minutes under the time limit AND if his team is losing. However, if his team is winning, then he's willing to say the game is over. Go figure.
We noticed that the home plate ump had a problem calling a strikeout by a pitcher in a purple shirt, but the other team's pitcher didn't have that same problem. Also, if the ball hits the ground in front of second base, and you get your glove on it but don't have your foot on the base, it's still an out IF you're wearing a blue shirt. You get the picture.
Maddy's team was losing 0-3. Before they started the last inning, I told Maddy to get her team fired up, and to do the rally caps. So they put their visors on upside down and apparently it helped. They came back and tied it 3-3. It was a little before 8:00, and we thought the game would end in a tie. Oh no - the other coach decided to "play one more." So, they took the field and our pitcher turned into Nolan Ryan with three strikeouts in a row. We were home team so we batted last. Our girls turned on the bats and loaded the bases. K is up to bat and the pitcher beans her in the leg. However, the ump didn't let her take her base to walk in the winning run. Uh? Wha? She ends up strking out.
M gets up to bat and hits a great single, which scores the winning run - game over! We won! The girls go crazy on the bench jumping up and down and screaming like, well, little girls. The parents are cheering and clapping!
But wait - what's this? Commotion over at first base - our coach goes over, and words are exchanged. Apparently, M didn't touch first base. The opposing coach started to loudly protest, and M's mother said "why don't you let the ump make that call?" To which the coach replied "why don't you sit down and shut up?" Nice example for your girls, Coach. Why don't you take your own advice?
I guess the ump was trying to make up for the earlier botched calls, because she said "game over, Purple wins." Well, thanks for small favors.
So at the end of the day (literally), Maddy's team is still undefeated. Next game is Wednesday.
The irony in all this? The blue team is sponsored by a church. Which brings to mind this great comedy routine by Tim Wilson about church league softball fistfights. Give it a listen as your laugh for today.