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Waterlogged Baseballs

Let me apologize for missing last week’s deadline. I am what they call an unreliable part-time scribe that was temporarily without an electronic device. I slipped on a rock, and my phone ended up in the middle of Lycoming Creek. We were both submerged in three feet of water for five minutes straight. I was completely off the grid with no contingency plan. Hey Jensen. Could I borrow your iPad to write an article? NO WAY DAD.

My lovely bride was extremely upset when I finally confessed. I even looked up how to save my phone on Pinterest. I soaked it in rice for 48 hours and then tried the oatmeal with a hint of honey trick. I was totally fine without a phone, but unfortunately, I had to throw in the towel to take advantage of an $800 upgrade. Special thanks to Vince from Verizon Wireless for restoring all of my contacts and fishing photos. You’d think I would have learned my lesson after three waterlogged phones. Nope.

The weather has certainly played havoc with my extracurricular activities. Our local rivers and streams are full of water making it rather difficult to navigate. These slippery conditions can get quite expensive. #iPhoneX. The ground is fully saturated, and it is too wet to mow. Forget about golf. I simply don’t have the money, and I am of not a fan of unraked traps. In fact — the only thing we have time for is watching our son play baseball eight days a week.

I can’t believe the summer vacation is drawing near, and the 2018 Little League regular season is sadly coming to an end. Please tell me we aren’t the only ones who hang at the local ballparks every single night? How about another cheeseburger platter?

So we’ve been at it for a few months now, and this has been a very unpredictable spring. Snow, sleet, wind, hail, and rain. We’ve experienced them all. We even had to play in a severe thunderstorm. Hey Blue. I don’t have any cell service, but that sky doesn’t look good. RELAX COACH. WE SHOULD BE FINE. PLAY BALL. You can’t make it up.

My son plays for the Trail Inn in the Minor A division of the Hepburn Lycoming Little League. Jensen and his chums who are aged 8 through 10 are off to an impressive start. They are playing fundamental baseball, and are a great bunch of kids. Jensen enjoys the game, and he has seven wins, four saves and a 1.65 ERA on the mound. The Birdman also bats clean up and is leading the team with 17 RBIs. Well, that was before Verizon Vince accidentally erased my files. We don’t care about the wins and losses. It’s all about the individual stats.

A few weeks back I wrote a short piece on how I was asked to help coach this season. I cited a few examples of the difficulties I had with my new gig. The other three dads had extensive on-field duties while I was in the dugout babysitting the kids. I must say that my responsibilities have tripled since that article went to 58k homes. Coach Marc must’ve read my plea because I was recently named the executive pitch count director, USABat enforcer, and the pregame maintenance chief. Perhaps he was getting even for me poking fun at him while he was coaching first base in a wet tee shirt. WHAT’S THAT A SCHMEDIUM?

Coach Marc even lets me visit the mound to encourage and talk shop with our pitchers. He then gives me the green light and trusts my judgment when it comes to making a call to the bullpen. I must say that I have been on point with all of my decisions and substitutions lately. I will continue to take credit for our successes but when things quickly sour — I will be the first to hide and pass the blame.

Our kids never cry after a called strike three. They run back to the dugout with a smile because they know I am buying the team slushies. I continue to do my very best to maintain order and coordinate the cheers. Sometimes we all floss or do the backpack kid’s dance after registering an out. Don’t get me wrong everything hasn’t been just peachy. I am always looking for new ways of reestablishing control. WHO TOLD YOU IT WAS OK TO EAT FRENCH FRIES IN THE DUGOUT? Coach Jamie.

So, I finally found my groove, and perhaps I actually helped this team win a few games. It was a lot of fun, and I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to make some new friends. My return to coaching was a great experience, and I have really enjoyed working with these youngsters.

Props to Levi, Kyler, Jaxson, Connor, Landon, Mason, Katlyn, LJ, Jensen, Eli, DJ and Karter on a great season. Special thanks to Coach Jimmy, Coach John and Coach Marc for bringing out the kid’s very best. Cheers.

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