Three Strikes And We Are Out?

Hank and his buddy played baseball together for their 5th year.  This year the boys had to try out in the Minor League.  Unfortunately his team with all his buddies since Kindergarten got broken up as the league attempted to divide the talent.
 Ben was the only person on the team Hank knew.  It was a disappointing season.  With Hank being the youngest of the boys playing in the minor league he mostly rotated right field, left field and bench.  It is suppose to still be developmental level and the kids were all suppose to rotate through the positions but his coach wanted to win and only played three boys at pitcher.  Hank didn't get suit up as catcher once.
 In addition to that there was more unsportsmanlike behavior from parents and coaches than we have ever seen.  We were totally turned off with parents and coaches behaving badly.  Wake up, this is neighborhood baseball for 9-12 year old boys not the World Series.  People need to get a life if they feel the need to chew out a high school umpire for a bad call.  Hats thrown in the ground, play books tossed on the field, tantrums left and right, and parents saying they were willing to fight each other.  What are they teaching these boys?  I can tell you.  One little boy on our team shouted to the umpire's face, "You Suck Ump"  as the game concluded.  A coach from the opposing team reprimanded the boy and said you don't ever speak to an adult or umpire like that.  Wish we had that coach.
Hank seemed to be having trouble hitting the ball too.  On opening night he had the first line drive to first base.  A couple weeks later he hit a homer.  However, as the season progressed he seemed to be getting worse with his timing and striking out more.  Only after the season did we realize he was struggling with his vision and he needed glasses.  He was still managing to hit most nights but not his usual big hits.
Hank didn't care as much as we did that he wasn't getting playing time or that the coaches were poorly behaved.  He thought it was the greatest when he and Ben would ride the bench and shove as much Big League Chew in their mouth as possible!  He even asked once if he could sit on the bench instead of play outfield.  :)  The boys would practice their spitting and he loved getting to have hotdogs and soda for dinner two nights a week!
It is sad that kids' sports have gotten so competitive that you want to quit because it is no longer fun and you don't want your child picking up bad behavior from the adults.  Each night on the drive home we would have to undo all the negative talk that he had picked up and reinforce respect for the umpire's calls and that it was not ok to talk badly about the other team.  I sure love the game of baseball and wish it could be just a bunch of boys playing ball.  If this is the direction the league is going, I am so sad to say it was Hank's last season.  It looks like three strikes and we are out. :(

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