By Braddah Lance
We've begun baseball practices recently and let me tell ya there's no shortage of drama at Salt Lake.
Relax, no repeat of da volleyball fiasco last year (yet).
Besides already stressing out that I got nearly a full team of inexperienced players (I feel a whole new batch of white hairs coming out), we have to share the field with what appears to be approximately five or six flag football teams ranging in age from 7 - 12.
If you haven't ever been to Salt Lake District Park Makai (w/ the pool), the field is HUGEMANGEOUS! There's two full sized baseball fields along with a smaller one and even with three fields, there's still CHOKE room inbetween.
But as you would have guessed by now, the flag football teams aren't practicing there. Instead, they are in our shallow left field, center field and right field. Our baseball team has the permit to the near baseball field and they have the permit for the field inbetween the baseball fields. In fact, we're the only baseball team practicing there so they, flag football teams, in essence can practice anywhere.
Yesterday, as our players were warming up (throwing balls) the flag football players walk right next to our last player and right behind to get to their practice without so much as to watch out for a ball.
Uh, we're practicing... and the ball we throw is HARD.
Lucky for them, I've trained our players to be conscience of lolo's like that so they stop and wait for them to clear. Then I see a handful of 5 year olds running THROUGH the warmups and what do their parents do?
Uh, nothing..... cause they're nowhere to be seen! Oh, there they are..... sitting in their car!
Now that's just the tip of the iceberg! They not only walk - I should say saunter cause they ALL take their sweet a$$ time! - through our practice, they even have the nerve to walk through our infield and through our dugout entrance just to get to their part of the field. What I don't get is that they could walk around the FENCED area just as easily but more importantly, not disturb another team and be protected from a wayward baseball.
It's really irras cause it happens to us everyday, twice a day. They start after us and finish before us and you would think by the 7th time they would catch da hint by now! I've been patient and even more so because I know that this will be their last week on the field but still... no can dat kine!
During our stretches, one "coach" even had the nerve to "eye" me out..... and then move his cones to the edge of our infield! Boy, I was about to go postal on his okole!
I just used it as an example to our players that they should be more aware and respectful of other people and to not act like those jerks ever.
Later, I adjust our practice to work "around them" and what happens at the end of flag football practice? A bunch of five year olds just runs through our outfield drills (balls getting hit HARD to our outfielders standing in right field) and no parent saying anything like, "Stop (child's name)!" or "Go around!".
So one misses an oblivious keiki and we hold up practice to let them pass. Then as we're about to begin again, adults walk RIGHT next to and just behind our outfield players making them wait while they talk amongst themselves not even noticing that they are walking through six players standing in the middle of the field.
Adults. ADULTS are acting like that!
WASSAP WIT DAT!
That was the first wave.......
As the second wave approached we hit a few balls again to our outfielders standing in right field to "hint" to them that we're not only practicing live but they're about to walk into a "danger zone".
Hint not taken.
That was the last straw. I was hoping they'd have enough common sense or at least the respect of a sportsman to give courtesy to a practicing team but nope, time to go medieval on them. As I walk from home plate to the outfield to let them know that a baseball team is on the field, I just heard a deep resonating voice from the end of the fence,
"GO AROUND! HEY! GO AROUND!!! CAN'T YOU SEE THEY'RE PRACTICING! WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING?! GO AROUND!"
I dunno about you, but if I see a 5'10" 225+ pound Samoan yelling at me, I'd certainly move.... and move they did.
I'm glad I'm coaching his son.
Believe me, his son is learning manners and respect not only from me as a coach, but more importantly, his parents.
I hope the father is around during volleyball season.......