In da nevah ending field of drama (pun intended), last week was not a shock. Well, not entirely.
As we finished da team pre-practice instruction, da players broke to their positions on da field. As they headed out, there was a group of people in deep right field. They weren't hanging around but holding some sort of softball practice. You would think dat if they saw a whole bunch of keiki baseball players on da field, equipment strung out throughout, dat there was some sort of organized activity going on right?
They were about twenty-five feet from my right fielder so I waited a few minutes to give them an opportunity to leave before sending a "warning shot" to right field.
Hint not taken.
I hit a couple more shots to show that they were impeding my right fielder and they continued hitting their softball and it wasn't until I noticed that the person hitting the softballs was literally ripping it to their people (they were not players - high school or older - and he certainly wasn't a coach). It was at that time I walked over because while I train my players to stay in front of hard hit balls, they are trained to field balls that are hit in front them, not behind them.
As I got closer, I loudly asked the two people standing in our field to leave and got no response. Instead, both of them gave stink eye and then they turned back to (try and) field more balls.
I asked again and added that if they didn't leave, they will be escorted off the field. After a few more stink eyes, they reluctantly, and slowly, left the field.
Then a few minutes latah, a large Polynesian man comes to our dugout, interrupts our practice and asks to speak to me.
LARGE MAN: "I wanted to let you know that I was offended by what you said."
BL: "You're wat? You're offended by wat I said?"
LARGE MAN: "Yes, you said you was going to escort us off the field."
BL: "That was because you guys didn't want to move even aftah I asked... twice."
LARGE MAN: "This is a public park."
BL: "Yes it is but we have a permit to practice on the entire baseball field."
LARGE MAN: "Well we didn't know. You could have told us that you had a permit and you guys were all the way here (pointing to home plate)."
BL: "Excuse me? You see a full team of kids on the field, two adults, equipment all ovah and you don't think we're going to practice and use da field? We're here (pointing to home plate) because that's wea we give instructions before da players head out to da field. Why YOU nevah ask if it was ok to practice there (pointing to right field)?"
LARGE MAN: "You still offended me be saying you're going to escort us off the field."
BL: "You're offended?! You gotta be kidding me! *full on Korean action coming on* Even aftah I asked politely, TWICE, to leave da field, then those two standing in da out field no even move and then give stink eye and then show disrespect.... and YOU'RE offended........ I'M OFFENDED!!!
Wassup Wit Dat!
LARGE MAN: "You didn't ask me to leave da field."
BL: "You wasn't even on da field! I asked those who were on da field to move and if they didn't relay that message to you then it's on them. Plus you guys was ripping da ball to them (their outfielders), wat if it was hit too far or you guys couldn't field it? It would have injured my player... then wat?"
Dis went on for a few minutes until finally he left.
One of my players comes up to me aftah practice and says, "Coach, are you nuts???" *Referring to da intimidating size of da man*
I responded by telling him dat wen it comes to trying to do da right thing, you can nevah be nuts. I am "passionate" about living true and right and will not stand of da downfall of common courtesy and respect and dat is wat I'm trying to pass onto da team.
I did tell da player dat while it was wrong on their part be rude and disrespectful, I was wrong to have gotten "excited". Wen someone comes to talk and not be confrontational, I should show da same respect regardless of how passionate I am.
Lesson learned........ both ways........ and yeah, I am shmall kine nutz. 😛