Skip to main content

As Russ Sees It

Feb 27, 2017 02:18PM, Published by Russ Carroll, Categories: Sports+Recreation, Community


Russ Carroll



Well, it’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air, and you can smell fresh cut grass and hear the “clink” of metal bats hitting baseballs. Yep, it’s time for youth baseball. Soon, parents will be dropping little Tommy or little Susie off at practice. Moms tend to drop off the little tykes and use the free time to run errands or maybe put their feet up for a well-deserved break. Dads, on the other hand, tend to hover around the practice field, making sure their future big leaguer is getting the proper coaching and playing opportunity. After all, little Tommy is a shortstop and a pitcher, and although he is only nine years old, he needs the appropriate amount of attention to maximize his potential.

I coached youth baseball at a couple of levels for about nine seasons. I think I have seen and heard it all. Once, while coaching batting practice, I gave little Tommy some instruction that he ignored as if he were my own kid. After practice, I commented to Tommy that he needed to try and apply the instruction he received. He looked me right in the eye and said, “My dad says I don’t have to listen to you. That I should only listen to him.” I asked little Tommy, “What do you think about that”? Little Tommy replied, “Have you ever seen my dad throw a baseball? He’s awful, but I don’t want to get in trouble.” I assured little Tommy that I would talk with his dad. I thought maybe I would ask the dad to have a chat while playing catch, just so I could see him throw. I opted for the high road and just had the chat. Another enjoyable volunteer moment was during a practice, when I had the kids hitting the ball off of a tee and a dad suggested that perhaps a better hitting drill would be to have the kids hit a ball that was “moving.” Great -- another Connie Mack on my hands.

Parents always seem to have an opinion on where their little phenom should play. “Why is my kid in right field? He needs a shot at shortstop.” Now, what this parent apparently doesn’t know is that little Tommy cannot field a groundball, catch a thrown ball, or throw the ball across the diamond. I always assumed that these three activities were somewhat important in the game of baseball.

“Bleacher coaches” are the worst. Little Tommy stepped into the batter’s box, where he had not made contact in his last 14 visits, and bleacher coach started in: “Keep your hands up! Keep your eye on the ball! Get your elbow up! Widen your stance! Bend your knees!” By the second pitch, little Tommy was so confused and filled with anxiety that he simply froze up and became a hands up, eyes straight ahead, elbow up, wide stance, bent knee statue! When the pitcher threw the ball three feet over the umpire’s head, the bleacher coach yelled out, “Good eye, Tommy!” Little Tommy’s at bat ended on a called third strike and bleacher coach mumbled loud enough for all to hear, “That wasn’t a strike!” Finally, one day little Tommy reached first base after being hit by a pitch. Coaching from third, I gave him the steal sign. Next pitch…nothing. I gave it to him again. Next pitch...nothing. Again, the steal sign. Next pitch...nothing. So I yelled across the diamond at little Tommy to steal. Next pitch…he went and then got thrown out by five feet. Bleacher coach shouted, “Well of course he’s going to get thrown out. They all knew he was going to steal!”

Youth sport parents are for the most part understanding and patient with their players and coaches. Most understand that these volunteer coaches and umpires have jobs, their own families, and that they spend countless hours during the season to try and help little Tommy have fun and learn about the beautiful game of baseball. And then there are a few that make it very difficult for anyone to have fun. To those I say, “Please watch the game from your car.”

A couple of years ago I was asked if I would be interested in coaching again. I replied, “Yes! If you have a team made up of orphans”. But…that’s just how I see it. 



Play Ball


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/25/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    06/25/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    06/25/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Role Players Ensemble presents a Script-in-hand performance of the stage play "Honky" by Greg Kal...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/26/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/27/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/28/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Diffusing the Hatred Program

    06/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Learn nonviolent communication skills in a safe environment and develop tools for responding to u...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    06/28/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/29/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    06/29/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Dirty Cello brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by vivacio...


  • THE LAFAYETTE STUDIO BIG BAND

    06/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Under the direction of Steve Snyder, the Lafayette Studio Big Band is a traditional 17 piece jazz...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/30/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    06/30/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with GARAGELAND RODEO No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • Clarinet Fusion will return for their 8th performance entitled “Hello Summer!”. It will feature ...


  • THE 9TH WARD MILLIONAIRES

    06/30/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "New Orleans R&B" Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs - sax Charlie Hickox - piano Tim Eschliman - bass...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/24/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Come out for a dog-gone good time as Diablo Ballet and Walnut Creek Magazine present the 2nd Annu...


  • Diablo Ballet's 2nd Annual Paws de Tutu

    06/24/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Diablo Ballet presents their 2nd annual PAWS de Tutu dog festival on June 24 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    06/24/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Concord and Walnut Creek will take place on Satur...


  • An Ideal Husband

    06/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    Town Hall Theatre Company (THT) is excited to announce the final show in its 2016-2017 Season, th...


  • AKI GOES TO BOLLYWOOD

    06/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “An unprecedented mashup of Retro Bollywood Music & American Blues” Aki Kumar - harmonica/ voc...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/25/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    06/25/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    06/25/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Role Players Ensemble presents a Script-in-hand performance of the stage play "Honky" by Greg Kal...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/26/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/27/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/28/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Diffusing the Hatred Program

    06/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Learn nonviolent communication skills in a safe environment and develop tools for responding to u...


  • MONTHLY MOSTLY BLUEGRASS EXTRAVAGANZA

    06/28/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Hosted by the Armando's House Bluegrass Band Bruce Campbell - bass Rick Horlick - mandolin L...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/29/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    06/29/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Dirty Cello brings the world a high energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by vivacio...


  • THE LAFAYETTE STUDIO BIG BAND

    06/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Under the direction of Steve Snyder, the Lafayette Studio Big Band is a traditional 17 piece jazz...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    06/30/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    06/30/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with GARAGELAND RODEO No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • Clarinet Fusion will return for their 8th performance entitled “Hello Summer!”. It will feature ...


  • THE 9TH WARD MILLIONAIRES

    06/30/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "New Orleans R&B" Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs - sax Charlie Hickox - piano Tim Eschliman - bass...


  • OPCC Volleyball

    07/01/2017
    12:00AM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. This skills tr...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/01/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • DELTA WIRES

    07/01/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Hot-Wired Big Band, Harmonica & Horns Blues” Ernie Pinata - harmonica/ lead Vocals Richard H...


  • Art + Play Sunday

    07/02/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission! Come out to the Bedford for family fun and art activities the first Sunday of ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/02/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • 4th of July Party with GARAGELAND RODEO

    07/04/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    “Rock & Blues with a Lot of Soul” Chris Bryant - guitar/ vocals Jenny Starmack - lead vocals ...


  • Summer Sounds - Lesher Center Plaza

    07/06/2017
    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    “Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball” may not be your standard bluegrass lyric,...


  • Clarinet Fusion will return for an encore performance, “Hello Summer!” at the Danville Senior Cen...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    07/07/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with SIN SIVER No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • KURT RIBAK

    07/07/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Original Jazz and R&B" Kurt Ribak-bass Lincoln Adler-sax Rob Hart - drums Tom Patitucci - ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/08/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE QUITTERS

    07/08/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Americana” Fingerstyle and flatpick mastery Stevie Coyle - guitar/ vocals Glenn Houston -...


  • Herb Day, the 10th Anniversary

    07/09/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    It's a Day for the Family at Rodger Ranch Historical Center Free activities and presentations ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/09/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Non-profit Contra Costa Senior Legal Services sponsors a unique free clinic for seniors, staffed ...


  • SOULFUL SECURITY

    07/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Classic Rhythm & Blues and Soul" Glenn Walters - vocals/ drums Jeff Tamelier - guitar Tony ...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    07/14/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music with GARY KING, ZAC JOHNSON & FRIENDS No cover charge Beverage discount Doors ope...


  • Bring your family and enjoy this FREE outdoor moving screening! Bring a picnic or enjoy dinner at...


  • NATIVE ELEMENTS + dj Harry Duncan

    07/14/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    “Roots & Reggae” Presented by Minor Chords Productions Joze Pangan-singer Chris Cortez-dru...


  • Chevron Family Theatre Festival

    07/15/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The Festival will open at 10 am with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony and a Prince and Princess Walk, in...


  • Public Art Walking Tours in Walnut Creek

    07/15/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Enjoy a one hour, docent-led walking tour of Walnut Creek's wonderful downtown public art collect...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/15/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • RED MEAT

    07/15/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Honky Tonk Country” Scott Young - guitar/ fiddle/ trombone/ vocals Smelly Kelly - vocals L...


 

 

 

 

June 2017

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com