Tag Archives: crying in baseball

Crying in Baseball Part 2

Wow! You never know what’s gonna set people off but apparently my last post about my 9-year-old son, Aden, crying after losing his baseball game touched a nerve.

My goal was to describe the epiphany I had at Aden’s game last week. His team was one strike away from winning and went on to lose the game, sending my son– and several others–  into tears ( you can read  post and comments here.)

Aden brings intensity to the mound

I got several positive responses from parents who related to the issue. One mom even read the post to her kids after a different loss last night.

The point of the post was that instead of being troubled by seeing Aden (and all my boys for that matter)  upset when he loses, I realized it’s a good thing that he’s so passionate about sports.

But the moral of the story was muddled by the details I revealed to get there.

One family friend — who clearly once had  sons who were umpires or is perhaps a representative of the illusive Teenaged Umpires Union– criticized my perception of the ump’s “bad call” from my bleacher seat, and suggested I refrain from such judgments in the future.

I received other comments and emails suggesting my version of the story was one-sided. One email pointed out that Aden’s team had as good a chance as the other team to win but couldn’t make it happen. A friend and so-called “Candy” fan even claimed I was the cry-baby for complaining about the call.

Jeez.

Of course the post was one-sided. It’s a blog! It’s my opinion of events.

But it did bug the journalist in me that I had reported the facts in a completely biased way. Frankly the facts were beside the point and could — and perhaps should– have been left out so only Aden’s passion shined.

Live and learn.

It’s interesting to note how some parents overlooked the lesson because they were focused on keeping score. And we wonder where our kids get their intensity.

One positive was how Wilson– who cares deeply about all sports outcomes–  fiercely defended me. In response to one disgruntled reader he said this:

“I don’t think she was complaining, as I don’t believe she cares one iota about who wins or loses any 9-year-old baseball game (nor should she or we.)”

Glad he’s on my team.

When Crying in Baseball’s Okay

My three boys (ages 6, 9 and 12) are all playing baseball and the older two are also playing travel soccer, which translates to a minimum of 5 games a weekend. (I decided I won’t spend another summer in the bleachers, hunched over in back pain so I’m investing in stadium chairs. Check them out here.)

I often wonder how a nice city girl who spent childhood weekends shopping or in an apartment watching “American Bandstand” and classic movies got into this family of jocks.

But here I am.

I have mostly embraced this odd predicament and discovered many benefits of living a sporting life. We attend most games as a family so our time on the weekends is shared, instead of running in a million directions. We are spending time outside so we’re getting fresh air and exercise.  We have a community of friends whose kids are also involved in sports so the games are very social.

More importantly my boys — and Wilson– love playing, watching, and discussing sports so I decided long ago, instead of beating my head against a wall, I would join ’em.

I wanted to share something I noticed this weekend at my 9-year-old son, Aden’s baseball game. His team was playing against a team that included some of his closest friends so there was a lot riding on the outcome. Our team was up 3-2  at the top of last inning. The opposing team had 2 outs and 2 strikes so one more strike and we would have won the game. But the teenaged ump made a bad call and the other team walked and then rallied to score 5 runs and pull ahead. Despite their best efforts– our boys loaded the bases in a nail-biting ending– it came down to two outs and two strikes before our last kid swung and missed to lose the game 7- 3.

Who knows if it was the despair over the call, losing to their friends, or just a general unraveling, but at least four of the kids came off the field in tears. I immediately felt sad and helpless watching them throw their mitts in the dugout dirt with disgust. They stomped their little cleats and hung their capped heads as if their whole world was falling apart.

In the past,  I would silently condemn the game that breaks my son’s heart in two. No one wants to see their kid suffering, especially over a game that has so little significance.

But Saturday I had an epiphany.  As I looked around, I noticed that there were several players who were smiling, drinking Gatorade, and goofing around. Those kids shook off the loss as soon as they exited the field.  And for the first time, I felt sorry for them instead of fretting over my little jock, wiping tears with his jersey.

Aden was crying because he wanted to win. He’s competitive and passionate about whatever sport he’s playing. Do I wish he didn’t get so upset about losing? Absolutely.

But this weekend I realized I’d rather he care enough to cry than not care at all.