Little Brain League

It’s been raining for about a week straight here in Greene County, NY. Both of my boys had Little League games scheduled yesterday. Three neighboring towns’ leagues all play each other, since there are so few kids in the area. The younger one had a game at our town’s field, so it was duly called off the night before. Conor, however, was scheduled to play in a town about 25 minutes away. I got a call from his coach about 3:00 that says that their league president deemed their field playable, so unless I heard again from him we had to drive out there by 5:30. I looked outside. It was pouring that hard, straight down, drench your butt in 15 seconds type rain. Great.

So we put some sweatshirts under our team shirts and dragged ourselves out to the car. Twenty-five minutes later we’re sitting in a dugout watching the rain making little splashes on the puddles all over the infield. On the middle of the field were four representatives of the other town’s league, some holding umbrellas. When I say there wasn’t a hint of sunlight to be seen, I mean there were gray clouds as far as the eyes could see in all directions. I wondered what they might be talking about out there. I imagined the conversation went something like this:

“Sure is coming down.”

“Yup.”

“Might stop sometime soon.”

“Might.”

“Then again…”

“Might not.”

“Yup.”

“Field looks awfully bad.”

“It does.”

“Needs some sun.”

“Sure does.”

“Yup.”

“Hope we get some.”

“Hope so.”

“Sure do.”

“Sun would help.”

“Yup.”

“Yup.”

“Yup.”

“Yup.”

There was also a conversation going on in my own head that went like this: “It’s RAINING you idiots! It’s not like 30,000 people paid to see the game! You’re not losing the gate! Call the freakin’ game already before someone gets hurt just jogging!  What are you standing around for? Unless you had a dome you should never have made us all drive over here in the first place! Put everybody out of their misery and CALL the DAMN GAME!” Or something along those lines.

After 45 minutes the natives were getting restless in the stands. It’s one thing to make parents get their kids dressed and fed and hurry them over to a field nearly a half-hour away while the rain is pounding down on their windshields. It’s another to have them sit uncovered in said rain on a cold grandstand watching four guys with unused rakes and open umbrellas do nothing in particular. Harried and wet is a bad combination. I don’t have the weather reports in front of me, but I’ll lay odds that the French Revolution happened after five days of rain.

Anyone who has ever been involved in Little League at any level knows that it is filled to the brim with people who take the league (and therefore themselves) way too seriously. It’s the kind of self-importance that allows men to let people wait in the rain while they take their time deciding whether children should play a game on mud and wet grass. This is important business after all. League standings could be affected. Never mind that someone could break an ankle on the soggy field or catch the flu from being out there getting soaked. This is Little League! Common sense isn’t in the rulebook!

Cooler heads did prevail and the game was eventually canceled and rescheduled for Thursday. The parents cursed all the way home, I’m sure. This all could have been avoided with a few timely phone calls and the guts to call off a game in the face of inclement weather. Sometimes the sacrifice is the better play than the the hit and run. Especially during a downpour.

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    • Kae
    • May 19th, 2011

    Such idiots! Car accidents in a downpour were another possibility.

    Love this line: “I don’t have the weather reports in front of me, but I’ll lay odds that the French Revolution happened after five days of rain.”

  1. You’re the second person to say they like that line. I must have run into one by mistake…

    • Anonymous
    • June 19th, 2011

    This happened to me when I was about 10 or so. My dad decided to take me to my game anyways and after 10 minutes of waiting for no decision my tell me to grab my gear and let’s go home. Several players fallow and leave. Now I’ve been home from the game for about an hour and we get a call from the coach telling us that the game was called. No shit.

  2. Don’t get me wrong I love Little League, but you get more than your share of idiots who don’t know when to stop. I have a mental picture of just the coaches sitting there waiting and waiting, with no kids in sight, until they finally decide they’re not playing that day.

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