Happy Memorial Day weekend! it's a little overcast but the sun is going to show itself later today.
What can I say? Buddy's team lost again in a big way on national television yesterday. I could only watch a few innings before I had to turn it off. It was grisly and gruesome. I can feel the team's pain especially Buddy's when the losses were due to the lack of a bullpen. Would they have done better with the big kid on the mound? Maybe...maybe not...but they would have had a better chance and not have been humiliated.
As I watch the games on television, the producers have to make it as dramatic as possible. So, as each pitcher was pulled out of the game, the cameras would focus on their faces in the dugouts. I saw lots of perspiration, sadness, embarrassment, and yes....tears.
As the guys may look like they are men...they're not. They just are finishing teenage years and moving into their twenties. Further, they really have not experienced much except for baseball. Therefore, their emotions are just that...emotions...they are emotional....when happy, they are happy and show it. When sad or humiliated, there is still a chance that tears will flow. Sadly for some of the guys, the tears were evident as the cameras focused on their faces when the coaches yanked them off the mound.
Last year in Ohio, I remember one of the kids telling Stinky, the pitching coach, when he approached the mound to change pitchers, that if he did not have a hot dog in his hand, that he had better turn around because he was not going to be pulled from the game. Stinky turned around and slowly walked back to the dugout. Alas, he did not have a hot dog for the ace.
The stakes are high for the schools. Their teams are on national television and as such the universities want to promote their schools and players. Success in sports often yield success in the number of applications for the university. In a way, it is one of the best forms of marketing for any institution of higher education. Imagine watching a football game on television and being able to see the beautiful campus, ardent student fans, and electric atmosphere. High school seniors want to be there....apply...are accepted...then bingo! The school continues its tradition. It's a win-win for all parties.
The schools also reward the athletes as they make and move through tournaments. Last year, Buddy received a number of gifts from the university that he hated. In fact, he gave me the laptop computer bag that he received for Christmas. I like it, but it has ripped already so I am going to have to replace my tournament bag. In addition to gear, many athletes are given rings if they actually win and jackets with the school, tournament and their numbers on it. The rewards are simply gestures from the school for a job well done and the hard work that it took to get there.
With that said, the tournament continues and the guys have returned to campus. After meetings today with the coaches, they leave for their summer leagues around the country. And so, with Memorial Day kicking off the summer, let's remember the hard work and dedication of our veterans who are not on television nor have letter-man jackets and rings. They have worked hard and sacrificed so that my kid and the others can continue to follow their dreams in the land of the free. Thank you to all the men and women (past and present) of our armed services.