He is going back a week early to work with his catcher before school begins. He has his own designated catcher since the other newbies cannot catch his pitches. This is a good thing. So the pitcher and catcher bond over a few throws and beers. All is good with the world...today....Tomorrow...who knows.
Here is what I anticipate: we are going to go from very highs to extreme lows which sounds like a weather forecast. That's right. The next 6 months will be like the forecast...unpredictable.
he is going to win some...going to lose some....going to be pulled out...going to be anxious....going to be praised...going to be blasted.....oh yeah....fun stuff.
At happy hour the other night, I made it a point to tell him not to read the newspapers or watch television during the season. He should not allow pundits or mock reporters to determine how he feels about himself.
"I don't care what anyone thinks...." uh huh....right...
I also asked him what happens if the season is horrible and he is not drafted. Then what?
"I will have done everything possible to make it. There is nothing more that I can do." This is true....
- worked out for hours on end until exhaustion hit
- thrown the ball in the middle of the night against the pizza shop
- put the car lights onto the baseball field as he threw in the middle of the night
- been almost arrested for trespassing on a baseball field twice to throw
- lived in Texas and worked with the Pitching doctor for a summer
- taken lessons and advice from Coach T (who is no longer in baseball, but working for his dad's company. In other words, he did not make it despite being in the minor leagues for ten years).
- gone to chiropractors
- sports psychologist
- studied the game
- studied his films ad nausea-um
- worked out with his pals around the country
- gave up parties and fun to work out and sleep
- lived in Ohio and Illinois for summers rather than staying home and getting a job
- had shoulder surgery and rehabbed for a year
- was told by a shoulder specialist that he would never pitch again and if he did would not make the major leagues (to which he said %#** to the guy in front of his parents and the doctor's assistants).
- scrubbed and cleaned trash cans at the bakery
- juggled full time baseball and full time school
- arrived back to campus at 3 am on Monday mornings after leaving Thursday afternoon with an 8 am class
- spent hours on a bus traveling around the country
- been dissed, humiliated, sent home, and told that he was damaged goods
- told that he would do the world a favor if he took a piece of glass and slit his wrist and died.....
OK, this is just some of the stuff that has happened in a nut shell.
We saw a couple last night whose son went to elementary school with the big kid. They shared that one of the classmates was a football stud as he was playing at a local D 2 school (not that there is anything wrong with it. It is nice that he is still playing sports. Basically, a nice kid). They had no idea that he was playing D 1 because (once again) no one talks about it. We don't publicize it and keep it to ourselves. They went on and on about football boy and we kept our mouths shut. Happy new Year!
Happy new year, indeed...This goes to prove my theory. When a person does something, he or she should keep their heads down and mouth shut, because it is all about the game and process and not about accolades. Most of the grade school studs are now losing their hair and have beer guts. Keeping up with their sports required effort and they were not willing to forgo the fun that high school and college had to offer. But my kid sacrificed.
I smiled and wished them the best.....and now after hugging my boy good bye, I wish him the best too....the best that life has to offer....the ability to take victory and defeat as part of life....keep your head down....mouth shut....and throw the dang ball!