I’m left handed but learned to play baseball right handed to save money.

We took our son to his first baseball on Father’s Day, heading over to New Britain Stadium to watch the AA Rock Cats take on the Trenton Thunder.

We took our daughter, Clara, to her first baseball game in this same stadium when she was almost two years-old, but she was barely cognizant of the game at the time. She napped through most of it and played with toys for the rest.

Charlie, by contrast, could easily be directed to the action on the field. He would stare intently, watching pitches pop in the catcher’s mitt and homeruns sail over the fences.

I think he liked it.

My parents never took me to a baseball game as a child. They never even taught me how to play the game. I’m a lefthander who plays baseball right handed because I was given a hand-me-down baseball mitt for a right handed player when I was a kid and no instruction whatsoever.

Given the equipment, I had no choice but to learn to play with my non-dominant hand. As a result, it took me a long time to learn to hit the baseball well, and I still can’t throw a baseball.

I look ridiculous even trying.

I will spare my children these indignities by teaching them the game and providing them with the correct equipment.

I look forward to the day when we can play catch in the backyard.

Hopefully that process began on Father’s Day. 

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Pitchers who intentionally hit batters are cowards

I don’t care if it’s the culture of the game.

I don’t care if teammates are depending upon the retaliation for their own protection.

I don’t care if the manager has ordered it.

Real men don’t throw hard, rounded objects at high speeds in the direction of unsuspecting, defenseless men unless they are at war.

Real war. Not grown men playing a boyhood game war. 

Charge the batters box if need be. Throw a punch. Tackle the guy. Meet him outside the ballpark after the game. Wrestle in the on-deck circle.

Or better yet, strike the guy out. 

Pitchers who intentionally hit batters are cowards.


Baseball pitchers are cowards. All of them.

Last night Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster threw four consecutive pitches at Alex Rodriguez. The first nearly hit him in the legs. The next two were tight inside. The fourth finally hit him in the elbow and ribs.

These pitches were intentional. No one debates this. Obviously Dempster is not pleased with Rodriguez’s use of performance enhancing drugs. Even as a Yankees fan, I am not pleased. I’d prefer that Rodriquez be banned from baseball permanently, and I’d like to see every other PHD user banned for life, Yankees included/

I’m also not so naïve as to forget that beloved Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was also busted for steroid not that long ago.

But here’s the thing about last night’s incident and incidents similar to it:

Baseball pitchers are cowards. All of them. Even my beloved Yankees.

Long ago, it became acceptable for a pitcher to throw a ball at an opposing batter for any number of ridiculous reasons. Sometimes it’s in retaliation for a previously plunked batter, even if the previous incident was clearly accidental. Sometimes pitchers hit batters because they don’t like the way the batter trotted around the bases after a homerun or the length of time a batter spent admiring a homerun ball. Sometimes pitchers are upset because the batter stole a base when his team was leading by four runs or the batter hit too many homeruns in a single game or the batter said something unacceptable to the media.

Pitchers stand 60 feet away from their nearly defenseless victims and throw a rock-hard ball 80-90 miles per hour at their legs, backs, elbows and shoulders. Sometimes their aim is not true and they hit a head.

Like a said: They are all a bunch of cowards.

Can you imagine if this happened outside a baseball game?

My neighbor is offended by something I say or do, and in retaliation, he throws a rock at my knees from behind his backyard fence.

Or my colleague is displeased with the way I’m boasting about a recent performance review, so in retaliation, he throws a shoe at me from across the room.

These things don’t happen in the real world, not only because these actions would seem stupid, childish and possibly criminal, but because the real world is not populated with nearly as many cowards as you can find in a major league bullpen.

Is there anything less honorable than throwing a ball at a man who is forced to stand in a small, chalk-outlined box and wait for it to happen?

And then if the batter retaliates by charging the mound to fight the coward who just threw a ball at him, the batter is thrown from the game and possibly fined for his actions.

In baseball, you’re punished for acting like a man and attempting to at least fight fair.

Last night Alex Rodriguez got the last laugh by hitting the game-winning homerun. There’s no better revenge than winning, and sadly, there is no other revenge available to Rodriguez, since he is not a pitcher.

Leave it to the Red Sox to make Alex Rodriguez, the most hated man in baseball (and justifiably so), appear sympathetic, at least for a moment.

Network television turns a baseball fan into the butt of a joke. Is this okay?

I’m torn.

On the one hand, I love this video. There is nothing better than watching a muscle-bound man struggle with someone so inconsequential.

All those hours spent lifting iron has apparently done this gorilla no good.

But on the other hand, this also strikes me as akin to the cowards who take surreptitious photographs of strangers and post them on social media in order to mock them.

I suppose that when you enter a major league baseball park, you acknowledge that your image may appear on television, but I’m not sure that this acknowledgement extends to being made the butt of a joke that will be viewed by millions of people in real time and online. 

What if he had been picking his nose? Or arguing with his wife? Or crying after receiving word that his dog had died?

Would it be okay then?

I feel for this guy. He was just trying to help.

Still, it’s hilarious.

Exposing the lunatic Little League coaches for who they really are.

Here’s an idea I’m considering: Write a blog that examines the youth baseball culture in my town and/or  neighboring towns, with specific emphasis on assessing and critiquing the coaching style and the overall effectiveness and efficacy of the adults involved.

It’s recently come to my attention that although most of the coaches and parent volunteers involved in these organized baseball leagues are skillful at their jobs, a small percentage of coaches should not be working with young people. These are the coaches who take their team’s win-loss record personally and treat this childhood game as if it were their own version of professional ball. They are the screamers and the demeanors: the men who believe that a child will hit a ball more frequently and farther if he or she is made to feel rotten about each and every strike out.


It occurred to me that parents might want to know who these coaches are. They may want to know which coach berates his players on a regular basis and which coach circumvents the league rules in order to play only his best players in the playoffs.

Apparently there are also a number of backroom deals taking place at the beginning of each season that allows for certain teams to be stocked with the league’s best players year after year while other teams are comprised almost exclusively of less inexperienced, less effective ballplayers.

Not only would this be good information for parents to possess before deciding if their child should join a league or team, but I would love the opportunity to explore the motives behind a man who is willing to manipulate the system in order to ensure that his team of twelve-year old boys competes for the championship each year.

I’d also very much like to expose these jerks for who they really are.

But is this something that parents would bother to read before deciding upon leagues and teams?

While I’m at it, I might also want to address the behavior of umpires working in these leagues, at least if the umpire in the video below in any indication of the kind of men umpiring Little League games. If it were my son who had just struck out and been greeted by this umpire’s third strike call, it would’ve taken all my self control to not walk over to home plate and punch the guy in the face.