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My managerial debut is tonight and the butterflies are starting to kick in

Here I am just hours away from putting on the skipper hat and sending out a 9U baseball squad to play ball and my mind is racing:

I have a radio hit at 8:01 a.m. with Bellino. He didn’t go over what we’re going to talk about. Do I even have the call-in number? I always lose it.

I need to get Saturday Screencaps Lite compiled & schedule because we’re taking the kids to Cedar Point in the morning.

How much more needs done to the Thursday Night Mowing League post so it can go live?

Which pickup duty am I on this afternoon? STEM Camp? What about Safety Town pickup? Drop-off?

Do we have gas in the mom van? I really need to run it through the car wash and vacuum.

It’s a 6:30 game. What are we doing for a quick meal before heading to the park?

You think Tony La Russa is worrying about all of that stuff? No chance. He’s busy trying to figure out when to intentionally walk guys.

What I’m already learning about this 9U managerial thing is that it’s way more relaxed than managing life. The kids bring all their own bats. I don’t have a helmet bag to carry around. I can sit on a bucket of baseballs — I’ve seen this in the travel ball YouTube videos — and it pretty much guarantees I know what I’m doing.

That said, the email inbox lit up with help from the dads who are old vets at managing life and a baseball squad.

• Matt R. from North Dakota writes:

I’m going to go for a while, so settle in…

I am coaching our middle son (let’s call him Jake) who is 9 years old in 9/10 year old league this spring/summer. We are a little more than half way through the season and it has been tremendously time-consuming and exhausting at times, while also being very rewarding.

I am extremely proud of Jake, of course as any dad would be and have been trying not to blink as the season has been flying by. On Tuesday night Jake got the starting pitcher nod because our 10 year old ace wasn’t available because he pitched over the weekend in travel ball and needed a couple days rest. Jake was excited of course and wouldn’t stop talking about all the kids he was going to strikeout and the bombs he was going to hit at the plate.

He had pitched a few times earlier in the season but Tuesday night was a little different because we were playing in primetime under the lights at 8:30 and going up against the league leaders who owned a 7-1 mark. We were home, and the top of the 1st inning went great, 1-2-3. Top of the 2nd was a little bumpier. After loading the bases with no outs, we get out of the inning, almost unscathed, only giving up 2 runs. Top of the 3rd is where things start to derail some. After giving up a couple more runs, Jake walked 2 kids and hit a 3rd to load the bases. It was time for a mound visit from dad. Jake was visibly upset, not because we were down 4-0 at the time or the bases were loaded and we’re in a pinch, but because he had just drilled a kid right between the shoulder blades.

Nothing I could have said was going to calm him down during that mound visit. He got the next batter to ground out to 2nd base, but I pulled him after that because his pitch count was getting up there, and we wanted to get a couple other kid in there to pitch. We ended up losing 9-4.

I tell you all that to tell you this. My advice to you for Friday is bring your therapist hat along with your coaching hat. Every single 9/10 year old talks a big game until they hit a batter, watch a grounder roll under their glove and through their legs into the outfield, or drop a routine fly ball in center.

All the smack-talking ends when they commit that error, their eyes start to well up, and for some its Niagara Falls. Baseball can be the highest of highs for a kid in the summer, but nothing makes them come crashing back down to earth quicker than an untimely strikeout or base running blunder.

I was throwing all kinds of cliches and pointers at Jake during that mound visit but nothing was working. Sometimes nothing you can say to a 9 year old after he inflicts pain, albeit unintentional, onto another kid can calm him down, and as a coach but moreover as a dad that makes you feel helpless.

Having said all that, 9/10 year old kids have very short memories. 30 minutes later after the game was over all of the kids were throwing popcorn at each other in the dugout and wrestling in the grass, Jake included. Every kid asked if they could pitch next game and they were all talking about the bombs they were going to hit.

• Chris B. in Houston writes:

Attached is a spreadsheet that I prepared before every game that I coached.  I got this concept from a mentor coach in T-ball and grew it as I found ways to improve it.  I pre-planned all positions for every inning, so that I would not have to think on game day.  Figure it all out, then copy/paste.  During the game you will get caught up herding all the cats and not be able to focus on remembering who should go where.  I would print this on card stock so I could write on it, and so my sweaty hands wouldn’t destroy it as quickly.  

On the POSITIONS tab, cut the top larger section off and fold it in half vertically.  I kept that in my back pocket with a pencil.  This is sorta modeled after the notebooks that golfers keep in their back pockets.  I’d take very brief notes throughout the game to help me remember who to give the game ball to and to give me a good list of quick talking points / ataboys for the post game talk.  And on the flip side of that I would write down the other team’s lineup.  I wouldn’t keep a scorebook on the opponent, but having their lineup in my pocket was helpful to figure out where they are in their line up and would sometimes make notes about the kid that crushed the ball and/or the kid that can’t swing the bat.

The bottom section gets cut in half vertically.  The left side with the positions goes to the asst coach so he can help direct the boys, and the right side with just the lineup goes to the scorekeeper.  And the LINEUP tab would get printed separately on a full page, stuck on a clipboard, and hung on the dugout fence for the boys.

• Louie in Savannah, GA writes:

Good morning

I am sure you working feverishly getting the CAPS ready for today and this is probably too late to make the content for this morning, but I just wanted to give you my two Absolute Rules for the teams I coach…



I bring the boys into a circle before every practice or game and I remind them of my rules, by the third practice they all have it memorized. Lol

The first one is obvious, the second stems from little boys being brutally honest as you well know. Sometimes in Rec Ball, a player or two may struggle and some of the more gifted boys may speak a little too honestly about it. That’s why I make sure to remind them before we start every event that this is fun and they need to be good teammates.

It has worked for me and it makes the experience that much more fun for everyone.

Sorry for the late response, hectic times in the house as we are departing for Disney this weekend. I know, I know….. but this trip was planned long ago before the WOKE non-sense came about.

I’ll be glad to check this box for their childhood and move on.

• Ron L., who used to live here in Perrysburg before moving to Georgia where he teaches, writes:

Field 4 used to be the only field that had lights for night games and we ALL got pumped up when we got to play there at night.There’s probably more complexes you play at now but right by the Perrysburg Pool and the main consession stand was a fun place to ride bikes to at night and just watch your friends play if you weren’t on the schedule.  The good ol days! Btw, you’ll do a great job coaching! 

No lights tonight, Ron. We’re to that point in the summer when the kids don’t think it’s time to go inside at 10 p.m. because there’s daylight. And yes, we’ll be playing right there at the concession stand/pool complex where it feels like big-time suburban baseball with all the dads scouting for potential travel ball players to steal for the 2023 season.

Here’s something that hit the inbox Thursday that I thought you guys would find interesting. The big upset here has to be Jurassic Park with just one state.


$5.099 gas price

• Chas G. in Toluca Lake, CA writes:

Out here in Southern California, we haven’t seen $5.09 price on unleaded in a couple of months. And today, the lowest price I can find is at Costco @ $5.89.

We are days away from not seeing anything under $6.00! So, be thankful you are at $5.09 as I would be celebrating at paying that price. You will pay $4.00 before we pay less then $5.00.

This is worst then the late 1970’s under Jimmy Carter when we could only get gas on either even or odd days here in California depending on the last number on the license plate, had to wait in long lines and were limited to how many gallons we could fill up.

Linkedin update

Confirmed: You guys just won’t stop looking at my account. I still can’t figure out what to post over there. I’m thinking of simple statements like “What a week of work” to keep it simple at the start just to get the conversation started to see if others had a week of work.

Pizza delivery driver shortage

Speaking of jobs, I see that the latest shortage is at pizza shops where it’s hard to find people willing to deliver pies. Domino’s delivery sales are off. Pizza Hut is reporting the same problem. I’m telling you guys, the robots are coming very soon.

You’re going to have all sorts of robots driving around your neighborhood. Pizza robot trucks. Amazon will eventually eliminate humans working seven days a week to get you those boxes. What other industries am I missing? Rideshares will 100% be robots in the next 10 years if that.

Now I gotta run. It’s Friday. You need Screencaps. I need to get all this work done.

Go out there and have an amazing weekend. June will be over before you know it and I don’t want anyone to waste away weekends arguing on social media. Get on that patio. Get to Cedar Point. Get into the woods. Just get off that phone until Sunday night when you dump out the content to my email hotline.


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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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