Videos by OutKick
Basketball season is over and now it’s time for baseball and my neighbors talked me into being the head coach this year (but assistant coach Mike from down the street will definitely be the traveling secretary because there’s no way I can keep all the league emails & messages straight)
Here’s the first thing I’m learning about becoming a house league head coach: I just want to hold practices and play games. I don’t know how some of you were born with the skill of being into all the emails, the text messages, and chatter amongst league commissioners, parents, other coaches, etc.
I’m feeling like what I assume Earl Weaver felt as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles. I just want to get out there, let the kids play ball, yell at some 12-year-old umpire about blowing a call at third base (I’m kidding, relax…I coached in one game last year and there was a weird sense of calm that came over me that I wasn’t expecting) and watch the kids mash baseballs into the outfield.
I have to believe the Earl Weavers, the Lou Pinellas, the Don Zimmers of the world weren’t fans of league memos, phone calls from the league honchos and they definitely wouldn’t have been deep into email threads.
You’re damn right I’m lucky to have a guy like my neighbor Mike who enjoys this stuff.
Now, let’s get down to business:
- What’s the best way to get the kids back into baseball? I’m pretty old school in my thinking of taking a bucket of balls, get the neighborhood kids into the cage (the local ball field) hit some dingers, and having some fun. Yes, I’ve seen parents I know on Facebook posting their travel ball diaries about how their kids are in the “lab” at their practice facilities (yes, plural) working on launch angle and whatever else the analytics nerds talk about these days. Do the kids look like they’re having fun? No. This house ball team cannot go down the “no fun” route.
- What’s your strategy for catching baseballs for kids that look like they’re going to get smacked in the face when playing catch?
- I need to go through the dozens of emails you guys sent on practice structure.
- What should the first practice look like? Keep in mind, several of these kids will be coming out of their Minecraft and Roblox labs, not the travel ball “lab.”
- My idea is to first see which kids can comfortably play catch, then determine 3-4 pitching candidates and get us a catcher. From that first session, I’d also like to target a kid that can catch a ball at first base.
- Is it too early to be on the lookout for a Swiss Army Knife kid in the form of a Doug Dascenzo who is a plug-and-play? Give me 10 Doug Ds and we’re winning this league.
- Do 9-10-year-olds even understand what it means when coaches tell them there’s “No ‘i’ in TEAM?”
- I feel like nicknames will be important. I’d love to hear some stories about how you gave a kid a nickname during a city league baseball season and it stuck.
- The best news about this baseball season is that this team will be traveling approximately zero miles outside the city boundaries. God bless those of you about to travel thousands of miles for baseball tournaments.
- My son’s team was an 8-seed in the basketball tourney and beat the 9-seed in a play-in game to face the No. 1 team, which ended about how you’d expect when the team has a height advantage and a kid who came down the wing on the first possession and took a crisp chest pass from the point guard and drained a baseline J. I couldn’t believe I was watching a suburban house basketball game.
How to prevent your kids from becoming soft — Part 3
• Mike in CT:
I have 4 kids aged 14, 12, 11, 10 (yes, the wife and I had a hot streak). Three girls and a boy. One way I raise them tough is the picture attached, they walk through that door every time they walk out into the world.
As winter sports wrap up, I want to ask everyone to say thank you to their volunteer travel sports coaches. Playoffs are impossible…the starters’ parents want to make a deep run in the tournament, the bench players’ parents want their kids to get their normal minimum minutes/even shifts/etc because Grandpa came to watch the playoff game. The coach can’t win. If it’s a Mom or Dad volunteering, just say thank you.
Damn Mike, you’re right, what a run. Congrats on the sex, Mike in Connecticut!
• Mike N. suggests terrorizing your kids at Christmas:
I’ve come to learn that conditions in West Texas are rather harsh
• Radio guy Ryan Hyatt has sent me quite a few photos and videos over the years on conditions in West Texas where ranching and farming is definitely high up on the list of Doing Hard Things. And you can pretty much forget about having a lawn.
TNML delayed in West Texas until further notice or until we get some rain.
Keep doing great work for those folks in East Palestine. Keep the media and Americans focused on what they need! We’ll be fine down here. Just need some rain!
The Next Battery Daddy
Screencaps readers have been conceptualizing how people will move around with all their tool batteries once the politicians and the manufacturers eliminate gas-powered tools.
• John I writes:
Greetings again from Minnesota! Saw the comment from Michael L. in Chesterston, SC about the need for Battery Daddy for the tool batteries. I have a homemade version: A guy can take an old TV cabinet and easily make one.
These things are often pre-wired with the power strip, the TV space gets a few shelves added. Boom – everything is inside and warm, hidden and organized at eye level. I plug in the dog training collar, Bluetooth speakers, lanterns, etc. People give these cabinets away and they aren’t ugly when closed, just useless for their original purpose. My execution might not be up to the standards of some of our master craftsmen in the community, so no picture. I’m the concept guy!
My Stihl Farm Boss is going to be gold up here soon – a rant for another day.
Look at this Italian sandwich!
• Joe Bucs Fan down in Florida wants you guys to see this creation:
‘Anonymous’ Screencaps reader who’s working the Masters tournament got his schedule
For those of you who haven’t been following along, ‘Anonymous’ has been passed over so many times for Masters tickets that he finally decided he was going to take a job at the Masters just to get inside the gates of Augusta National to experience whatever he can experience as a worker.
Friday, his schedule was released and let’s just say ‘Anonymous’ isn’t going to see much tournament action based on his schedule unless there’s a lunch break where he’s allowed to wander around for 30 minutes.
I don’t want to reveal his hours in case the Augusta National HR department could determine his work station by his hours worked. Let’s just say he’ll be working morning to night.
That’s it for today. Let’s get some new topics going. What’s on your mind these days? What projects are you working on? It’s looking like here at the Screencaps HQ we’ll be entering a half-bath remodel fairly soon. It’s time to get this stuff done before baseball season.
Have an incredible day. Finish February strong.