I Am The Blame.... - Damage Hitter
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I Am The Blame….

After my 14th season of showcase baseball, scouting, and training, it has become painfully obvious that our efforts to impact the game we love are, and have been, completely misguided.

We are out playing games, keeping score, tracking batting averages and ERA. We are neglecting practice and enforcing bad habits, and even rewarding them. And, I will tell you as I have told my team; I am a big part of this problem that will be corrected. I am embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed that the style of baseball I hate, and even point out in all the teams we play against, has infected my team. Here is a list of these disgusting behaviors:

  1. Not sprinting to 1st base when the ball is in play
  2. Not running the bases hard
  3. Not running on and off the field
  4. Not touching bases
  5. Not taking good secondary leads
  6. Not sprinting back to the bases
  7. Not trying to advance on a ball in the dirt
  8. Not knowing when is a good time to be aggressive in the game
  9. Not backing up bases
  10. Not communicating
  11. Not watching the game
  12. Not knowing the rules
  13. Not having a plan at the plate
  14. Not having a plan on the mound
  15. Not moving according to the swing of the batter
  16. Catchers not giving good signs
  17. Coaches not coaching their players
  18. Coaches not giving good signs
  19. Parents making excuses
  20. Players having routine emotional outbursts after failure
  21. Pitcher with bad posture and slow tempo
  22. Catchers not controlling the game
  23. Missing signs
  24. Not doing your own job because someone else might not do theirs
  25. Not doing their job because someone else did not do theirs
  26. Crying about bad umpires
  27. Using the umpire as and excuse
  28. Talking big smack to the opponent but doing nothing
  29. The need to stare at a pitcher if he throws a ball close to you
  30. The need to make a big show if you get hit by a pitch
  31. Not knowing that your actions may warrant you being hit
  32. Not knowing that getting hit at times is a compliment
  33. Not knowing that getting hit at times is a sign of respect
  34. Not knowing that getting hit might be the only way a team may be able to get you out later
  35. Not knowing that getting hit most times is an accident
  36. Not knowing that getting hit with an 82mph pitch doesn’t hurt. (Sting, maybe)

This is a quick short list that I came up with just now sitting down to bang out a quick article. The bottom line is my players, our players, and your players, don’t love baseball. They may love to hit or pitch, or they may love the attention they get from playing, parents may love to watch their kid do these things. But, they don’t love to play and watch, to run hard, to slide through bases, to get hit by pitches, to dive for balls or to make the guy next to them better. The game doesn’t consume them as players and parents. They don’t love to stick their nose into the strike zone and fight another competitor until that guy realizes that he can’t get them out or they can’t hit them. They don’t love and respect the game enough to play it the way it was intended to be played. The fact of the matter is, it is our fault they are like this. Whether you are an enabling parent or an aging softening coach, we created this monster and if we don’t get a grip on it, we will let our players down. We will be the reason they believe they are owed something from everyone else and every opportunity before them. I told my players yesterday that I refuse to be the reason they don’t get it. I am not willing to be that coach. And, I damn sure can’t be that parent. Join me in daring our kids to compete and begin to act like young men who have passion for the game of baseball.