(Continued from July 16, 2011) …… Well, true to form and my “beautiful plan”, my son started in centerfield for the next game. He made a fairly routine catch in the first inning, got a single to start a rally, and then he promptly took his place on the bench, so that another player could get an inning in the field.
The second inning started and another routine flyball was hit to centerfield and …. it was not caught! The batter took second base, from where he later scored the first of three runs for the other team.
Right after the flyball was not caught, one of my assistant coaches came up to me and said in a not overly friendly voice, “Why don’t you keep your son out there for the whole game? This is ridiculous!” I explained my logic on being fair to all players, even though it meant that my own son would have ride the pine.
The assistant coach said in an even harsher tone, “Well, he’s the best darned outfielder that we have and, if you just keep taking him out, we will keep losing. This isn’t Little League, you know – the kids and parents expect to win, so put him in there and don't take him out!"
I threw the idea by my other assistant coach and he quickly retorted, “It’s about time! I appreciate you being fair to all players, but I think that we would all be even more appreciative if you would play to win, even if some kids don’t play much.”
Somewhat startled that my plan of “fairness” had ticked off a few people, I told the assistant coaches that my son would be in centerfield for the rest of the game. Of course, I was fully prepared for the “favoritism” tag that would be assigned to me by some of the parents after the game, but I was prepared to hear all about it.
So, how did it go with my son in centerfield for the rest of the game? How did the parents react? Please come back next week to find out!
Paul W. Reeves