As spring wraps its warm arms around the end of winter, talented athletes toss a ball into their gloves repeatedly, anxiously awaiting The Call. For major leaguers, the draft is held in June.
For Little League Coach-Pitch level, that draft is February.
Iâ€™ve been anxiously awaiting The Call. Pitchers and catchers reported to the show last week, right around the same time Bay Area winter temperatures hit the low 90s. Baseball is officially back for the 2016 season.
There is a significant chance I was more excited that the muppets about the two new pairs of cleats lining our entryway. This is only in part due to my need to figure out what our weekly schedule is going to be. But, Search has spent a couple evenings practicing the perfect flinch away from the ball and watch it drop, along with experiencing the crack of bat against ball from a parental pitch before the partnering parent has to chase it down the street.
So weâ€™re seeing progress!
We registered the boys back in December. At the time volunteer registrars assured me of the Brothers Rule. Basically, siblings get stuck on the same team until true capability plays a role in team rostering because otherwise parents will go insane.
Finally the call came. What team would we be on this year? (Please not the Giants, please not the Giants, please not the Giants.)
â€œHi, this is Destroyâ€™s coach for coach-pitch little league! Weâ€™re the Giants this year and Iâ€™m thrilled to have him on our team. Our first practice will be this coming Saturday at 10 a.m.â€
Yay. The Giants. I thanked our new coach with the enthusiasm of a wet-winged butterfly and said weâ€™d be there. Then just to confirm, clarified, â€œYou said Destroy. Youâ€™ve got Search too, right?â€
Meanwhile my phone rang again.
â€œHi, This is Searchâ€™s coach for coach-pitch little league! Weâ€™re the Angels this year and Iâ€™m thrilled to have him on our team. Our first practice will be this coming Saturday at noon.â€
So hereâ€™s the problemâ€¦ I launched into the issues at hand.
You are not the same dude I just spoke to. This means Search and Destroy are not on the same team. They need to be.
â€œUhhh, no? Are they related?â€
In an encouraging cursory exclamation (â€œShit, seriously?! That shouldnâ€™t happen), Searchâ€™s coach said heâ€™d need to call the Little League admin and figure things out. I expressed my strong preference to be on the Angels. Could he make that happen?
(Please note: Iâ€™m actually not so shallow that I wonâ€™t let my kids play on the Giants, but the Angels have Searchâ€™s buddy who heâ€™s been excitedly talking about playing with since our Royals season ended.)
Apparently the teams are all balanced. In order to get Search and Destroy on the same team, a player to be named later would have to be traded.
In terms of what the Angels would be gaining? Based on the t-ball stats, Destroy will likely be socializing at second base. Perhaps itâ€™s a good thing thereâ€™s still no score this year.
Just as I was about to go full anxiety attack about our spring season schedule, my phone buzzed to life again.
â€œFixed it,â€ stated the Angels coach confidently. Angels and Giants had executed a last minute trade just before the deadline. Search and Destroy will, in fact, be on the same Little League team.
The 2016 season will have Angels in the outfield.
(Their big league brethren may insist on the Los Angeles moniker, but theyâ€™ll always be Anaheim to me.)