I went to my younger nephew's tee-ball game today. There's a lot I don't understand about tee-ball. The rules seem rather ambiguous. There doesn't seem to be any desire, or real necessity to keep score. There's really no way to tell how an inning is measured. And it appears that an average at-bat includes about seven or eight strikes before they finally drag out the tee and then another fifteen strikes are allowed before the gods intercede and allow the two foot tall kid standing at the plate to bump the ball far enough toward the pitcher to count as a hit.
Seriously. Not sure if it's a league standard or not, but a grown-up pitches a few times, and naturally, the tykes miss every time. And when the tee is employed, one would think the kid would hit the damn ball. One would be wrong, though. In actuality, the kid hits the tee every time, but never ever hits the ball. It's a sheer fluke when the kid hits the ball. Really, they should just eliminate the ball altogether, and call the game Hit The Stick.
I wonder if any parent can watch their kid playing tee-ball and not think, at least once per game, "My god. My kid is a moron." I think the game proves I shouldn't have children, because I'd probably have to disown my own flesh and blood after watching them get outwitted by an inanimate object at every turn.
I guess you have to respect them, though, for going out there and publicly embarrassing themselves. If they were evolved enough to understand humiliation, at any rate. I mean, these poor bastards run out there onto the field, all full of vim and vigor, and they throw themselves into the spirit of the game only to get their asses handed to them, not by the other team, but by baseball caps, gloves, shoes, socks, dirt, birds, and the occasional ladybug. One girl was getting smacked down by her own hair and pants.
What kind of parents subject their children to this torture?? Screw the ball. The ball is the least of those kids' concerns. The ball just lingers around home plate, wistfully longing for a league where it can actually go somewhere.
It must be a battle of the wills for short people with attention spans of gnats to stand there and pretend that a game might accidentally break out. Most kids could barely bring themselves to face the infield. Clearly, something more interesting was happening out in that field of grass behind them. One kid entertained himself by building dirt balls, held together courtesy of a healthy burst of rain early on. He'd scrounge up a dirt ball, toss it in the air, kick it, then have a seizure as it exploded in his face. Then he'd do the same damn thing again. It could have been a learning opportunity, I suppose, but I seriously doubt any new information was absorbed.
There was the rare occasion when somebody made contact with the ball and there was a mad... shuffle, I guess, to get to the slowly rolling ball. Except for the one kid in right field. Yeah, one ball actually made it to the outfield. Don't ask the right-fielder how it happened, though, because he had no clue it even happened. He was just staring off into space. I'm thinking he was off in Puff The Magic Dragon Land or something, because the ball whizzes past him, and... okay. It didn't whizz. It leisurely strolled past him. But several team-mates and a handful of coaches pleading with him to get the ball didn't seem to loosen Puff's grip on the kid's brain. He never moved. Ever. There was a conversation with my brother, one of the coaches, that went something similar to this:
Brother: Hey, (insert kid's name here. Probably Brandon, Brooklyn, Brody, or Brody), that ball went right by you.
Brother: The ball. It was right there.
Brother: We're playing tee-ball. You know that, right?
Brother: Como esta? Donde es la biblioteca?
Okay, that wasn't exactly how it went, but it was an accurate representation of the mental process. Either way, that kid will never know that the play ever happened.
And I'm pretty sure I will never, ever, ever have kids. Everrrrrr.