Monday, August 21, 2006

Little League World Series

There's something odd about going to a bar with like a bazillion televisions in it to watch baseball. Because you never just watch baseball. The other tv screens also compel you to watch them. They are vieing for your attention just as much as the baseball game you came to watch. Because the baseball game your watching? Not so compelling really.

So you watch a bit of this and a bit of that that happens to be on the other tvs. And what happens to be on? The Little League World Series. You don't want to get into it. You feel bad for the eleven and twelve year-olds that have sacraficed their whole summers and God knows what else to be participating in this series. There's a whole slew of reasons you shouldn't be watching, from the afore mentioned giving up of the summers, but also about how you feel about sports kids moms and and dads, and coaches and how over-involved they get about winning and everything. But yet your sucked into it. You start feeling bad for the Louisiana team that lost 6 -1. Louisiana's been through enough yo.

You get into the narrative of the game.You then start watching the series between The Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic, and three words were uttered that would keep you hooked in on the game: "The Cardiac Kids". That's the Mid-Atlantic team's nickname. The Cardiac Kids. There's an underdog team? Reason enough to keep watchin in intrigue. Two more words were uttered. Spark Plug. Did you see this kid? Because awesome! Really awesome! But you should've really stopped watching. Why? Because sometimes Little League Baseball can be a train wreck.

First off, take an eleven-year-old kid whose still growing into his body and has tons of issues to deal with, mentally and physically and then give that kid a glove and ask him to master a fastball and a breaking ball? Control's going to be an issue. A huge issue actually. An issue with some scary results. Kid get beaned in the head issue. That helmet FLEW off his head kind of issue. You're watching this behind your hands, cringing. And then they do that shot of the parents, with tears in their eyes and the kid still hasn't moved off the ground and you're just waiting, scared out of your wits that something BAD has happened to this poor kid. And you're still watching.

And you're watching when that kid slides into home, and the catcher does not move but what does move is the kid's ankle. It moves in odd angles, in bad angles. And it isn't pretty. And there's crying. And kids at that age crying in pain? Makes you wanna cry.

But you keep watching. Why? Because Cute. Because seeing a kid with head that doesn't quite fit his body wearing a helmet that is five times too big for his head? Geeenius. Because you finally realize where awesome baseball player nicknames start, case in point: Spark Plug. Because despite probably having the weight of the world put on these kids shoulders, you see that they really love the game, that unlike the pros, this is still a game to them to some extent, and its fun. It's work, you can tell it, but it's still a game to them and they play it with heart. And when the game is over the winning team is all smiles and the losing team is all tears, but their sportsman-like about it. They shake hands. They "good game" each other. They leave it all out on the field. They make you remember why you really love the game in the first place, especially when your team just lost a series against their ARCH-ENEMY 2-1! But that's besides the point. Little League Baseball rules!!!

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