Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fun Again

We had a flag football practice this morning in preparation for this afternoons game. Sam had a smile on his face the whole time which is a big improvement over baseball. Dylan is missing today's football activities because he is in New York on a drama field trip. They left this morning at 4:30am. They are doing a workshop and seeing Wicked and Les Miserables and arriving back here at 3am.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Our friends Thom and Jen are off to Italy for a week and left us Flyer to look after. They are paying the boys to walk him and such but I'm convinced that Nicole will be handling most of the load. I, on the other hand will not be taking him out at the crack of dawn. He is a sweet little thing regardless.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Back home in the gym. First post-baseball basketball practice.

Quick Season

Baseball ended for the season a little early this year.  Due to some poor coaching, the boys have decided to call It quits for this team and take a look at joining another team in the Fall or next Spring.  It all happened pretty quickly but started two Sunday's ago with some negative comments towards Dylan and escalated to the coach punishing both boys by sitting them because Nicole and I hurt his feeling with some questions about his coaching techniques.  The boys are sad to be away from their friends on the team but it was clear the coaches hostility towards us and them was going to make it tough to have any fun the rest of the season.  The boys made the call, showing great character.  

This team was struggling in the first 6 games of the season.  Good players, mediocre team.  Two Sundays ago we were playing a much better team and lost the first game of the double header 30-0, we were down 22-2 in the second game when Dylan made an error fielding a pop fly in left field.  This was easily the 30th error of the two games by the Eagles and while Dylan and Sam both had a few errors, every kid had a few as well, do the math.  The missed pop fly was a ball hit high and into the sun and while it isn't clear that the sun was the issue, his glasses were fogged up or he wasn't paying complete attention, it garnered audible disgust by the coaching staff.  I gathered the coached together and nicely let them know that it wasn't acceptable to treat Dylan that way and left it at that.  

Brien "the manager" responded the next day with a passive aggressive note and article about youth sports and setting the bar too low.  Completely missing the point that the request was to send positive messages to players, not berate and belittle them for making a mistake.  That prompted Nicole to write a very well written and respectful email to "the manager" explaining that we simply wanted him to adjust his coaching to help our kids learn the game, improve their skills and be good teammates in a more positive fashion.  Well, that generated a 7 paragraph email defending his 9 years of youth baseball volunteering with a number of examples of how Dylan and Sam had let him down during the last 6 weeks.  Basically, he was saying that Nicole's email broke is little heart and the boys need to shape up.  

Ok, so we left that alone, attended practice the next two days and got ready for Sunday's game.  On Saturday night he emailed us that while Dylan can stay on the roster Sunday, we was going to limit his time on the field because he doesn't think he can see.  His promise pre-season, was that all kids would play equally and not sit out more than 2 innings a game.  This is not a league where standing are kept, it's most kids first introduction to the full size 90 foot baseball diamond and intended to get them ready for high school.  Oh yeah, and he's not a trained eye specialist in any way.  I let him know that I expected Dylan to treated like the other players and thanked him for his concern.  

Sunday game day was tense with "the manager" barely acknowledging Me, Nicole, Sam or Dylan.  "the manager" was clearly hostile towards the boys and played Dylan in right field for two innings and Sam in left for three.  Now, keep in mind that in no way did he say that Sam would be limited and in past games, Sam pitched, played catcher, first and a little left field.  After game one, the the four of us huddled and let the boys decide if they wanted to stay for the second game.  They weren't having any fun and didn't see great hope for that changing.  We packed up and left.  I did have a few words with "the manager" and let him know that retaliating against children who just wanted to play baseball because their parents hurt is feeling was pretty childish.  He let me know later that day in an email,  that as "the manager" he couldn't' allow that kind of stuff to happen and I wasn't allowed back at practices or games.  I gave him a little more  pointed feedback on his coaching skills and let him know that the boys had decided to end their relationship with the team move on to teams where they had good coaches.  

That's a lot of words but in the end, we have joined one of their favorites coaches of all time on a flag football team and have made their Basketball spring practices and tournaments a priority that would have been secondary to baseball until July. They love their basketball team and commented last week, while we were still on the baseball team that the practices were fun and the the coaches and players made them feel like family.  Coach Cory of the flag team is right up there in that category as well.  

This all reminded me of a baseball coach I had at about 10 or 11 years old.  Horrible man that stood on top of the dugout yelling at me.  I made the choice to change little league programs and flourished under new management.  I still have good memories of baseball up until I kinda lost interest and focused on track and I hope the boys find another chance to play the game with a good coach and build on the great memories they have of the game in the 7 previous seasons to this nightmare.  

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Dylan came back from his haircut telling me to never delete this photo because he wants all his haircuts to look like this.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Early Departure

Heading back to DC on the second flight out this morning. The 6am flight seemed way to early. 7:20am is a little more manageable.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

San Fran

My friend Martin has a great new apartment with this view. Those are tennis courts in the foreground but he doesn't play tennis. Good meetings today but I'm ready to go home.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Couple of Rough Ones

The Eagles lost another couple a games today. More errors than I can count but every kid had at least one. This is going to be a long season at this rate. These kids need to get their heads in the game. Next week is a new ballgame.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


We bought the boys some nice bikes about 7 years ago but they didn't get a lot of use for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, they have out grown them now. I'm sure someone will get some use out of them soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Whiffle Season

Mr. Wu still needs to do his thing, including yard aeration which will make whiffle harder to play for a while.


A nice older man on the street downtown asked me if these flowers were roses. I told him I was pretty sure they were tulips and he seem satisfied.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Afternoon Workout

Our double header was cancelled today due to a wet field in Rockville. We drove over to our local diamond and spent 90 minutes on hitting, fly balls and infield practice. My arm hurts from swinging the bat and tossing some pitches.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


I think all dugouts are disgusting but the boys seem happy in it.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Sammy on the Mound

Opening Day

The Eagles dropped both their games of the opening day double header. Way too many team errors. Dylan and Sam did well but they were shaking some rust off too. Dylan was flawless at second base and played left field a couple innings but struck out twice and grounded to short. Sam caught, played first and third and pitched a couple innings. He struck out a couple but gave up a number of runs. I'm sure they will do better next week.