In Lieu Of Watching Ark Pine Bluff's Coach Call A Time Out Mid-Game To Make His Team Run Sprints, Let Me Share A Personal Story

I absolutely love this Coach and this move. Reags blogged about it this morning and it brought me WAY back. Years ago, I had my own travel baseball program. Was small time but I had a lot of good players, a lot of which went to D1 schools and one of whom that played pro ball:

I say this as a way not to to brag but to totally brag. I learned more about the game in the few years I coached after college than I did in the 23ish years leading up to me coaching. 

Like I said, it was a lot of fun. I would go to all of the local Prep Baseball Report showcases to recruit kids and build teams. I enjoyed it for the most part and it was great side money, but it was also a fuck ton of work and I was already working 7am-5pm every day slinging freight, so I eventually hung up the clipboard because I fucking HATED dealing with asshole parents. Hated it. Every parent on earth thought their kid was scholarship worthy when in reality a lot of them would have trouble cracking a decent D3 lineup or rotation.

Anyways, most of the players loved me because I was different from other coaches they had been around. I abided by the work hard/play hard motto and if the players bought into that, all wound up well. Some players didn't though. Some players were lazy little fuckheads and I did NOT tolerate laziness. As soon as you stepped foot on the field, you were expected to play hard and dirty. Yes, dirty. I loved pissing other coaches off by slashing and telling my kids to slide cleats up because to break up 2nd base on double plays.

Anyways, I had this kid who went to Joliet Catholic Academy. He was pretty good - athletic, smooth, good frame, good arm, nice swing, etc. But he was a lazy bitch and he had a bad attitude. I don't think he even liked baseball really, which is whatever, but don't waste your/my/your teammates' time. Just go do your thing at whatever Big 10 school, fail out, and wind up back in Joliet hitting up the local JUCO. 

I bring this particular player up because I didn't like him. I just fucking hated laziness on the field. Go play like Lenny "Nails" Dykstra.I don't think that's some crazy ask of players. It's not like it's some high intensity sport like football. Just bust ass when necessary. He didn't do that, and one day I snapped on him.

We were playing in a showcase event down in Bloomington-Normal IL. It's a great event and teams from all over the country come out for it. There are a million fields to use down there; ISU, IL Wesleyan, the local HS fields, Heartland, the Cornbelters stadium, etc. On top of top teams from around the country coming out for it, a billion college and pro scouts come out to check out the talent too. Because of that, the games weren't about wins and losses, they were solely about promotion. Nobody really kept score, you could move runners around to simulate situations, play extra outs. Shit like that.

Well this little dickhead from JCA showed up hungover as FUCK. Whatever, I did that too when I played. Baseball was meant to be played hungover. I wasn't pissed at him for that, that'd make me a hypocrite. I was pissed at him because he decided to mail it in, in front of coaches I had come out to watch him and other players on my team to give them the exposure they played for, while he was already a lazy ass to begin with. I just wasn't about to put up with that shit.

So this is what I did - I pinch hit him. He grounded out. After he grounded out, I then put him on 1B. I then gave him the steal sign, where he got thrown out. I keep him on 2B, have him steal 3rd, where he gets thrown out again. Had him go back to first and steal 2nd again, then steal 3rd again. Got thrown out every time. Three cycles of this and I think my point was made. Eventually he went and puked in the ISU dugout bathroom. 

Credit to me for getting that catcher all the looks in the world from college coaches all over the midwest. 

To bring everything full circle, Ark Pine Bluff's coach deserves a medal. Maybe even the Congressional Medal of Honor. I deserve it for making a hungover little prick puke, this coach deserves it for making his players run suicides in the middle of a division 1 game. That's called classical conditioning*; read a fucking psychology book one time

*I'm sure I just made this up in my brain and it's way wrong. But yeah, that JCA kid was a little prick