Assessing Blame

So, there I am coaching third base for my nine year old son's little league team. Man on second, one out. The batter hits a ground ball to third, the fielder promptly boots it so I send the runner in to home plate. He's ahead of the ball then, suddenly, the KID STOPS RUNNING! He's tagged out. We lose by one run.

Now, I am old school. I played baseball for 15 consecutive seasons, winding up on an adult team called the New York Monarchs. We played Sunday doubleheaders under the scorching Long Island summer sun. I mostly pitched the second game because the majority of my working guy teammates were so hung over from Saturday night we usually got pounded in the first game.

When I was nine, I pitched for O.E. McIntyre, which I think was a furniture store near Levittown. Our coach chewed tobacco. We never stopped running. Too afraid of the coach.

But today it's a whole new ballgame. Most parents are so happy their kids are out of the house and away from the computer, they don't care what they do on the field. Just getting them out there is a huge victory.

I did not scold the kid who stopped running. But I did ask him why. He looked at me in a daze. I let it go.

The after game meal was at Friendly's, where a fried clam dinner will cost you nearly 2,000 calories. Add the free ice cream sundae that comes with the dinner and you're up around 4,000. It says that right on the menu. I ordered an "Asian Salad" and picked off a few clams from my son's plate.

Foolishly, I tried to make a lesson out of the play at home that went against us. I asked my son: "do you know why Ian stopped?"

He looked up from his "monster sundae" and said: "Dad, you shouldn't be assessing blame."

I swear he said that.

Immediately, I called the State Department looking to get him a job on John Kerry's staff.

"I'm not assessing blame. I'm just talking about the play."

"But, dad, he's just a kid."

I forged on: "the reason Ian stopped running is that he was afraid he might be thrown out. He hesitated because of fear. You can't play anything afraid."

My nine year old digested that along with his sundae, comprised of chocolate mint ice cream covered with hot fudge (3,500 calories).

"But, dad, it's not his fault."

And it really wasn't Ian's fault. We now live in a world where many parents micro-manage their children. Outcomes for the urchins are almost assured. So when a situation arises where the kid has to make a fast decision, there is almost always hesitation.

Way different than 1959 when I was making life-death decisions daily. Should I climb the "old oak" tree, which was 50 feet high? Of course I should. Right to the top. Did I ask my dad for permission to do that? Would Eddie Haskell have asked his dad? (Google that).

Protecting the kids is usually good. But it comes with a price. A lesson in life is don't stop running if you want to score. And watch those calories at Friendly's.

  • wally12

    There are many on the fox news network who have asked questions regarding Benghazi and that includes O’Reilly. O’Reilly is more cautious than other news men in that he doesn’t accuse until he has what he deems very good evidence. Other news commentators are not as hesitant to put one and one together and suggest guilt or cover up and scandal. I am not a reporter but as a citizen say that the Obama administration is covering up the Benghazi attacks. They are hiding something that will result in a heavy toll on the administration if the real story gets out. Everyone with half of a brain knows that the cause of the attack was not a video. However, the items that concern me most include why wasn’t their more defense given to the consulate when it was asked for and why wasn’t there any attempt to provide armed service aid to the compound during the attack? The excuse by the Obama administration is that the republicans wouldn’t approve funds is a smoke screen. Everyone should know that Obama has executive power for emergency funds as he demonstrated when he attacked the Libya dictator without congressional approval. What about the armed services motto of never abandoning a comrade in trouble and leaving him to die without attempting assistance as was done by the secretary of defense Panetta with his lame excuse that the defense dept. didn’t have real time information as the reason that assistance wasn’t attempted.

  • 1940voter

    Today our kids in school are taught about alternative life styles, feel good economics,revisionist history and everybody wins concepts. when they finally emerge into the real world it hits them like a mack truck.Life is about winners and losers. Leaders and followers,sheeps and lions.They find that the degree or course of study they took in college has no relavence in life or the job market.It’s all someone elses fault, they bear no responsibility. In life growing up my father who today is 95, ww11,Korea,vietnam Navy vet and all around winner taught me that life is about being the best you could be at what you choose to do,just be the best at it. He also taught me that there are consequences for every choice we make and the responsibilty for those decsions.But the 2 biggest things I learned from him was, don’t quit, and to be self sufficient. Old fashion I know but more relavent then ever in today’s world.

  • souvoter

    My son is 44 now but when he was growing up, he and another little leager were in outfield and went for a grounder that went over the hill but didn’t return. We all went looking and they were in the ditch, catching frogs. Once he climbed to the top of our sycamore tree but I couldn’t wait for fire rescue; I went to the top and coaxed him down, step by step. What a great experience (for me) and today, I wouldn’t have it any other way. He knows I’m there for him no matter what. ….Mother of 2 and grandmother of 3.

  • Debdeb

    What a wise son. I am impressed. Little league is not really meant to be competitive.

    • Sheryl

      Please, please, please tell me your comment was meant to be sarcastic?

      • TomR48

        Life is competitive. It is never to early to learn that, but don’t brow beat the kids just let them know.

      • Debdeb

        Sheryl: My comment was not meant to be sarcastic. I was just fondly remembering my son’s little league days. They were about sharing the love of baseball, the joy of belonging to a team, and the power that eye black gives to the spirit of a team of nine year olds.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    O’Reilly should be pushing the Obama administration for information as to where the Fraud in Chief was the night of the Benghazi terror attack. Of course we know he went to bed in the middle of the terror attack but it would be great to see O’Reilly broadcast that. O’Reilly should be demanding the Obama admin to confess where and when and who started the whole LIE about the Youtube video. Anyone that has been on Youtube knows that there are much worse derogatory anti-Muslim videos thatn the one the administration chose to use as a COVER UP. O’Reilly should be demanding that the Obama administration tell us who ordered the pathetic “stand down.” Of course O’Reilly won’t do any of that, he still thinks this Fraud in Chief is a good man with good intentions which should tell you something about his ability to observe events.
    I want to know when the best show on Fox is going to begin covering the two year on going criminal investigation of the President. Bill, it is the POTUS that these law enforcement officials are investigting. It is a CRIMINAL investigation for crying out loud. If it were John McCain they were investigating you would be all over it, what is your excuse for not covering this scandal. Are you afraid that you already have mud on you face.

    • GlenFS

      You’re a little off topic there, Donald. I watch The Factor enough to know he does cover Benghazi and has been critical of Obama’s handling before, during and after.

      • DonaldYoungsRevenge

        Not only does O’Reilly not cover the two on going criminal investigation of Barack Obama he does everything he can to slander those involved in the investigation as does his side kick Bernie Goldberg. They are shameless! Both should be very careful how they criticize those whom they think may be covering up scandals when in fact they have done everything they can to keep the lid on the scandal of the century.

        • kik1958

          What?? Mr Donald are you drinking again???

          • TomR48

            Do you not watch The Factor. Or are you just a TROLL