Allow me to begin this post by saying that I'm a 32 year old kid, at heart. It has been a full 10 years (really? that long?) since I've played in any type of baseball game. My son is 9 this year, and I'm finally coaching his little league team - Something I've been waiting, oh, 9 years for. We usually practice Sunday afternoons but called off today in lieu of Mothers' Day. After watching the Cubs' bats go cold over last two days, we decided to go up to the city park and take some BP in the cage, just he and I. He hit pretty well today, in the 35-40 mph range. Before we left, he said "Dad, I want to see you hit!" To which I replied, "Sure thing, son." In my mind I'm thinking, 60 mph, I'm gonna show this kid how it's done. We cranked that little Jugs up as fast as it's motor would go, which read 61 on the display. I moved the plate back to 60' 6", got the machine lined up, stepped into the box, and proceeded to ABSOLUTELY FAN the first 20 pitches. Never even made contact! I was going over mechanics in my head, everything I've taught my kids (didn't I used to hit 80-90 mph pitches??!!) until I realized my timing was sorely off. My dear little boy was laughing so hard he could barely feed the pitches into the machine!! Over the next few pitches I started waiting on it, fouling them off and getting my timing back. After that I started lacing them pretty good. I guess I have two points to this fanpost...
1. Allow BCB readers to smile and/or laugh at my expense after a rough road trip for our Cubs.
2. Timing is everything when it comes to being a hitter... I apologize for being an armchair hitter every time I see the Cubs' bats go cold. It's much harder than it looks and they're taking cuts at pitches between 80 and 100 mph... that also happen to change from pitch to pitch. I was getting strikes right down the gut every time, at a much slower velocity than any batting practice session, and it took me 7 outs to even foul one off!
Like any good parent, I tried to turn it into a learning experience, and stressed the value of practice, practice, practice. That's a good excuse, right?
On the way home from the park, Logan said to me, holding back the chuckles, "Dad, I thought you said you were a good hitter!"
I was, buddy, I was.