Managing My Home Plate – Practice Number One


It was the first practice for my son’s competitive baseball team last night and I’m already disgusted. The head coach and I are not on good terms.

Some background for you; we’ve had Coach Marv as a hockey coach in our first year of initiation. I was the team manager, so I worked closely with him as a mediator between him and the parents. MM coached with him. Coach Marv was not a favourite coach in the division for good reason. One of those reasons was because he is one of those guys who treated 5 year olds like they are 15 and now 9 year olds like they’re 19. He was tolerable back then because there were always 5 coaches on the ice and we, as parents, didn’t have to deal with him directly most of the time.

As well, our sons are friends. They’ve been friends since the first day in kindergarten and they remain friends to this day. That was almost 5 years ago. There have been numerous sleepovers and both boys have played at each other’s houses on a regular basis. Because the boys are friends, we’ve become friends with Coach Marv and his now ex-wife, Jenn. They’ve recently divorced, but we remain friends with both of them.

We are friends. On some kind of inexplicable level. But that would be an overstatement. Because I’ve had it with him. He’s an asshole. I’ve always known it, but I chose to ignore it or laugh it off. Until now.

When I found out he was head of the 9 year old baseball division this year, I was a little disappointed because he’s known to take on too much and do too little. But, because we knew that Coach Matt and Coach Wally were also coaching, we were relieved. I was hoping that Wally and Matt would take over most of the duties on the team because they’re capable, intelligent, and sports-oriented. I knew my son would learn a lot from them. My personal hope was that Coach Marv would fade to the background and we wouldn’t even notice him.

I was wrong.

Coach Wally was out of town last night so Marv actually had to do some coaching. He didn’t seem too impressed about it when he commented to me, “I spend way too much time at this damn diamond.” To which I half-jokingly replied, “yeah, but you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t love it!” He grunted and then walked away.

While Marv was writing some notes on his clipboard as the kids were warming up in the outfield, I told Marv that my son was playing at tryouts while he was sick and I didn’t realize it until afterwards. I explained that I kept my son home from school for two days afterwards and that he missed his basketball tournament on Saturday. “He must really wanna play ball,” I stated with a smile, proud of my son’s dedication to baseball.

Marv didn’t even look me in the eye when he muttered, “well, he better not miss any ball practices.”

I was stunned. How fucking rude! My jaw dropped, I stood up from my lawn chair, and I looked him in the eye. “Seriously?? That’s what you have to say to me?? We’re done here, Marv.”

And then I walked the fuck away.

Not a good start to the season.



The irony is not lost on me that I bitch about competitive hockey parents and now my son is playing competitive baseball. 

But I will not be one of those parents. 

During tryouts – merely tryouts! – I watched and listened as one of the head coaches yelled, bitched, and complained at his own kid during every play. A coach

A couple of days later, I, as well as the rest of the spectators, very clearly heard a baseball mom screaming at her kid to “behave and listen to the coaches!” It makes me wonder if I’ll have to listen to this every practice and every game. 

Everyone is so proud of my kid for making the team. From grandparents to neighbours, everyone has asked for his game schedule so they can come watch. This is a baseball town in summer. 

But I don’t think I’m cut out to be a baseball mom yet. I’ve dealt with some pretty shitty hockey parents – and those were only house league parents (who tend to be generally more relaxed and laid back). But I’m questioning whether or not I’ll be able to handle these tiered baseball parents because I was so happy to get rid of the tiered hockey team parents. I’m just not one of them. 

My aunt grew up an athlete. She was always very active when she was young and it filtered into her own family life. She married a hockey player. And they raised their kids to be adventurous and active as well. As I type this, one of her kids is in Mexico surfing right now and the other is in Alaska looking for some snowboarding places. So I trust my aunt to tell me the truth about minor sports because she’s dealt with everything. 

When I talked to her about some of the shitty parents in hockey and baseball, her only words of encouragement were, “you need to learn how to deal with them because they just keep getting worse as the kids get older.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but she was honest and I appreciate that. 

So here I am, on the side of the dugout, smiling proudly as I’m watching my son playing competitive ball for the first time ever, and the coach is still yelling at his kid. 

I’m dealing…