I think this has been the longest stretch since I’ve been blogging without a post, and with good reason. I’ve been coaching two baseball teams, working full time, and getting ready to move. Those addends create the sum of zero time. I have been doing More Kettlebell Muscle using 4 different workouts. One focuses on the clean, one on the jerk, one on the lunge and one on the row. I’m in week 4 of them all, but I’m going to cut the programs to two. Throw in an emergency trip to Florida for 6 days to see my father in the hospital, add a trip to Denver next week, and you can appreciate the insanity.
With the kettlebells, I’ve put my ego aside and am using the 45’s. The complexes are great for conditioning as I ran 5 miles twice down in the Florida heat with no breathing issues. The issue I’m having is all the programs have the squat in them. I’ve been squatting too much and my knee joints have been barking a little. So yesterday, I decided to do an old standby workout. 200 snatches, sets of 5 each side, resting to the top of each minute for 20 minutes. Form was rock solid, the 55 was going up nice, conditioning felt great, until…set 18. 3rd rep dropped from the top, pinched the callous below my index finger, did another rep, felt the skin get loose but not break and put the bell down. Blood blister, and an ugly one too. It doesn’t hurt but quite the eye sore on the palm of my hand. Taking today off. My upper back behind my traps are sore so I did something right. I’ve learned the error of my ways, high volume snatching in humid weather requires a lot of chalk. Chalk completely dries out your hands which makes the skin a little vulnerable. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.
My son’s 11 year old all star team got knocked out yesterday and the season is finally over. He came into pitch with a 6-3 lead and gave up 3 runs. Walked only one, just got hit. One of the other coaches asked me if I was nervous watching him. “No way, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.” He’s 11 and tried his best. He has no control over what happens once he lets go of the ball so why not enjoy? I wasn’t able to make a lot of the all star games because I was head coaching a 14-15 year old Babe Ruth team, but I saw enough. We blew a 6 run lead. The other team put in an 11 year old that was literally 6’1” 180 lbs. Threw gas and threw strikes. My son fouled off a couple and then took strike 3. I said, “you had him timed, why did you take strike 3?” The opponents fans were obnoxious, chanting, singing, etc. I started getting worked up when we lost, but thankfully, didn’t lower myself and express poor sportsmanship. One of the other team’s mothers started lecturing me during a pitching change when I was coaching first base about pitch counts, and how could we let a kid throw over 100 pitches. i said, “why 100? what is so magic about that number vs, say 90 or 110?” No answer for me, then I told her we watch the mechanics and can tell whether the pitcher is getting tired. I didn’t tell her that on my Babe Ruth team, pitchers finish games. One kid struck out 15 and threw 121, another has thrown 110 and 105 and another threw 112. I’m like Billy Martin with the 1980 Oakland A’s. I feel it lets the kids know I have faith in them and it teaches them how to pitch the right way.
In my opinion, the reason there are so many injuries is 1. Kids pitch all year round. You need to rest, just like working out. 2. Because of pitch counts, they don’t pace themselves. So instead of using your fielders, every pitch is max effort. That’s why there are a lot more strikeouts, because, everyone throws hard these days. The pitch count is the problem not the solution. How in 1974 did pitchers well over 250 innings a year, pitch on 3, not 4 days rest, smoke, drink, carouse and get in shape in spring training? And even though there were arm problems, there were a lot less.
The Babe Ruth team has been a blast. The kids are funny, we’re good 11-3, my son has been hitting well and I enjoy the banter. One kid whom I’ve coached for years was sitting the first couple of innings. He then says, “Coach, my self esteem is hurt sitting on the bench while my friends are playing.” He also spent $80 on his girlfriend for her birthday. I explained to him, 8th grade girlfriends are for catching your lips on their braces when you kiss them, not spend $80. He’s also the best cross country runner for his age in New England, yet has a bad back from running. I told him he should take the month off. His track coach has different ideas, I said, “what’s he going to do, bench you? He’ll be a freshman for goodness sake, with back issues? Towards the end of the season, I told the kids, go out to a position, and play it. My older son pitched and caught for the first time since little league and enjoyed it. Has a nice curve and a knuckleball. Surprised me, as he played tennis this spring.
Went down to Florida, my father was seriously ill. Thank God, he’s better and going home today. He still needs a procedure, but it will wait for a month. Seeing him in that state was a shock. In spite of the bad circumstances, actually had a good time, went to the beach with my brother. Out drinking and to dinner and golfing. Surprisingly, I still really suck at golf. I was done by hole 14.
Was delayed on the plane trip to and fro. That’s 11 flights this year, delayed on 8. Ah domestic air travel. Jet Blue wanted me to pick my seat, all were $70 upgrades, so I waited to get assigned at the gate. Last row in the middle next to a 300 lb. dude. Good times. Non-stop, unless you’re going to a remote island, the word “connection” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. On a plane to Denver a week from today. Then in mid August going with the Misses to Aruba. The Goldman Sachs Guide to Air Travel is a good internet read. One of my other favorite lines is if you’re afraid of flying listen to Britney Spears before the flight, no one is destined to die like that.
Have you noticed there are commercials that are so annoying, you’d never buy the product. I can think of 5 that come to mind that I would rather go without than give them my business just because they’ve annoyed me.
I’ll take the Germans today in the World Cup thank you. Holland completely outplayed Argentina but lost on kicks. Brazil absolutely quit on their fans in the 7-1 game.
Stated reading Leon Uris’ Trinity in Florida. 100 pages in and just terrific. I had read QB VII 20 years ago and just haven’t picked him back up. I grabbed Battle Cry and Exodus while I was at it.