Overall, I’m a very positive person. For me, the glass is always half full. When I coached, I never thought we were out of a game. No matter how good the opponent, I believed that if “my guys” executed properly we would win the game. Looking back on several Inside Pitch issues, this feature is usually filled with my passion for the game and enthusiasm for this magazine. For the remainder of this short article, the next few lines will appeal to those among us who would, on a good day, be described as cynical.
I’m convinced that the older I get, the more pet peeves I have. I believe that’s another way of saying I’m grumpier!
In the true spirit of grumpiness, please indulge me as I share a few of my baseball pet peeves (young coaches and players, please read to the end).
- Watching an outfielder lose a fly ball in the sun while wearing his sunglasses in front of the team logo on his cap.
- Amateur coaches and even professional managers who ask a player to bunt during the playoffs when he hasn’t bunted all season.
- This one happened in a college game I saw last week: a player was thrown out at third attempting a steal with his team down eight runs.
- Hitters giving less than 100% down the first base line on a routine ground ball.
- I’ve probably been guilty of this myself…when a coach requires players to do something he isn’t willing to do himself.
- To hear a coach say, “I don’t like my team” (perhaps that’s why they aren’t playing well!).
- When a play-by-play guy says a hitter isn’t swinging the bat very well after he has squared three balls up but he’s 0-3.
- When hitters say that pitchers are non-athletes after they go 0-4 and at best will be successful less than 40% of the time against them. If they are non-athletes, what does that make you?
- Walking on and off the field is a major pet peeve.
- Taking a fastball for a called third strike.
- When a pitcher doesn’t cover first on a ball hit to the right side. Get over there, for crying out loud!
- Any player past the tee-ball age allowing your mom to bring Gatorade to the dugout.
- Watching guys eat in the dugout. I don’t see this in any other sport. I’m sorry, no matter what your nutritionist says, it just looks horrible.
- Theatrics in the dugout. If you want to be on TV, practice more and force your way in to the lineup. And television producers, I want to watch baseball, not a bunch of guys acting like clowns in the dugout.
- Old coaches and players who always say it was better back when they played. In some ways that is true, but today’s player is an overall bigger, better and stronger athlete. And, today’s coach has access to more knowledge and information than ever before.
Even with our flaws, baseball coaches and baseball players are some of the greatest people I’ve ever been around. And, without question, ours is the greatest game ever invented.