He really likes practice – we’re talking about practice, y’all – because there’s more hitting and running and doing stuff. He’s less enamored of baseball’s quiet stretches, an attitude he may get from his grandmother, my wife. Her immortal observation, “Baseball is so boring!” will probably never be enshrined in Cooperstown.
He’s learned to adapt.
His mother reports that, sometimes when he’s playing in the outfield, he just tosses his glove aside, lays in the grass and stares at the sky.
It looks like he has the right attitude.
With high school and college practices – football and all the other fall sports, too – under way, it’s worth considering that we’re all looking in the wrong place sometimes. Maybe that big cloud that looks like a monkey is the real point, not the issue of where to throw the ball with a man on second.
We’ve gotten so cynical about sports – and let’s face it, we earned it – that we’re not sure what to make of players who seem too happy doing their thing. The pure joy of the Dodgers’ rookie Yasiel Puig presents quite a contrast to many of his mercenary rivals.
Whatever his off-court problems, it’s the outsized style of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson that seems to provoke the most reaction.
My grandson, meanwhile, really does have his eye on the ball – so to speak.
I hope the youngsters who’re practicing never lose sight of the fact that it’s a game. It’s hard work, yes, but for the larger purpose of playing well.
I hope coaches who’re leading them never lose sight of the fact that these are young people who may not realize it now, but are learning lessons they’ll rely on for a lifetime.
I hope the parents and fans keep some perspective – do they make that any more? – and remember that good sportsmanship isn’t just a good idea for sportsmen.
And I hope we make every deadline, but along the way I hope we’ll have fun getting there.
John L. Pitts (firstname.lastname@example.org) is sports editor of the Daily Journal.