Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Are the Champions Reprise

I'll try to do the tournament weekend justice. Unfortunately, I can't remember the scores, but a win is a win. We stayed in Jennings, LA at the Hampton Inn which was about 15 minutes from the small ballpark in Gueydan. The Madisonville and Kenner teams stayed there too.

To tell you that I was nervous about playing games in BFE (Gueydan) is an understatement. The weekend before these games we played in Donaldsonville at an invitational tournament (the one where the 7s won against Kenner). The facilities in Donaldsonville were pitiful. There were no covers over the stands, and only one set of stands, directly behind the backstop, not to mention that it was impossibly hot. Donaldsonville had no control over the weather, though, but it was miserable. And we had to go back for the 12s tournament.

Gueydan, however, did a really nice job with the tournament. You could tell that they had recently done a lot of upgrades to the area like new covers over the stands, backstop nets, and sidewalks around the area. The people running the tournament were super nice and excited to be hosting, and the concession stand wasn't ridiculously expensive. We were playing on their high school girls' softball field.

The 7s tournament began on Friday night at 8:00, of all times, against the Gueydan home team, which is actually Abbeville. We won that game and played again the next day at high noon against New Iberia. All of the games went 6 innings with no time limit. Jake played every inning but one. The New Iberia game was a blow-out. The score was something like 19-2, so the mercy rule was applied after the fourth inning. Jake only caught 3 of those innings so his legs would be a little less rubbery for the...du du du duuuuh...Kenner game at 6:00 that evening.

After the NI game, everyone went back to the hotel to eat a light lunch and relax. George had a bunch of sandwich stuff left over from a youth trip from which he'd just returned, so we got all of that out in the hotel lobby. Someone brought out a bunch of fruit, another person brought a bag of individual chips, and someone else brought out some cookies. It was like the feeding of the 5000, only there were only about 50 of us. We also had Powerades that I'd gotten donated from Coca-Cola in Baton Rouge. After lunch, everyone went to their rooms for a nap and to relax.

We made it back to the park in BFE, oh I mean Gueydan, for the game against Kenner. I don't remember the score, but it was a very close loss, which meant we played again Sunday afternoon at 3:00 against Madisonville, who had just played and won a game against Plaquemine. We won that game pretty handily, if I remember correctly, which put us back against Kenner. Because the tournament was double-elimination we had to beat them twice. The first game was Monday evening at 6:00.
We had checked out of the hotel Sunday morning, so the Monday game was a travel game. I think that worked to our favor, not being in the hotel. Our kids slept in their own beds, showered in their own showers, and relaxed at home without the excitement of the hotel. Jake slept until 11:00 Monday morning.

When we made it to the ballpark in Gueydan (about an hour-and-a-half away) the tension was high. Speaking for myself, I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.
We were the visiting team, so we batted first. Right away, we put 5 runs on the board. I think Kenner only put up one. We were back up and put up 2 more, then Kenner answered with 2. I don't remember the rest--it was like an out of body experience--but we won. I do remember that Jake had at least 2 throw-outs at first on the bunt and he had a put-out at home. He also kept countless runners on 3rd from running in to score. I think the final score was something like 9-7. We had a 30 minute break and had to play again.

The second game was much like the first. We stayed ahead the whole time even though we were the visiting team. At Kenner's last at-bat, the score was 10-8. We had to hold them. They put up 5 batters, two got on base, and the other 3 were out. Two of the outs were catcher to first base throw-outs. By the end of the tournament, Jake had caught 33 innings over 4 days. He was fantastic. He was a little bummed (and I don't blame him) that he didn't win the MVP for the tournament; his best friend, Derek did. Derek plays short stop and made some terrific plays in that position, but more importantly, he had some fabulous hits that drove in several runs.
We had a hard time explaining to Jake that it's really hard batting when you're the catcher because your legs are so tired.
All the boys got a first-place medal and the coach got a plaque for the win.

And now for the agony of defeat...

The 12-year old team played the following weekend back in Donaldsonville. Again, we played Friday night against someone I can't remember and won. We played again Saturday afternoon against another team and lost which put us playing again Sunday. Right after our game Saturday, a humongous thunderstorm rolled in and rained out all the games after ours which meant the Sunday morning 9:00 game got pushed back to 1:00, which after the schedule running late (the 12s also played 6 innings, no time limit), we weren't playing until about 3:30. We won that game. (I can't for the life of me remember who we played.) Since we won, we had to play again at 6:30 or so and we lost.
You can tell by the 12 yo recap that I spent my baseball emotional cache the previous weekend on the 7s. What's aggravating about the 12 yo games is that we've beaten all of the teams who beat us in this tournament. These 12s just can't seem to put it all together at the same time to keep a winning streak. On a positive note, Zac played beautifully. No errors in the field, a couple of spectacular catches at 3rd base, and closed out a game for the win on the mound. Baseball is a heartless game. No matter if you played perfectly, the team can still lose.

As far as summer goes, it's pretty much been baseball. My mom got to see a bunch of games, got into a fight with some other spectators (which I'll tell you about later-remind me), stay and play with the kids, and just hang out with us for a couple of weeks. The yard FINALLY got mowed Monday, and the pool is looking good again (nods to you, Jan and Lisa). School starts in just 19 days, but we still have some things to do. My aunt and cousin and her son will be here for a few days to do some fun South Louisiana stuff, we have a trip to San Antonio planned for my nephew's first birthday and while we're there, George and I will spend a night down on the Riverwalk for our anniversary.

Time marches on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Politics is show biz for ugly people...

I'm sorry folks, but you know I'm very lenient on my ugly scale.

But, for cryin' out loud, this is possibly the ugliest man I've ever seen.

P.S. When I gather my thoughts and photos, I'll update you on the 7-year old LA state tournament...SPOILER ALERT...we won.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Like to Sleep Late In the Morning

If you know anything about my family, you know that they DO. NOT. SLEEP. LATE.

I may be the only mother on the planet looking forward to those teenaged years where you have to get a high-rise crane to raise the offspring from bed.

Zac didn't sleep all night until the night before Jake was born. He was 5 1/2 years old. He's one of those annoying people (like my husband) who can go a million miles an hour, work all day and night, stay up until the wee hours of the morning, sleep a couple of hours and hit the ground running again, mostly with a smile.

Jake is my child. If he's tired, he will sleep. In the car, on the couch, in your lap, it doesn't matter.

It's a little after 10:00 in the morning as I write this. We just had a VEEERRRYYY long weekend in Gueydan, LA at the 7-year old state baseball tournament. So far, we've played 4 games. We have our last one this evening against...du du du DU...Kenner. We have to beat them twice because it's a double-elimination tournament. They beat us on Saturday and advanced to the championship game. We had to play an additional game in the loser's bracket in order to have to play them again, twice!

Anyway, Jake has caught every single inning of these 4 games, but one where we were winning something like 19-1 (that's 23 innings for those of you counting). He is whooped. He's got a mad case of heat rash. He is so hungry that he can't get full. He is tired.

Believe it or not, he's looking forward to tonight's games.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We Are the Champions

Jake's 7 year-old All Star team won the tournament we attended last weekend in Donaldsonville. There were 6 teams in their bracket, one of which was a team from Kenner, LA. Kenner is a "suburb" of New Orleans. I put quotes around suburb because if you've ever been to NO, it's difficult to delineate the community lines; however, folks from there are very quick to correct you if lump their community in with New Orleans. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that NO had 4 murders on Tuesday alone and they are still the murder capitol of the United States.

Anyway, the reason winning this tournament is significant is because a Zachary team beat a Kenner team. It's no coincidence that Kenner is from the NO area. They are ruthless players and parents. Their coaches verge on mean and their parents are rabid fans...and not in the good way. The kids are just kids, luckily and are very sweet. I guess baseball is the only thing they've got down there. In our experience with Zac playing All Stars, we have come up against Kenner at least 6 times, probably more, and have been absolutely annihilated by them because of their dirty play and pushing the limits of the rule book.

This was a sweet victory.

Jake congratulates the Kenner team after he receives his award.

We still have to play them in state this weekend. I'm sure the Kenner players have been duly reprimanded for their loss to a Zachary team. I'm anxious to see how it comes out.