Tonight, there was nothing more than I wanted to beat this team. The opposing coach is a guy I've coached against for five years, and he's the worst kind of coach - he tries to intimidate opposing teams by doing things like having his team line up on the foul line on their knees while our team warms up in the infield. Also, two years ago, when Cal Ripken donated cleats to all city high school baseball players, this guy was in charge, and of course our team didn't get any cleats. I blamed this guy, and I still do. He also screams at his players in their face, something that I'm totally against.
So I really wanted to win tonight.
Their pitcher was tough, though. Tough, as in he got the first nine hitters out, five of them on strikes. But we made adjustments. We scored a run in the 4th and another in the 5th to make the score 5-2. The momentum seemed to be in our favor.
Then, the unthinkable happened. As the 6th inning ended, the teams started lining up to shake hands with each other. The umpires had called the game because of darkness. It was almost 6pm. Not dark at all. We had an inning left to go and we were finally getting to this guy, but the umps called the game.
The team was irate. I was irate. I was so mad that I followed the umpire out to his car. I told him that a little bit of communication would have made this go a lot more smoothly. He informed me that he was under no obligation to give me any communication, that he felt it wasn't safe. I told him that the same thing happened on Tuesday, and that the umpires consulted the coaches, and that we played until nearly 7pm because it wasn't too dark to play. He said that had nothing to do with him. We continued bickering, and then I started screaming because I felt like he was ignoring me. A woman was holding back my players. I yelled at him that he was being lazy and just wanted to get in early, that he just wanted to get out there and enjoy his Friday night. He said, "I get paid the same way weather we go in now or later, so why does it matter?" He must have mispoke, because that made no sense, since that was my point all along, and that made me more and more angry. I was yelling like crazy at him, using the language that is strongest for me when I get into situations like that - "ridiculous" and "asinien." Nope, no f-bombs for me in that situation.
I yelled for a while, making myself and my team feel better, while he scribbled notes down on his pad, saying he's going to report me. I wonder if I'll get suspended for a game or something. I doubt it, as I never cursed and wasn't abusive. I'm also reporting him, because I feel like his judgement sucked in this situation and he handled it very badly. You don't surprise anyone with calling the game because of darkness when it's not even dark. It was his fault that it escalated, which is why he's a poor umpire. Forget the bad calls throughout the game - they happen - but this was purely little league.
I was angry for a few hours afterwards, so much so that I threw things in the locker room and generally was just a miserable SOB. But I can handle losing. It's this sort of little league shit that I can't handle. There was no reason to call the game, and his poor decision cost me my temper and a possible victory for our team.
I'm still mad, just thinking about it. Umpires suck.
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