Another good game today, and we're now 3-0 for the season. We haven't played the city's elite yet, but I'm somewhat happy with what we have looked like against some of the non-elite. We are still making too many mental errors, but each game gets a little bit better, and we'll see how well we do against some of the better teams as the season wears on. This one was actually quite a good game (probably way too close), as we were 6-6 in the 4th inning or so before we broke it open.
So far, we have had seven games scheduled but have only played three. Three of the games have been postponed because of weather, while one was outright cancelled, as a team in the south of the city ended up not being able to field a team. Otherwise, all the games will be re-scheduled for Saturdays sometime in the next three weeks, so I'm going to be hella busy as the month wears on. In fact, with my grad school assignments coming to a close, I'm almost certainly going to have to take a sub day or two to get some work done. My professor even encouraged us to do that the other day, and I think I have to do it; finishing my Master's right now is pretty important, and I can assuage my guilt a little bit by knowing that I'm actually doing something for the school with my grad school work. I'm creating a curriculum that I think is pretty damn good. If I end up having to take a personal day or two, at least it's for a good cause.
Back to coaching: Today was a day in which I was reminded of the political parts of the job. I have very clear expectations with the players that if they are going to miss practice for a valid reason, that they contact me so I can adjust my practice schedule. I had one of my seniors and team leaders miss on Friday without permission or notice. It burned me up a bit. Today, he tells me he was sick and didn't come to school. When asked why he didn't contact me, he told me that contacting me was not the first thing on his mind when he was in bed with the fever. Fair enough, but not good enough. I pulled him from the starting lineup as promised would happen. And, boy, was he ever mad. I like the kid quite a bit, so hopefully he comes around. He wasn't speaking to me much by the end of the day, but, then again, I wasn't either. Let him sleep on it.
We had a great game today, though: my star sophomore with the bad grades had thrown 85 pitches through five innings, and I told him I was pulling him to save his arm for the rest of the week. It was an intense game and he had pitched a gem. He pleaded with me, saying his arm didn't hurt at all, and once the catcher told me his velocity had not decreased and I looked into the pitcher's eyes again, I let him out there for the 6th inning. He ended up throwing 101 pitches overall, getting through the 6th unscathed, and I think he'll be fine for Friday if I need him. I brought in my solid senior to close out the game, and he recorded three straight strikeouts for the save. It was a helluva game.
Tomorrow, my team and I have somehow been given 30 free tickets to the Orioles game, and we're heading there to get our Adam Jones t-shirt and watch warmups and the game instead of practicing. Hopefully it's worth it, because it's going to be a chore to get all those kids downtown and, more importantly, home. Plus, I hate to cancel practice, but I've gotta do it; this was too good of an opportunity not to.
Otherwise, things are going great in my classroom. I love how, every year, I time the brunt of baseball season to occur during the reading of Romeo and Juliet, a play that, by now, I know like the back of my hand and that I can coax a pretty great unit out of without a whole lot of extraneous work. The kids are pretty rapt every day, and we're having a great time. I love that play, I really do.
In my English III IB class, I'm trying to create an activity tonight in which students assume a persona and do some research for a debate we're going to have on bioethical issues raised by Frankenstein. I'm not sure how it's going to go, but if you're curious to see a Baltimore teenager play Nancy Reagan and elucidate her positions on stem cell research and Frankenstein, then head to room 227 later this week. The Pope might even be more intriguing. (I'm trying to think of others, to try to show as many sides of these debates as I can...)
Yankees Designate Chris Bootcheck For Assignment - The Yankees announced that they have designated right-hander Chris Bootcheck for assignment.
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