Saturday, January 8, 2011

Evaluation Day

Happy New Year! I'm back! Well, almost back. All that cleaning and laundry I caught up on after the holidays is already starting to get away from me again. Ugh.

At the dawn of the New Year, I've discovered that Borders is perhaps one of the best places to stock up on birthday presents for birthday parties throughout the year. The stock all kinds of interesting kits at Christmastime and they're crazy cheap as soon as Christmas is over. Origami, friendship bracelets, paper airplanes, painting, clay, drawing, you name it. Unfortunately, most of these kits seem more appropriate for girls than boys. And naturally, my daughter was invited to two boys' parties as her first parties of the year. Go figure.

I also need to stay out of sporting goods stores these days. The kids play so many sports and Daddy does so much working out that there's always something to buy...usually something expensive. I just went back to weekly yoga as well, so you know how many cute little yoga tops are out there for the purchasing. Well, I do anyway.

So, the holidays are over, as is the first week of 2011. You know what that means? Baseball!

But then, what doesn't mean baseball in our family?

Today may have meant two boys' birthday parties for Mam, but for Smunch it was Mustang evaluation day. After his stint in Pinto 2 last year, he's ready to move on to the next level, Mustang 1, but that means that he actually has to "try out" for the first time in his short baseball career. It's not so much a tryout as it is an evaluation. They evaluate all the boys who want to play and rank them for a draft next month. I guess the top 40 players are drafted. The rest are otherwise assigned to teams. I have no idea if Smunch could make the top 40. Maybe. Maybe not.

They timed him running.He's short, but I don't think he's particularly slow.

They evaluated his batting skills. I didn't take pictures because he was in a batting cage where I'd have to shoot through chain link and netting. Besides, I didn't want to distract him. I learned that he can hit really well off a tee, which I didn't think he could do to save his life. And he did a passable job at hitting pitches from a pitching machine, even though the PONY league he plays in never uses them.

He waited patiently, in the 48 degree weather, for the fielding evaluations.They had him field grounders...standing at shortstop and throwing to first. He only fielded one cleanly, but his throws to first were dead on. They had him field high fly balls from the pitching machine.That didn't go so well. He misjudged the ball every time. I'd hoped he'd catch just one of them, but you could tell it was hard. Many of the boys couldn't do it. And honestly, Smunch can. But he couldn't today.

Then Smunch volunteered for the optional pitching evaluation. Daddy said he did well. I was so busy shooting pictures that I honestly can't say. He looked good through my lens, but I couldn't see where the ball went...other than to note that the catcher always caught it. I took that as a good sign.It was a chilly day, but Smunch was proud of himself and we were proud of the way he handled himself, even when he didn't do quite as well as he might have wanted.

It was a good afternoon, but a reminder that baseball season isn't nearly as far away as it seems like it should be!

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