But nothing compared to the hissy fit he threw next, whacking the ground repeatedly with his bat in a spectacular display of unsportsmanlike conduct that I've never seen from him before. He earned himself a warning from the umpire. And then he stood in the dugout, kicking the fence forcefully, fighting to contain the anger and tears and largely failing.
I went over and hissed at him to cut it out. Then returned a few minutes later to explain to the angry and disdraught Smunch what had happened and that he was at risk of being thrown out of the game. I told him I understood he was angry, but he can't act like that. And I gave him a hug. He recovered, but he was shaken up. During the remainder of the game, he struck out twice more and fumbled a ball or two in the field.
His team lost 13-15. Smunch seemed relieved that the season was over. I wanted to cry. This has been a great team. And this is the first year Smunch won't be playing any post-season All-Star tournaments. He's talking about quitting baseball. And to go out on such a note? Well, it kinda sucked.
Hopefully, his travel team will manage to recruit enough players that it'll fly and they'll go to tournaments and Smunch will enjoy it enough to play with PONY again next year.
I hate to see this child who had such a passion for baseball just let it fall by the wayside.