Sunday, May 24, 2009

After Century-Long Drought, Chicago Cubs Win Championship

OK. So it’s the Mill Creek (Buford, Georgia) Pee Wee A (i.e. 7-year old) Chicago Cubs, but it’s a start. However, that’s the result. The spring baseball season ended over the last few days and Christopher’s team, the Chicago Cubs, finished the Championship Game with a 12-3 trouncing of their rival, the Boston Red Sox. They had played the Red Sox twice this season already. They lost the first one (the team’s only loss of the season) and then won the rematch, a tight game that could have gone either way.

It was the first championship season for either of our sons. Andrew’s team (ironically the Red Sox) lost in the first round of playoffs, bringing to a close a frustrating season that saw the team lose four games in the final inning. They always played hard and did their best. Defensively, they were great, turning many defensive gems throughout the season. However, offensively, they were just outmanned.

In looking at Christopher’s season, we wonder what made the difference for them. They struggled a bit early. Games were close and a number of games could have gone against them. However, as the season wore on, Christopher’s team seemed to improve. Kids up and down the order hit better. Defense made better plays.

We finally came to the conclusion that the deciding factor was practice. Christopher’s team had dedicated coaches who wanted to help the kids improve their skills. All teams did. However, Christopher’s team had a kid whose grandparents had a baseball field on their property. For most teams, practice is limited to a batting cage and the few minutes prior to the game once the season starts. This is no fault of their own. Fields are limited and field usage costs money, more scarce in this economy than usual. Christopher’s team had access to a field for practice regularly and they were able to take advantage of it.

Congratulations to the Pee Wee A Chicago Cubs and their coaches. They played hard and deserved to win. Hopefully, though, practice fields for all teams in the future won’t be as scarce as it is now.

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