The world of Little League is a world of little boys. I am not simply referring to the teams here, though by and large the players themselves are boys. The League is run by men and though I like men and boys just fine, I am sometimes incredulous at the haphazard, half-assed management style they employ.
To be clear, I know some terrific dads. I have on many occasions voted men into political power and been comfortable with their leadership. I have assumed that men can serve as Senators and Presidents and do just fine. They can govern states and run corporations and often manage quite nicely. At least I've always believed this to be true.
And then my son joined Little League, a world of dads and testosterone. And nonsense. Oh the nonsense. This list is long, and I shall confine myself to just a few observations.
There are five fields and though they have lights and carefully groomed grass, the bathrooms consist of two porta-johns well past their freshness date. Hidden behind the snack bar is one tiny bathroom with indoor plumbing, a flush toilet and a sink. There is a sign confining use of the facilities to "League Directors and Ladies." I assume I qualify. Sometimes I wish I didn't. Despite instructions to keep the room clean, it's a biohazard, just waiting for Superfund to come in and shut the place down.
The coaches always start the year with the rhetoric of teamwork and joy of the game. They talk of teaching the kids how to play baseball and enjoy our national pastime. Then the season starts and all the diplomacy and rhetoric goes right out the bullpen in a flurry of shouting and stomping. From their attitudes, you'd think that every damned kid on the field is just one second away from inking a generous Major League Ball contract or a full ride at Stanford. To which I say: they are kids. And it's just a fucking game.
I'm headed over to Little League this morning. Saturday morning games start at 9 am and the coaches want the kids there at the patently ridiculous hour of 8 am. On a Saturday. After a week of work. The other mothers and I, many of them women who work outside the home, will be there. We'll be confined to the stands and assigned roles like "Team Mom." This morning we'll nod quietly at one another and cheer on all of our kids. But I am sorely tempted to lead a revolution. I am utterly confident that the boys who run Little League would never see it coming.
Update: It was a beautiful morning for a game and JT's team won a convincing, well-played 9-1 victory, despite the fact that his mama is a churlish whiner.