Right before my son's baseball game got started my coaching partner told me that I needed counseling. Apparently he followed me and my family to the diamonds and got a good look at the bumper sticker on the back of our rusty 1999 Pontiac Montana mini-van. The bumper sticker reads "Wisconsin wants to be scott-free in 2014/ Remove Walker."
Here is how the exchange went in the dugout as our players were warming up on the field.
"So, you don't like Walker?"
"No, not at all." I said. "And you think I need counseling because of this?"
"No, no," he laughingly said trying to keep it light, "but do you vote for the other party automatically?"
"Ummm, no. I'd consider myself independent." I said. "But I'd say that I mostly lean left. You know, like on social issues; take care of the poor and quit giving so much money to the rich."
He nervously stood back and faced me straight on swinging a bat lightly as I sat on the bench in the dugout feeling like absolute shit from an allergy attack and lack of sleep. Psychically shrinking by the second and not wanting to have this conversation 10 minutes before game time, I said, "We probably should'nt get into this right now. This is a pretty deep subject for me."
"I know, I know." he said. Then in a faint fatherly tone he snuck this in there, "You can't enable them (I'm assuming he meant the poor). And the wealthy provide a lot of jobs." Then his mom (She keeps the books for us) looked over at me and said, "And he got our state out of debt."
I nodded. Thinking to myself how in the fuck am I going to coach this game with this bullshit out in the open. Things went well, though. We went on to win 15 to 5. Our bats finally got going late in the game and we played solid defense throughout.
Since I started coaching again that is what I have always loved about the game. For a couple of hours the political and philosophical tensions between the parents seem to lighten. Now that the game is over, though, the lightness is gone. It was gone as I soon as I got in the van to go home.