We said good bye to baseball last night, with a loss where our bats, our pitching and our fielding all went to pot. For the sake of my 12 year old twins who really do love it, I pretend to like baseball more than I do. And I hate to end the season with a loss. But, I always enjoy the time of year where we put the bats and gloves away and get ready for another fall and spring of soccer. I enjoy their soccer more than baseball for a variety of reasons. I know that soccer offers them more physical benefits, as the training for soccer contains so much more physical effort and after a day of training I don’t care if they plop down in front of the tube or a video game. For me, soccer is more fun to watch since it is so much more fast paced. And soccer gives parents less opportunity to ruin it for the rest of the crowd and their kids. That’s because if a parent feels like their child has been slighted in soccer they don’t have a lot of time to complain or vent since the game moves on so quickly. Not the same can be said about the pace of baseball. And then you have the “baseball moms”. My wife is convinced she can sell a reality show based on these folks. Now there are plenty of normal moms who watch their kids play baseball. Do not confuse them with “baseball moms”. These women skew between serious fans of the game and outright stalkers on a mission that will assure their child gets muc h more than due credit for catching, throwing or hitting a ball. There is no more difficult woman than a “baseball mom” whose son has been relegated to the dugout instead of the field. Just the other night, the most accomplished “baseball mom” on our team spent the whole walk to the car after the game absolving her son of any responsibility for our loss. (The kid had made a key error.) But to hear this mom tell it, loud enough for everyone else to hear, it was the errors and strikeouts by everyone else that led to our loss and her son bore no responsibility for coming up short. That was a little different from what I said to my son, who served up a fastball to the opposing team’s home run hitter. That kid deposited said fastball in the parking lot and tied a game we went on to lose. “Pretty good game,” I said as I cranked the car. “But I bet you wish you had that one pitch back.” “I didn’t know anyone could hit a ball that far,” my son said. A true “baseball mom” could have found some way to absolve my son of any responsibility for the loss. And for a kid not to learn how to accept such a thing is the biggest loss of all.