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Chris Erskine: Boys of spring

Chris Erskine: Saga of a Little League season, game by game.

May 14, 2011|Chris Erskine

After each game, we are asked by our little sports league — run by the usual saints and crackpots — to file a synopsis to the website that is then picked up by the weekly papers.

The saints (in whispers) and crackpots (in screams) like to explain that these game reports are important tools for keeping track of our baseball season. Because people largely do what they're told, the coaches mostly follow these instructions, while making secret promises to never sign up for anything like this again.

Anyway, the game reports have become progressively more interesting with their descriptions of the 8-year-olds' exploits. Experts would blame this on the combat fatigue suffered by the managers over the course of a four-month season.

Me, I blame the moms.

Week one

The Giants, sponsored by Ruthie's House of Pleasure, opened their season with an impressive 10-3 win over the A's, who are sponsored by Ed's Pest Control and Body Shop. The Giants' infield of Michael, Michael and Michael teamed up for two put-outs and one double play involving the centerfielder, Michael.

After the game, the parents remarked how lucky they were to be part of such a positive group of coaches. Each player received a game ball.

Week two

The Giants continued their stellar start with a 10-1 loss to the Red Sox under clear skies. Stressing positive coaching, the dads all said how proud they were of the boys, whose only run came when a routine pop fly disappeared down a gopher hole in short centerfield. One of the moms immediately called 911, fearing someone "could actually be bitten."

On a positive note, Joey received the game ball for not crying too much after taking a second inning throw to the head.

Week three

The Giants won their second game of the year when the entire coaching staff quit in a dispute over positive coaching. Several of the parents voiced concern that positive coaching was making their kids soft and that from here on out, only negative coaching would be tolerated.

Chad got the game ball after having three pieces of string cheese extracted from his left ear by paramedics, who agreed to coach the team "unless the moms get too mouthy."

Instead of snacks, everyone just left.

Week four

The Giants lost their beloved team sponsor Tuesday when the district attorney announced that Ruthie's House of Pleasure was actually a front for a local plumbing supply company. After the fraud charges were announced, the owner explained that profits had soared when he changed the name from Mid-City Plumbing to Ruthie's House of Pleasure and painted the building bright pink.

He explained that many men showed up on weekends just to sit around.

Week five

In a season that seems to be spiraling slowly out of control, the Giants — formerly sponsored by Ruthie's House of Pleasure — accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball, the quadruple play, during a 12-3 loss to the Padres.

The four outs came in the fourth inning, when a Giants runner missed third base, went back to tag up, and was lapped by the runner coming from first base, as well as the runner's mom, who was chasing him down the baseline with a jacket and yelling, "Trevor, put this on right now! You're gonna be sick!"

The runner at the plate then lapped everyone, causing the teen umpire to throw up his arms and yell, "You're out! Everyone's out!"

"Even me?" asked the mom, who was unaccustomed to being addressed so harshly, except by her own children.

"Especially you!" said the teen ump, who then ejected her from the game.

As she was leaving, the mom told the teen ump that she went to USC with his mother and that "this wasn't over yet, you little ..."

The umpire received the game ball.

Week six

The Giants, having traded away all but two players, concluded their amazing season this week with a spirited 57-4 loss to the Pirates, sponsored by Three Ladies in Menopause Real Estate. The Giants have appealed the game, citing a 54-run second inning during which the umpires (and their seeing-eye dogs) all went out for tacos.

It was a grand end to a season that saw one brawl, two divorces, a gopher death and several lawsuits.

At the end of the game, the remaining parents remarked what a wonderful season it had been, with far less drama than most teams in this age group.

"We're already looking forward to next year," one of them said.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

twitter.com/erskinetimes

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