My eleven-year-old son recently started playing baseball again. I realized this weekend that I’ve become the dad that explains baseball nuance and rules to the parents around me. I can’t help it. Even as an introvert, I have to respond when a parent randomly asks out loud (to no one in particular), “Why did that kid just run to first base on a strikeout?”
But this last weekend I saw something I didn’t have an explanation for. If you look at the photo below, my son’s team was on the field in green. And if you look closer, the kid playing right field is wearing a bright orange jersey (look in the red circle).
That’s because he was on the other team.
Our team was short two players, which also explains why there were only two outfielders. Evidently, they went to the other team and got someone to play the field. I couldn’t help thinking how challenging this must be for this kid. How hard should he try to play defense against his own team? Were his parents rooting for him to play amazing defense too? What if his team lost because of an amazing play he made against them?
It’s a bit of a tricky situation which leads to confusing motivations. But this is actually more common than we may realize.(more…)