‘Hey batter, batter … swing’ and other baseball banter

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I write “baseball?” Hot dogs, apple pie, bad calls by the umpire? Okay, strike that last one; pun intended.

It’s fun watching kids play baseball, because you never know what’s going to happen. If it’s T-ball, it’s always amusing to see if the right fielder is more interested in looking at the clouds than waiting for the ball to come his or her way.

The Babylon Bee, a news satire website, recently offered some thoughts on how parents try to encourage their children who are learning to play baseball. This may make you smile, laugh, or cringe, depending on how close to home this hits for you.

Per the Babylon Bee: A veritable litany of sage advice pours forth from the stands at every Little League baseball game, but some nuggets of wisdom rise above the rest. Here are a few of the better ones.

“Watch the ball!”: A remarkable insight gleaned from decades of experience.

“Throw strikes!”: Well said, Dad.

“We need a hit!”: Parental knowledge on full display.

“Be ready out there!”: Simple, yet timeless wisdom.

“Watch your launch angle and try to keep your exit velos up while pulling the inside pitch in the hot portion of your spray chart!”: Obviously.

“Hit a touchdown!”: Thanks, Mom.

If you think the words of wisdom parents give children at baseball games is brutal at times, don’t think for a minute that the so-called encouragement ever ends, even if the child grows up to play Major League Baseball.

Trea Turner was a major free agent signing a year ago for the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he got off to a super-slow and disappointing start last season, and the fans, er boo birds, let him know how unhappy they were with his performance.

According to an online article by Paul Casella, Turner had a text waiting for him when he returned to the home clubhouse following a thrilling 6-5 comeback win over the D-backs at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

“Good game, except for your fourth at-bat,” it read. “I was booing you.”

The sender? Turner’s mom, Donna.

Turner is living proof that there’s some truth to the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” And if Mama is booing, she definitely ain’t happy.

But she wasn’t the only one booing after Turner’s seventh-inning strikeout. With the Phillies trailing by two and Bryson Stott on second base, Turner fouled off a pitch above the zone before flailing wildly at back-to-back pitches well out of the zone and in the dirt for an ugly strikeout.

“They don’t bother me,” Turner said of the boos. “My mom prepared me for anything in this game or in this world. She was tough on me from an early age, and not much fazes me.”

Turner proved it two innings later. Again, stepping to the plate representing the potential tying run, albeit with the Phillies down to their final out this time around, Turner jumped on a first-pitch curveball for a game-tying two-run homer. The boos quickly turned to cheers.

So how did Turner put that seventh-inning strikeout behind him so quickly?

“It was horrible, so there was no point to think about it ever again,” Turner said.

Needless to say, listening to a raucous crowd as you round the bases on a game-tying homer far outweighs hearing boos on the long walk back to the dugout.

“These fans just want to win. They don’t care about anything else other than winning,” Turner said. “And that’s nice, because that’s what we want as players. The electric atmosphere was really good. That’s what makes this game fun — sharing those moments.”

In conclusion, I encourage parents to root, root, root for their children, and for fans to root, root, root for the home team, and leave the booing at home.

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