Posted in baseball, Family, parenting, Women, Women Worth Knowing

But She’s Just a Girl

My mom and I were watching Thor’s batting practice tonight.  As always, she was watching the coach with one eye, and Thor with the other, muttering praise, or worry as the coach did this, or that.  With most mothers, that would be some armchair quarterbacking, but with mine?  Mine knows her baseball from the inside out.  My mom played baseball for years.

She was squinting at how Thor was standing and I asked, “Which team was it that came and scouted you?”

“The Cardinals,” she said.  “St. Louis.”  That turned her around in my direction.

“I always get that wrong,” I said.  “I always think it was one of the sock teams And tell me again how they found you?”

“My coach.  Coach Ball.  He was talking about Jo Young, telling them how good this Joe Young was, and they thought he was talking about a boy.”  Now she was squinting at me.

I smiled at her.  “And tell me what the scout said.”

“He said I was amazing.  He told my coach that everything he said about me was true, and I was one of the best they’d seen.”

“But you couldn’t play.”

“No.  I couldn’t.  He said, ‘She’s everything you said, but she’s just a girl.'”

I have zero body intelligence, as we’ve discussed before.  I can barely do yoga.  So, the idea that I might not ever be allowed to play sports professionally has never bothered me.  I don’t care that I can’t play baseball professionally because I have XX chromosomes because I can’t play baseball anyway.  You would have to Bionic Woman me to even get me on a playing field with the AAA rookies.  But what if someone told me I couldn’t write professionally because of my sex?  The level of devastation would be overwhelming.  If you’re good enough, what’s your junk got to do with it?  Why should your gender stand in the way of your earning power?  And I say earning power because ARod makes a helluva lot more money than Crystl Bustos.  Who?  Exactly.

At dinner I asked my mom, “How did it feel to know that you had the same, or better ability than some men, but weren’t going to have the same opportunity to make a living doing something you loved?  That you weren’t going to have the same opportunity to create wealth for yourself doing something you were born with a natural ability to do?”

She shook her head, “It was hard.  It was always hard.”

How different, how much better, how much more fulfilling could my mother’s life have been, had she been afforded the opportunity to play professional ball?

I told her I wanted to do a video interview for the blog.  She squinted at me some more, then cocked her head to the left.  She said, “All right.” And went back to her dinner.

Thor went home with her, where he’ll be practicing the drills the coach gave him to do.  No one better to show him the way than the Mighty Jo Young.


Posted in baseball, Health, music, swimming

You Betta Work!

I’ve picked two actual workouts to rotate into my lap swimming.  Thus far, I have swum to the clock without much attention to how many laps I am getting in during a workout.  Going forward, I’ll be swimming to a set routine.  I think that will help a) with the ennui of back and forth, b) boost the physical benefits, and c) keep my mind off my fears because I’ll be too busy thinking, “Wait…was that four or five?  Dang it!  Better call it four just to be sure.”

I am listening to the World Series, avoiding watching the nail biter.  I watched until Lewis walked two to load the bases.  Then, I couldn’t watch any longer.  It isn’t like it’s MY team.  My team is the Braves.  My American League team is the Yankees.  But, if I can’t have a series with the Braves and the Yankees (and wasn’t I having a ball that year?! two hats!  I rooted for whichever team was at bat.) then I’ll root, root, root for the home team–my home team, the Rangers.  If they don’t win, it really will be a shame.

Although, if they do win, I won’t be able to taunt my brother-in-law and husband any longer with, “Remind me…  How many World Series have the Rangers won?”

I’m an odd sports fan.  I really do love watching sports, but I have these huge gaps in knowledge of rules of play.  I still don’t know the difference between all the numbers they call on the football field–you know, the ones that determine for how many more plays the offense has the ball?  No clue.  But I get excited just the same.  I confuse baseball rules with softball rules half the time.  I know zilch about hockey, and basketball foul rules confuse the hoop out of me.  But I love watching sports.  I know when to yell.

Like right then!  Beltre homerun!!!  We’re in the lead at the top of the 7th!  Two more innings to play, though.  No getting cocky.

In other news, I am seriously considering (and by seriously I mean starting to plan) giving a stab at auditions for the next X Factor. (HOMERUN CRUZ! WOO!)  I’ve always said that the only thing keeping me from auditioning for American Idol was the age limit.  I think I could have a very decent shot at being an Over 30.  I mean, I’m no homeless, James Brown impersonator, but I’m pretty good with a mic.  I’ve thought how much fun it would be to live blog the process, but wondered if cell phones are allowed?

Do I want to be a known commodity, though?  No.  Do I want validation from Simon Cowell?  Yes.  Ha!  I want to vanity audition.  So the question is, if I don’t really want to sing for a living, do I fool with it and potentially rob someone of the chance, who is truly passionate about performance as a lifestyle?  That is assuming that I am good enough to make it through the producers, onto the actual audition.

I know what I would wear…