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Little League tribute to Father's Day

06/14/2007

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 By Charlie Brown

So you think you have a tough job? Well, how would you like to fit 17 almost teenagers into 9 positions every game? It's not an easy task. For Rick Lee, Brook Weston and Mike Brodeur it all started in early May.

Right off the bat, Erik Kuegel had the walking cast taken off his knee but couldn't play the rest of the year. Greg Skowronski took 17 stitches in his knee while ripping it open sliding into third base at an early practice (out for over a month). Kyle Daley hurt his shoulder while pitching and is probably through for the season.

Now Terry Francona has a relatively easy time figuring out his lineup every game. He takes his nine best players and puts them on the field. But how do you work 17 players into the lineup every game, give everyone a chance to play and still keep everyone happy? On top of that you have to consider pitch counts, where each pitch is counted and when you reach 85, the pitcher is out of the game and can't pitch again until the following week.  

Of course, you can take your pitcher out after four pitches, and they can pitch again this week. You have catchers who want to play the outfield, outfielders who want to play the infield and more. Through it all, Rick, Brook and Mike keep everything on an even keel. They work with every one of the kids, giving pointers, picking out flaws in their batting swings but most of all giving them the encouragement these young major league "dreamers" need to give their best to the game.

So, this Father's Day take a little time to say thanks to all the coaches and administrative staff for taking the time and effort to instill the fire and passion into our children.

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