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Keep your eye on the ball, part 1

By Bill Stork, DVM

Ina recent appearance at Stoughton Opera House, Michael Perry opened bythanking the standing room only audience:

"Youhave just braved a blizzard and paid $20 to see a 47-year-old man inwork boots and Levi's stand on stage and tell stories, who knowsabsolutely nothing. He knows this to be fact, because he has a 13-year-olddaughter to remind him daily."

Amen,brother Mike. Being a man of science, I conducted a formal studyover a mug of Rocky's Revenge at the Tyranena BrewingCompany. As the research reveals, Parental Retardation appearsto be a nearly universal affliction among folks who have managed to sireor birth children who eventually and inevitably go on to become teenagers.

Undauntedand oblivious, we parents hope to optimize "teachable moments." LastSaturday night, my 15-year-old son served one up like a fastball rightover a silver platter.

After12 years of hockey, he has decided to try baseball. I first confirmed that hewas aware it is frowned upon to lower your shoulder and check thefirst baseman into right field as you round the bag and head forsecond. "Yeah, but what about charging the catcher?" he asked."You have to get there first," I reminded him.

Althoughfully aware of the inarguable truths established above, I had the rareoccurrence of his attention. Trapped in the passenger seat, he hadexhausted his phone battery posting on Instagram. I couldn't hit mybutt with both hands and a kindergartner could kick a beach ball past me in aheadwind, but I can talk the talk. I commenced hardcore parenting.

"Calvin, baseballis a game of awareness and preparedness. Show up in a clean uniform,jersey tucked, hat straight. On defense, know what you're gonna do withthe ball before the pitch. Know what the count is, and who the batteris. Watch the batter's stance to anticipate where he wants to hit theball. When the pitcher goes into the windup, be on your toes, handsoff your knees, butt down and head up. Catch with your wholebody. Never reach when you can get in front of the ball. Face the play andmove sideways. Never forget the second commandment of baseball: UseTwo Hands."

To be continued

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