I am also a manager in the PAL Boys Senior Division with Paul Altimore, John Criado and Carmine Deriso. I, as well, have been coaching for many years, although this is my first year with PAL baseball. I realize as well as everyone else that we had a rough start this year. We had a director resign, an interim director step aside and no one wanted to step forward and help, they just began to complain. It is true the first two games for the Boys Seniors at Howitt Junior High were cancelled due to the poor condition of the field. Those of us who really cared spent our free time at the field working to make it playable for our children, those who didn't just complain. Within one week the fields were in good shape and the cancelled games were played. Through the entire season not one game was cancelled or rescheduled due to poor field conditions.
I, too, believe that our children deserve to play on the best fields possible ... they deserve that, but the children don't really care where they play, they just want to play. I never heard one parent or child from my team complain about playing at Howitt. My players even came to games early to help with the field; they didn't complain because they just wanted to play. I tend to believe these coaches felt they deserved to play at Allen Park and lost sight of the real reason why they are here and that's the children.
We as coaches not only teach the children how to play baseball, we also teach them how to be decent, honest and about teamwork and sportsmanship. What did we teach them this year? To complain, to be angry, to not care because we didn't get our way. Seems to me we are not teaching them how to deal with adversity; we are not teaching them to make the best of a situation and go forward. We are teaching them to be petty and resentful. This season was not the disaster these coaches portray; all games were played and the season is complete. In all honesty, the season could have been better, maybe if these coaches channeled their anger and resentment into a more positive approach instead and stepped up to the plate and helped, maybe it could have been better, but they struck out!
As for the open door policy. Would you open your door to an angry mob? I think not. The people who run PAL answer to all of us. They strive to provide safe and competitive sports for our children. They give an enormous amount of time and energy selflessly to ensure our children participate in the best sports programs possible. These men are owed a debt of gratitude for their efforts, not to be maligned and run out of town on a rail. Maybe we should all walk a mile in their shoes, it might surprise you.
As their letter said ... "We are in this for the children, they are our future." Do we want them to grow up thinking that complaining is the way to get things done or do we want them to take action, to step up and grow up to be men of action who will go to any length to reach their goals, who will overcome adversity on their way? I don't think that was the example we set this year, was it?
The Other PAL Seniors Coach