Michael Sullivan Online


Week 47: The Heartbreak Continues

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 26 March 2001 - The matter of the protest from last week's game had still not been resovled until Friday night. Ainslie had asked for a formal appeal, but the official in charge of it was too busy so on Thursday the club president brought the matter to the national association, the Australian Baseball Federation. They forced the local league to decide the matter. This finally occurred the night before the championship series was due to start. In the end, Ainslie didn't win the appeal; the ruling said something to the effect that the pitcher had broken the rule but hadn't gained an advantage. Apparently, some of the officials would have ruled differently, had Ainslie had waited to raise the alarm (contrary to what the rule says). This wasn't a big surprise but it left a bit of hope. Mike's playing season was now officially over.

In more important matters, the Under 12 side that Mike helps coach had their championship game. They got out to an early 6-1 lead an appeared to be coasting when everything fell apart. The Ainslie center fielder kept trying to throw runners out at first base, each time over throwing his intended target. There were other relatively easy plays that the team didn't execute properly. Coupled with this was their star pitcher had a trouble finding the plate after pitching a spectacular couple of innings. His reliever had trouble with his rhythmn because the umpire wanted him to stop when he came to his set. Up until this point, the umpires had been volunteers mostly dads who weren't concerned about such things. In addition, this was quite odd since there is no leading off in this age group. Mike had to go out there and settle down the pitcher as well as try to get him to do something he'd never done before. In the top of the last inning, the opposition went ahead 10-7. Ainslie battled back and scored 2 runs in the bottom of the inning. They had the tieing run on third base and the go ahead run on second when the game finished. The team was devastated. They hadn't lost a game the entire season and now they'd been beaten. It was a tough lesson for the team to learn.

That afternoon, Mike got together with the under 14's coaches and had a BBQ at a local skate park. Mike had the chance to talk with other club members about the direction things were going as well as getting to know the wives. As darkness descended, the festivities moved to the Kent's (the Canberra fireman's house) where some alcohol was consumed. They had a great night telling stories and chewing the fat. The following day, Mike watched the Vikings beat the Indians to win the Championship with the Ainslie crew. It was much more relaxing watching the game from the stand in a game that wasn't very close.

Here ends Mike's forty seventh week in Australia.

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