From the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

The great thing about having two writers in the house is that we freely can borrow from each other whenever one of us is too lazy to actually write for ourselves and we shamelessly appropriate each other’s experiences share. Well, it’s mainly me who does that. But what my husband, Tupelo, Miss., sports editor John Pitts, says here in his weekly column for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal is true: Our grandson occasionally lost focus on the T-ball field, it’s a delight to watch athletes who love what they do and baseball definitely is boring.

JOHN L. PITTS: Let’s keep some fun in games

No Original CaptionMy older grandson, who’s 5, got his first taste of T-ball this year.

He really likes practice – we’re talking about practice, y’all – because there’s more hitting and running and doing stuff. He’s less enamored of baseball’s quiet stretches, an attitude he may get from his grandmother, my wife. Her immortal observation, “Baseball is so boring!” will probably never be enshrined in Cooperstown.

He’s learned to adapt.

His mother reports that, sometimes when he’s playing in the outfield, he just tosses his glove aside, lays in the grass and stares at the sky.

It looks like he has the right attitude.

With high school and college practices – football and all the other fall sports, too – under way, it’s worth considering that we’re all looking in the wrong place sometimes. Maybe that big cloud that looks like a monkey is the real point, not the issue of where to throw the ball with a man on second.

We’ve gotten so cynical about sports – and let’s face it, we earned it – that we’re not sure what to make of players who seem too happy doing their thing. The pure joy of the Dodgers’ rookie Yasiel Puig presents quite a contrast to many of his mercenary rivals.

Whatever his off-court problems, it’s the outsized style of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson that seems to provoke the most reaction.

My grandson, meanwhile, really does have his eye on the ball – so to speak.

High hopes
I hope the youngsters who’re practicing never lose sight of the fact that it’s a game. It’s hard work, yes, but for the larger purpose of playing well.

I hope coaches who’re leading them never lose sight of the fact that these are young people who may not realize it now, but are learning lessons they’ll rely on for a lifetime.

I hope the parents and fans keep some perspective – do they make that any more? – and remember that good sportsmanship isn’t just a good idea for sportsmen.

And I hope we make every deadline, but along the way I hope we’ll have fun getting there.

John L. Pitts (john.pitts@journalinc.com) is sports editor of the Daily Journal.

Shopping — and Baseball

The big news in my northwest Alabama town this weekend — besides people having to cover up their pansies and azaleas for the Final Freeze — is that three chain stores are moving in to a deserted shopping center that recently housed Goody’s (a Southeast clothing company gone bankrupt) and a Toys “R” Us and Old Navy that apparently we couldn’t keep in business.  My town also has killed a Pier One, Michael’s, Stein Mart and IHOP — who puts an IHOP out of business??? — and, then of course there was our Linens ‘n’ Things, which wasn’t our fault because nobody could save those stores. But now I have mixed feelings about Ross Dress for Less, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft and Bed Bath & Beyond coming here. On one hand, it’ll bring much-needed jobs and taxes — and those are good things. On the other hand, we can’t keep the small hometown stores in business, either: I still mourn the loss of the restaurant-supply store my friend’s family owned and the gourmet kitchen shop parents of Younger Daughter’s friend had that couldn’t compete with the big-box mass-discounters. And our local family-owned and -operated string of three fabric stores is now down to one — and it specializes in home-decor sewing instead of handmade-clothing sewing. I’m just not sure what I think. Somebody tell me what to think. And is Ross Dress for Less anything like the shining star of discount style — T.J. Maxx? I’ve been in maybe one Ross Dress for Less – do we have to say the whole name or is “Ross” sufficient? – maybe one time so I’d love some guidance.

But there is one thing I’m certain of: I’m not a baseball fan. And not because of the reasons you might think. The truth is that I’m actually sort of afraid of baseball. I know, I know — weird, right? Read my weekly newspaper column to find out why — and to find out who the one person is I overcame my baseball fear for. You know who! http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100409/ARTICLES/4095005

Bravin’ It

I was at my parents’ house in Manchester, Tenn., recently for a couple days while my mom recovered from knee surgery. The thing about being at my parents’ during Major League Baseball season is, well … baseball. My folks are enthusiastic Braves fans. ‘Nuff said? When the Braves are on TV, it’s all eyes on the screen. My sweet, antique-collector, school-board-president mom knows all the vital statistics and can reel off names and numbers that sound like a foreign language to me. Because, to tell the truth, I don’t really understand baseball. It’s not like not-understanding football — which I enjoy watching but don’t always know what I’m watching. This is more like I don’t understand why people can sit and watch sometimes almost three hours of grown men just sort of standing around with a few bursts of running and yelling at each other thrown in. And I say this with all due love and respect for those who are fans of the game. I just don’t get it. However, I am a big fan of the teddy bears my parents have, which sport Braves uniforms during the season. Now, dressing cute cuddly teddy bears in cute costumes definitely is something I can understand!