They only play three innings, and everybody bats once per inning, and they don't keep score. So why the heck don't they let the kids who get tagged out stay on the bases? I mean, what difference does it make? Let them keep running instead of making them sit on the sidelines.
It's not as if these four- and five-year-olds are learning the fundamentals of baseball, like hitting behind the runner and throwing to the cutoff man. It's T-ball. They hit the ball off a tee. The most they can hope to learn is which way to run when they do, and how to chase down the ball and throw it back in.
I don't know how much fun D.J. had in his game tonight, but I had a lot of fun watching him and his teammates. It's not a very demanding sport, so it's perfect for the short attention span of these preschoolers. If they happen to be chewing on their gloves or chatting with a friend when the ball comes their way, it doesn't matter. If they take a detour to visit Mom on the sidelines on their way to first base, they're probably still going to make it before the ball gets there.
Of course there's politics. Somehow it's always some faceless board of directors that is the villain, because the individual managers and coaches and parents who show up for the games to help the kids have a good time playing are just doing their best. Why it matters how closely the rules are followed when no scores or standings are recorded, I just don't know.
Another thing I don't know is why every youth baseball field I've ever been to is cold and windy, even in the middle of summer. In early spring, forget it. The long shadows crept over the field early in the game, which started at 5:30 pm. It's a good thing I have years of experience watching kids play games, because I had my jacket with me.