Sunday, August 17, 2014

That's Why You're Still In The Minors

I saw my first AAA game a few nights ago as my family was returning from vacation. We stopped in to visit family in Fresno, CA, and were treated to tickets to Friday night's Grizzlies game (our very own SF Giants AAA club). This was only my third minor league game ever, and the other two were years ago, both A level games.

I brought my 9 year old son, and we were pleasantly surprised by tickets in the front row behind the Grizzlies dugout. We immediately saw a number of players who have been up and down to and from the Giants. Catcher Hector Sanchez was there, rehabbing from an injury. Tyler Colvin, Juan Perez, Tony Abreu, George Kontos, Nick Noonan, and longtime hot prospect(ish) Gary Brown were there. Several others that weren't in the game, too. My son knew all these players, as he is an avid follower of all things Giants, as well as a star player on his own teams.

A great teaching/learning opportunity was continually in front of us. It became obvious to him that the level of play was not quite what it is in the majors. And with each mental or physical mistake the players made, the fans would react with a shout to the offending player of, "That's why you're still in the minors!"

Never having been to a AAA game, I saw stark examples of what I already "knew" to be true. It's the small things that make the difference. I pointed out a number of them to him, and he noticed a number of them all by himself. Fortunately for my son, he tends to learn these things fairly quickly, and these things often separate him from his peers.

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