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There are no photos from the Double Header versus Randolph played on 5/18/09 for a couple reasons.  As I'm sure that really voicing my thoughts would result in bad feelings, I will refrain.  What I will say is that my intention is to photograph the games of a "team".......but the behavior of a number of the Bulldogs players during games leaves me wondering if it really is a "team."  I know that most parents who attend games are shielded by the walls of the dugout, both from the sights and sounds.  To photograph the field, I take a spot either right at the edge of the dugout or, as I did for an inning of today's opening game, in the dugout itself.  I have spoken to many of the players at the time I have seen misappropriate actions and realize that I have no right to.  To me, playing for a baseball team is about far more than what happens between the basepaths.  It's about supporting your teammates, being respectful and showing whoever you are representing (in this case the Barre City Elementary & Middle School) that you take it seriously.  Stuff that I've seen in the dugout lately (headlocks, kicking, spitting, getting each other wet on purpose, knocking each other to the ground, throwing equipment, calling each other names) goes so far beyond embarrassing that I can't even express my frustration with it. 

So....I put my camera away and went and watched some of the Minor League game that was being played on the Upper Field.  There's a beauty in watching kids just be happy that they can play, striving to learn new things and pat each other on the back even when they make a mistake.  I watched some of the Men's Softball game where guys (some even older than me) still play for the love of the game and the need for healthy competetion.  I stood over by the visiting dugout and watched some of the Bulldogs second game.  I listened to comments about how some of our kids were still acting in the dugout even as the end of the double header neared. 

In my mind I heard my friend say "remember, they are just kids."  At what point is that no longer an acceptable excuse for that type of behavior?  When should kids be expected to rise above the urge that we all have to just go wild?  Many of these kids will try out for High School teams next season.  I would be willing to bet that behavior like I've seen won't be tolerated.  At least, I hope I'm right.

Beyond the "it's the right way to behave" argument, there is also another reason to pay attention to the game even when you are not in the field.  Many players, coaches and fans have been killed by line drives through the years.....and there are some kids on this team that hit the ball hard enough to do just that.