As we start the 2013 campaign, you have to wonder if politics still exists in this day and age. I’m here to tell you, without a doubt, 100%-YES! I have never been at a loss for words, and what I have to say may come as no surprise! Does being part of the Booster Club help your kid’s chances to make a team? That is the question of the day! This is for the parents who, knowingly or not, try to play the old taboo: “Booster Club Ball!” Are you serious? Yes, most Booster Clubs are very beneficial to the health of the program and the support they give is invaluable! Without a booster club great programs couldn’t exist! They do a lot of stuff which takes the pressure off the coaches. However, there are some parents who try to take advantage of the system in hopes of getting a leg up for their kid in that program!

Just yesterday, a Booster Club member at a local high school came into my facility and said, “Ray, my son got cut!” After falling out of my chair, my thoughts were, how does a 6’2” lefty, who throws 87mph, get cut? Are you kidding me??? He didn’t even make the Junior Varsity squad? Just 7 months ago, this kid struck out 15 hitters in Marietta, Georgia! He went 5 and 0 with a 1.10 ERA for the summer, and can’t even make his high school baseball team? After taking a closer look into the history of this family, I can see why he got cut! The parents are very high maintenance and are not team players! Can we blame the coach? The question is, “What do I say to this parent?” That his son flat out got screwed…that he doesn’t need high school baseball to get a scholarship? Or, just tell him the truth that the he screwed it up for the kid, and the Booster Club had nothing to do with it! In any case, he should have been on the team! Is it right for the coach to cut the kid because of the parents?Anyone reading this article can say that we ALL have been victim of, or have played some sort of politics at one time or another. I myself have played the political game, and I must say that I’m not proud of it! It’s easy to get caught up in the free perks that sometimes come your way with being a coach! At one point, I had a dad who sat on board, cut my fields for 3 months straight! They never looked so good! Even though that kid shouldn’t have made a team, I kept him! Does it make it right? Of course, not! I realized that I hurt another kid that didn’t make my team, because of my own selfish gain! Boy did my fields look good though! Well, guess what? A month later, all my fields were infested with army worms! For all you baseball enthusiasts that know, karma and baseball are two peas in a pod! It came back to bite me and I learned my lesson the hard way!

Whatever happened to the old school motto: “The Best Player Plays, No Matter What!” It’s hard not to take it out on the players when there are parental distractions, and trust me; it happens on every team and at every level! Can you blame a coach for cutting a kid? Trust me; the last thing I want is parents second guessing what I do as a coach. I can imagine that being a high school coach is no different! Without a question, I believe that every high school coach is underpaid and deserves a higher stipend! With coaching his team and dealing with all the parent drama, his job is not an easy one!!! One thing is for sure; there is no perfect system! But, come on…cutting kids because of their parents faults is just not the right thing! As coaches, we must do what is right, and play the players that should be on the field! We know this in our hearts! At the end of the day, karma will always play a big part in what we do! The bottom line here is – whether you’re on the Booster Club or not, every kid should be an equal on tryout day! The programs that win are the ones that play the best kids no matter what!

Good luck to all in the 2013 Baseball Season! There are so many great programs in the Houston area! Let the games begin! And always remember: “If you hit you don’t sit!”


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