January brings us the new year - and lessons, clinics, new bats, cleats, gloves and a load of excitement for the new season. "Hope springs eternal." February brings us tryouts - and nervous parents, gossip, conspiracy theories and complaints about who is or isn't doing what right.
I've been known to dabble in my own share of cynicism from time to time. And I can be a harsh critic of what's wrong with youth baseball too. But I've seen the game from all sides over my nearly two decades. I can tell you there are no conspiracies in February. There may be poor communication about how things are handled, and varying opinions from yours, to be sure. But no one has it out for your son. He's a kid. So you don't need to start worrying or complaining before you even sit down in the bleachers.
And if you're one of those nervous parents, worried that your baby won't get a fair shake at tryouts, I can easily tell you this: bashing other players - other children - about who has an attitude, a foul mouth or just "isn't that good," in order to prop your own kid up on a pedestal - that doesn't work and only tells people you have your own growing up to do.
So be positive, be classy and avoid the dregs of sports parent conversation this February. Let's all just chill and wait for that last blast of winter to put a freeze on things, so we can then restart and have fun when spring arrives.