From the pretty-pretty-princess diary of Kyle O’Neill,
pee-wee coach extraordinaire.

Amita Madan

January 27, 2004: You aren’t going to believe this. I was
named head coach of a District V Little League team. Its mascot is
the Mighty Ducks — go figure — and we’re
sponsored by the local Hooters restaurant … talk about
boo-ya with a side of boo-ya. Tryouts are in a couple of weeks.
This is gonna be awesome.

February 21, 2004: Well, the Hooters Mighty Ducks’ roster
is complete and I’ve already been given a total of 175 free
chicken wings. I’m so looking forward to doing this. I mean,
if that Steve Bartman guy can coach, I’ve gotta be able to do
a decent job. Besides, this district hasn’t been to the state
playoffs in 34 years. There’s no pressure on me to produce a
winner that early.

I do think my team will be competing with the other top teams in
the league, though. This pitcher I picked up is fantastic (he can
swing the lumber pretty well, too). He went 14-1 last year and had
12 homeruns. But during the offseason, the little tyke — his
name is Mason Lidd — beat up his girlfriend. This prompted
his former team, the Keith Hafner Karate School Wildcats to drop
him from its team. The surprising thing was that Lidd was never
punished more than that. He did apologize, though, and bought his
girlfriend a brand-new Prada bag. Kids are so cute these days.
Well, anyway, when Hafner asked if anyone wanted him in the fifth
round of our draft, I had to say yes. He’s the best player,
and a pitcher/clean-up hitter combo is like finding the best point
guard in the NBA.

March 17, 2004: What a great first day of practice. My assistant
coaches are fantastic, too. Charlie Crenell and Romeo Weis are
their names, and they’re already getting so much out of my
team with their New England-style of coaching. We might have enough
to really contend in this league. Mason keeps giving me these weird
looks, though.

April 15, 2004: We had our first game and we won 10-0. Other
coaches are really impressed with what I’ve done. Most think
I overwork these guys, but I don’t. I was a Little League
player once myself. I wasn’t anything special, but I got a
few trophies out of it. I know all these guys need is an
opportunity to have fun. Mason pitched a complete game, but
he’s still looking at me funny. He might have given me the
middle finger. His girlfriend is now wearing a mink coat to our
games. These kids today.

May 28, 2004: We’re in first after the break! My
assistants are getting incredible props as well. I think
they’ll be head coaches by the beginning of next season. The
newspaper even did a story about Mason and how he’s been so
good despite the rough offseason.

June 29, 2004: We won our district, and we’re going off to
our regional competition. Four wins and it’s off to states!
Mason keeps muttering stuff about player-coach under his breath,
but I don’t think he’s serious. Besides, I’ve got
a clean past, I don’t think I could be fired. And he’s
only in Little League two more years after this season.

August 14, 2004: What a fantastic run! We won states, and we
were one out away from getting out of the United States Regional.
Unfortunately the umpire (bless him for working in 100-degree heat
on his day off from work) miscalled a play at the plate. Mason slid
into home, knocking the ball out of the catcher’s glove. The
ump still called him out, though. He apologized to me after he saw
the tape. I accepted it, as it’s only a game and mistakes
will be made … even big ones. After the game, I thought my
players’ parents would be waiting outside the dugout. But
they were all gathered around an old Dodge with baseball bats. I
think it was tradition to get an ugly car and pulverize it. Weird
that I never saw that umpire again — he lent me his pen, went
to the bathroom and never came back.

September 6, 2004: I can’t believe it! The Pita Pit Blue
Jays replaced Rick Piston with Larry Auburn. I mean, Auburn is a
legend in this area, but Piston turned that team of losers into
District VII’s champion. He even beat Auburn’s team.
It’s weird, my assistants are being turned down for new
coaching spots. District V has decided to hire Teve Turrier —
a former coach in the T-ball leagues — and Moe Flibbs, a
98-year-old retired coach from the 1960s. I mean, I’ll be
happy that my assistants will return to my side, but I felt they
deserved a chance and shouldn’t have been turned away because
they had never been head coaches at any level.

January 21, 2005: Well, I’m preparing for a new season.
Lots of weird rumors about Mason not wanting to play for me
anymore, but he doesn’t want to leave Hooters either. I mean,
they can’t fire a state champ, can they?

May 20, 2005: I’ve been fired! Our team is a respectable
9-5 and in third place in the league. We’d be better, but one
of our players had to sit out this season after he got a disease in
his stomach. Everyone liked him, and it was tough to play without
him. But as we lost, Mason’s parents kept pressuring the
District V manager, who is thinking about making a change and
moving my team’s sponsorship to T.G.I. Friday’s. Then,
after we had defeated Auburn’s and Piston’s new teams
— the best in the district — I was fired.

June 28, 2005: Mason’s girlfriend will have her own
television show at her elementary school and wears real diamond
earrings, saying that true love has conquered all the problems with
Mason from her past.

These Kidds today.

Kyle O’Neill wishes Jason Kidd the best as the Nets
will be ousted in the first round of the playoffs. He is already
looking forward to the Pacers-Pistons Eastern Conference Final.
Kyle can be reached at
“mailto:kylero@umich.edu”>kylero@umich.edu.

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