Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B | 2 USERS: A+
The Tracks of My Mother-Freakin' Tears

Things are tense at the ball field. The Mustangs are down by seven and Poor Max is up to bat. I promise I'm not going to call him Poor Max the whole season... but the kid is ridiculously cute and sad and I can't help it. "Oh, God," one of these bad-news Mustangs says in the dugout, "Max is up." Adam sighs. "Hey, not cool," he tells the kid, but the saddest part is that he doesn't disagree with the sentiment. Adam goes into coaching mode, telling Max that this is not the time to swing at everything, that in this situation a walk is just as good as a hit. Coach-talk for "you're not capable, so don't mess it up for everyone else." Poor Max mumbles that someone else should bat, instead. He doesn't want to strike out and have everyone hate him. Adam sighs, seeing that he has been pushing him in the exact opposite way he intended. "It doesn't matter if you get a hit or not," Adam says, though it pains him to say it. "It's a game. It's all about having fun." And with perfect clarity, Max expresses what every little bookish kid in the world has wanted to say for generations: "I'm not having any fun." For lack of anything else to say, Adam tells him to try his best. The crowd starts cheering him on, but naturally Zeek goes overboard, screaming for him to "shove it down their throats!" Kristina has to ask him to "simmer," which I love. Crosby arrives at this moment to join in the chaos. He appears unshowered. "Did you see this kid pitch?" he asks Adam. "What, did they smuggle him in from the Dominican Republic or something?" Adam tells him to shut up just as, by some miracle, Max gets a ringing hit. "RUN, MAX! RUN!" Adam screams, and Max, never in his wildest dreams expecting this to happen, starts running the wrong way. Finally on the right path, he makes it to first base just as the ball gets there, also. The ump, obviously blind, calls him out. This sets off a beautiful Little League throwdown, in which Adam squares off against the umpire while the kids look on. I love it, not least because of Dylan's "Forever Young," that plays over it, but because kicking dirt on an umpire and throwing your hat on the ground is an American classic that never gets old. I know it's bad sportsmanship, but listen, baseball is an emotional game.

Can I renew my objection about the limited commercial interruptions? This is a theme I am really warming to. So much hate, people. I know it's better for the viewer, but have they no consideration for the intrepid recapper? Can I file workman's comp for carpal tunnel?

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