baseball: Springtime!! Batter up! - 04/06/13 11:55 AM

We are on the little league ball field which is a sure sign that it is spring! The fields are a verdant green and beautifully manicured!
Most lawns do not look this good... But most lawns are not AstroTurf!    This tournament was at a newer facility than the usual one and it is state of the art.  It has real toilets instead of latrines and there are food courts close to each field.  Comfort was clearly factored into the planning equation.
The boys are full of vim and vitality.  They are fun to watch.  They appear to have grown a lot … (2 comments)

baseball: Baseball, is it still just a game - 03/17/13 10:13 PM

Although baseball season is still a few weeks away, this weekend was blesses with an opportunity to watch how much the children have grown both in stature and height.
There were tournaments scheduled all over the county.  The heat has begun earlier than usual and there were gusts of wind to give the bleacher experiences an extra flair.
This is the first year that our grandson has actually been on a team where the kids play all the positions... Including pitcher.
This year promises more excitement than past since the coaches will not play any of the positions.
Unfortunately the kids are not playing … (9 comments)

baseball: Grooming the plate!! - 05/06/12 12:25 PM
As we continue to absorb the secrets of life found on a baseball field, we learn housekeeping secrets previously un-noted.
One of the older umpires has a noticeable limp when he walks.
Due to that it is impractical for him to clean the home plate in the conventional manner.
No one needs a undefined home base.  This umpire has a unique cleaning technique.
As you can see by the photo,  the effort was successful.
Due to the frequency of the need to clean up the plate we observed the cleaning with more interest than usual.

baseball: When a job is just NOT for you... - 05/02/12 11:29 PM
A few days ago we discussed the bad day our catcher had.
This young man try's hard and plays well.  His seems to be the most challenging position on the team.
We have watched him consistently overcome obstacles and continue against long odds.
Last night we watched a complete meltdown.
He had several innings filled with frustrating things like having his long drive at bat caught up and thrown to first where he was pronounced out.
Then he made a super catch at the plate only to have a lanky long legged runner slide into him … (1 comments)

baseball: The price of indecision! - 04/26/12 01:51 PM
So where do you throw the ball when you catch it at second base and there is a runner coming to third like a locomotive with another runner headed to home base?
Well  this  dilemma  resulted in the ball staying in the glove!  
The short seconds of confusion resulted in the opposing team making two runs!
We have all been in situations like that in our business!  Some decisions just need time.
Time is often a luxury we do not have.  Do you have a contingency plan for each of your transactions?  Not that you should … (7 comments)

baseball: Oops!! - 04/23/12 05:56 AM
When the second baseman caught the ball with the first base runner headed for second base,  he had a moment of confusion and fired the ball to the first baseman who missed it!
Our team was up seven runs at the time but it was a definite oops....
The incident seemed to rock the worlds of all the players on our team.  Perhaps there had been something in the water?  
It took a good three more innings to get things back into the normal zone. In the meantime,  the opposition capitalized on our confusion running up a healthy … (3 comments)

baseball: Knowing when the game is over.... Life lessons - 04/22/12 10:52 PM
Several of the games we have been to in the past couple of weeks were extremely exciting,
In all of these cases it was due to the antics of the team members.
For whatever reason,  the playing techniques were unbelievably off.
Huge scores were run up by the opposing teams while our guys seemed to flounder in a sea of mistakes.
Then, as quickly as the play began to decline,  the boys rallied.  No rhyme or reason... Suddenly they began to exhibit the skills we all had seen them display in games past.
In two out … (1 comments)

baseball: Don't let the bright light effect your performance! - 04/20/12 10:58 AM
When the sun is in your eye and flies are swarming around the spectators sitting on the humid bleachers, it does detract from the game.

Same sun is in the eyes of the batters on both teams in the field too.
All these kids and their parents have made great efforts just to show up at the field, night after night!
Comfort is clearly not a factor to be considered here.
What seems to be the driving for e night after night is the desire to excel at a sport they all love.
What … (4 comments)

baseball: Give it all you've got! - 04/19/12 11:02 PM
Last night we watched a young catcher play his heart out.
The opposing team was playing better than our team was.  All our at bat time just did not quite connect.  The hits that were achieved were caught or did not allow runs to be scored.
For this team that had become quite accustomed to winning,  this was a tough place to be.
The catcher worked hard.  His efforts did not result in the runners being out.
At one point after three previous runners being ruled safe after this young man catching the ball and tagging the … (8 comments)

baseball: Umpires... - 04/16/12 11:53 AM
One of the most unsung Heros in American sports are the umpires.
These folks have to be totally objective in their observations , all of the time.  Without their input there would be total chaos on the field.
Not only do they have to be able to see from all angles,  they have to go totally by the rule book.  No exceptions allowed.  None!
Have you ever taken the time to really watch what all is required of these hard working people?
They run all over the field, keep track of the score, the strikes, the fouls, … (3 comments)

baseball: Expect the best!! - 04/14/12 09:03 AM
It's OK I am used to it!  
That was the comment made by our seven year old grandson when his gramps congratulated him on making four picture perfect catches of fly balls during a game.
We found that amusing at first but at second thought , it made astoundingly good sense.
We do tend to be products of our thinking.  When we think positive thoughts we receive positive results.
This youngster has had positive direction by two loving full time parents.  He has been given every possible opportunity to practice and acquire skills, and he gives baseball his undivided … (9 comments)

baseball: Indecision... - 04/14/12 02:44 AM
To run or pt to run? That seems to become a burning question whenever one hits a baseball.
Last night a young man seemed to be frozen on second base.  He stood there as a runner from first thundered down upon him.
The second base resident looked right and left where the base coaches were screaming instructions and gesturing wildly.
Just as he was about to be overtaken by the first base runner,  he took off with great purpose and made it to third. 
With no time to really think about things the young runner took off … (0 comments)

baseball: Edifying words - 04/13/12 10:39 PM
Have you ever paid attention to what the shouts of the maddening crowd seem to do to the players?
It is amazing to hear what well meaning parents scream at their children from the comfort of the bleachers.
Last night was an especially tight game.  The boys were playing their hearts out.
Each at bat seemed to be a nail biter.  It was easy to pick out who was the parent of the batter.  Of course most everyone was caught up in the moment.
After all the cheering was complete,  one gaming parent shouted "hit them in, … (2 comments)

baseball: The way you start out... may determine your finish! - 04/13/12 07:14 AM
When you see young aspiring players, it is cause for the question,  "will he still want to play when he gets to be old enough"
The child in the photo seems to be totally absorbed in the game.  
His older sibling is one of the truly outstanding hitters,  who is also incredibly accurate at catching the ball at second base.
It is my guess that since the brother playing obviously has invested hours of practice,  the younger brother has been observing for a while.
I cannot help but wonder if all that observation is silently teaching … (3 comments)

baseball: Warming up... - 04/07/12 01:38 PM
Observing the team getting ready for the big event can give you insights into what will be the intensity of the game.
When the players are highly alert and react quickly, it is a sign that they have come to give the game their best efforts.
While watching them tonight, it occurred to me that the warm up should be a part if our every day too. Do we plan for the day?  Do you check to be sure the callers can hear the smile and enthusiasm on our voices ?  Are we up on the latest listings in … (1 comments)

baseball: How to pack a backpack for siblings at the game... - 04/07/12 09:00 AM
After watching the young mothers attending the baseball games,  I have been astounded with what is required to be carried along.
Even when there is only one child to provide food and entertainment for,  the diverse assortment of stuff that comes out of one back back is truly amazing.  
It had never occurred to me that packing a small bag could be considered an art form,  but it certainly is!
Out of one bag at a recent game, came:  art paper and markers,  play dough,  bubbles,  several kinds of candy,  goldfish crackers,  gooey strips of sugary treats, … (1 comments)

baseball: Siblings bring a whole other dimension to the ball park! - 03/31/12 11:03 AM
Young ball players usually have siblings and parents along for the experience.
Since the last time we spent considerable time at the ball park,  it was as parents.
My how things have changed in the past fifteen years!
Our perspective is totally different now.  So are the siblings and the basic parental thought processes.
Several of the children who travel with the team come equipped with advanced playing equipment (toys) and a backpack full of snacks.
In an average game time of about an hour and a half many of these smaller gulden go thru packages … (1 comments)

baseball: What's in a name? - 03/31/12 08:32 AM
The days where little league teams are named after the big league teams are over!
Today some of the teams have been named things like, "diamond cutters,  "surge" and battastic.  Sort of a departure from what we were accustomed to.  We can adapt to that.
The rules have changed in some of the leagues too.
A great deal of confusion was evident last week when a young umpire decided to enforce a rule whereby if the runner over shoots the base going to first and turns right to return,  he is safe.  If he turns left and approaches … (0 comments)

baseball: Game Time! - 03/04/12 03:42 AM
Under a grey blue and white macarel sky, with a gentle breeze the kids took to the field. 
Everyone was "baseball ready" and the first two hits resulted in base hits for the opposing team.  Then came the inevitable outs.
The last two contests have been little if any challenge for this well practiced team.  
Tonight was different.  The other team may have been older... Many were much larger.  Whatever the difference they appeared to have more command of the plays.
The basics were all still in play but it was the first real work at scoring we have seen … (1 comments)

baseball: The importance of sportsmanship - 03/03/12 01:10 AM
Soooo... shall we discuss the importance of sportsmanship?  When you sign a kid on to play a sport it is sort of a given that you will subscribe to the rules and support others right to do the same.
Unfortunately,  there are adults in this wide wonderful world of opportunities who do not see things that way.
The coach of the opposing team was alive with negative attitude.  He was the picture of nastiness.  His players were good at what they did.  They also gave the pursuit of every part of the sport their complete attention!  
Mr … (2 comments)

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