Olympics

Coronavirus cancellations and reactions in sports

As COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, has spread around the globe in recent months, tournaments, games and other sporting events have been canceled, while others have been modified.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert, says the only way professional sports will happen this summer is to do so without fans in attendance and by keeping players in hotels.

The NBA was the first to suspend its season on March 12, and the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. MLB canceled the remainder of spring training, though there is a chance a delayed Opening Day could begin in Arizona in May. The NHL also suspended its season and is trying to figure out the fate of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and golf’s first major tournament of the year, the Masters, has been postponed until November. The Boston Marathon postponed its race until Sept. 14; the London Marathon has been postponed from April 26 to Oct. 4. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been moved to July 2021, and the 2020 Invictus Games have been postponed, as well. Scripps originally said it would not hold the National Spelling Bee as scheduled in late May, then canceled it; the Little League World Series will not be played in August for the first time since 1947.

Here’s a look at how the coronavirus is affecting sports in the U.S. and around the world:

NCAA

The NCAA called off its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships.

NBA

Fans leave after being told the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz game had been canceled. Alonzo Adams/USA TODAY Sports
In municipalities where coronavirus testing has become readily available to at-risk health care workers, NBA teams opening facilities for voluntary workouts will be allowed to administer tests to asymptomatic players and staff.

MLB
Major League Baseball expects to offer a return-to-play proposal to the MLB Players Association within a week, as teams have begun to encourage players to prepare for a “spring” training that could begin in mid-June and a season that could start in early July.

NHL
The NHL has postponed its international games in 2020.

NFL
The NFL has released its 2020 season schedule, but commissioner Roger Goodell told teams in a memo that adjustments will be made if necessary.

If the league does need scheduling help that science cannot provide for the coronavirus pandemic, and delays to the season’s start eventually become necessary, sources around the league indicated that Super Bowl LV could be pushed back by weeks or even a couple of months. Read more


The pandemic has reminded us: We don’t need more sports in our lives — we need less


How the Internet Created a Sports-Card Boom—and Why the Pandemic Is Fueling It


The Pandemic And College Football: A Look Back At The 1918 Season


How Important Is It for Sports to Return?


I think it is possible to both understand the gravity of the current crisis we are facing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and miss sports.

Or as my friend Ryan Ruocco, play-by-play announcer for ESPN and the YES Network put it, “For all of us we understand the bigger picture here. But that doesn’t mean you can’t care about the things within the littler picture. We only care about sports within the context of understanding there is a much bigger foe to handle right now and that’s obviously this virus that threatens lives.”

Clearly sports matter not at all when it comes to public safety. No one should argue otherwise. However, there is the notion of an escape, distraction, or something to rally around and to be honest that is talking point that I was way more dismissive of until recently. Because while I have stayed informed, I’d also love to have something like the NBA to take my mind off the current circumstances and to provide the sense of community that comes with a shared experience.

Whatever happens with previously scheduled games this moment in history and sports will be forever connected. Not only because sports stopped but due to the signal it sent to many in the general public.

A sentiment Ruocco also shared, “Normally when something is going awry in the world sports is where we escape to and it’s just so bizarre to not have that lane to escape to…sports sort of sprung our country into action when it comes to treating this virus with the seriousness that we needed to.” Read more


The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is an ongoing international multi-sport event hosted by the county of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country was selected as the host city in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. It marks the first time that South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics, and the second Olympics held in the country, the first being the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. And it’s the first time since 1998 that the Winter Olympics are held in Asia.

The Winter Olympics runs from 8 to 25 February 2018. The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports, including the addition of big air snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. A total of 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are slated to compete, including the debut of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.

The lead-up to these Games was affected by the ongoing tensions between South Korea and North Korea, and also the ongoing missile crisis involving the country. These led to security concerns, with several countries threatening to skip the games if their safety was not ensured, including the United States. In January 2018, after their first high-level talks in over two years, North Korea agreed to participate in the Games. The countries also marched together during the opening ceremony and agreed to field a unified women’s hockey team. Read more

Results  // CBS Sports //  NBC News

Shaun White

Shaun White of USA in action during men’s final of snowboard halfpipe of Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain on December 9, 2017. White finished in 3rd place.

Skipper

Al Gallagher

The BEST thing I heard after our disappointing 10-0 loss in the Championship game was from a complete stranger.

A young boy was walking by immediately following my Gatorade shower and said,”That’s the happiest losing team I ever saw”!

IMG_7181

Every baseball player and coach wants to win, generally. That’s why you keep score. The biggest showcase of the year is the World Series and that’s where all the hard work throughout the season comes to a close. If you had a successful season and won enough games to make it to the playoffs you have a shot at taking home a National Championship.

However, there have been many, many great baseball players that were not very popular like Al Gallagher. So, when you think of the BEST ballplayers, you automatically associate their stats. What was his batting average? What was his ERA? And yes, coaches also are measured on stats. Yet, considering how difficult it is to make it to the World Series, it is fascinating to me that Joe Torre won the Championship four (4) times. Read more.

manager_success

joe_torre_record_index

joe_torre_record

Buck Showalter

If you want to be the best ___ [fill-in the blank]. Find someone who has already achieved that success. Then just copy everything they do! Eventually, you’ll develop your own “signature”. I’ll stick with the home town hero, Buck Showalter.

Earl Weaver

Notice that Buck was the Yankees coach before Torre. But I grew up watching Earl Weaver. Buck Showalter loves scouting reports — except when it comes to assessing the personalities of people he’s never met. In that regard, the Orioles’ manager insists upon formulating his own opinion. “People will start to tell me about a player that’s coming,” Showalter said, “and I stop them and say, ‘I got this. We’re starting fresh. I’m going to make up my own mind about him.'”

Buck Showalter

Showalter’s reputation preceded his arrival in Baltimore. Taskmaster, drill sergeant, disciplinarian — those words were often associatedwith him during his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-06). So when the feisty skipper was hired by then-president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to turn around a franchise in search of its first winning season since 1997, the players knew what was coming…

“Some people’s reputation before you meet them is not the same after you get to know them.

Financial Blow of the Coronavirus on Sports

Canceled games and tournaments were a major hit. Insurance policies and contracts can only help so much. No games mean no ticket sales and reduced media payments. For the first time in nearly two decades, the $160 billion sports world has gone dark.

The ramifications of canceling or postponing play are wide-ranging, from mundane considerations about competition to potentially serious financial consequences for athletes, teams, leagues and organizations, and the tens of thousands of people who work at sporting events. LeBron James, who could lose about $400,000 for every game the Los Angeles Lakers don’t play, might not get a lot of sympathy, given his riches. But there are low-paid minor league baseball players who need money for rent and food, and college field hockey teams that depend on money from the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament to fund their own seasons.

In the past, the sports business has largely proven to be somewhat recession proof. Most major sports organizations weathered the economic fallout of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the financial crisis in 2008. The problem now is that, as a mass event business, sports cannot occur because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus, bringing everything to a screeching halt.

Major League Baseball

The MLB has been devising multiple models for its schedule, which is delayed until mid-April at the earliest. The impact will vary from team to team. The Mariners in Seattle, one of the hotbeds of the virus, may have more trouble drawing fans back to its ballpark than teams playing in areas that have fewer cases. And for competitive reasons, it will be difficult to restart the season if some M.L.B. cities still have restrictions on the size of gatherings, as is the case in San Francisco.

Teams that own their own regional sports networks may face a double-hit — no revenue from tickets and little content for their networks, though fees from cable companies may deliver a small cushion to absorb the blow. Other teams that are already losing money could see steeper losses. As players disperse from spring training, at least for a few weeks, it is possible they won’t get paid. Under the terms of baseball’s uniform player contract, the commissioner can suspend contracts during a national emergency in which games are not played. President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday afternoon.

Cities and states will also forgo collecting income taxes on the player salaries, or sales taxes, and the fees generated in and around stadiums and arenas, including in parking lots. With arenas and stadiums closed, tens of thousands of part-time workers who are paid hourly wages with no benefits have seen their paychecks disappear. They pour beers and grill hot dogs, serve food in luxury suites, scan tickets at turnstiles, work in parking lots and provide security, run the scoreboards and lighting equipment, and clean up locker rooms.

In a building with 20,000 seats, roughly 300 workers would be behind concession counters and hawking drinks in the stands. The food purveyors and suppliers will also suffer. The big question is how quickly fans will feel safe enough to start attending games again. “After the baseball strike, there were questions about whether fans were going to come back because they were fed up,” said Chris Bigelow, a food and beverage consultant. “It’s different now because there might be fans who don’t want to be next to other fans.” Read more


Major League Baseball projects $640,000 per game loss with no fans

Major League Baseball told players their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season in empty ballparks, according to a presentation from the commissioner’s office to the union that was obtained by The Associated Press. Painting a picture of a $10 billion industry shuttered by the contagion, the 12-page document titled “Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance” and dated May 12 was an initial step in negotiations aimed at starting the delayed season around the Fourth of July.

Teams say the proposed method of salvaging a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic would still cause a $4 billion loss and would give major league players 89% of revenue. They contend they lose more money with each additional game played. The players’ union, however, believes clubs would lose less money with more games. In addition, many teams and/or their owners have stakes in their regional sports network that would benefit from additional games.

MLB said 2019 revenue was 39% local gate and other in-park sources, followed by 25% central revenue, 22% local media, 11% sponsorship and 4% other. Teams fears a second wave of the coronavirus would devastate finances if renewed government restrictions cause cancellation of the postseason, which brings in $787 million in media money. The document details who pays what: $370 million by Fox, $310 million by Turner, $27 million by ESPN, $30 million by the MLB Network and $50 million from international and other.

Teams project to increase their debt from $5.2 billion last year to $7.3 billion in 2020, leaving most clubs out of compliance with the labor contract’s debt service rule. MLB’s central office increased debt by $550 million to support clubs and is seeking $650 million more credit. MLB said many teams do not have the capacity to add more debt to fund losses in 2021.

MLB and the union agreed to a March 26 deal in which players would get a prorated share of their salaries during a shortened season. As part of the agreement, $170 million in salaries are being advanced through May 24. If the season is scrapped, players are guaranteed service time equal to what they accrued in 2019, a key to gaining eligibility for salary arbitration and free agency.

Now that plans have been formulated to possibly start the season in early July in disinfected stadiums with no gate revenue, at least at the start, MLB says the current economics are not feasible. Players have said they already made a deal and see no need for change. MLB anticipates $1.788 billion central office revenue for an 82-game schedule with empty ballparks and a $1.345 billion net after expenses for MLB Advanced Media and Major League Baseball Properties. Revenue includes $155 million from sponsors (excluding the MLB Network); $112 million from consumer products, $93 million from digital such as MLB.tv and At Bat and $89 million in non-media revenue. Read more

Orioles Team Rebuilds

Pedro Severino #28 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the seventh inning to load the bases against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field

On-base plus Slugging

My favorite top 3 players on the Orioles currently is Pedro Severino, Jose Iglesias and Renato_Núñez.  


On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two important offensive skills, are represented. An OPS of .900 or higher in Major League Baseball puts the player in the upper echelon of hitters. Typically, the league leader in OPS will score near, and sometimes above, the 1.000 mark.

H = hits
BB = bases on balls
HBP = times hit by pitch
AB = at bats
SF = sacrifice flies
TB = total bases

Read more

MLB Career OPS Leaders

On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a sabermetric baseball statistic calculated as the sum of a player’s on-base percentage and slugging average. The ability of a player both to get on base and to hit for power, two important offensive skills, are represented.

Below is the list of the top 8 Major League Baseball players in career OPS with at least 3,000 career plate appearances.  Read more


Winning Streak

Current Standings => Click Here

Last night the O’s won the series against the Phillies.  The lead changed over three times on Tuesday and they came back again strong on Wednesday with solid Infield/Outfield (IO), pitching and offense.

In fact, over the past few weeks they have beaten the Yankees and Rays.  Tonight they face the 2019 World Series Champions Washington Nationals.


The Baltimore Orioles have had some difficult years recently. In 2018, they finished with their worst record (47-115) in franchise history. Baltimore finished last in the AL East in each of the last two seasons. Their last World Series appearance came in 1983 when they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

Baltimore amassed a huge ERA (5.18) while serving up 234 home runs. The ace of the franchise was Dylan Bundy who now plays for Los Angeles Angels. Read more

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Renato Nunuez (39), shortstop Jonathan Villar (2) and first baseman Trey Mancini (16) at Yankee Stadium.

In 2019, the Orioles (54-108) were just as bad. In 2020, these Orioles took some steps forward and should improve. Read more


Back in April 2016, I had an exciting weekend.  The Orioles beat the World Series Champions – Kansas City Royals 8-3.  The Birds record is 11-5 as of Saturday. Our Over 40 team, Brewers beat the Nationals 15-2 and our record is now 2-0. The Roland Park Rangers travel team beat the TowsonTowne Tbirds 6-5 and continue to remain undefeated this season (record 5-0). Our RPBL In-house team (9-10 Nationals Little League) the Blaze beat the Ironbirds 5-3 and we have a 2 game winning streak (record 3-1-1).

Here are some quotes to pump you up:

  1. Every game is game seven.
  2. Teamwork makes the Dream work.
  3. Attitude is Everything.
  4. Be prepared! “If only” are the famous last words of those who weren’t.

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Take me out to the Ballpark

ROLAND PARK BASEBALL LEAGUES

RPBL is proud to be sponsoring a Night at the Yard for the THIRD year in a row!!!
Click here to DOWNLOAD FLYER

Baltimore ORIOLES vs. Los Angeles ANGELS

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019 @ 7:05 PM

ONLY $10.00

Upper Reserve Section 344-354 (Rows 13-25).  The individual ticket price is normally $17.00 for Upper Reserve. Additional 10% transaction fee ($1.00 per ticket).  If you are having trouble connecting to MLB ticket order entry site, copy & paste the following url into your browser address bar: www.orioles.com/rolandpark

 

INTANGIBLE VALUE
What do people learn going to a professional baseball game? Well, if you have never been before, it’s FUN! Not to mention, Camden Yards is considered one of the BEST stadiums in Major League Baseball in the entire country.  It’s both exciting and entertaining.  It can be very competitive and suspenseful depending on the pitchers.

As a Head Coach for over 10 years, I am a “student of the game” and continue to learn new things going to a live baseball game. In my own experience, the benefits are countless!

Whether you are going with your son or going as a team, it’s a great bonding experience.  Plus, the coach often can learn more about the player be better able to relate to them.  Best of all, the kids witness first-hand, real time some of the best professionals in a chosen field of discipline – baseball. Watching MLB players performing at the highest level of skill is awesome, especially when you consider how much they are getting paid.

Coaches and baseball teams can build on all the PRACTICE hours, days and weeks trying to run drills by explaining situations and the reasons why.  There is also a well-known FACT in the “Art of Pedogogy” – people can learn from reading it in a book, listening, watching or doing.

Teaching fundamental skills is very difficult if you don’t have much passion, interest and some natural ability. Read more

 

Whiff (Swing and a Miss)

What is it called when you strike out 3 times in a game?

Joe DiMaggio recalled he had more difficulty batting against Harder than just about any other pitcher, hitting only . 180 lifetime against him, striking out 3 times in one game in 1940. His nickname was the chief and he played his entire career with the Cleveland Indians. Read more

Everyone often remembers the great batters (offensive players), but forget who were the amazing pitchers (defensive players) in baseball. For example, ask a young player today if he’s heard of Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan or the “Rocket” Roger Clemens? Often you’ll get a response, “never heard of them”. However, Mel Harder is the notorious pitcher who struck out DiMaggio. Read more

Strike 3 (Times Five). Giancarlo Stanton’s Whiffs Make the Record Books

When Giancarlo Stanton struck out for the fifth time on Sunday and left the field at Yankee Stadium to a chorus of boos, he was not merely having a bad game. He was putting himself in the record books. And there may well be more record-breaking, of the wrong kind, to come. Read more


This morning I “googled” the number of times a MLB player struck out 3 times in one game. Unfortunately, my son Blake struck out 3 times yesterday in a “single elimination playoff game” against some of the BEST 13 year old boys in the region.

In slang, when a batter strikes out three times in a game, he is said to have completed a hat trick. If he strikes out four times, it is called a golden sombrero. He receives a platinum sombrero if he strikes out five times, and this dishonor is also known as the Olympic Rings.

Age (years) 50th percentile height for boys in inches (feet)

8 50.4 in. (4.2′)
9 52.6 in.
10 54.5 in. (4.5′)
11 56. 4 in.
12 58.7 in. (4.9′)
13 61.4 in. (5.1′)
14 64.6 in.
15 66.9 in.
16 68.3 in.
17 69.1 in.
18 69.3 in. (5.8′)

Strikeout

In baseball or softball, a strikeout (or strike-out) occurs when a batter racks up three strikes during a time at bat. It usually means the batter is out. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters, and is denoted by K. A “strikeout looking”—in which the batter does not swing and the third strike is called by the umpire—is usually denoted by a ꓘ.[1]

Although a strikeout suggests that the pitcher dominated the batter, the free-swinging style that generates home runs also leaves batters susceptible to striking out. Some of the greatest home run hitters of all time—such as Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, and Jim Thome—were notorious for striking out.

Rules
A pitched ball is ruled a ball by the umpire if the batter did not swing at it and, in that umpire’s judgement, it does not pass through the strike zone. Any pitch at which the batter swings unsuccessfully or, that in that umpire’s judgement passes through the strike zone, is ruled a strike. Each ball and strike affects the count, which is incremented for each pitched ball with the exception of a foul ball on any count with two strikes. That is, a third strike may only occur by the batter swinging and missing at a pitched ball, or the pitched ball being ruled a strike by the umpire with no swing by the batter. A pitched ball that is struck by the batter with the bat on any count, and is not a foul ball or foul tip, is in play. A batter may also strike out by bunting, even if the ball is hit into foul territory.

A pitcher receives credit for (and a batter is charged with) a strikeout on any third strike, but a batter is out only if one of the following is true:

The third strike is pitched and caught in flight by the catcher (including foul tips);
On any third strike, if a baserunner is on first and there are zero or one outs;
The third strike is bunted foul and is not caught by a fielder.
Thus, it is possible for a batter to strike out, but still become a runner and reach base safely if the catcher is unable to catch the third strike cleanly, and he then does not either tag out the batter or force him out at first base. In Japan, this is called furinige (振り逃げ), or “swing and escape”. In Major League Baseball, it is known as an uncaught third strike. When this happens, a strikeout is recorded for both the pitcher and the batter, but no out is recorded. Because of this, a pitcher may occasionally be able to record more than three strikeouts in one half-inning.

It is also possible for a strikeout to result in a fielder’s choice. With the bases loaded and two strikes with two outs, the catcher drops the ball or catches it on the bounce. The batter-runner is obliged to run for first base and other base-runners are obliged to attempt to advance one base. Should the catcher field the ball and step on home plate before the runner from third base can score, then the runner from third base is forced out. Read more

60 Game Season


What you need to know about 60-game season

Baseball is back. Three glorious words.

After months of unsuccessful negotiating with the players’ association, MLB has imposed a 2020 season and the two sides have agreed on health and safety protocols.

The new season will not, however, include a few of the rule changes you may have recently read about.

Here are all the details you need to know about baseball’s shortened upcoming season.

When does the MLB regular season start?
Opening Day will be July 23, with two games taking place — Yankees vs. Nationals and Giants vs. Dodgers. The Phillies will begin play on July 24. MLB will attempt to cram 60 games into about 66 days. Players reported to camp on July 1 for Spring Training II.

How many games?
It will be a 60-game regular season. The league had proposed as few as 50 games and the players’ association had proposed as many as 114. In the end, 60 was the number the league chose when it unilaterally implemented the 2020 season.

Given MLB’s new coronavirus cases, the league’s desire to play the postseason in October, and the length these negotiations took, a regular season much longer than 60 games was no longer feasible. But the players still rejected the league’s 60-game proposal for a few important reasons. Read more

It began and suddenly halted four months ago in spring training and then restarted as summer camp. Now, filled with trepidation the time has come.

It’s the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

It finally has arrived, 119 days later than originally scheduled, and will be the first major team sport to return to the world beginning at 7:08 p.m. ET Thursday with the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals playing the New York Yankees in the nation’s capital.

There will be no fans in attendance. Only cardboard cut-outs. Pumped-in fake crowd noise required by every team. No smell of hot dogs. Virtual advertising everywhere you look. Players sitting in the stands and makeshift dugouts, socially distancing, six feet apart. And there will be displays of social messaging too, with players permitted to wear “Black Lives Matter” or “United for Change’’ patches on their uniforms, with “Black Lives Matter” stenciled on the pitcher’s mounds during the opening weekend of games. Read more


M.L.B. Proposes an 82-Game Season Starting in July

The Korean Baseball Organization is back from the coronavirus shutdown. Is this what MLB games will look like? In South Korea and Taiwan, where its league also recently resumed the season, stadiums are empty except for players, staff, umpires and some media members. Base coaches and umpires must wear masks and latex gloves on the field, and the teams’ training staffs wear masks in the dugouts. Read more

Major League Baseball has formalized its plan to return to the field, with teams agreeing Monday on a proposal to send to the players’ union for an 82-game season that would start without fans in early July. The plan would include an expanded playoff field and the designated hitter for all games, even those in the National League, where it is not typically used.

The plan must clear major obstacles to become reality. Even if the union accepts the structure of a truncated season, the sides would also have to agree on a salary structure for players. The league would also need to have enough tests for players and employees without depleting the public supply, and agree with the union on working conditions, including protocols in case of positive tests.

Details of the proposal were confirmed by multiple baseball officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan cannot be official until authorized by the union. The league’s proposal would authorize the shortest season since the early years of the National League in the late 1870s. To minimize travel, teams would play only against divisional rivals as well as teams in the corresponding geographic division of the opposite league. The proposal, which would require approval from the players’ union, would have teams start the season in early July and mainly play teams in their geographic region. Read more

“Needs to get approval by the Players’ Association, the Mets and every other team in the National League East should anticipate…” Read more

MLB Reportedly Considering Playing in Empty Stadiums During Coronavirus Pandemic. Major League Baseball is reportedly considering starting the 2020 season with games at spring training sites in either Florida or Arizona without fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Friday the chances of playing games at home parks this summer with a crowd are becoming “increasingly remote,” leading the league to consider alternatives. However, trying to station all 30 clubs in one area would be “extremely complex and potentially controversial” amid COVID-19. There are numerous hurdles MLB would need to jump before making the plan reality. Read more

“The owners of the 30 MLB teams held a virtual meeting Monday and agreed to a proposal for the restart of the 2020 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred is presenting that proposal to the players Tuesday. That’s the good news. The bad news is this: It’s a long journey from proposal to playing, largely because so many things that have to happen are out of MLB’s hands…” Read more

NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men’s professional basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada). It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.

1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins

The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). The NBA’s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. Its playoffs extend into June. NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The league’s several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices in Midtown Manhattan, while its NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Read more)

Standings

Any predictions on the final four this year? I’m rooting for my Alma Mater – MD Terps – Ranked #7. AP College Basketball Poll Week 16 Rankings

  1. Baylor
  2. Gonzaga
  3. Kansas
  4. San Diego State
  5. Dayton
  6. Duke
  7. Maryland

Click here

Ravens fall apart

What a dissappointment!!!

However there is a learning OPPORTUNITY…

Never get too “over confident”.

Interception early in 1st quarter, 4th down conversions and penalties destroyed the Ravens offense.

They beat themselves.

Tennessee had more gusto and enthusiasm.

Discipline. Focus. Running game prevailed.

Being from Baltimore and originally a Colts fan, it’s hard not to predict that the Ravens are definitely going to win the National Championship this year.

Their quarterback has so many weapons including his amazing ability to run the football.

Lamar Demeatrice Jackson Jr. is an American football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He played college football at Louisville where he won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and was unanimously selected as an All-American as a sophomore in 2016. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamar_Jackson?wprov=sfla1

Super Bowl LIV 2020 will be at 6:30 PM on
Sunday, February 2.

The NFL has decided on the locations of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls.

The vote took place at the NFL owners meetings in Charlotte on Tuesday.

Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019, while South Florida (Miami) will get the event in 2020 and Los Angeles will host in 2021.

https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/ravens/nfl-announces-locations-2019-2020-and-2021-super-bowls

Super Bowl 35 was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Ravens and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2000 season.

Super Bowl XXXV

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl_XXXV?wprov=sfla1

National Hockey League

Click here to see the NHL standings and click here to see ESPN

Around the same time I started playing baseball, I also started skiing. Thanks to my parents they took me to some very cool ski resorts early in my childhood. For example, I remember like yesterday learning how to ski in the Poconos, PA. From there we went to Seven Springs, Killington and then Vail, Sun Valley, etc.

Typically when I was not skiing folks would go ice skating. I tried many times but never learned how to successfully skate backwards. I probably had less fear learning how to roller blade backwards but still have a lot of trouble.

Thus, I always tell people that’s why I did not play hockey. In fact, I’m perhaps not alone when it comes to skating because until you try it, you don’t realize how difficult a sport it really it. More importantly, I would honestly say there are 3 things I typically look for when I tune into a hockey game live or on TV:

  • Fist fights
  • Fast moving play similar to soccer and lacrosse
  • Low scoring games

So, since this BLOG is designed to be not just about baseball, I thought I should include my first entry on the sport of hockey. I have 2 cousins that were fantastic hockey players. One of them actually was a professional and played for a Canadian team. I also have 3 nephews that all played hockey and were very good. Just like skiing, I learned it is a very expensive sport because of the equipment.

Above is the current standings of the TOP 10 teams in the National Hockey League. Interestingly enough, I just learned how it is divided with 31 teams. There are two (2)

Notice that besides winning the World Series last month, the Washington Capitals are the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions.

Bat Guidelines


2020 – Fourteen and Under

My son Blake turns thirteen at the end of the year and he has spent the past couple of years in 12U Leagues getting comfortable with drop 10 USSSA and USA bats. He is only 4’10” and 100 lbs.

Using the “Bat Sizing Chart” it recommends 30 inch length.

However, he has been having a lot of success using a 31″ 21 lb. (-10) so moving to the heavier bats is going to be a big adjustment.

To use the bat size chart below, all you have to do is follow these simple steps: * Move the top slider on the chart to the player’s height range * Move the bottom slider on the chart to the player’s weight range Click here

I’ve reached out to my network and most coaches replied, “it depends on the league”. Also, it was pointed out that the “increased bat weight is offset in significant part by the increased distance from the pitching rubber to home plate. The 12U game at an advanced level can be more challenging than the 13U due to the infield dimensions.”

From the Desk of Matt Tyner, Head Baseball Coach, Towson Tigers

“Age 13 is big field time. The transition is the great equalizer. It’s the separation mechanism that makes young players play a different sport. Very seldom does a young player dominate on the big field, Bbcor bats etc. if there is one that does, he’s easily identified. Take it in stride. Speed is the key.”

Convoluted Needs of 13U Players

Getting the right bats for a 13u player is far more complicated than any other age. Not only do a variety of bat standards apply depending on context, but BBCOR bats are looming in the near future for players who hope to continue playing in high school.

Nearly all 14u travel ball tournaments require players to swing BBCOR bats. So let’s say you turn 13 in April of 2018. Starting August 1, 2018, you’ll be using a BBCOR bat in travel ball games. Some 13u players are required to start using BBCOR earlier than that as part of a middle school baseball program or if playing on a 14u team.

It is much, much easier for players to swing a light bat than a heavy bat. At the younger ages, many players have poor hitting mechanics, and the quickest fix for that is to switch to a bat that is so light that it can be used to good effect in spite of poor mechanics and/or lack of strength.

Some kids who never develop good swing mechanics continue to use a light bat until they are forced to switch to BBCOR at the age of 14. I see some players on my son’s 13u and 14u PONY division swinging drop 10 bats. Switching to BBCOR (combined with better pitching) from a drop 10 bat is so drastic that typically, mechanics change for the worse and hitting results plummet. The switch to BBCOR contributes to some players deciding to quit the game.

The local coaches with whom I’ve discussed BBCOR have all said that it’s very helpful to practice with increased weight for many months before BBCOR bats are required. So it might look something like this:

January through May of 13u year: Use a drop 8 bat for games, drop 5 off the tee. Even better if a player is big/strong enough to start with such heavy bats at an earlier age, but many players won’t be big enough until they’re 13.
June and July: Use a drop 5 bat for games, BBCOR off a tee
August: Begin using BBCOR always as a 14u.
Also helpful is to regularly do calisthenics such as pushups, pullups, crunches, planks, and squats.

It’s very important to maintain good mechanics when switching to a heavier bat. It can be helpful to practice with the heavier bat off a tee, being careful to focus on good mechanics, rather than just at batting practice and games where the player will focus more on hand eye coordination than mechanics. Read more

BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution) is something you’ve probably heard a lot about; it’s the standard currently governing adult baseball bats used in High School and Collegiate play. Rather than measuring the ratio of the ball exit speed to pitch and bat speeds, BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat.

-3 is BBCOR. That’s high school and college. USSSA is what we used this year. They should allow USA also.

I think 14U is usually BBCOR. 13U leagues are sometimes BBCOR.

14U & Below: You may use either a 2 5/8″ or 2 3/4″ barrel diameter with a maximum allowed length of 36 inches. Your bat must feature either the USSSA 1.15 BPF certification or the BBCOR .50 certification.

All bats must be stamped BBCOR. Wood bats allowed. 19u: To be considered a wood bat, a bat must be made of a single piece of wood. All other bats such as bamboo or two piece must meet the BBCOR standards and have the BBCOR stamp

Adult baseball bats must have a -3 length to weight ratio and 2” barrel. In high school and collegiate sanctioned leagues, bats must be 31″-34″ long to be legal.

BEST BASEBALL BATS FOR HIGH SCHOOL
  • Easton Beast (X Speed BBCOR)-High School/College (-3 Drop)
  • Marucci MCBC7 (Cat7 BBCOR)
  • Louisville Slugger Omaha (517 BBCOR -3)
  • Rawlings Velo (Hybrid Balanced BBCOR) High School /College.
  • Louisville Slugger Solo (617 BBCOR-3)

Read more

Additional References

2019 – Twelve and Under

In 2018, many league requirements forced players to purchase new, and expensive, bats that complied with the USA Bat Policy (i.e. bats stamped with the “USA Baseball” logo). However, this year they have reversed course so now the “old” USSSA bats will once again be permitted for league play along with USA Bats.

Bats come down to personal preference, so if your player is happy with a USA bat, he can continue to use it. However, most kids prefer the older, big barrel (2 5/8″) USSSA bats as they have more pop which results in the ball travelling farther when hit. Right now, you can find tons of quality used bats USSSA bats on e-Bay at a fraction of their original cost and most are lightly used and come with new grips, making them feel like new bats. Another option would be to search local, used sporting goods retailers but that takes more leg work than shopping on-line. Please note that while 2 5/8″ barrels are approved, 2 3/4″ barrels are not approved for HCTB play; however, some tournaments may permits the use of those bats.

Be sure to check your individual league website for updates and information on bat restrictions.

2019 Bat Rules

Age Group Bats
8U-10U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
11U-12U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
13U USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel, USA Bat (No barrel restrictions), or BBCOR
14U-19U BBCOR Only
Some of the best USSSA Baseball Bats
  • DeMarini CF Zen -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (WTDXCBZ-18)
  • Easton Ghost X -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (SL18GX10)
  • Marucci Hex Alloy 2 -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (MSBHA2X10)
  • Louisville Slugger Solo 618 -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (WTLSLS618X10)
  • COMBAT MAXUM -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (SL8MX210)

Effective January 1st, 2018

USA Baseball is introducing a NEW standard. Traditionally, rules were always based on age groups. For example, 12U players are allowed to use baseball bats up to thirty-three (33) inches in length and less than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Now the new rule requires that bat barrels up to 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter are REQUIRED to carry the new USABat stamp.

USSSA has had a stated 1.15 BPF Small Barrel (2¼” barrels) and Big Barrel (2⅝” and 2¾” barrel bats) baseball bat performance standard in its rule book for 6 years for its sanctioned programs up to and including its 14U program. Read more

Traditionally, there has long been some confusion on the specific weight/length ratio limits, as well as the composition differences between wood, metal (aluminium), composite and BBCOR. When you move up to 13U they can use thirty-four (34) inch bats, and composite is allowed if BBCOR barrel is no larger than 2 5/8. Read more | Bat Standards | Announcement

Youth Baseball Bats that feature a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter and are often lighter, with a length to weight ratio between -8 and -13. Youth bats are sometimes referred to as small barrel bats or Little League baseball bats, and are used by players that play in leagues that mandate a bat with a 2 1/4 inch barrel. Most will be Little League approved bats and should also be legal in one or more of the following associations: Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, or USSSA. If you’re in search of youth baseball bat sales, check out our Closeout Youth Bats or Youth Bat Packs page for discount bats and great deals! Read more


The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.

Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USA Baseball bat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.

There will be no immediate change to youth baseball organizations’ bat rules. All bats, currently accepted for the respective leagues, remain permissible through December 31, 2017. Each participating national member organization will incorporate the new standard into their rules for the 2018 season and will begin, with this announcement, to inform their membership of the USABat standard.

Frequently Asked Questions about the USABat standard:

Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?
To date, the following organizations are participating (in alphabetical order): American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.

Why the change to a wood-like standard?
USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.

Why not just use wood bats?
Wood is a scarce resource. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood, where its performance will be limited to the highest performing wood.

How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?
Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups.

Why is USA Baseball involved?
The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard. Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard.

Why wait until 2018?
The implementation date of 2018 will allow bat manufacturers sufficient time to conduct the appropriate research, design, testing, manufacturing and shipping needed to get new bats into retail outlets. This date also allows the participating national member organizations adequate time to educate their memberships of the USABat standard.

Is my current bat good for league play?
Yes. Current league-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017.

Is safety the reason for the change?
No. Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.

How will I know which bat to buy?
All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations.

When can I buy the new bat?
It is the intention of the bat manufacturers to make the new bats available in the fall of 2017, in sufficient time for the 2018 season. Read more


Other bat retailers I recommend include:

Little League World Series

Friday on our way back from Cooperstown, my son Blake and I visited Williamsport, PA and met the Japan team. Click here

Little League World Series

The Little League Baseball World Series is an annual baseball tournament in the eastern United States for children (typically boys) aged 10 to 12 years old. Originally called the National Little League Tournament, it was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. The Series was first held 72 years ago in 1947 and is held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.[3] (Although the postal address of the organization is in Williamsport, the Series itself is played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Volunteer Stadium at the Little League headquarters complex in South Williamsport.)

Initially, only teams from the United States competed in the Series, but it has since become a worldwide tournament. The tournament has gained popular renown, especially in the United States, where games from the Series and even from regional tournaments are broadcast on ESPN. The United States collectively as a country has won a plurality of the series, although from 1969 to 1991 teams from Taiwan dominated the series, winning in 15 out of those 23 years. Taiwan’s dominance during those years has been attributed to a national effort to combat its perceived diplomatic isolation around the world. From 2010 through 2018, teams from Tokyo, Japan have similarly dominated the series, winning five of those matchups.

While the Little League Baseball World Series is frequently referred to as just the Little League World Series, it is actually one of twelve tournaments sponsored by Little League International, in twelve different locations. Each of them brings community teams from different Little League International regions around the world together in baseball (five age divisions), girls’ softball (four age divisions), and boys’ softball (three divisions). The tournament structure described here is that used for the Little League Baseball World Series. The structure used for the other World Series is similar, but with different regions.

The 2019 Little League World Series is being held from August 15 to August 25 at the Little League headquarters complex in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Eight teams from the United States and eight teams from around the world are competing in the 73rd edition of the Little League World Series.

Tournament changes
Among the changes made by the Little League International Board of Directors to the rules, regulations, and policies of Little League was introduction of a rule concerning tied games. Should a game complete seven innings with the score still tied, the offensive team in each subsequent half-inning will start with a runner placed on second base. The runner is the player in the team’s batting order who is scheduled to bat last in the half-inning. Read more

Watch Virginia vs. Louisiana and Watch Louisiana vs. Hawaii below. Visit main website – Click here


Mr. Hoover