Everyone I spoke to said Golden State would sweep the Raptirs. They are stacked with 3 Hall of Fame basketball players. Well, unfortunately due to injury Kevin Durant did not have a chance to help. Read more
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, centre, celebrates with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. Kings of the NBA: Toronto Raptors capture 1st crown in thrilling win over Warriors Read more
With a victory in Game 6, the Raptors dethrone the league’s reigning dynasty and claim the first title in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard goes to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during during Game 6. Toronto Raptors Win the NBA Championship – WSJ Read more
What do you do when you hit the ball? How do you get a hit? Read “Lost Art of Bunting“. Even after a 3rd dropped strike with nobody on 1st base and less than 2 outs. Fortunately, I live near Al Bumbry and have spoken to him multiple times in person. Read more
Earlier this year during “Winter Spring Training” Al gave my son Blake a lesson on taking a lead off of 1st base. It was almost identical to Coach Justin above.
He is my all time favorite!!! When I went up to Cooperstown last year I was in tears watching Rickey interview and how he played the game. Read more
Rickey Henderson was the fastest, most aggressive base runner I have ever watched play baseball. His stats and success speak for themselves. Notice he has 1,406 lifetime stolen bases, appeared in 2 World Series games and 10 All-Star games.
If there was ever the PERFECT Lead-Off hitter, it was definitely Rickey Henderson
THE LEADOFF: Your leadoff should be one of your team’s best hitters and fastest players. The goal of any good leadoff hitter is to get on base, however they can. Your on-base percentage leader should fit well in the leadoff spot, if you’re keeping track of that stat. Remember, whether they hit the ball for contact or they walk, they’ve got to get on base. Speed is a plus for this position. Don’t look for power in the leadoff—save power hitters for later when there are more baserunners positioned. If your kids are competing for this spot, remind them that the leadoff hitter usually only leads once.
Some of my favorite players include Hank Aaron, Aaron Judge, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth.
THE LEADOFF: Your leadoff should be one of your team’s best hitters and fastest players. The goal of any good leadoff hitter is to get on base, however they can. Your on-base percentage leader should fit well in the leadoff spot, if you’re keeping track of that stat. Remember, whether they hit the ball for contact or they walk, they’ve got to get on base.
Speed is a plus for this position. Don’t look for power in the leadoff—save power hitters for later when there are more baserunners positioned. If your kids are competing for this spot, remind them that the leadoff hitter usually only leads once.
2 SPOT: The 2-spot player is on-deck at the start of the game and should be a fundamentally sound hitter. You must rely on them to make contact with the ball. The goal of the second hitter is to advance your leadoff player, as well as make it on-base themselves. Players who frequently strike out will kill momentum in this position.
3 HOLE: Just as before, the 3 hole should be one of your team’s best hitters. This can be someone who has a great batting average and doesn’t lack power.
This position should be filled by a good all-around hitter who really gets the concept of batting against another player. You want the 3 hole to move players around, or drive in the first runs of the game. If you look at your stats and see a player with a comparatively high batting average, a couple doubles and several RBIs on the season, try batting them third.
CLEANUP: One of the most admired spots in the batting lineup, the cleanup position is typically your most powerful hitter. In youth baseball, that doesn’t just mean the player that has a lot of homeruns. The cleanup player hits the ball hard. Hard hits typically get through the infield and sometimes can get to an outfield gap or even past an unskilled outfielder. When this player steps to the plate, the infielders take a step back.
5 POSITION: Sometimes the cleanup hitter doesn’t quite clear the bases—and that’s what the 5-spot is for. Like the cleanup position, the player batting fifth should have higher than average batting power. This player should not strike out as much as feast-or-famine cleanup hitter, but should still be able to crank out a few doubles or hard-hit singles. When you examine your stat sheet, look for players who are hitting more than singles and are in the bottom half of all strikeouts (or who have a lower-than-average strikeout to at-bat ratio). Throughout the year, you’ll want to switch up your fourth and fifth positions. This will challenge your players and give you a better idea of who fits best in which role.
SPOTS 6 & 7: Unless you’re one lucky youth baseball coach, this is where you’ll probably reach a challenge in your lineup. The 6 and 7 spots are important in your lineup, even if they don’t perform as well at the plate. A batting average of .200 or .225 can wreak havoc on the other team. Hope for singles from these players, or try putting a good bunter in this role. If you’ve got players who are about equal in hitting ability, speed should be the deciding factor.
BATTING 8: At the youth level, the 8 spot is ideal for developing hitters. In many cases, the 8 position is for a player who is the worst fundamental hitter on your team and strikes out the most. Remember, every team has a player who has not yet caught onto hitting.
9 PLAYER: This less-than-desirable spot is often reserved for the weakest hitter on the team—but we think the nine guy is worth extra consideration.
At the youth level, you should make it a habit to shuffle your 7 to 9-spot hitters, so you do not consistently send a negative message to any one player. The 9 spot should not go to your player who strikes out the most, but someone who you’ve seen scatter singles throughout the season. This player could jumpstart a middle inning for the top of the order.
BATTING THROUGH YOUR LINEUP
In many youth baseball organizations, your team must bat through the lineup. That is to say, if you have 12 kids on a team, all 12 must bat before you start at the top of the order. In these cases, we suggest you follow the above guidelines for positions 1 to 7 then rotate players 8 to 12, keeping them even on at-bats when the season closes.
Remember, your job as coach is to ensure your roster is having fun, developing skills and gaining confidence. Playing a less competitive team? Consider changing up your lineup to challenge your team and give everyone an opportunity. They may surprise you—and themselves.
Well Coached Players: “The best situation for all of us is for you to plan on handing these kids over to me and the assistant coaches when you drop them off, and plan on them being mine for the 2 or so hours that we have scheduled for a game, or the time that we have scheduled for the practice. I would like for these boys to have some responsibility for having their own water, not needing you to keep running to the concession stand, or having parents behind the dugout asking their son if they are thirsty, or hungry…
Players on the bench will not be messing around. I will constantly be talking with them about situations and what they would be doing if they were in a specific position, or if they were the batter.” ~Mike Matheny. Often I find myself saying to my 10 year old son, “Help me, Help you” similar to scene from Jerry Maguire played by Tom Cruise. However, be careful showing this to young women because clip ends with Cuba Gooding parading around locker room in the nude (Caution: R rated).
Nevertheless, whether you are a sports agent or a parent coach, the responsibility and sacrifice can be daunting at times, to say the least.
Baserunning is a fundamental of the game that incorporates many facets that players can work on no matter what their running speed. Coaches of young players often do not work with their teams on this part of the game. Running the bases is an art. If coaches teach baserunning correctly, they will increase the ability of their players to steal bases and take extra bases. Fast base runners force fielders to throw to another base because the runner got there quicker than the fielder expected. In the field, faster players are able to get to and catch more balls. Before working on baserunning, coaches need to teach young players how to run properly and have them run every day to get faster. Speed and agility training is an important part of helping young players develop their athleticism. After a young player has developed his athleticism, all the facets of baserunning become a lot easier. Most of the time players cannot develop athleticism by playing baseball. This should be a priority when it comes to helping young players run the bases better.
To work on running and running the bases, your warm-ups in practice and before games need to be organized around running. Running needs to become a habit for young players. You can begin and end practices with fun running drills and games. Keep in mind that you always want to end practices with a competitive and fun activity because the last thing they do is what they remember. You want them remembering that practice was fun so that they learn faster.
Coaches should talk to track coaches to learn the proper running techniques so that they can help their players run better. Track coaches can teach the techniques and drills that allow players to perfect their running.
A few things need to be taught to help with all facets of baserunning. First is the ability to move quickly from one spot to another. This art is used in baseball and in many other sports. It begins with the hip turn, pushing off one foot and going. This turn will help runners and fielders. In this technique, players turn their hips as quickly as possible, keep the feet low to the ground, and turn on the angle that they need to run. The hip turn helps them move their feet faster. As they turn their hips and their feet touch the ground, they push off with the back foot. This turn can be practiced in warm-up drills, as we explain in the following drills. Read more
To be a well-rounded baseball player, you must develop and practice your base running skills. As my Guide To Base Running Strategy states, because rounding the bags happens almost every play, it is critical to allot time each practice to base running.
To be a talented base runner, you must first recognize when the defense makes a mistake, then be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Develop your team’s base running skills with the following four drills. Each base running drill can be practiced individually, in small groups, or as a team—to incorporate a unified base running mentality.
Base Running Drills
Ground Ball Reads: Anytime a player can eliminate the need for a sacrifice bunt to preserve an out, it’s a huge advantage for the offense. Consider the benefit for your team if you habitually advanced from first base to third through a series of steals.
The Drill: The drill begins with a runner at first, taking a conservative lead. The coach feeds himself the ball and hits it toward centerfield. When the coach feeds himself the ball—the toss serves as the pitch—the runner takes a secondary lead. Once the ball is hit, the runner reacts to the ball by sprinting to second base, while keeping his eye on the ball and the fielder. Before arriving at second base, the runner should have already made a decision on whether to advance to third. As a rule of thumb, continue to third base if you reach second before the outfielder has the ball. Keep in mind: it’s far easier to slam on the brakes than turn on the jets. If the fielder has the ball, simply round the bag and watch the throw, ready to take advantage of a throwing error.
Dirtball Reads: When a pitcher throws a ball in the dirt, take advantage of the opportunity by stealing an extra base. If a ball skips away from the catcher, runners must take advantage of the situation by advancing. The trouble lies with in-between balls, those that stray out of the batter’s box but not out of the dirt circle. This is where a little anticipation comes in handy. Know the count, the situation, where the other runners are and what they may be thinking. If it’s a breaking ball count (0-2, 1-2, even 1-1), expect a ball in the dirt and take an extra step toward the next base. This drill should be performed with a loaded infield and any number of runner combinations. The runners should start at any base in the infield. The coach short hops the ball to home plate, so the catcher, forced to block the ball, allows the runners time to read the situation and quickly decide whether to advance to the next base. The coach should keep the runners honest by mixing in strikes.
Tennis Ball Drop: Obviously, there is no better way to improve your stealing skills than to face a pitcher practicing his pickoff moves. However, this opportunity isn’t always available. When a pitcher isn’t available, use the Tennis Ball Drop drill to improve your reaction time. With a player on the pitcher’s mound holding a tennis ball, the runner takes a lead off first base. The player releases the tennis ball, triggering the runner’s break for second base. Whether the runner runs the full distance to second base, the first ten feet, or halfway, it doesn’t matter, since the first few steps are most important. The player on the mound should vary his release time to eliminate any chance for the runner to time up the pitch.
Resistance Steal Breaks: When it comes to stealing, your first step is your most important. This drill can be done with a tennis ball, a live pitcher or verbal signals. The runner starts by taking a normal lead off first base. Instead of balancing his weight on both feet equally, the runner should exaggerate his lean toward second base by placing more weight on his right foot. A partner standing to the right of the runner place his hands on the runner’s forward leaning (right ) shoulder. The runner should feel somewhat unbalanced. Once in this position, the partner lets go, then pushes the runner forward, propelling him into a sprint. This forces the runner to run fast enough to keep his balance. This drill makes the runner explode out of the gate toward second base. Again, the distance you run can vary between the first ten feet to the entire distance. Just make sure to concentrate on a good start. Read more
Excellence: Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics. Baseball is also the only place in life where a sacrifice is really appreciated. “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”
In the most controversial decision in Kentucky Derby history, 65-to-1 long shot Country House was named the winner of the race after Maximum Security, who went under the wire first, was disqualified by stewards. In 1968, In the most incredible post-running of the Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was disqualified for interference on Saturday and Country Home was declared the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby history was set Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Maximum Security led nearly wire-to-wire in the Run of the Roses, but a ruling upon objection caused the horse to be the first winner ever disqualified in the American Triple Crown race for a riders’ objection. So yes, Country House has won the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The second-biggest underdog ever to win at 65-1 came out ahead in part because it stayed wide while previously undefeated Maximum Security caused a ruckus inside. Code of Honor finished second, and Tacitus was third in the rectified results. Country House likely was not impacted as Maximum Security left its lane, but Country House’s team (his jockey was Flavien Prat, and his trainer William I. Mott) pulled the objection because of a wide swing that likely caused War of Will and possibly other horses to slow down. The winner of a Kentucky Derby never had been disqualified.
Maximum Security took an early lead as many expected on the wet track and led for most of the early going, which was expected by SportsLine horse-racing expert Hank Goldberg. He held it all the way, only to see the victory taken by review.
2019 Kentucky Derby Final Results
1. Country House
2. Code of Honor
5. Game Winner
DQ: Maximum Security
Kentucky Derby payout information
Country House, 65-1 — WIN $132.40, PLACE $56.60, SHOW $24.60
Code of Honor, 14-1 — PLACE $15.20 SHOW $9.80
Tacitus, 5-1 — SHOW $5.60
$2 exacta — $3,009.60
$1 trifecta — $11,475.30
$1 superfecta — $51,400.10
This is the second straight year the Derby was held on a sloppy track after record rainfall drenched Churchill Downs in 2018. The weather didn’t exactly put a damper on the previous winner, either, as Justify not only snapped a more than 100-year-old Apollo Curse but went on to win the American Triple Crown thanks in part due to his performance in muddy Louisville. The win marked the fifth career Kentucky Derby victory for trainer Bob Baffert, who had three different horses in Saturday’s competition.
Winner is the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at 9-2. Game Winner is followed by Roadster and Improbable (both at 5-1). The entire event along with pre-race coverage and more on www.NBCSports.com (including streaming Friday through Saturday).
Live event coverage from the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will take place on Saturday with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET. Game Winner is now the favorite to win Saturday after Omaha Beach was scratched. Read more
Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).Mar 30, 2016
Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner, at the 1919 Preakness Stakes
American Pharoah, the 12th and latest winner, at the 2015 Preakness Stakes
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. These races are now run annually in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner.
Only twelve horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).
Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races. His time of 2:24 for 1 1⁄2 miles in the 1973 Belmont Stakes also set a world record that still stands. Read more
An older stallion. Sire Bold Ruler. Grandsire Nasrullah. Dam Somethingroyal. Damsire Princequillo. Sex Stallion. Foaled March 30, 1970 The Meadow, Caroline County, Virginia. Died October 4, 1989 (aged 19) Claiborne Farm Paris, Kentucky. Breeder Meadow Stud (Christopher Chenery). Owner Meadow Stable (Christopher Chenery, Penny Chenery). Racing colors Blue, white blocks, white stripes on sleeves, blue cap. Trainer Lucien Laurin. Record
21:16–3–1. Earnings $1,316,808
Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who, in 1973, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. His record-breaking win in the Belmont Stakes, where he left the field 31 lengths behind him, is widely regarded as one of the greatest races of all time. During his racing career, he won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. In the List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Secretariat is second only to Man o’ War (racing career 1919–1920), who also was a large chestnut colt given the nickname “Big Red”.
At age two, Secretariat finished fourth in his 1972 debut in a maiden race, but then won seven of his remaining eight starts, including five stakes victories. His only loss during this period was in the Champagne Stakes, where he finished first but was disqualified to second for interference. He received the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old colt, and also was the 1972 Horse of the Year, a rare honor for a horse so young. At age three, Secretariat not only won the Triple Crown, he set speed records in all three races. His time in the Kentucky Derby still stands as the Churchill Downs track record for 1 1⁄4 miles, and his time in the Belmont Stakes stands as the American record for 1 1⁄2 miles on the dirt. His controversial time in the Preakness Stakes was eventually recognized as a stakes record in 2012. Secretariat’s win in the Gotham Stakes tied the track record for 1 mile, he set a world record in the Marlboro Cup at 1 1⁄8 miles and further proved his versatility by winning two major stakes races on turf. He lost three times that year: in the Wood Memorial, Whitney and Woodward Stakes, but the brilliance of his nine wins made him an American icon. He won his second Horse of the Year title, plus Eclipse Awards for champion three-year-old colt and champion turf horse.
At the beginning of his three-year-old year, Secretariat was syndicated for a record-breaking $6.08 million on condition that he be retired from racing by the end of the year. Although he sired several successful racehorses, he ultimately was most influential through his daughters’ offspring, becoming the leading broodmare sire in North America in 1992. Secretariat died in 1989 due to laminitis. His daughters produced several notable sires, including Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Gone West, Dehere and Chief’s Crown, and through them Secretariat appears in the pedigree of many modern champions. He continues to be recognized as one of the greatest horses in American racing history. Read more
Saturday, May 6th @ 2:30pm is the 143rd running of the Derby
Check out the News. The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. Location: Churchill Downs; Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Track: Left-handed. Distance: 1 1⁄4 miles (10 furlongs; 2,012 m). Purse: US$2 million; 1st: $1,425,000. Record: 1: 59 2⁄5 secs, Secretariat (1973). Qualification: 3-year-old. Inaugurated: 1875.
The Infield – The People’s Race…The People’s Party
Opened in the fall of 1870, with the colt Preakness winning the first running of the Dinner Party Stakes. Three years later the horse would have the 1873 Preakness Stakes named in his honor. The track is also noted as the home for the match race in which Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in the second Pimlico Special, on November 1, 1938, before a crowd of 43,000. The capacity of the stadium is 98,983.
The Preakness Stakes and the Pimlico Special are run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles. The Pimlico track record for that distance is held by Farma Way, who set it while winning the Pimlico Special in 1991.
In the century and more since its opening, Pimlico Race Track has weathered much outside history including the 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore, Great Depression of the 1930s, and several notable Baltimore riots. Pimlico also survived Prohibition and even an anti-gambling movement in 1910. As Alfred G. Vanderbilt said, “Pimlico is more than a dirt track bounded by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past.” The races held at Pimlico, especially the Preakness, draw spectators from the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2007, the official attendance was 121,263 for the Preakness, the most people to watch a sporting event in Maryland history. More than $87.2 million in bets were made.
On March 23, 2010 an agreement was reached to sell the two Maryland Jockey Club tracks (Pimlico and Laurel Park) from Magna Entertainment Corporation to its parent company, MI Development. On May 7, Penn National, with MI Development, announced they would jointly own and operate the Maryland Jockey Club. Penn National, which began in 1973, operating a thoroughbred race track near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has grown to become the largest racetrack operator in the country.
In June 2011, The Stronach Group took control of the tracks when MI Development bought out Penn National Gaming’s minority stake in the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Laurel Park Racecourse, Pimlico, and a training facility in Bowie. The Stronach Group is owned by Canadian horse breeder and owner Frank Stronach, who also was MI Development’s chairman and chief executive, a position he gave up in order to run Maryland’s racetracks. Penn National bought a 49% stake in the Jockey Club in 2010 in hopes of securing a slots license at Laurel Park. Read more
The 149th Running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Read more. The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg).
The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion and The Run for the Carnations, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.
The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.
My Dad always said, “Son, there are three kinds of people in life.
People that make things happen.
People that watch things happen.
People that say, ‘what happened?
What kind of person are you?
In addition, when I was in grad school @ JHU, I took a course on “Business Process Reengineering”.
In short, BPR means “Radical Change”
BPR: “Using Radical Change to Improve Organizational Performance”
Sometimes-radical redesign and reorganization of an enterprise is necessary to lower costs and increase quality of service. Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is the practice of rethinking and redesigning the way work is done to better support an organization’s mission and reduce costs.
Reengineering starts with a high-level assessment of the organization’s mission, strategic goals, and customer needs.
Basic questions are asked, such as “Does our mission need to be redefined? Are our strategic goals aligned with our mission? Who are our customers?” An organization may find that it is operating on questionable assumptions, particularly in terms of the wants and needs of its customers.
Only after the organization rethinks what it should be doing, does it go on to decide how best to do it.
BPR projects are typically aligned along 7 principles to streamline the work process and thereby achieve significant levels of improvement in quality, time management, speed and profitability:
Organize around outcomes, not tasks.
Identify all the processes in an organization and prioritize them in order of redesign urgency.
Integrate information processing work into the real work that produces the information.
Treat geographically dispersed resources as though they were centralized.
Link parallel activities in the workflow instead of just integrating their results.
Put the decision point where the work is performed, and build control into the process.
Capture information once and at the source.
The Accelerate Evolution team has accumulated many years of experience through in-depth exposure to BPR exercises in large multinational and regional organizations alike.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help your organization transform itself to improve the here and now and be better prepared for the future.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Everything I’ve read to date suggests that if you want to be SUCCESSFUL, find somebody who is and copy everything they do.
It’s that simple.
However, if you have more than a High School degree you might make this more complicated than it really is. Not only did I have a FANTASTIC education in College @ Johns Hopkins University 1992-2000 with Michael Bloomberg giving the commencement speech upon graduation; I also attended a great college preparatory school named Boys Latin and another parochial school named John Carroll. Today when I meet people and they ask me, “What do I do for a living”, I typically say, “not much”.
When they ask me where I went to school, I usually say, “it’s a long story”.
In 2019, I have the opportunity to be apart of two(2) baseball teams that are both playing in a NATIONAL 12U tournament in Cooperstown New York. In 2018, I was just a FAN watching my son play @ the Legendary Dream Park . This year I am an OFFICIAL member of a 4 man coaching staff on the Roland Park Baseball Leagues 12U Travel “A Team” that competes in Harford County (HCTB)and various other tournaments around the area.
The other team is a BIG surprise, called Lutherville (LTRC) which not only has one of the BEST baseball rec programs, they are considered #1 in Football, Lacrosse, Basketball, Soccer in both Men and Women’s sports. Since my son has made some great friends playing sports, one of his teammates was invited to play on this travel team at the OTHER Cooperstown venue called Cooperstown All-Star Village. His name is Jonah Stockton and in my opinion is perhaps one of the BEST all around athletes in Maryland. I would like to say my son is better but Jonah is about 6 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. That makes a difference, all things being equal. Short guys have to work even harder.
Off the record, I tell Blake, “just do everything that Jose Altuve does and you will be fine. I also think Dustin Pedroia is a another great role model for shorter guys. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to meet the legendary Orioles Hall of Famer and MLB All-star second baseman Brian Roberts at a unique Bible Study I attend @ Baltimore Country Club about 10 years ago.
In case you did not know, Dream Park is where Bryce Harper and Mike Trout both played when they were 12 years old. It has become so popular that they are SOLD OUT 13 weeks of the year every year. Every week during June, July and August over 100 teams from around the United States come to Cooperstown to play in this VERY special tournament. But, little did I know, for the kids it is even more – it is a WEEK LONG sleep-away camp.
So, getting back to the whole BLOG title – “Crawl before you can walk”. For the 1st time in about 14 years I am NOT the head coach of a team so far in 2019. Even before my children were born I was asked to help coach at Boys Latin baseball. When my daughter arrived on May 23, 2004 I started coaching little league rec baseball. Then when she was about 4-5 I started coaching her girls soccer teams, both outdoor and indoor. Then my son Blake was born on December 20, 2006 and the rest is history – read bio under coaching menu.
Meanwhile, I am just an Assistant Coach and it sucks NOT being in charge. I already am well aware of my LIMITATIONS! When I was a college professor @ Towson University, I remember getting a SURVEY at the end of the semester and multiple students agreed that I was the biggest Control Freak they ever met.
So, once again, I go back to the SIMPLE formula mentioned above. KISS – keep it simple stupid. Find a great assistant coach and do everything they do. If you think you know more than the head coach, suck it and accept that he is in that position for a reason. Learn from him!!!
Five Legendary Baseball Coaches
The best coaches are what legends are made of. Through their commitment to players and innovative strategies, they are able to push the team to levels the players never thought was possible. Out of all of the legendary coaches who have come and gone, these five coaches are some of the best ever.
Born as George Lee Anderson, Sparky Anderson played baseball in the Major Leagues before he started to manage teams. While he was with the Cincinnati Reds, his team reached the championships in both 1975 and 1976. A third title was added in 1984 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. He holds the record for being the first coach to win the World Series in both leagues. Over the course of his career, his teams garnered 2,194 wins. He was later admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Tony La Russa
Tony La Russa was born in 1944. He quickly rose up the ranks as a major league baseball player before turning into a head coach. Interestingly, he received a law degree from Florida State University following his MLB career, so he is one of the few managers who is also allowed to practice law. As a manager, Tony led his teams to a total of 12 division titles, 3 World Series titles and 6 league championships. Over the course of the last 33 seasons, his teams have won 2,728 games. This places him as the manager with the third most wins in the history of the major league. IN 2013, he was inducted to the Hall of Fame for his years playing and coaching baseball.
Joe Torre was born in Brooklyn, New York. As he grew up, he became one of the top players in Major League Baseball with 2,000 hits. As a coach, he attained 2,000 wins, which makes him the only person to achieve both of these goals. He spent 29 seasons working as a manager and started with the Mets. Torre’s greatest success was a .605 winning percentage for the regular season with the Yankees. While he was managing the team, the Yankees achieved six American League pennants and four World Series titles. While he was there, the Yankees made the playoffs every year. By 2014, his impressive track record in the game led him to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Read more
So, since I attended University of Maryland in College Park 1985-1988, I’m going to start modeling my behavior after Erik Bakich (sounds like back ich, eric with a K).
Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record; truly one of baseball’s magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Perfect PRACTICE Makes Perfect
Practice does not make perfect. How is that possible? Because bad habits may be practiced, and practicing a flawed technique will get a player nowhere. The only way to do something is to do it right. Practicing good habits is what makes a better player. Habits are formed in practice and then become automatic in the game. You play like you practice; If you practice correctly, you will play correctly.
TEACHING Baseball… Printable Lessons as well as Video Lessons (click hyperlinks below) on the Basic Fundamentals of Hitting, Infield & Outfield Play, Pitching and even a Glossary. Instructors include Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, John Habyan and Joe Orsulak.
Hitting is probably the most difficult part of the game. However, it is also the most enjoyable and satisfying part, as we all love to hit a baseball. It’s difficult because the pitcher has the ability to throw the ball hard, or not so hard, or to make it curve or sink. As the hitter, we not only have to determine what pitch has been thrown, but also whether it is a strike or a ball. If it is a strike, we have to attempt to hit it. All of this must be done in a fraction of a second. Like all parts of the game there are basic fundamentals that can help make us become better hitters. Click on Hitting Lessons with Cal: Fundamentals, Choose Right Bat, Right Grip, Stance, Weight Shift, Release Point, Stride, Swing, Tee Drill, Soft Toss Drill, One Hand Drill, Make It Fun
Outfield play, especially at the youth levels, often gets overlooked. Even though the outfielder is not directly involved in the majority of plays, coaches need to stress the importance of the position. An outfielder has to be able to maintain concentration throughout the game, because there may only be one or two hit balls that come directly to that player during the course of the contest. Those plays could be the most important ones. There also are many little things an outfielder can do — backing up throws and other outfielders, cutting off balls and keeping runners from taking extra bases, and throwing to the proper cutoffs and bases – that don’t show up in a scorebook, but can really help a team play at a high level. Click on Outfield Lessons with Joe Orsulak: Straight Away, Good Stance, Pick Up Ball Off Bat, Cross Over Step, Drop Step, DS Drill, Get To Spot, Catch Ball, Fast-Slow-Fast, Throwing-Grip, Throw Using Body-Crow Hop, Make Accurate Throw
Most people think of Superheroes whenever the subject of heroes comes up.
9 Real Life Heroes Who Have Changed The World
Hero is perfect in every way, they can do no wrong, they always arrive on time, they look impeccable and they stick to a moral guideline which is built in to them. They become a somebody by saving ‘ordinary’ people on a daily basis and everyone wants to be like them. Everyone wants to be different. Heroes have set the standards pretty high because they’re this ideal person who always puts others before themselves, they’re good people. The people on this list are a true inspiration and it’s their decision to do what is right that makes them a hero in their own unique way. Read more
Have you ever been inspired by someone who taught you something?
I would like to share a story with you about a situation that happened last year during the regular baseball season. Specifically, the Roland Park Baseball Leagues (RPBL) “American League” rec program.
Umpire was in a hurry. Had somewhere more important to go to.
Opposing coaches were also anxious to end early
The league modified rules have some flaws and don’t make sense. Contradictory to the overall mission. “Big Fun”.
Problems with catcher and protection
Principles before personalities
Volunteers. Board of Directors. Control. Commissioner. Police.
“You can sit in a room and be thought a fool, or you can open your mouth and remove all doubt”.
What separates the best from the rest? What is it about the persona or message of great communicators that moves people and creates action? I would suggest that it all starts with a mastery of and a comfort with the spoken word, along with the ability to express ideas clearly. I would also suggest that a high degree of sincerity and trustworthiness is likewise applicable. Finally, it’s always helpful to know what you’re talking about. There is no such thing as private speaking. Famous examples from business, politics, sports and pop culture have left indelible impressions over the last year – both for better and for worse. Breaking out of the mold, the best communicators stepped up to the plate (one of them did that, literally), authentically speaking from the heart and letting passion drive. Likable, consistent and remarkably humble, they consistently connected with their audiences.
John Wooden. One of the most decorated coaches of any sport, Wooden helped transform the lives of hundreds of young men that came into his basketball program at UCLA. He is remembered not only for winning 10 NCAA national championships in 12 years, but for the discipline he demanded from himself and his players. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his “Pyramid of Success” book.
Winston Churchill. At the onset of World War II, England was in very real danger of being invaded and overrun by the seemingly invincible Nazi war machine. Churchill inspired his island nation not only with his memorable, magnificent words, but with his stubborn determination and indomitable courage to repulse the Germans and see the war through to a successful conclusion. And in the end, he was the leader who prevailed.
Ronald Reagan. The 40th President of the United States was often referred to as The Great Communicator. A trained actor, Reagan served as Governor of California before seeking national elective office. His wit, humor, and insight were used to great effect in his speeches, and his personal charm.
Robin Williams – He epitomized a critical skill of all top communicators – spontaneity and the ability to live in the moment. And of course he was unique, funny, and deserving of in memoriam honors for his work. But above all – he was present. He took what came at him, and made it work, as in this interruption during a USO Show last year. He used his brilliant mind, as well as his body and props to add physical expression to his words, as in his breakthrough first appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, as well as its final broadcast. Even when he gave a prepared acceptance speech for his Oscar in 1998, he was able to add humor in the moment, stay on track and inspire people at the same time.
Richard Branson – Mindful of the Experience. He asks questions, he openly loves learning, and he has built a reputation on innovation. Underlying all of this is the fact that Sir Richard Branson is just so darn likeable. In a world that judges quickly, he has that smile that immediately engages and draws his audience right in. We can’t help but get excited and get on-board with whatever he brings us. (No small feat – many of us struggle to bring a fraction of that lightness to business.)
This Sunday, Jan. 20 we have the following teams – LA vs. NO @ 3:05 PM and NE vs. KC @ 6:40 PM. Read more Many people I’ve spoken to say, “I don’t want the Patriots to win, but they certainly know how to win”. Eagles World Champions 2018 and Patriots in 2017 My prediction on the big contest – Superbowl LIII (53) on Feb 3, 2019 @ 6:30 PM is Chiefs over Saints (27-14). Ways to watch
Regular season is over. Atlanta Falcons are favored by 5 over Green Bay Packers. New England Patriots are favored by 7 over Pittsburgh Steelers. Initially, I wanted to see Aaron Rogers and Tom Brady face-off in the Super Bowl. However, after watching the first half, I can see why Matt Ryan is slated as the Most Valuable Player!
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, two of the most dominant AFC teams in the last decade and a half, are about to square off again in the postseason, but not just a usual playoff game — the AFC Championship game. With a spot in Super Bowl 51 on the line, Las Vegas is leaning towards New England, the home team, when it comes to the odds in this matchup. The opening line had the Patriots as 5-point favorites, and the line has gone up to 6-point favorites for the championship game. Read more
Also, CBS Sports has some nice news reports on the Playoffs & Standings.
#15/16 Football Battles #7/8 James Madison on Military Appreciation Day
When: Sat., Nov. 17, 2 p.m. kickoff Where: Johnny Unitas® Stadium Radio: CBS Sports Radio 1300
The No. 15/16 Towson University football team will close out the regular season with a battle for the ages on Military Appreciation Day, hosting No. 7/8 James Madison at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
This game is Military Appreciation Day, with a salute to our nation’s armed forces, and Senior Day, the final regular season contest for the Towson seniors. Read more
Let’s Pack The U
This Saturday at 2 p.m., the Towson University football team will play its most significant regular season finale since 2011. In that game, the Tigers played at Rhode Island with the CAA title on the line. The Tigers beat the Rams and made the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history.
But this week, believe it or not, more is on the line than in 2011. That team was pretty much assured a spot in the playoffs, win or lose. The 2018 version of the Tigers is assured nothing at this point. If you look at the history of who has gotten into the playoffs and who has been left out, right now Towson looks like it is sitting pretty. Don’t tell that to head coach Rob Ambrose though. He remembers very well how the 2012 Tiger team was left on the outside looking in with a record of 7-4. Read more
Flacco Selected to CFPA FCS National Performer of the Year
Tom Flacco has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Midseason FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy Watch List, announced by the organization on Thursday. Flacco is also on the Walter Payton Award Watch List for FCS Player of the Year.
Currently, the redshirt junior quarterback stands third in all of FCS with 340.4 yards of total offense per game, including being 12th in FCS with 275.2 passing yards per game. His 25 passing touchdowns, second-most in Towson single season history, is fourth in FCS.
Through 10 games for Towson, Flacco has amassed 2,752 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 652 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He has been at the helm of a Towson team that is 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), ranked in the top-16 of both major polls. Read more
Robinson Cano’s 10th inning home run lifts American League to All-Star Game victory (read more).
Aaron Judge currently has the top 5 hardest hit baseballs (e.g. approximately 121 mph.) in MLB history. He was the 2017 champion of the “Home Run Derby” the day before All-Star game.
It was also fun to watch Jose Altuve leadoff for the American League, who is one of the top hitters this year batting 0.353 (as of 7/20/17).
American League wins 4-2. Since 1988 the
American League has dominated, winning 22 of 29 with 1 tie (2002). Since inception, National League (43 Wins) American League (42 Wins).
I found it interesting there have been two ties (first one was in 1961 – Read more). This year the starting line-up for the American League included 4 Boston Red Sox Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley and Ortiz and the National League had their entire infield made up of 4 Chicago Cubs Rizzo, Russell, Bryant and Zobrist.
Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the “Midsummer Classic”, is an annual professional baseball game
sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between players from the American League (AL) and the National
League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.
The game usually occurs on either the second or third Tuesday in July, and is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the MLB season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually found within the previous calendar week). Both of the major leagues share a common All-Star break, with no regular-season games scheduled on the day before or the day after the All-Star Game itself (Read more). Johnny Cueto and Chris Sale will be the starting pitchers in the 87th All-Star Game to be played tonight at Petco Park in
Petco Park into a contest of “Can you top this?” For most of the night, the Miami Marlins right fielder found himself trying to outdistance himself, and in the process he stole the show. In the finals, he went first and put the third-seeded Frazier on the defensive. Of his 20 homers, 11 went 440 feet or more (Read more).
Since I’m a loyal Orioles fan, I was cheering for Machado and the other 4 players selected. What is really cool is the fact that no one ever hit a ball off the scoreboard at Petco Park until Mark Trumbo hit a 479-foot homer (Read more). Another really interesting statistic is all the young players who played tonight.
Unfortunately, some people think that the game doesn’t mean anything. However, winning or losing does affect the “home field advantage” for the 2016 World Series. Moreover, I personally believe it is a showcase of the “crim de la crim”. If you love the game as much as I do, it’s exciting to watch the raw
talent and the camaraderie of the best athletes.
Nevertheless, if you look back over the past 4 years that the A.L. had the home field advantage, Kansas City Royals won in 2015 4–1 over the New York Mets but in the previous year, it did not seem to make a difference losing to San Francisco Giants in Game #7 (2014). In 2012, San Francisco Giants also beat Detroit Tigers 4–0. Yet, in 2013, Boston Red Sox with home field advantage won 4–2 over St. Louis Cardinals (Read more).
It was officially decided in August 2009 at the IOC Board meeting in Berlin that baseball would not be included in the 2016 Summer Olympics. What a shame. It starts on August 5 (only three weeks away – Read more). However, the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has proposed the inclusion of five new sports in their event, with baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing being put forward (Read more).
This past spring at Roland Park Baseball, my son Blake started @ 3rd base in the annual RPBL All Star game (little league ages 9-10). Also, I had the honor to be selected as the manager and head coach and it was a blast!