All posts by Brooks Shumate

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Base Running

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.

Rickey Henderson

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.

Below are some other interesting links:

Wally Backman

Reference Our Bench Coach on the 12U RPBL Rangers A Travel Team told me about Wally. Watch his YouTube video of getting a lead on 1st Base

Help me, Help you

Some of my favorite players include Hank Aaron, Aaron Judge, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth.

Batting Lineup

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.


Hustle

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.”

Triple Crown

Country House

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
3. Tacitus
4. Improbable
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

LOUISVILLE, KY – MAY 07: Guests engage with a Kentucky Derby horse at 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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

Secretariat

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

Watch the movie – Click here

Kentucky Derby

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

Saturday, May 20th is the Preakness

Pimlico

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.[3]

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

Belmont Stakes

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.

Are you a “Change Agent”?

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”

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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.
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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.

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BPR: “Using Radical Change to Improve Organizational Performance” – Accelerate Evolution


Think Different
“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.”

Watch => https://youtu.be/AL3TQtJDr0U

Crawl before you can Walk

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.

Sparky Anderson

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

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).

Erik Michael Bakich (born November 27, 1977) is an American college baseball coach. He is currently the head baseball coach at Michigan. Bakich previously was the head coach at Maryland and served as an assistant coach at Vanderbiltand Clemson.

Other references

Assistant Coach of the Year

Top 10 College Baseball Coaches under 40

The Ripken Way

Cal Ripken Jr. acknowledges the crowd after officially breaking Lou Gehrig’s record.

IRONMAN

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 BaseballPrintable 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

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

INFIELD

Infield defense can be broken down into two parts: catching and throwing. It’s as simple as that. If we don’t catch the ground ball, we certainly can’t throw it. If you take that concept to its extreme form, a double play is five simple parts: a catch, a throw, a catch, a throw and a catch. Click on Infield Lessons with Bill & Cal: Defense-Catch & Throw, Playing Catch, Get Wide, Roll Ball Drill, Backhand, Throwing Side Foot-Backhand Drill, Glove Side Foot-Backhand Drill, Routine Backhand Play, Infield Throwing, Underhand Flip, Underhand Toss Drill, Box Drill Short-Second, Box Drill Second-Short, Double Play, Firstbase Fundamentals

OUTFIELD

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

PITCHING

As a pitching coach or an instructor, you do most of your work from behind the mound watching pitchers throw. There is a certain progression to use when you are observing pitchers. The first thing to do, especially when watching pitchers for the first time, is to just observe. Resist the urge to discuss any theories or any expectations. Just give them the ball and let them throw for 10 minutes. When watching pitchers throw for the first time, it’s important to look for three things, and one of them isn’t mechanics. Don’t really concentrate on mechanics as one of the first things. Click on Pitching Lessons with John Habyan: Mechanics-Strikes, Five Links, Four Seam Fastball Grip, Two Seam FB Grip, Five Links of Chain, One Knee Drill, Tee Drill, Power Position Drill, Breaking Balls-Grip, Breaking Ball-Mechanics, Change Up

LIGHT BULBS

Lessons: First Baseman, Box Drill-Cross Over Step, Following Pitch

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