Category Archives: Player

Every game is game seven.

Blaze-Pilots Semi-Finals Scorecard

Game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs). Read more

Last year, the Blaze finished the regular season in last place (0-14). There is something to be said for coming back from a large deficit. But what about turning around your entire life? Take Rollie Hemsley for example. Nevertheless, we finished the 2016 season with 9 wins, 2 loses and 2 ties which was good enough for the #3 seed going into the Playoffs.

Game of the Century

Blaze-Pilots Semi-Finals Scorecard

What is particularly interesting is the fact that our team really came on strong after May 16 disappointing loss to the Bears. We fault hard against the Royals a few days later and tied. But, best of all, going into the playoffs we had a 4 game winning streak.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”-Vince Lombardi

IMG_8273_1024

Final Four: Game Summary

  • Blaze took an early lead 3-1 after the 1st inning.
  • However, we gave up 7 runs in the 2nd inning and 4 runs in the 3rd inning.
  • At the end of three, we were losing 12-4 (down 8 runs).
  • Next thing you know, the Blaze came alive in the bottom of the 4th inning with 9 runs batted in during a 2 out rally.
  • In particular, Amelia smashed a 3 RBI homerun out of the park, followed by another 2 RBI homerun by Blake. This was enough to regain the lead.
  • Blake had 3 Ks in the top of the 5th inning and Henry struck out the final batter to get the save in the top of the 6th inning.
  • Blaze win 13-12. On to the World Series Championships!
  • Arguably, the most thrilling game of the century. At least the ONLY one that I was ever involved with that had such an amazing come from behind victory.

As a matter of fact, my very first Blog was about Victory and Defeat which I published back on April 17, 2016. Having attended Boys Latin High School, our slogan was Esse Quam Videri. Later in life, my favorite Latin expression became Carpe Diem after watching the movie “Dead Poet Society”.

Robin Williams, was another hero of mind. In this scene above, he concludes by saying,

“Thank you boys”

Keep in mind, we were one of the few teams with a girl. And to make it more interesting, she won the MVP twice during the regular season.

So, when I sat down to write this blog, I struggled for the best title. I love the expression, “Every game is game seven” because it remind me of the famous “One Day at a Time” proverb. But then I thought about the Roland Park Baseball League Mission “Little League, BIG FUN! The purpose of Roland Park Baseball is to instill sportsmanship and to provide a nurturing environment, which will allow the children to mature physically, mentally, and emotionally. Further, the league strives to work with parents to develop realistic expectations of their children.”

I love U2

I continued to wrestle for a title and thought about naming it “Never forget!” If this game doesn’t build a child’s memory, I don’t know what does. In fact, I believe that everyone that was at that game witnessed a miracle. Speaking of miracles, listen to the following song…

Have you ever looked up the lyrics of a song? I love U2. They are by far, my favorite band for a lot of reasons. Mostly because of the spiritual words in their songs.

“As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
John 9:5 (fast forward 4 minutes and 15 seconds)

When my wife and I dated for about 10 years, she always used to say, “I love you”. I was not ready to commit and often jokingly said, “I love U2”!

Getting back to the game, rather than clutter this blog with a bunch of images, I’ll let readers browse “Final Four” photos on their own by Clicking Here. These are some amazing candid shots by one of our parents.

Another title for this blog indicative of the drama we went through is “And now the end is near. And so I face the final curtain.” When we started the top of the 4th inning, I started to prepare our Coaches game summary “Defeat speech”. I told the team afterwards that I honestly thought there was no way we could come back and they all booed and hissed me, and even started throwing grass at me.

See if you can get some hidden messages in this classic…

Another possible title is “Repetition is the mother of skill.” I am a firm believer that if you practice fielding ground balls and swinging a bat, eventually you’ll become a master. Obviously, I love quotations and started compiling a list of my favorites about 20 years ago (Click Here).

“You can spend all your love making time”

I was listening to this song immediately following our “emotional roller-coaster”. Do you notice the resemblance? Here are the lyrics:

“All alone at the end of the evening
And the bright lights have faded to blue.
I was thinking ’bout a woman who might have loved me
I never knew.
You know I’ve always been a dreamer
Spent my life runnin’ ’round

And it’s so hard to change
Can’t seem to settle down
But the dreams I’ve seen lately keep on turning out
And burning out and turning out the same.
So put me on a highway and show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time.
You can spend all your time making money,
You can spend all your love making time…

Take it to the limit, take it to the limit
Take it to the limit one more time.”

Check out the Wiki facts

Finally, you may be wondering what’s the point? It’s simple. Success is much more than just a trophy. If you play every game like it’s the last game of the World Series, field every ball like the game is on the line, get in the batter’s box with all the confidence in the world that you are going to hit a hard line drive, then you are well on your way to enjoying the purpose of life.

Championships

Blaze Runner-up

Picture above is from our 2016 season. Congratulations Blaze! Notice the guy to my right is Tippy Martinez.  He along with catcher Rick Dempsey, and the starting pitcher Scott McGregor—were to have leading roles in the Orioles’ World Championship of ’83.  Read more.tippy_martinez2

May-June is an exciting time of year for all the school championships.  At all levels- high school and college, the game begins.  Pressure.  Intensity.  Cheer for your local team or perhaps you have a relative or neighbor playing this month?

Currently, our team is in the “FINAL FOUR”. 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate?  Remember that cheer?  Win or Lose, this is where TRUE sportsmanship comes in.  Our team has made REMARKABLE progress this season.  Great players, coaches and parents!

I spent some time the other day looking up the MLB League Leaders (see below).  Notice Manny Machado is #1 in three categories (read more). You might also want to read about Dexter Fowler.  However, what is more extraordinary, is the Chicago Cubs record of 25-6. That’s a winning percentage of .806.

Compare that to the 1st place team in the AL East Orioles 19-12, you’ll have an appreciation how amazing that it is.  fowlerAlso, remember last year’s “Back to the Future” crystal ball reference that in the movie with Michael J. Fox, the Cubs were predicted to win the 2015 World Series.  They came on strong during the playoffs winning the wild card race, but fell short to the Mets in the National League who eventually went on to play the Royals.

Well, if you like competition, the NCAA College World Series DI Championship will be held on June 18-28, 2016 in TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska.  This was very exciting last year when University of Maryland had an incredible year and lost to UCLA.  University of Virginia went on to win the National Championships.  The teams to watch in 2016 are Florida and Texas A&M (read more).

It’s pretty cool watching amateurs play at the highest level.  Even if you don’t like baseball, you can tune in to see the very best compete in Tennis, Golf, Lacrosse, Track & Field, and many more sports.

Now, if you are a real enthusiast, you could even visit Ripken Stadium to watch MD Interscholastic Athletic Association A & B Conference championships on May 22, 2016  (read more).  Another local team I found having an amazing season is Dulaney High School with a 17-3 record (read more).  Here are some other interesting links: www.d1baseball.comwww.maxpreps.com, www.varsitysportsnetwork.com and www.prepbaseballreport.com.

See ya at the ball park 🙂

League_Leaders

Take me out to the Ballpark

‘It’s a holiday’: Orioles fans flock to Camden Yards for Opening Day, filled with cautious optimism.

Read more
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-orioles-opening-day-fans-20220411-ec2sg7622nbdrccj7lzmcfq7oy-story.html


The Baltimore Orioles take a 1-0 lead into the latest series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Baltimore went 52-110 overall and 27-54 in home games last season.

Read more
http://www.espn.com/mlb/preview/_/gameId/401354314


Watch “Baltimore Orioles 1992 – The First Season at Camden Yards” on YouTube


‘This is a tradition in Baltimore’: Orioles fans celebrate return to normalcy during Opening Day –

Read more
http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2022/04/11/orioles-fans-celebrate-opening-day.html



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

Win one for the Gipper

knute-rockne

As Notre Dame was about to play Army in 1928, football coach Knute Rockne invoked the name of former player George Gipp.  Gipp’s deathbed request eight years earlier supposedly had been to use his memory to motivate the Fighting Irish for a big game.  “‘Rock'”, the coach said Gipp told him, “‘some day when things look real tough for Notre Dame, ask the boys to go out there and win one for me.’

Given the 2016-17 Presidential climate, I (Coach Brooks) never knew the history of this quote.  I suspect just about every competitive athlete and coach has heard this expression, “Win one for the Gipper“, but now it’s even more meaningful understanding the origin!

president_reagan

Well, I’ve never used Gipp’s request until now.  This is the time.” Notre Dame won.  A New York Daily News writer later reported Rockne’s emotional locker room speech in a feature story headed, “Gipp’s Ghost Beat Army / Irish Hero’s Deathbed Request Inspired Notre Dame.”  Two years later Rockne embellished the legend when he wrote in a magazine that Gipp told him, “‘Some time, Rock, when the team’s up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys—tell them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.” In 1940, an adaptation of these words, “Tell’em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper,” provided the dramatic denouement of a movie in which Ronald Regain played George Gipp.  That movie (whose script was written by Robert Buckner), and Reagan’s lifelong identification with this role, made “Win one for the Gipper” a permanent part of America’s athletic-political lore. (The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When by Ralph Keyes. St. Martin’s Press, Apr 1, 2007).  Read more


George Gipp (February 18, 1895 – December 14, 1920), nicknamed “The Gipper”, was a college football player who played for the University of Notre Dame. Gipp was selected as Notre Dame’s first Walter Camp All-American. Gipp played several positions, particularly halfback, quarterback, and punter.  Gipp died at the age of 25 of a streptococcal throat infection, days after leading Notre Dame to a win over Northwestern in his senior season,[1] and is the subject of Knute Rockne’s famous “Win just one for the Gipper” speech. In the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American he was portrayed by Ronald Reagan. Read more


Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who was the 40th President of the United States, from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.

Raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois, Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to Hollywood in 1937, he became an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild, the labor union for actors, where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories.

Reagan essentially did not become very FAMOUS until after his 56rd birthday – Governor of CA and especially after his Presidency.  He often used the expression, “Win one for the Gipper” in his political speeches.

He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency in 1968 and 1976; four years later, he easily won the nomination outright, becoming the oldest elected U.S. president up to that time, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980.  Read more

This will continue to be my #1 “locker room motivation pep talk” until I retire from coaching (which probably won’t be until Blake goes to college).  Reagan is often regarded as one of the most popular and influential American Presidents alongside Kennedy and Lincoln in the history of the United States.

knute-rockne-all-american


William Joseph Patrick “Pat” O’Brien (November 11, 1899 – October 15, 1983) was an American film actor with more than one hundred screen credits. Of Irish descent, he often played Irish and Irish-American characters and was referred to as “Hollywood’s Irishman in Residence” in the press. One of the best-known screen actors of the 1930s and 1940s, he played priests, cops, military figures, pilots, and reporters. He is especially well-remembered for his roles in Knute Rockne, All American (1940), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), and Some Like It Hot (1959). He was frequently paired onscreen with Hollywood legend James Cagney. O’Brien also appeared on stage and television. Read more

 

Be True to Yourself!

Even if people call you, “The Freak” or you are labeled “Stan the Man Unusual”. Always remember, “someone LOVES you”.

If you are in pain, feeling self-pity or perhaps you had a problem that caused GRIEF… Hang in there. Don’t give up. Keep working hard!

Sometimes you may need to look around for that inspiration and/or gratitude. It’s very hard when you are hurting and feeling weak. But it’s there. Trust me!

Timothy Leroy Lincecum (born June 15, 1984), nicknamed “The Freak”, is an American professional baseball starting pitcher who is a free agent. He pitched in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants from 2007 to 2015 and for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2016. He stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Lincecum helped the Giants win three World Series championships in a five-year span. Lincecum was the team’s ace starter in 2010 and as a relief pitcher in 2012 and 2014, winning the Babe Ruth Award in 2010 as the most valuable player of the MLB postseason. Read more

I watched Lincecum warm-up before Angels vs. Orioles game last year. He was starting pitcher and part of his routine was to “long toss” like every good ball player. Especially outfielders. But what blew me away was seeing him throw a line drive 300 feet from corner of Camden Yards home run fence across the entire field and hit the catcher on the dime. Not once, but 5 times in a row. Catcher never moved his glove. WOW!!! 100 yards. Entire football field. That’s why he us called, “The Freak“.


George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and was awarded the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature. Read more

 


Donald Joseph Stanhouse (born February 12, 1951 in Du Quin, Illinois) is a retired baseball pitcher who had a ten-year major league career from 1972 to 1980, 1982. He played for the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles of the American League and the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League.

Shuttled back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation with the Rangers and Expos, Stanhouse excelled in 1978 after joining the Baltimore Orioles, where Manager Earl Weaver employed him as a full-time closer. Because of his Harpo Marx hairstyle and pre-game batting practice antics – where his primal scream would entertain early ballpark arrivals – he was quickly labeled Stan the Man Unusual, a pun on the nickname “Stan the Man” for Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial.

Stanhouse finished 3rd in the American League in both 1978 & 1979 in saves, recording 45 over that span, helping the Orioles capture the American League Championship in 1979. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1979. Read more

 

Strikeouts

Why do players strikeout?

Answer: By regulation, baseball bats may be no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches long.  A MLB baseball is only 3 inches in diameter. Thus, it is very, very difficult.  As a matter of fact, you can fail 7/10 times and be qualified for the Hall of Fame (.300 batting average). Read more

strikeout_leaders

Batters

The top 15 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders: (as of 2015 season)

  1. Reggie Jackson – 2,597
  2. Jim Thome – 2,548
  3. Adam Dunn – 2,379
  4. Sammy Sosa – 2,306
  5. Reggie_JacksonAlex Rodriguez – 2,220
  6. Andrés Galarraga – 2,003
  7. José Canseco – 1,942
  8. Willie Stargell – 1,936
  9. Mike Cameron – 1,901
  10. Mike Schmidt – 1,883
  11. Fred McGriff – 1,882
  12. Tony Pérez – 1,867
  13. Bobby Abreu – 1,840
  14. Derek Jeter – 1,840
  15. Dave Kingman – 1,816

Active batters with over 1,400 K’s:
(as of 2015 season)

  1. Alex Rodriguez – 2,220alex_rodriguez
  2. Ryan Howard – 1,729
  3. David Ortiz – 1664
  4. Carlos Beltrán – 1,592
  5. Mark Reynolds – 1,519
  6. Adrián Beltré – 1,518
  7. Curtis Granderson 1,459
  8. Adam LaRoche 1,407
  9. Melvin Upton – 1,406
  10. Miguel Cabrera – 1,400

Single season strikeout records (batters):

Rank Player Team Strikeouts Year
   1 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 223 2009
   2 Adam Dunn Chicago White Sox 222 2012
   3 Chris Carter Houston Astros 212 2013
   4 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 211 2010
   5 Drew Stubbs Cincinnati Reds 205 2011
   6 Mark Reynolds Arizona Diamondbacks 204 2008
   7 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 199 2007
   8 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 199 2008
   9 Adam Dunn Washington Nationals 199 2010
  10 Chris Davis Baltimore Orioles 199 2013

 

Strikeout records

Then there is the best pitchers who threw strikeouts.

Pitchers

The Top 20 Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders (active players in bold) (since 1901):[16]

  1. Nolan Ryan – 5,714
  2. Randy Johnson – 4,875
  3. Roger Clemens – 4,672Nolan_Ryan
  4. Steve Carlton – 4,136
  5. Bert Blyleven – 3,701
  6. Tom Seaver – 3,640
  7. Don Sutton – 3,574
  8. Gaylord Perry – 3,534
  9. Walter Johnson – 3,509
  10. Greg Maddux – 3,371
  11. Phil Niekro – 3,342
  12. Ferguson Jenkins – 3,192
  13. Pedro Martínez – 3,154
  14. Bob Gibson – 3,117randy_johnson
  15. Curt Schilling – 3,116
  16. John Smoltz – 3,084
  17. Jim Bunning – 2,855
  18. Mickey Lolich – 2,832
  19. Mike Mussina – 2,813
  20. Cy Young – 2,803

Active pitchers with over 2,000 strikeouts (as of 2015 season):

  1. CC Sabathia – 2,574
  2. Bartolo Colón – 2,237roger_clemens
  3. Félix Hernández – 2,142
  4. Jake Peavy – 2,105

The Top 10 Major League Baseball career strikeout-per-nine innings leaders (since 1900, minimum 1,000 IP):[17]

  1. Randy Johnson – 10.61
  2. Kerry Wood – 10.32
  3. Pedro Martínez – 10.04
  4. Tim Lincecum – 9.61
  5. Nolan Ryan – 9.55
  6. Max Scherzer – 9.51
  7. Trevor Hoffman – 9.36
  8. Sandy Koufax – 9.28
  9. Clayton Kershaw – 9.26
  10. Óliver Pérez – 9.22

The Top 5 Major League Baseball single season strikeout-per-nine innings leaders (since 1900, minimum 1.0 IP per team game):

  1. Randy Johnson, 2001 – 13.41
  2. Pedro Martínez, 1999 – 13.20
  3. Kerry Wood, 1998 – 12.58
  4. Randy Johnson, 2000 – 12.56
  5. Randy Johnson, 1995 – 12.35

The Top 10 Major League Baseball single season strikeout totals (since 1900):[18]

Pitcher Strikeouts Season Team League Overall Rank
Nolan Ryan 383 1973 California Angels AL 8
Sandy Koufax 382 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 9
Randy Johnson 372 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 11
Nolan Ryan 367 1974 California Angels AL 14
Randy Johnson 364 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 15
Rube Waddell 349 1904 Philadelphia Athletics AL 18
Bob Feller 348 1946 Cleveland Indians AL 19
Randy Johnson 347 2000 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 20
Nolan Ryan 341 1977 California Angels AL 25
Randy Johnson 334 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks NL 30

The Top 10 Major League Baseball single season strikeout totals (all time):[19]

Pitcher Strikeouts Season Team League Overall Rank
Matt Kilroy 513 1886 Baltimore Orioles AA 1
Toad Ramsey 499 1886 Louisville Colonels AA 2
Hugh Daily 483 1884 Chicago Browns/Pittsburgh Stogies/Washington Nationals UA 3
Dupee Shaw 451 1884 Detroit Wolverines/Boston Reds NL/UA 4
Old Hoss Radbourn 441 1884 Providence Grays NL 5
Charlie Buffington 417 1884 Boston Beaneaters NL 6
Guy Hecker 385 1884 Louisville Eclipse AA 7
Nolan Ryan 383 1973 California Angels AL 8
Sandy Koufax 382 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 9
Bill Sweeney 374 1884 Baltimore Monumentals UA 10

.

Opening Day

trumbo_homer

Baseball Really Is a Game of Inches

Baltimore Orioles win their first game 3-2 over the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th inning. Read more.  Mark Trumbo hits first opening day walk-off home run in Orioles history. Trumbo picks up where he left off last season, as he led the majors in home runs with 47 in the regular season and he also added one in the wild card game. Speaking of which, it had to feel good for the Orioles to take down the Blue Jays in similar fashion to how the wild-card game ended. The Trumbo walk-off winner here was historic, as it was the first walk-off home run on opening day in Orioles history. It’s also the first in the majors since 2014, when Neil Walker, then of the Pirates, did so to the Cubs. Read more

Unfortunately, our Junior Orioles U12 Little League team lost our home opener vs. the Bearcats 5-4.  However, we were not able to finish the game in 6 innings of regulation play on account of darkness (7:25 PM – approximately 85 minutes – 5 complete innings) and the umpire was concerned about safety.  Who knows if we had another 30 minutes of daylight what would have happened?  Read more.  Also, if you recall the letter from an earlier blog by Mike Matheny, he said, “We will lose a lot of games”.

Blake and I stopped to get something to eat on the ride home and anxiously awaited the NCAA Championship game.  It was no surprise that the game was decided in the last 60 seconds.  North Carolina (1) prevailed over Gonzaga (1) 71-65.  Roy Williams deserves a lot of credit! I really enjoyed watching the FINAL FOUR this year.  In particular, I loved what South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Head Coach said in an interview,

“People keep score when you play games 35, 36, 37 times a year, and sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. That score eventually goes away. When you impact people by the masses the way these kids have, that means you’re a winner as a human being and that’s what matters.  When we get home and they realize what they’ve done in our community, their hearts will open up with joy because they’ll be so happy that the pain of losing a game eventually goes away.”

South Carolina lost to Gonzaga in the Final Four on Saturday, but Gamecocks head coach Frank Martin believes his players are still winners.  Outstanding Performance TrophyIn the press conference, he was asked what he has to say to the kids who are fans of the team. Martin took his time with his reply, while trying to hold back tears.  Read more.

In addition, our Brewers Over 40 Baseball Team also lost 12-4 in our season opener vs. the Diamondbacks.  However, the score was a lot worse after 9 innings than any of the previous games mentioned.  Yet, the score was 0-0 after my first 3 innings of pitching on the mound.

Tonight’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award goes to Richard McLeod.  He received the game ball and starting Thursday we will start handing out the trophy below (similar to the “Stanley Cup“) for the kids to take home till the next game (please be GENTLE so it does not break).  He sparked the bench in the 2nd inning with a standup triple and later scored our first run to put us on the board.

 


 

Rain Rebound

Orioles Head Groundskeeper Nicole Sherry is in a League of Her Own

CLICK HERE


5 Ways To Help Your Infield Skin Rebound From Rain Quickly

(following excerpts are from original material at Ballfields.com)

While the western quarter of the US is battling a daunting drought, the central portion of the US has been dealing with lots of rain over the past couple of months. Think about it. In a three week span, the entire state of Texas went from a major 4-year drought to being totally drought free. It takes a lot of rain to knock out four years of drought in just three weeks. With all that rain, surely there are many who are having issues with trying to get their fields ready after a rain. Let’s take a look at what you can do to help your fields recoup from a rain event as quickly as possible.

  1. Keep Your Infield Properly Graded
    First and foremost, make sure that your infield is properly graded to promote positive surface drainage. Ideally, the infield should be graded so that the area around the base of the pitcher’s mound is the highest point on the infield with the surface grade then sloping away from the mound in all directions. However, depending on the lay of the land that the field was built on, the other way of grading an infield would be to “sheet drain” it. This means the entire infield is tilted in one direction; for example, the infield may tilt from the first base foul line towards left field. In either instance, both of these surface grades are only efficient at draining the water off it if the surface is smooth and consistent. In other words, there are no high spots or low spots to impede or deflect the drainage. Proper nail and float dragging are crucial maintenance practices that, when done correctly, will keep your skin surface in smooth and consistent surface draining condition.
  2. Maintain Your Turf Edges
    Maintaining your turf edges to prevent lip buildup will allow the water to easily pass over from infield skin to turf area without any issues. When infield soil and infield topdressing buildup in the edges of the grass, that ridge or “lip” impedes the water from freely moving off the field. The more severe the lip, the more water it will hold back onto the infield skin. Properly maintain those lips to keep them from slowing your field from recuperating.
  3. Choose Appropriate Infield Soil Material
    The right infield soil material has a huge impact on speed of reentry onto an infield after a rain. Infield soils that are either high in silt or high in fine and very fine sand drastically effect how quickly the field is playable again after a rain. Even worse is when you have both problems! High silt and high fine sand content infield soils can take a day or multiple days to recuperate. Have your infield soil tested to check to see how your soil material lines up with the acceptable specifications. Strive for a balanced infield soil with the right amounts of medium to coarse sand and the proper ratio of silt to clay. It’ll make all the difference in the world as to how easy it will be getting the infield back into playing condition.
  4. Use an Infield Top Dressing
    Use a topdressing on your infield skin surface. An infield topdressing is a ¼” to ½” layer at the infield skin surface of a granular material that will not stick to a players cleat, even when wet. These materials, usually made of calcined clay, vitrified clay, expanded shale, crushed aggregate or crushed brick, tend to dry more quickly on the surface then if you just had the bare soil exposed. The topdressing will dry on the surface while your infield soil underneath is still moist, but the topdressing allows you still to reenter the field. It acts much like a mulch in a landscape bed and provides many benefits in the performance of the infield.
  5. Drag the Field Before Rain Storms
    When you know a rain is coming, keep the field dragged smooth if at all possible. The water will flow more easily and rapidly off the infield if it is smooth and not pock marked with cleat marks and divots. Additionally, keep the field TIGHT! A tight field absorbs less water than one that has been deeply nail dragged, which will create pore space for water to fill and slow the drying process down considerably after the rain event.

How it rains also can have an impact in how fast your field will recuperate and come back up online for play. A long, slow light to moderate rain of a couple hours or more is very penetrating and will be deeply absorbed by your infield soil. This type of a rain usually requires longer for the field to dry from. Compare that to a heavy rain lasting 15 to 30 minutes, or even an hour. This kind of rainfall, while possibly dumping many times the amount of water than a slow rainfall did, is a violent rainfall to the soil.

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Read more

Dream Big

Always be reaching for the stars! Because in case you fall short, at least you can visit the moon.

For example, look @ Elon Musk & Roger Federer

Never, Never Give Up. Just Do it! Training definitely leads to Success. So practice, practice, practice. That’s also how you get to Carnegie Hall.

The future of travel? First photos of Hyperloop test track built in Nevada desert. Read more

It was designed by California company Hyperloop One, who has unveiled ambitious plans to transport people or cargo between cities at near-supersonic speed.

The 500 metre-long Hyperloop test structure, which has a diameter of 3.3 metres, is located around 30 minutes from Las Vegas.


Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor.

He is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal. As of February 2017, he has an estimated net worth of 13.9 billion, making him the 94th wealthiest person in the world. In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.

Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by setting up a human colony on Mars. Read more

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California, United States. It was founded in 2002 by Tesla CEO and former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars. It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable, and the Dragon spacecraft which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo. A manned version of Dragon is in development. Read more

Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Many players and analysts have called him the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer turned professional in 1998 and was continuously ranked in the top 10 from October 2002 to November 2016.

Federer has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player, and held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 302 weeks. In majors, Federer has won seven Wimbledon titles, five Australian Open titles, five US Open titles and one French Open title. He is among the eight men to capture a career Grand Slam. He has reached a record 28 men’s singles Grand Slam finals, including 10 in a row from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships to the 2007 US Open. Read more

Three things we learned from AO 2017
1. 35 is the new 25
Perhaps not, but this fortnight will force us to review the idea that once a player has a 3 before their age, their best days are over and they’re in the twilight of their career. What it also shows is the value of taking a break. Players who compete in Grand Slam tournaments have, of necessity, devoted their life to tennis and known little else since their age was still well in single digits. So it’s hardly surprising if after several years as a professional they get tired. Roger Federer said his break from tennis was a result of him getting bored with having “practice, treatment, practice, treatment, match, treatment, practice, treatment”, so taking a six-month hiatus to let all his injuries and niggles heal and rediscover the fun in tennis was a crucial part of his unexpected fifth title here. We may well find players continuing their careers well into their 30s as a result of this AO, especially if the idea of sabbaticals catches on.

  1. The middle generation may get by-passed
    With the Big Four of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray (and arguably Stan Wawrinka too) having dominated tennis for so many years, much attention has been focused on which generation of players will succeed them at the top of men’s tennis. The next generation has been led by 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, and his contemporaries Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Grigor Dimitrov. But Dimitrov’s semifinal aside, the results at this year’s AO suggest that generation might get by-passed. Raonic struggled to make much impression on Nadal in the quarterfinals, and Nishikori and Cilic lost early. By contrast, the leader of the following generation, Sascha Zverev, made great strides in taking Nadal to a four-hour five-setter in the third round, and Dominic Thiem and David Goffin also had good tournaments. With the Big Four likely to be around for a while, it may be some time before we know who the next generation of men’s tennis really is.
  2. There’s a vacancy in women’s tennis
    Much as the Williams sisters emphasised what brilliant players they are, even at a youthful 36 and 35 they won’t be around for that much longer. Yet there seems to be no-one emerging to assume Serena’s mantle. Coco Vandeweghe was the player whose stock rose most at this AO, but much depends on how she follows up on the WTA tour from her semifinal. Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza reached the quarterfinals without ever looking a potential champion, and Belinda Bencic had the misfortune to draw Serena Williams in the first round. With Petra Kvitova off the tour, Angelique Kerber with a lot of ranking points to defend in the next few months, and Simona Halep still struggling for consistency, everything looks teed up for two former Australian Open champions to seize the limelight when they return to action in the next few weeks: Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. Read more


 

 

Be the Best

I am a big believer, if you are going to do something, do it right!

So, now that I’m in my 4th year umpiring, I might as well be the best.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ws_umpires.jpg
Umpires during opening ceremony of 2019 World Series

Having attended the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame during my debut umpire career June 2019, I learned that there were ONLY 10 umpires ever inducted.

Earl Weaver argues with Umpire Bill Haller 1980

Umpire 101: The Plate Meeting (NFHS Version)

Doug Harvey

Noted for his authoritative command of baseball rules, he earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname “God” from players, and was among the last major league umpires who never attended an umpiring school. Read more

Study Group

JOIN US!!!

Agenda: Discuss NFHS / MLB Rules

Purpose: 2022 Baseball Season Mental Preparation

Date: Wednesday, Feb 16

Time: 6:30-7:30 PM

Click here

Meeting ID: 922 4251 6254

Passcode: baseball

Here are your World Series Umpires

The men in blue. Although it often looks black, yes? They still wear blue sometimes though so it probably doesn’t matter. Let’s just call ’em the baseball cops and not worry too much about what they’re wearing. Here are the baseball cops for the 2019 World Series: Alan Porter, Doug Eddings, Gary Cederstrom, James Hoye, Lance Barksdale, Sam Holbrook, and Jim Wolf. Read more

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire_ws_roster.jpg



The umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away over the weekend. The patch will say “Coop.” Read more

Eric Cooper Dies at 52 Following Blood Clot

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3980f-cooper-obit.png

Less than two weeks removed from his 2019 AL Division Series assignment, MLB umpire Eric Cooper has died after a post-surgery blood clot, six years after Wally Bell’s heart attack during the 2013 postseason. Coop, who officiated the 2019 Twins-Yankees ALDS, was 52 years old.

Born on December 18, 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa, Cooper began his journey in Minor League Baseball in 1990’s Appalachian League and officiated his first major league game in 1996, becoming a member of the big league staff on the American League side in 1999.

Cooper had the plate for three no-hitters during his MLB career, and officiated three Wild Card Games (2015-17) 10 Division Series (2003, 05-06, 08-09, 11-14, 2019), three League Championship Series (2004, 15-17), and the 2014 World Series.



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dc431-coop-kid.png

He had 72 career MLB ejections over nearly 2,800 career regular season games. His last MLB game was in service as the second base umpire for New York’s series-clinching victory in Minnesota on October 7; his crew chief for that series, Gary Cederstrom, will also chief the 2019 World Series.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img954079.jpg

Since I have been playing baseball around the time I started walking, I have gained a GREAT deal of admiration for the officials! It is very easy to pick on them. It’s bad enough when the fans yell, “boo, bad call, you’re blind”. As an umpire, you MUST have thick skin, in addition to being cool, calm & collected. All umpires understand they have a target on their back.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire2.png

A good umpire often will tell you, “I did my job successfully if both teams are not happy”. In other words, the MOST important role is to be FAIR and IMPARTIAL. More importantly, when the players and coaches have respect for you, that’s when you know you did your job well enforcing the rules and keeping the peace.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire5.png

Over 10 years of experience calling balls & strikes. I have to admit, it can be safer and less painful officiating behind pitcher’s mound for 8U, 10U and 12U because often the catcher does not keep me from getting hurt (e.g. many balls off the feet, shin, shoulder and mask).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire1.png

Timing is  everything! Sometimes, waiting that at extra half second can make all the difference in the world because you see the ball better, play it back in your head and get the call RIGHT. 

The following ten umpires have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

  • Class of 1953 – Tommy Connolly(NL, 1898–1900; AL, 1901–1931)
  • Class of 1953 – Bill Klem (NL 1905–1941)
  • Class of 1973 – Billy Evans (AL, 1906–1927)
  • Class of 1974 – Jocko Conlan (NL1941–1964)
  • Class of 1976 – Cal Hubbard (AL, 1936–1951)
  • Class of 1989 – Al Barlick (NL, 1940–1943, 1946–1955, 1958–1971)
  • Class of 1992 – Bill McGowan (AL, 1925–1954)
  • Class of 1999 – Nestor Chylak (AL, 1954–1978)
  • Class of 2010 – Doug Harvey (NL1962–1992)
  • Class of 2013 – Hank O’Day (NL, 1895, 1897–1911, 1913, 1915–1927)

Harold Douglas Harvey (March 13, 1930 – January 13, 2018) was an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB), who worked in the National League (NL) from 1962 through 1992. Noted for his authoritative command of baseball rules, he earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname “God” from players, and was among the last major league umpires who never attended an umpiring school. Harvey umpired five World Series and seven All-Star Games. His career total of 4,673 games ranked third in major league history at the time of his retirement. In 2010, he became the ninth umpire to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1999, the Society for American Baseball Research ranked Harvey as the second-greatest umpire in history, behind only Bill Klem. In 2007, Referee magazine selected him as one of the 52 most influential figures in the history of sports officiating.  Read more

Watch “The Baseball Hall of Fame Remembers Doug Harvey” on YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/embed/nJqO1XF9UPY?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire1a.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is umpire_mlb_crews.jpg

Here are all the MLB crews by year – Click here.

2019 had a very close call with a coach getting ejected. Read more

Major League Baseball today announced the umpires who have been assigned to the 2019 World Series, which is presented by YouTube TV. Gary Cederstrom, who is in his 26th season as a Major League Umpire, will work the Fall Classic for the fourth time, including his second assignment as its crew chief, as the American League Champion Houston Astros meet the National League Champion Washington Nationals.

Cederstrom, who was the crew chief for this Postseason’s American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, previously worked the Fall Classic in 2005, 2011 and 2015. The North Dakota native was the home plate umpire for Johan Santana’s 2012 no-hitter, the first in the history of the New York Mets. He will lead a crew that includes regular season crew chief Sam Holbrook, Lance Barksdale, Doug Eddings, James Hoye, Alan Porter and Jim Wolf. Porter will call balls and strikes in Game One of the Fall Classic in Houston. This is the third career Fall Classic for Holbrook; the second for Wolf; and the first for Barksdale, Eddings, Hoye and Porter. All seven umpires who will be on the field throughout the World Series were assigned to this year’s Division Series.

Wolf will serve as the Replay Official for Games One and Two of the World Series, after which he will join the on-field crew as the left field umpire for Game Three. Porter, the home plate umpire for Game One, will shift to Replay Official duties from Game Three through the conclusion of the World Series. The Replay Assistant throughout the Fall Classic will be regular season crew chief Jerry Meals, who worked one of this Postseason’s ALDS (HOU-TB). A complete listing of the rotation assigned to the 2019 World Series accompanies this press release.

Throughout the 2019 World Series, the umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of 21-year Major League Umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away in recent days at the age of 52. “Coop,” who worked the 2014 World Series among his many career Postseason assignments, was active in programs with UMPS CARE Charities, the official philanthropy of MLB Umpires, including visits to pediatric hospitals and bringing underserved youth for behind-the-scenes ballpark visits.

The 2019 Postseason schedule can be viewed at MLB.com/postseason. All games exclusively covered by FOX will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider. ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2019 World Series games. Read more


NFHS Maryland 2020 Baseball Exam Results

Umpire Gear

Stripes & StrikesTD Sports – Umpire Price List


Friends I’ve met

Chris Opanel:

  • Holds world record for Professional Umpire school Attendance (6× 5 week courses in Kissimmee, Daytona,and Coco Beach
  • Spoke with 67 major league umpires-and boatload- of minor league umps
  • N-CL in a bunch of Minnesota towns.
  • Crew chief @ Cooperstown All-Star Village (July-August). Also, temporarily baseball director in 2021.
  • Go to rules guy..championship games at different levels.
  • NFHS rules & mechanics demos at PIAA MTGS.

+

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