Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record; truly one of baseball’s magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Perfect PRACTICE Makes Perfect
Practice does not make perfect. How is that possible? Because bad habits may be practiced, and practicing a flawed technique will get a player nowhere. The only way to do something is to do it right. Practicing good habits is what makes a better player. Habits are formed in practice and then become automatic in the game. You play like you practice; If you practice correctly, you will play correctly.
TEACHING Baseball… Printable Lessons as well as Video Lessons (click hyperlinks below) on the Basic Fundamentals of Hitting, Infield & Outfield Play, Pitching and even a Glossary. Instructors include Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, John Habyan and Joe Orsulak.
Hitting is probably the most difficult part of the game. However, it is also the most enjoyable and satisfying part, as we all love to hit a baseball. It’s difficult because the pitcher has the ability to throw the ball hard, or not so hard, or to make it curve or sink. As the hitter, we not only have to determine what pitch has been thrown, but also whether it is a strike or a ball. If it is a strike, we have to attempt to hit it. All of this must be done in a fraction of a second. Like all parts of the game there are basic fundamentals that can help make us become better hitters. Click on Hitting Lessons with Cal: Fundamentals, Choose Right Bat, Right Grip, Stance, Weight Shift, Release Point, Stride, Swing, Tee Drill, Soft Toss Drill, One Hand Drill, Make It Fun
Outfield play, especially at the youth levels, often gets overlooked. Even though the outfielder is not directly involved in the majority of plays, coaches need to stress the importance of the position. An outfielder has to be able to maintain concentration throughout the game, because there may only be one or two hit balls that come directly to that player during the course of the contest. Those plays could be the most important ones. There also are many little things an outfielder can do — backing up throws and other outfielders, cutting off balls and keeping runners from taking extra bases, and throwing to the proper cutoffs and bases – that don’t show up in a scorebook, but can really help a team play at a high level. Click on Outfield Lessons with Joe Orsulak: Straight Away, Good Stance, Pick Up Ball Off Bat, Cross Over Step, Drop Step, DS Drill, Get To Spot, Catch Ball, Fast-Slow-Fast, Throwing-Grip, Throw Using Body-Crow Hop, Make Accurate Throw
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell was shutting down the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense through the first five innings of Game 6 of the 2020 World Series.
Snell had allowed just one hit and zero runs, which was enough for the Rays to get out to a 1-0 lead in the must-win elimination game.
However, Kevin Cash made a call to bullpen and Dodgers celebrate.
If you were Head Coach, would you have kept Snell in the game longer?
Yogi is smarter than the average bear
Wild Game 4 ends with unforgettable final play as Rays rally to even World Series
Hero of the game was Brett Phillips and he deserves to celebrate!!! During post game interview, I loved what he said about entire team effort and THANK GoD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.
Mike Matheny said, “We will lose a lot of games”. Read more
My Christian faith is the guide for my life and I have never been one for forcing my faith down someone’s throat, but I also believe it to be cowardly, and hypocritical to shy away from what I believe. You as parents need to know for yourselves and for your boys, that when the opportunity presents itself, I will be honest with what I believe. That may make some people uncomfortable, but I did that as a player, and I hope to continue it in any endeavor that I get into. I am just trying to get as many potential issues out in the open from the beginning. I believe that the biggest role of the parent is to be a silent source of encouragement. I think if you ask most boys what they would want their parents to do during the game; they would say “NOTHING”. Once again, this is ALL about the boys. ~ Mike Matheny
What’s particularly interesting is the fact that the Dodgers made not one, but two critical errors to lose the game. A team I was coaching recently made over 10 errors in a single game including my son. He bobbled a ball and made a bad throwing error. If you add strikeouts, walks, and base running errors, there were more than 20.
However, in baseball when you make a bad play or don’t get a hit, they are called “Physical Errors” and that’s part of the game. The team we lost to actually made plenty of errors including errors the previous game. Often the score does not reflect the competitiveness of the game. Many times the losing team can follow-up the next day and beat the pants off a dominating team. Read more
By the middle innings Saturday night of Game 4 of the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers were beginning to take on that look. You know the one: Where a two-run lead starts to feel like a dozen. Where they seemed to be toying with the other team. Where they might be convinced, with some justification, that this was simply their year. Read more
Like I heard years ago from a great coach, “There are so many lessons you can learn about life in the game of baseball“.
How Brett Phillips, the last man on the Rays’ roster, started the most bizarre World Series ending you will ever see
Los Angeles Dodgers were a strike away from having the World Series in an iron grip on Saturday night, one more pitch from Kenley Jansen to put away the last hitter on the roster the Tampa Bay Rays wanted at the plate with the game on the line. But Brett Phillips made contact and what followed was one of the most bizarre endings of any baseball game, postseason or otherwise. Read more
It is a privilege and honor to coach! However, I still struggle with unresolved issues in leadership and authority.
You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend. When I was down you just stood there grinnin’. You’ve got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend. You just want to be on the side that’s winnin’. You say I let you down, ya know its not like that. If you’re so hurt, why then don’t you show it? You say you’ve lost your faith, but that’s not where its at. You have no faith to lose, and ya know it. I know the reason, that you talked behind my back. I used to be among the crowd you’re in with. Do you take me for such a fool, to think I’d make contact. With the one who tries to hide what he don’t know to begin with? You see me on the street, you always act surprised. You say “how are you?”, “good luck”, but ya don’t mean it. Positively 4th Street. ~Bob Dylan
The bible teaches me to be “Quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger” ~ James 1:19. I learned a recent colloquialism, “Tea at Three” – blowing a small problem out of proportion.
Besides spelling (i.e. heavy, not heave) I have many shortcomings. Interestingly enough phonetically they can be pronounced the same but have different meanings. You may have a “heavy burden”. But a heave can be a euphoric sigh of relief.
I was reminded by my assistant coach recently, that impulsive decisions can sometimes backfire like pulling a pitcher too soon when they are getting into trouble.
I learned early on the 3 most important goals: Have fun, try your best and good sportsmanship. I love the game, I have many role models who have taught me how to be a good coach and I’m always learning new things.
I was recently reminded that some of the best Head Coaches make mistakes as well. Now that I umpire, I often make mistakes and get booed by the fans. It’s real easy to blame a single error on a player or even a coach. I was watching the ALCS and noticed the relationship Dusty Baker had with his players. In addition, Davey Johnson who not only had a lot to do with the Washington Nationals winning the World Series, he also coached the Orioles. He had a reputation of not getting along with “the back office, upper management or owner of the team he was managing”. Read more
Besides the news about Nats making History by winning the WS, what I found very interesting was
“first time in history of sporting championships including basketball, hockey, etc. that home team lost every game on their own turf”
What do you think of Dave Martinez? He may not have had the best record this year, but he certainly knows how to win when it counts! What do you think about Davey Johnson? Click here. Here is another article I wrote couple years ago (click here).
I don’t think anyone expected 12 runs off NLCS champion Stros. WOW! Statistically, teams that won 1st two games went on to win series more than 80% of the time. Also, the NATs’ offensive “runs scored” performance is highest record in over 60 years.
2019 Current Schedule:
What should’ve been: Three-fifths of Tigers’ 2012-14 rotation is in the World Series.
Former Tigers Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are in the World Series, which starts Tuesday. It’s 35 years and counting since the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, which now is the longest championship drought in the franchise’s 119-year history. But those ex-Tigers? Well, they’re racking up rings in bulk these days, and the collection will grow in the coming week-and-a-half, regardless of whether the Houston Astros or Washington Nationals are left holding the Commissioner’s Trophy. In fact, three-fifths of the Tigers’ rotation from 2012-14 are in this year’s World Series. There’s Justin Verlander with the Astros, of course. He wasted little time getting his ring after leaving Detroit, helping Houston to its first World Series title in 2017, less than two months after the Tigers dealt him away in a cost-cutting move that was finalized just momemts before the August waiver trade deadline. Then there’s Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez on the other side, helping the Nationals stun the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round, then roll past the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Scherzer and Sanchez, for all their individual success — Scherzer has three Cy Young awards and two no-hitters in that career that’s looking increasingly Hall-of-Fame worthy, Sanchez has an ERA title and a no-hitter of his own — are looking for their first World Series championship. Scherzer and Sanchez have appeared in one other World Series, with the Tigers in 2012. That was a four-game sweep by the San Francisco Giants. Read moreI’m pulling for Nats since Washington hasn’t won WS since 20’s and Walter Johnson. It should definitely be a great series. NATs have a lot of positive momentum sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0. That will give them a lot of confidence offensively and perhaps intimidate the powerful Stros pitching. Incidentally, both teams share the same spring training site (beautiful park) in West Palm Beach. They often play each other during off season.
The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball team formed in 1969 as the Montreal Expos. In 2005, the Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and were renamed the Nationals. The franchise has never won a World Series or National League pennant, but has won its division five times. Read moreThe Lerner Family is the majority owner of the franchise, controlling over 90% of the shares. Lerner retired as principal owner in 2018, ceding the role to his son, Mark Lerner. Read more
Minutes after D.J. LeMahieu tied the game in the top of the ninth, Jose Altuve hit a game-winning home run in the bottom half to send the Astros to the World Series and end the Yankees bid. Read more
Wow! Another “Cinderella Story”… Nats over Dodgers. Game #5. NLDS Champs. Score: 7-3 (Grand Slam in the 10th). October baseball. Great weather. And, now it actually COUNTS. As of September 10, 2019 the leaderboard has Yankees, Twins, Astros in AL and Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers in the NL.https://youtu.be/cTibRn5TLMo
October baseball. Great weather. And, now it actually COUNTS. As of September 10, 2019 the leaderboard has Yankees, Twins, Astros in AL and Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers in the NL.
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League champion team and the National League champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic. Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; since then each league has conducted a championship series ) preceding the World Series to determine which teams will advance. As of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48. In 2018 the Boston Red Sox won the series in five games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Read more
In 2018, the Boston Red Sox closed out the series on the road against the Dodgers to win their fourth World Series championship in 15 years. USA TODAYNeeding a win Sunday to finish off the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Red Sox scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead and would never relinquish it en route to a 5-1 victory in Game 5. Postseason hero Steve Pearce clubbed Clayton Kershaw’s sixth pitch of the evening over the left-field wall at Dodger Stadium, and Los Angeles never recovered. He added a solo homer in the eighth inning.After allowing a home run to David Freese on his very first pitch of the night, David Price took over. The 33-year-old lefty cruised through seven-plus innings, mixing four- and two-seam fastballs with his reinvigorated changeup to flummox the Dodgers’ lineup as it faced elimination. Read more
The baseball season ends just as the discussion about this Boston Red Sox club’s place in the sport’s long and layered history begins. It’s not enough to simply state that the Red Sox put the finishing touches on their ninth title — and fourth since 2004 — with a clear and convincing 5-1 victory over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.Game Date Results Gm 1 Oct. 23 BOS 8, LAD 4 Gm 2 Oct. 24 BOS 4, LAD 2 Gm 3 Oct. 26 LAD 3, BOS 2 (18) Gm 4 Oct. 27 BOS 9, LAD 6 Gm 5 Oct. 28 BOS 5, LAD 1No, a team this talented, a march this methodical deserves a deeper appreciation. The Red Sox began 2018 by blowing an eighth-inning Opening Day lead and sending their fans into a Twitter tizzy. Then the club with a rookie skipper named Alex Cora won 119 times in all — a mark bested only by the 1998 Yankees (125) and the 2001 Mariners (120). The Red Sox needed just one game north of the minimum each to take down the 100-win Yankees in the American League Division Series, the defending World Series champion Astros in the AL Championship Series and the two-time National League champion Dodgers in the Fall Classic. Read more
The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium to win their fourth World Series since 2004.Powered by a dominant performance by David Price, who pitched into the seventh inning of Game 5, and clutch hitting from first baseman Steve Pearce, the Red Sox won the series in five games. Chris Sale stuck out Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado to clinch the series.The Red Sox rebounded from losing a marathon 18-inning game on Friday night that bled into Saturday morning, by winning the next two games to capture the Commissioner’s Trophy. Read more
2018 has the LA Dodgers coming back 2nd year in a row. This time facing the ALDS Boston Red Sox.
Markus Lynn “Mookie” Betts (born October 7, 1992) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. He stands 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall and weighs 180 pounds (82 kg). He bats and throws right handed.Betts was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011, and made his MLB debut in the 2014 season, sharing time between second base and the outfield. He became the Red Sox starting center fielder in 2014, before moving to right field in 2016.
As a relatively short natural second baseman with a high contact rate and a high level of production when pulling the ball, Betts has been compared to fellow Red Sox player Dustin Pedroia.Betts is also a professional bowler for the Professional Bowlers Association(PBA). He once bowled a perfect 300 score in the PBA World Series of Bowling Read more
Houston Astros defeat LA Dodgers in 2017
Things started going awry for the Dodgers early in Game 7, and they couldn’t find a way to right the ship and win the World Series for the first time in 29 years.
Instead, the Astros took home their first World Series since the franchise started in 1962 by beating LA 5-1 on their own field. Winning it in Houston might have been sweeter, but something makes me think they don’t particularly care where they lift the trophy postgame, just that they lifted it at all.A lot happened in Game 7, which seems right since it was a Game 7 after all. If a Game 7 can’t be a little crazy then what are we doing here?Yu Darvish got pulled after just 1 2⁄3 innings for the second game in a row, and gave up five runs (four earned) while he was at it. Lance McCullers only lasted 2 1⁄3 innings for the Astros. Clayton Kershaw pitched four shutout innings, letting up only two hits and striking out four Houston batters. Brandon Morrow, Chris Devenski, and Francisco Liriano all pitched one out for their respective teams.The Astros won it with Charlie Morton pitching four innings in relief and didn’t use a closer. Morton ended up getting the win instead of the save, and didn’t allow a baserunner for the last three innings of the game. Kenley Jansen, Alex Wood, and Brad Peacock all made appearances as well.And that was just the pitching!George Springer set or tied home run and extra-base hit records. Cody Bellinger set the record for most strikeouts in one series with 17, breaking the one Aaron Judge just set in the ALDS this October. Alex Bregman, who is not allowed to make fielding mistakes at this point, made a mistake. Read more
Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, the 2017 World Series will begin with Game 1 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. The Dodgers are playing in their first World Series since 1988. The Astros were in the World Series as recently as 2005, though as an NL team. This is their first since moving to the AL.http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/09/30/top-5-mlb-playoff-sweeps-since-2000
Every year thousands of players participate in the great game under the Babe Ruth League banner. Many of them dream about someday becoming professional athletes.
It used to be that only young male athletes could dream of reaching such lofty heights through athletic participation. But now because of women’s professional basketball, softball and soccer leagues, young female athletes have been able to share those dreams.
While it’s great to dream and strive for success in all of your endeavors, the reality is that a very, very small percentage of athletes ever get the opportunity to play a sport professionally. In fact, only a handful of the athletes who participate in youth baseball or softball will play at the collegiate level. More, but probably not the majority, will play in high school.
At some point all of us – even the most successful professional athletes – have to venture out into the business world or what some people like to call the “real world.” While it is our primary goal to help the young baseball and softball players improve in those sports, we are very aware that there is more to life than athletics. There are many valuable life lessons that can be communicated through sports participation, and it is our hope that the young athletes will take away something that will help them later on in life. One of those key lessons that we hope to impart is the value of sportsmanship. Read more
Every game we handed out a trophy for the Most Valuable Player. This idea came to me from watching my son’s Head Baseball Coach, Doug Bassett (Facebook). My son left RPBL in 2014 and he and I got involved with the WM Warriors. I was the Assistant Coach on the 8U-B travel team. In 2015, Blake had the most success season to-date winning the MVP in the “35th Annual HCYP Invitational Baseball Tournament in Ellicott City, MD”. This medal was awarded by the opposing Manager. His 8U-A team also went undefeated in the 2015 Essex Express Baseball Father’s Day Summer Classic
August, 2001 my girlfriend Rene and I drove to the Eastern shore with our first born child AKA dog Brendan. The breeder named him Snow because he was so white. So, when we set out to train him and enrolled him in multiple obedience classes. This is where I learned one of the most valuable lessons in life. She said,
“Have you ever wondered how trainers are able to get dolphins to jump out of the water on command and do a flip at SeaWorld? It’s through “positive reinforcement” using fish.”
So, instead of fish we used Cheese Balls and it was AMAZINGLY effective. I managed to train Brendan to Sit, Stay and Come on command beautifully. He was literally like a son to us. We loved him so much he became our “ring bearer” at our wedding @ the Inn at Perry Cabin.
This style of teaching proved to be very important in my teaching career, as well as coaching. I began awarding a Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy at every game. There is NO “I” in TEAM. For example, Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez was named 2015 World Series MVP. Read more He wears jersey #13. Guess who else wears that unlucky number on the Orioles? Gold Glove 3rd baseman – Manny Machado
At Closing Ceremonies this year, we will be presenting the first ever RPBL Coaches Award to one player on each National League Team (9-10 age group) who best represents the values of RPBL. These values include:
The winner on the Blaze goes to Henry Fischel. He always had a smile on his face, hustled, followed direction well, cheered for his teammates and most of all was a great asset to the overall success of our team this year. In fact, he managed to have some key offensive hits when we needed it most and his defensive pitching performance was outstanding.
However, it was not a land slide. We had many players who were very easy to teach and seemed to be enjoying the game. But there were two special players who deserve to be recognized. Amelia Overton & Wyatt Winstead – Honorable Mentions. I believe their best example of “Sportsmanship” was shown when they consistently went out of their way to acknowledge me not only after every game, but after every practice as well. “Thank you Coach” are the 3 magic words any Skipper loves to hear!
One last player who made remarkable improvement was Sawyer Ross. He wins the “Most Improved” award. Here’s a guy who had never played baseball before. Yet, I knew he was a great athlete because he played soccer with my son. He became my “pet project”. I worked with him and tried to teach him how to bat. Sure enough, when the game was on the line, he came through. Read Victory & Defeat
Don’t be a Sore Loser
Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. A “sore loser” refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a “good sport” means being a “good winner” as well as being a “good loser”. (Someone who shows courtesy towards another in a sports game).
RPBL requires that we play every player in the outfield. So, we will continue to make adjustments this season experimenting with players at pitcher, 1B and SS. I will continue to keep the batting lineup in descending order alphabetically. This gives everyone equal plate appearances.
In general, sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence, and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. The four elements of sportsmanship are often shown being good form, the will to win, equity and fairness.
The important thing to remember is that we win and lose as a TEAM. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” –Babe Ruth
Since every sport is rule driven, the most common offence of bad sportsmanship is the act of cheating or breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage. A competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after losing a game or contest is often called a “sore loser” (those who show poor sportsmanship after winning are typically called “bad champs”). Sore loser behavior includes blaming others for the loss, not accepting responsibility for personal actions that contributed to the defeat, reacting to the loss in an immature or improper fashion, making excuses for the defeat, and citing unfavorable conditions or other petty issues as reasons for the defeat. A bad winner acts in a shallow fashion after his or her victory, such as by gloating about his or her win, rubbing the win in the face(s) of the opponent(s), and lowering the opponent(s)’s self-esteem by constantly reminding the opponent(s) of “poor” performance in comparison (even if the opponent(s) competed well). Read more
As COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, has spread around the globe in recent months, tournaments, games and other sporting events have been canceled, while others have been modified.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert, says the only way professional sports will happen this summer is to do so without fans in attendance and by keeping players in hotels.
The NBA was the first to suspend its season on March 12, and the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. MLB canceled the remainder of spring training, though there is a chance a delayed Opening Day could begin in Arizona in May. The NHL also suspended its season and is trying to figure out the fate of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and golf’s first major tournament of the year, the Masters, has been postponed until November. The Boston Marathon postponed its race until Sept. 14; the London Marathon has been postponed from April 26 to Oct. 4. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been moved to July 2021, and the 2020 Invictus Games have been postponed, as well. Scripps originally said it would not hold the National Spelling Bee as scheduled in late May, then canceled it; the Little League World Series will not be played in August for the first time since 1947.
Here’s a look at how the coronavirus is affecting sports in the U.S. and around the world:
The NCAA called off its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships.
Fans leave after being told the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz game had been canceled. Alonzo Adams/USA TODAY Sports In municipalities where coronavirus testing has become readily available to at-risk health care workers, NBA teams opening facilities for voluntary workouts will be allowed to administer tests to asymptomatic players and staff.
MLB Major League Baseball expects to offer a return-to-play proposal to the MLB Players Association within a week, as teams have begun to encourage players to prepare for a “spring” training that could begin in mid-June and a season that could start in early July.
NHL The NHL has postponed its international games in 2020.
NFL The NFL has released its 2020 season schedule, but commissioner Roger Goodell told teams in a memo that adjustments will be made if necessary.
If the league does need scheduling help that science cannot provide for the coronavirus pandemic, and delays to the season’s start eventually become necessary, sources around the league indicated that Super Bowl LV could be pushed back by weeks or even a couple of months. Read more
I think it is possible to both understand the gravity of the current crisis we are facing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and miss sports.
Or as my friend Ryan Ruocco, play-by-play announcer for ESPN and the YES Network put it, “For all of us we understand the bigger picture here. But that doesn’t mean you can’t care about the things within the littler picture. We only care about sports within the context of understanding there is a much bigger foe to handle right now and that’s obviously this virus that threatens lives.”
Clearly sports matter not at all when it comes to public safety. No one should argue otherwise. However, there is the notion of an escape, distraction, or something to rally around and to be honest that is talking point that I was way more dismissive of until recently. Because while I have stayed informed, I’d also love to have something like the NBA to take my mind off the current circumstances and to provide the sense of community that comes with a shared experience.
Whatever happens with previously scheduled games this moment in history and sports will be forever connected. Not only because sports stopped but due to the signal it sent to many in the general public.
A sentiment Ruocco also shared, “Normally when something is going awry in the world sports is where we escape to and it’s just so bizarre to not have that lane to escape to…sports sort of sprung our country into action when it comes to treating this virus with the seriousness that we needed to.” Read more
The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is an ongoing international multi-sport event hosted by the county of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The country was selected as the host city in July 2011, during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa. It marks the first time that South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics, and the second Olympics held in the country, the first being the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. And it’s the first time since 1998 that the Winter Olympics are held in Asia.
The Winter Olympics runs from 8 to 25 February 2018. The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports, including the addition of big air snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. A total of 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are slated to compete, including the debut of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.
The lead-up to these Games was affected by the ongoing tensions between South Korea and North Korea, and also the ongoing missile crisis involving the country. These led to security concerns, with several countries threatening to skip the games if their safety was not ensured, including the United States. In January 2018, after their first high-level talks in over two years, North Korea agreed to participate in the Games. The countries also marched together during the opening ceremony and agreed to field a unified women’s hockey team. Read more
The BEST thing I heard after our disappointing 10-0 loss in the Championship game was from a complete stranger.
A young boy was walking by immediately following my Gatorade shower and said,”That’s the happiest losing team I ever saw”!
Every baseball player and coach wants to win, generally. That’s why you keep score. The biggest showcase of the year is the World Series and that’s where all the hard work throughout the season comes to a close. If you had a successful season and won enough games to make it to the playoffs you have a shot at taking home a National Championship.
However, there have been many, many great baseball players that were not very popular like Al Gallagher. So, when you think of the BEST ballplayers, you automatically associate their stats. What was his batting average? What was his ERA? And yes, coaches also are measured on stats. Yet, considering how difficult it is to make it to the World Series, it is fascinating to me that Joe Torre won the Championship four (4) times. Read more.
If you want to be the best ___ [fill-in the blank]. Find someone who has already achieved that success. Then just copy everything they do! Eventually, you’ll develop your own “signature”. I’ll stick with the home town hero, Buck Showalter.
Notice that Buck was the Yankees coach before Torre. But I grew up watching Earl Weaver. Buck Showalter loves scouting reports — except when it comes to assessing the personalities of people he’s never met. In that regard, the Orioles’ manager insists upon formulating his own opinion. “People will start to tell me about a player that’s coming,” Showalter said, “and I stop them and say, ‘I got this. We’re starting fresh. I’m going to make up my own mind about him.'”
Showalter’s reputation preceded his arrival in Baltimore. Taskmaster, drill sergeant, disciplinarian — those words were often associatedwith him during his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-06). So when the feisty skipper was hired by then-president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to turn around a franchise in search of its first winning season since 1997, the players knew what was coming…
“Some people’s reputation before you meet them is not the same after you get to know them.
The Orioles today announced they will begin their 2021 Grapefruit League season at home on Saturday, February 27, at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. against the Atlanta Braves. The club’s home Grapefruit League schedule, which features 16 dates, will conclude with a home game on Saturday, March 27, against the Minnesota Twins.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Tuesday, February 16, and position players on Sunday, February 21, with the first full-squad workout set for Monday, February 22. The 2021 season will mark the Orioles’ 12th consecutive Spring Training season in Sarasota and the club’s 11th at renovated Ed Smith Stadium.
The Orioles will face nine different Major League opponents during the club’s 16-game home schedule. The Orioles will host the following teams twice at Ed Smith Stadium: the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Orioles will also play the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers each once at home. The Orioles will play half of their home schedule on weekends, as eight of the club’s 16 home games fall on either a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
The Orioles will play 16 road games during the Spring Training season, including two trips each to visit the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, Tigers, Twins, Braves, and Pirates; and one trip each to take on the Blue Jays and Phillies.
In the 11 years since the Orioles moved Major League Spring Training to Sarasota, more than one million fans have enjoyed Orioles games at Ed Smith Stadium. The Orioles’ engagement with the Greater Sarasota community goes far beyond baseball.
MLB rumors: Orioles could leave Camden Yards in 2 years
The Baltimore Orioles’ lease with Camden Yards is set to expire in 2023.
Never say never.
The Baltimore Orioles could leave Camden Yards in two years, if the two sides can’t work out a new lease.
The Baltimore Sun reports “The current lease expires at the end of 2021, although the Orioles have long had the option to extend it for five years. The stadium authority said Monday that the parties agreed to extend the current agreement for two years through Dec. 31, 2023, with the club retaining the right to exercise a one-time, five-year extension by Feb. 1, 2023.”
The negotiations have been complex. The club has spoken publicly about its hopes of capitalizing on the stadium’s popularity by using it increasingly for non-baseball activities such as music. That could involve new venues such as bars, restaurants — possibly even a sports betting room — in the stadium area. But officials from the club and the state say no such plans have been finalized, and that it was too soon to publicly discuss modifications to the stadium itself that are expected to be part of lease negotiations.
Camden Yards opened in 1992, with its original 30-year lease set to expire in 2021. The ballpark launched a wave of stadium construction aimed at tapping into the retro feel of Camden Yards. Three decades after opening its gates, Camden Yards remains one of MLB’s quintessential ballparks, worthy of discussion with Fenway Park and Wrigley Field as one of the true gems in the majors.
Baltimore amassed a huge ERA (5.18) while serving up 234 home runs. The ace of the franchise was Dylan Bundy who now plays for Los Angeles Angels. Read more
In 2019, the Orioles (54-108) were just as bad. In 2020, these Orioles took some steps forward and should improve. Read more
Back in April 2016, I had an exciting weekend. The Orioles beat the World Series Champions – Kansas City Royals 8-3. The Birds record is 11-5 as of Saturday. Our Over 40 team, Brewers beat the Nationals 15-2 and our record is now 2-0. The Roland Park Rangers travel team beat the TowsonTowne Tbirds 6-5 and continue to remain undefeated this season (record 5-0). Our RPBL In-house team (9-10 Nationals Little League) the Blaze beat the Ironbirds 5-3 and we have a 2 game winning streak (record 3-1-1).
Here are some quotes to pump you up:
Every game is game seven.
Teamwork makes the Dream work.
Attitude is Everything.
Be prepared! “If only” are the famous last words of those who weren’t.
Some of my favorite players include Hank Aaron, Aaron Judge, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth.
THE LEADOFF: Your leadoff should be one of your team’s best hitters and fastest players. The goal of any good leadoff hitter is to get on base, however they can. Your on-base percentage leader should fit well in the leadoff spot, if you’re keeping track of that stat. Remember, whether they hit the ball for contact or they walk, they’ve got to get on base.
Speed is a plus for this position. Don’t look for power in the leadoff—save power hitters for later when there are more baserunners positioned. If your kids are competing for this spot, remind them that the leadoff hitter usually only leads once.
2 SPOT: The 2-spot player is on-deck at the start of the game and should be a fundamentally sound hitter. You must rely on them to make contact with the ball. The goal of the second hitter is to advance your leadoff player, as well as make it on-base themselves. Players who frequently strike out will kill momentum in this position.
3 HOLE: Just as before, the 3 hole should be one of your team’s best hitters. This can be someone who has a great batting average and doesn’t lack power.
This position should be filled by a good all-around hitter who really gets the concept of batting against another player. You want the 3 hole to move players around, or drive in the first runs of the game. If you look at your stats and see a player with a comparatively high batting average, a couple doubles and several RBIs on the season, try batting them third.
CLEANUP: One of the most admired spots in the batting lineup, the cleanup position is typically your most powerful hitter. In youth baseball, that doesn’t just mean the player that has a lot of homeruns. The cleanup player hits the ball hard. Hard hits typically get through the infield and sometimes can get to an outfield gap or even past an unskilled outfielder. When this player steps to the plate, the infielders take a step back.
5 POSITION: Sometimes the cleanup hitter doesn’t quite clear the bases—and that’s what the 5-spot is for. Like the cleanup position, the player batting fifth should have higher than average batting power. This player should not strike out as much as feast-or-famine cleanup hitter, but should still be able to crank out a few doubles or hard-hit singles. When you examine your stat sheet, look for players who are hitting more than singles and are in the bottom half of all strikeouts (or who have a lower-than-average strikeout to at-bat ratio). Throughout the year, you’ll want to switch up your fourth and fifth positions. This will challenge your players and give you a better idea of who fits best in which role.
SPOTS 6 & 7: Unless you’re one lucky youth baseball coach, this is where you’ll probably reach a challenge in your lineup. The 6 and 7 spots are important in your lineup, even if they don’t perform as well at the plate. A batting average of .200 or .225 can wreak havoc on the other team. Hope for singles from these players, or try putting a good bunter in this role. If you’ve got players who are about equal in hitting ability, speed should be the deciding factor.
BATTING 8: At the youth level, the 8 spot is ideal for developing hitters. In many cases, the 8 position is for a player who is the worst fundamental hitter on your team and strikes out the most. Remember, every team has a player who has not yet caught onto hitting.
9 PLAYER: This less-than-desirable spot is often reserved for the weakest hitter on the team—but we think the nine guy is worth extra consideration.
At the youth level, you should make it a habit to shuffle your 7 to 9-spot hitters, so you do not consistently send a negative message to any one player. The 9 spot should not go to your player who strikes out the most, but someone who you’ve seen scatter singles throughout the season. This player could jumpstart a middle inning for the top of the order.
BATTING THROUGH YOUR LINEUP
In many youth baseball organizations, your team must bat through the lineup. That is to say, if you have 12 kids on a team, all 12 must bat before you start at the top of the order. In these cases, we suggest you follow the above guidelines for positions 1 to 7 then rotate players 8 to 12, keeping them even on at-bats when the season closes.
Remember, your job as coach is to ensure your roster is having fun, developing skills and gaining confidence. Playing a less competitive team? Consider changing up your lineup to challenge your team and give everyone an opportunity. They may surprise you—and themselves.
Well Coached Players: “The best situation for all of us is for you to plan on handing these kids over to me and the assistant coaches when you drop them off, and plan on them being mine for the 2 or so hours that we have scheduled for a game, or the time that we have scheduled for the practice. I would like for these boys to have some responsibility for having their own water, not needing you to keep running to the concession stand, or having parents behind the dugout asking their son if they are thirsty, or hungry…
Players on the bench will not be messing around. I will constantly be talking with them about situations and what they would be doing if they were in a specific position, or if they were the batter.” ~Mike Matheny. Often I find myself saying to my 10 year old son, “Help me, Help you” similar to scene from Jerry Maguire played by Tom Cruise. However, be careful showing this to young women because clip ends with Cuba Gooding parading around locker room in the nude (Caution: R rated).
Nevertheless, whether you are a sports agent or a parent coach, the responsibility and sacrifice can be daunting at times, to say the least.
Baserunning is a fundamental of the game that incorporates many facets that players can work on no matter what their running speed. Coaches of young players often do not work with their teams on this part of the game. Running the bases is an art. If coaches teach baserunning correctly, they will increase the ability of their players to steal bases and take extra bases. Fast base runners force fielders to throw to another base because the runner got there quicker than the fielder expected. In the field, faster players are able to get to and catch more balls. Before working on baserunning, coaches need to teach young players how to run properly and have them run every day to get faster. Speed and agility training is an important part of helping young players develop their athleticism. After a young player has developed his athleticism, all the facets of baserunning become a lot easier. Most of the time players cannot develop athleticism by playing baseball. This should be a priority when it comes to helping young players run the bases better.
To work on running and running the bases, your warm-ups in practice and before games need to be organized around running. Running needs to become a habit for young players. You can begin and end practices with fun running drills and games. Keep in mind that you always want to end practices with a competitive and fun activity because the last thing they do is what they remember. You want them remembering that practice was fun so that they learn faster.
Coaches should talk to track coaches to learn the proper running techniques so that they can help their players run better. Track coaches can teach the techniques and drills that allow players to perfect their running.
A few things need to be taught to help with all facets of baserunning. First is the ability to move quickly from one spot to another. This art is used in baseball and in many other sports. It begins with the hip turn, pushing off one foot and going. This turn will help runners and fielders. In this technique, players turn their hips as quickly as possible, keep the feet low to the ground, and turn on the angle that they need to run. The hip turn helps them move their feet faster. As they turn their hips and their feet touch the ground, they push off with the back foot. This turn can be practiced in warm-up drills, as we explain in the following drills. Read more
To be a well-rounded baseball player, you must develop and practice your base running skills. As my Guide To Base Running Strategy states, because rounding the bags happens almost every play, it is critical to allot time each practice to base running.
To be a talented base runner, you must first recognize when the defense makes a mistake, then be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Develop your team’s base running skills with the following four drills. Each base running drill can be practiced individually, in small groups, or as a team—to incorporate a unified base running mentality.
Base Running Drills
Ground Ball Reads: Anytime a player can eliminate the need for a sacrifice bunt to preserve an out, it’s a huge advantage for the offense. Consider the benefit for your team if you habitually advanced from first base to third through a series of steals.
The Drill: The drill begins with a runner at first, taking a conservative lead. The coach feeds himself the ball and hits it toward centerfield. When the coach feeds himself the ball—the toss serves as the pitch—the runner takes a secondary lead. Once the ball is hit, the runner reacts to the ball by sprinting to second base, while keeping his eye on the ball and the fielder. Before arriving at second base, the runner should have already made a decision on whether to advance to third. As a rule of thumb, continue to third base if you reach second before the outfielder has the ball. Keep in mind: it’s far easier to slam on the brakes than turn on the jets. If the fielder has the ball, simply round the bag and watch the throw, ready to take advantage of a throwing error.
Dirtball Reads: When a pitcher throws a ball in the dirt, take advantage of the opportunity by stealing an extra base. If a ball skips away from the catcher, runners must take advantage of the situation by advancing. The trouble lies with in-between balls, those that stray out of the batter’s box but not out of the dirt circle. This is where a little anticipation comes in handy. Know the count, the situation, where the other runners are and what they may be thinking. If it’s a breaking ball count (0-2, 1-2, even 1-1), expect a ball in the dirt and take an extra step toward the next base. This drill should be performed with a loaded infield and any number of runner combinations. The runners should start at any base in the infield. The coach short hops the ball to home plate, so the catcher, forced to block the ball, allows the runners time to read the situation and quickly decide whether to advance to the next base. The coach should keep the runners honest by mixing in strikes.
Tennis Ball Drop: Obviously, there is no better way to improve your stealing skills than to face a pitcher practicing his pickoff moves. However, this opportunity isn’t always available. When a pitcher isn’t available, use the Tennis Ball Drop drill to improve your reaction time. With a player on the pitcher’s mound holding a tennis ball, the runner takes a lead off first base. The player releases the tennis ball, triggering the runner’s break for second base. Whether the runner runs the full distance to second base, the first ten feet, or halfway, it doesn’t matter, since the first few steps are most important. The player on the mound should vary his release time to eliminate any chance for the runner to time up the pitch.
Resistance Steal Breaks: When it comes to stealing, your first step is your most important. This drill can be done with a tennis ball, a live pitcher or verbal signals. The runner starts by taking a normal lead off first base. Instead of balancing his weight on both feet equally, the runner should exaggerate his lean toward second base by placing more weight on his right foot. A partner standing to the right of the runner place his hands on the runner’s forward leaning (right ) shoulder. The runner should feel somewhat unbalanced. Once in this position, the partner lets go, then pushes the runner forward, propelling him into a sprint. This forces the runner to run fast enough to keep his balance. This drill makes the runner explode out of the gate toward second base. Again, the distance you run can vary between the first ten feet to the entire distance. Just make sure to concentrate on a good start. Read more
Excellence: Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics. Baseball is also the only place in life where a sacrifice is really appreciated. “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”
Robinson Cano’s 10th inning home run lifts American League to All-Star Game victory (read more).
Aaron Judge currently has the top 5 hardest hit baseballs (e.g. approximately 121 mph.) in MLB history. He was the 2017 champion of the “Home Run Derby” the day before All-Star game.
It was also fun to watch Jose Altuve leadoff for the American League, who is one of the top hitters this year batting 0.353 (as of 7/20/17).
American League wins 4-2. Since 1988 the
American League has dominated, winning 22 of 29 with 1 tie (2002). Since inception, National League (43 Wins) American League (42 Wins).
I found it interesting there have been two ties (first one was in 1961 – Read more). This year the starting line-up for the American League included 4 Boston Red Sox Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley and Ortiz and the National League had their entire infield made up of 4 Chicago Cubs Rizzo, Russell, Bryant and Zobrist.
Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the “Midsummer Classic”, is an annual professional baseball game
sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between players from the American League (AL) and the National
League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.
The game usually occurs on either the second or third Tuesday in July, and is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the MLB season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually found within the previous calendar week). Both of the major leagues share a common All-Star break, with no regular-season games scheduled on the day before or the day after the All-Star Game itself (Read more). Johnny Cueto and Chris Sale will be the starting pitchers in the 87th All-Star Game to be played tonight at Petco Park in
Petco Park into a contest of “Can you top this?” For most of the night, the Miami Marlins right fielder found himself trying to outdistance himself, and in the process he stole the show. In the finals, he went first and put the third-seeded Frazier on the defensive. Of his 20 homers, 11 went 440 feet or more (Read more).
Since I’m a loyal Orioles fan, I was cheering for Machado and the other 4 players selected. What is really cool is the fact that no one ever hit a ball off the scoreboard at Petco Park until Mark Trumbo hit a 479-foot homer (Read more). Another really interesting statistic is all the young players who played tonight.
Unfortunately, some people think that the game doesn’t mean anything. However, winning or losing does affect the “home field advantage” for the 2016 World Series. Moreover, I personally believe it is a showcase of the “crim de la crim”. If you love the game as much as I do, it’s exciting to watch the raw
talent and the camaraderie of the best athletes.
Nevertheless, if you look back over the past 4 years that the A.L. had the home field advantage, Kansas City Royals won in 2015 4–1 over the New York Mets but in the previous year, it did not seem to make a difference losing to San Francisco Giants in Game #7 (2014). In 2012, San Francisco Giants also beat Detroit Tigers 4–0. Yet, in 2013, Boston Red Sox with home field advantage won 4–2 over St. Louis Cardinals (Read more).
It was officially decided in August 2009 at the IOC Board meeting in Berlin that baseball would not be included in the 2016 Summer Olympics. What a shame. It starts on August 5 (only three weeks away – Read more). However, the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has proposed the inclusion of five new sports in their event, with baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing being put forward (Read more).
This past spring at Roland Park Baseball, my son Blake started @ 3rd base in the annual RPBL All Star game (little league ages 9-10). Also, I had the honor to be selected as the manager and head coach and it was a blast!
sponsored by Roland Park Baseball Leagues (RPBL) will be a series of four WORKSHOPS at local indoor facilities convenient to Roland Park. These events are designed to address all five of our little league age groups teaching various SKILLS including hitting, base running, infield, outfield, pitching and catching as well as, organizing an effective practice.
Beginner – targeting T-Ball and International League Teams (ages 5-8) Intermediate – targeting National and American League In-house Teams (ages 9-11) Advanced – targeting Teen League and Travel Teams (ages 9-15)
Date: Saturday, February 17 Times: (each workshop is approx. 90 minutes each)
9:00 AM – Beginner
10:30 AM – Intermediate
12:30 PM – Advanced
Location: S3 Training Center Address: 1412 Shoemaker Road Balt., MD 21209 Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile;
Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach; Brooks Kerr, Calvert Hall Coach and Joe Palumbo, Archbishop Spalding Coach
Date: Sunday, February 25 | Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM Location: Gilman (middle school gym) | Address: 5407 Roland Avenue Guest Speakers: Larry Sheets and Russell Wrenn, Gilman Coaches
Date: Sunday, March 4 | Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM Location: Boys Latin (middle school gym) | Address: 822 W Lake Avenue Guest Speaker: Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach
Date: Sunday, March 11 | Time: 2:30 – 4:30 PM Location: Friends (wrestling room / gym) | Address: 5114 N. Charles Street Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile
Bios of our Trainers
(and a few Cameo Appearances)
Brooks Kerr Calvert Hall Varsity Coach
A 1987 Calvert Hall graduate, played varsity baseball as well as basketball and football during his years at Calvert Hall. After graduating from The Hall, Coach Kerr attended Frostburg State University and was a 4-four year baseball letterman and captain his senior year. He is among Frostburg State’s leaders in on-base-percentage, stolen bases and fielding percentage.Coach Kerr joined the Calvert Hall coaching staff in 1992 as the first Freshmen Baseball team Head Coach. He then became the Head Coach on the Junior Varsity in 1993 and won 5 MIAA championships from 1993 to 2000. Coach Kerr became the assistant varsity coach in 2002 and currently is a Guidance Counselor at The Hall. Frostburg State Univeristy – B.S.
Joe Palumbo Archbishop Spalding Varsity Coach
As a high school player, Joe Palumbo provided the spark that drove DeMatha to three straight WCAC baseball championships. When Archbishop Spalding named him as his father’s replacement as head coach on June 19, it was Palumbo’s competitive fire and winning ways that once again set him apart.At DeMatha, Joe was always a coach on the field, says DeMatha Head Coach Sean O’Connor. He was a great two-sport athlete. I am really happy for him and I think he will do a great job at Spalding.In 2004, the All-County shortstop was the Stags’ co-captain and co-MVP on the baseball diamond as well as the valedictorian of his senior class. Palumbo’s efforts earned him a scholarship to the University of Maryland where he went on to play. At Maryland, Palumbo earned All-Academic ACC honors and was known by his coaches for his leadership abilities and clutch hitting.
As an alumnus of Spalding and being Joe’s brother I’m excited, said Dan Palumbo, head coach of the 14U Chesapeake Baseball Association champion Southern Maryland Red River Dogs. Spalding baseball is in good hands. As far as a transition is concerned, Joe will carry on many of my dad’s traditions at Spalding and the players will benefit greatly from that.Continuity in the hand-off between father and son will be a key element in the Cavaliers’ continued success. After winning the MIAA A championship in 2011 and coming close in 2012, Jeff Palumbo, Joe’s father, stepped down from his position at Spalding this spring and accepted the job of president and principal of Pallotti High School in Laurel.Joseph will be great for the players at Archbishop Spalding, says Jeff Palumbo. He is intensely competitive with a great knowledge of the game. He understands what it takes, on and off the field, to compete at the highest levels of high school and college baseball.
In college, Joe Palumbo faced some of the ACC’s best talent, including future big-leaguers Matt Wieters, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Buster Posey, but big challenges have never daunted the 26-year-old Bowie native. When it comes to baseball I’m very similar to my father, says Joe Palumbo. We’ll play aggressive baseball at Spalding. We’ll take some chances on the base paths. We’re going to create runs any way possible. At the plate we’re going to be a team of tough outs. We’ll play with passion and it will be my job to put my players in a good position to succeed and win games. Read more
Larry Sheets Gilman Varsity Coach
Born December 6, 1959 in Staunton, Virginia, and is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played for the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners from 1984 to 1990 and 1993. He also played one season in Japan for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1992.Sheets attended Eastern Mennonite University, where he played basketball. He was named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s all-conference second team in 1980 and to the first team in 1982. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite in 1984. He was named to Eastern Mennonite’s athletic hall of fame in 1988. Sheets currently operates a youth sports facility in Westminster, Maryland, and serves as Gilman School’s head Varsity Baseball coach.He has a son named Gavin in the Chicago White Sox organization. Read more | Stats
Russell Wrenn Gilman Varsity Coach
Coach Wrenn was a three-sport athlete at Gilman. His senior year, he played on the 1996 A Conference championship baseball team; Gilman’s first A conference championship in baseball. Wrenn went on to play baseball and football at Washington & Lee. Wrenn’s college coaching career started in 2000, when he coached football and baseball at Dickinson College. Wrenn next moved to Johns Hopkins, where he worked for legendary baseball coach Bob Babb for two seasons, before returning to Dickinson as the head baseball coach from 2003-2006. As the youngest full-time college baseball coach in the country, Wrenn led Dickinson to their first (and only) conference playoff appearance in his first season. The program established eight school records during Wrenn’s tenure.
Wrenn spent a decade coaching at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta before returning to his alma mater Gilman in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster baseball teams experienced unparalleled success, culminating in the school’s first baseball state championship in forty-one years in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster teams won two region titles and advanced to the state semifinals or finals four consecutive seasons – no other school in the state of Georgia accomplished this level of sustained success from 2013-2016. Wrenn was named the state coach of the year in 2013 and 2016, Atlanta Braves Metro Coach of the Year in 2016, and the America Baseball Coaches Association’ Regional High School Coach of the Year in 2016. Wrenn helped mentor Westminster baseball players who went on to play for LSU, Georgia Tech, Duke, Missouri, Notre Dame, Harvard, Wofford, Butler, Mercer, Richmond, W&L, and the 2016 1st-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians. Russell is married to Erin Wrenn, a lawyer in the state Attorney General’s office, and they have three children, Ronan (8), Cormac (6), and Cavan (4). Gilman News | Read more
Bill Greenwell Boys Latin School of MD Varsity Head Coach
MIAA B Conference (Champions 2017 and 2016)
1992-2012 Grand Slam USA Owner and director of instruction
1999-2001 Seattle Mariners Associate Scout
2001-2003 Park School Varsity Head Baseball Coach
2004 Harford Community College Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
2008-2013 Diamond Pros and Fowble Foundation Head Coach
2011-Present Boys’Latin Head Baseball Coach
Brett Linnenkohl Founder of Impact Sports Baseball
Former Friends School Varsity Baseball Head Coach (MIAA B Conference). Impact founder Brett Linnenkohl always had passion and talent for sports. His dedication took him from little league all-star teams to all-state awards in high school, successes which made him the envy of top Division-1 programs like University of Washington, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Dartmouth, NC State, and Washington State University.In 2004, Brett was a projected 7th round draft pick by MLB.com, but decided to attend Wake Forest University and become a Demon Deacon. Between seasons at Wake, Brett played on college summer circuit, including the notable Alaska and Cape Cod Leagues. An unfortunate injury in 2008 extinguished Brett’s playing career, but sparked a fire for coaching that still burns today. Impact Baseball | Baltimore Sun | College Baseball
Dave Meile Impact Baseball Instructor
Coach Dave played at Shepherd University on scholarship, playing infield and providing the power in the middle of the lineup. Dave continued his career as a coach a Frostburg State University, assisting the team to their first CAC championship. He has worked with numerous kids in surrounding leagues through Impact and has earned the reputation as one of top youth development coaches in the area. Coach Dave is an expert not only in the game of baseball, but a true expert in inspiring athletes to give their all in every workout, while making it fun and enjoyable. Read more
Mike Gottlieb Former Towson University Coach
Mike Gottlieb has been associated with the Towson baseball program for nearly four decades. Gottlieb came to Towson as a player, before joining Bill Hunter’s staff as an assistant coach. He took over as the Tigers head coach prior to the 1988 season. Since taking over, Gottlieb has led Towson to 713 victories, three conference tournament championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.Gottlieb made an immediate impact in his first season as head coach, leading the Tigers to their first appearrance in the NCAA Tournament. He guided Towson to a 30-17-1 record, including capturing the East Coast Conference regular season championship with a 12-2 record.
Junior Brady Policelli led the CAA with a .375 average on his way to earning First-Team All-CAA honors. Policelli would be drafted in the 13th round of the Detroit Tigers. Under his guidance, Gottlieb has had 16 players selected in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, while a handful of other players have signed professional contracts. Left-hander pitcher Chris Nabholz became the first Towson player under Gottlieb to make it to the majors. Nabholz made his major league debut for the Montreal Expos on June 11, 1990, after being selected by the Expos in the second round of the 1988 draft. Nabholz is still the highest drafted player in Towson history.
Casper Wells became the second player from the Gottlieb era to make it to the majors when he made his debut with the Detroit Tigers on May 15, 2010. Wells was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2005 draft. Gottlieb is also responsible for recruiting and coaching all eight All-Americans and all three Freshman All-Americans in school history. He has also coached seven Academic All-Americans and 18 Academic All-District honorees. Read more
Rob Slade Strength & Conditioning Trainer
As owner and developer of the Sport-Speed-Strength Training Program, Rob Slade is the true keystone of S3 Training Center. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S) NSCA, Rob has been training sports teams and individual athletes as well as Police and Firemen since 1981. Rob was awarded the Division 1 Collegiate Conference Strength Coach of the Year (Two times) NSCA. Rob’s past training experience also includes being the former strength and conditioning coach as well as the Assistant Track Coach for UMBC. He also was the former Strength Coach for the USA Sailing and Chessie Racing Teams. Rob has personally trained and provided fitness training for several Police and Fire Departments including Howard County, Maryland State Police and Baltimore County. He is a graduate of Towson State University and is from the Baltimore area. Rob is the physical education instructor for several schools in the area. Finally he holds several patents for the design of exercise equipment used in training. Facebook
Joe Orsulak Private Instructor
Joe’s career spanned 1983 to 1997, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, and Montreal Expos. Orsulak, who threw and batted left-handed, played mostly in the outfield, although he played some games at first base. On the basepaths, he had better than average speed, until a 1987 knee injury slowed him down. His strong arm helped him lead the league, in 1991, in outfield assists. In 1992 he made the first out at the Orioles’ new Camden Yards ballpark, going on to lead the team that year in batting average. Despite his relatively long career (with five major league clubs), he never played in the post-season in the Majors. Wikipedia / NY Times / Baseball Warehouse
Sam Snider Private Instructor
Sam was with the Baltimore Orioles from 1980-2007 serving as the batting practice pitcher, bullpen catcher and bullpen coach. Sam was hired full time with the Orioles by Cal Ripken Sr. in 1987. In his time with the Orioles he threw batting practice to Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. and warmed up greats such as Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Mike Mussina in the bullpen. After the Orioles, Sam went on to coach in the Atlantic League alongside Orioles Hall of Famers Chris Hoiles and Tippy Martinez for the York Revolution. He briefly managed the team in 2009. Sam has 30 years of professional baseball experience and is a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the game. Facebook
I would like to thank Kurt Overton, Bill Greenwell, Rob Slade, Andrew Wolfe, Chris McCullough, Tim Holley and all the Athletic Directors for making this happen and letting us use their indoor facility!
Also, special thanks to ALL the Trainers, including Brett Linnenkohl for providing solid support to RPBL for many years and making a big impact on the development of some outstanding baseball players.
These events are a direct response to some of the feedback from our parents during the 2017 Spring In-house season. We heard your voice and want to make RPBL better. Instructors will include the very best in the business – high school, college and MLB professionals. Also, be sure to check-out some of the “Ripken Way“ online videos and RPBL Coaches’ page. +
On Saturday night in Houston, the Astros defeated the Yankees by a score of 4-0 (box score) in Game 7 of the ALCS. The Astros will now advance to take on the Dodgers in the World Series, which begins Tuesday in Los Angeles.
As for Game 7, Houston starter Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers pitching in relief combined for the three-hit shutout. For the Astros, Evan Gattis and Jose Altuve homered, and Alex Bregman shined on defense. On the other side, CC Sabathia allowed only one run despite putting eight men on base in 3 1/3 innings. However, Tommy Kahnle, who had been perfect in the 2017 postseason, gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings. On offense, the Yankees as a team went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position.
Here are 14 more things to know about Game 7.
Morton was nails
What an effort from Charlie Morton in the biggest game of his life. He coughed up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in his previous ALCS start, but this time around, he threw the ball very well.
Morton was efficient, needing only 54 pitches to get through five innings, 37 of those pitches going for strikes. He had the stuff, sitting mid-90s with the fastball and masterfully weaving in the ol’ 12-to-6 curveball. He allowed just two hits while striking out five and walking one.
The Astros were likely prepared for anything when it came to the pitching plan in this one. Among the most unlikely outcomes heading in, at least for outside observers, was Morton dealing for five scoreless.
It was only five innings — by design — but Morton deserves heaps of praise in this one. He stifled a very good offense.
Home field rules
We just witnessed a seven-game series in which the home team won every game. It feels like this happens often in the NBA, but in MLB it’s not commonplace. In fact, there have only been four postseason series where the home team won every single game (via Dan Hirsch):
1987 World Series – Twins over Cardinals
1991 World Series – Twins over Braves
2001 World Series – Diamondbacks over Yankees
2004 NLCS – Cardinals over Astros
Jose Altuve has led the American League in hits each of the last four seasons, his total adding up to 845. It’s likely none of them evoked the kind of animated display the Houston Astros second baseman let loose after his fifth-inning single Friday.
Jose Altuve was the Astros’ emotional leader in Game 6, firing up the team with a pair of huge key hits.
His fellow Astros hitters were nearly as pumped.
For five-plus games, the most prolific offense in the majors had been bottled up in the AL Championship Series, held to a mere nine runs and a .147 batting average by the New York Yankees pitching staff.
Friday’s do-or-die Game 6 was looking much the same until Brian McCann broke through with a fifth-inning double for the night’s first run, after Houston had gone 4-for-27 in its previous chances with runners in scoring position in the series.
But it wasn’t until Altuve followed three batters later with his two-RBI hit that Minute Maid Park truly exploded, as the sellout crowd of 43,179 sensed a decisive Game 7 would be in the offing.
GAME 6: Verlander dominates again as Astros force decisive Game 7
Wow, it’s hard to believe the season is almost over! 2017 has been an exciting pennant race with the Boston Red Sox going out early and my local favorite – Washington Nationals losing again.
It just seems like Dusty Baker chokes when it counts. They say that baseball is a game of inches. Well, their lost to last year’s World Series Champions – Chicago Cubs was very disappointing given the fact that they had an incredible regular season.
What has been very frustrating this year is the fact that the Baltimore Orioles started off the season with one of the best winning records. However, by late April / early May they fell apart and never saw first place again. The O’s finished in last place.
So, now I’ve switched to the Houston Astros, which I predict are going to beat the Yankees and play the Dodgers in the World Series.
Just about every athlete that I ever played ball with (including soccer, as well as other individual and team sports) always wanted to be the BEST. One of my most competitive sports was perhaps swimming. I used to train with Reds Hucht, coach of Knights of Columbus Orchards (KCO) back in 1980-81 when I was at the climax of my athletic career. I even made it to the Junior Olympics qualifying in 50 backstroke. Reds coached at Calvert Hall and KCO for over 50 years. Read Legacy and MD Hall of Fame.
However, baseball was always and remains to be my favorite sport. In fact, this article is a tribute to Duane Rhine, my good buddy growing up together in Bel Air, MD. I remember playing baseball with Duane just about every day and hitting balls into a “homemade batting net” he built in his backyard. He was a superstar at Bel Air High School and went on to play for some top colleges.
Well, the biggest RISK in life is not trying something you might be afraid of. At least I gave it a shot and tried out for the Baltimore Orioles back in 1985 after I graduated Boys Latin High School. I also tried out for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates that same year. Interestingly, a noteworthy teammate of mine, Brian Kowitz went on to play in the Major Leagues for the Atlanta Braves. Also, that year our Cockeysville travel team won the Maryland State Championship and went up to the Meadowlands in New Jersey to compete in a regional tournament. Duane played short stop on the team. Some other great baseball players during that era were Brian Bark (MLB player from Randalstown), as well as Mark Belanger and Terry Crowley who both had sons that I ran into on the ballfield.
Perhaps the highest level of baseball I competed in was in the All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA). I played for Wagners Baseball who typically always gave Johnny’s a run for the money. Often we split a series. Brian Bark I recall was their star pitcher and I faced him a few times. In case you are not familiar with AAABA, here is a little history.
Johannes Peter “Honus” Wagner (February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955) was an American baseball shortstop who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history with Tony Gwynn. He also led the league in slugging six times, and in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” due to his superb speed and German heritage.
In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth. Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner “maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond.” In addition, Wagner is the featured player of one of the rarest and most valuable baseball cards in the world. Read more
Everyone remembers Earl Weaver from the 80’s. Well, another semi-pro team that I competed against was Johnny’s. Now it’s called Youse’s Maryland Orioles and the All America Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) tournament in Johnstown, Pa., will be seeking an unprecedented fourth straight national title by Youse’s Orioles. They have continued a tradition of excellence that has lasted more than a half-century. For the last five years the team has played under the name of Youse’s Maryland Orioles, in honor of the late legendary coach, Walter Youse, who guided the team the previous 46 seasons. Dean Albany, the most recent of the impressive list of assistants who served under Youse, is in his fifth year as the team’s leader. He is only the third coach in the team’s 55-year history. References: Facebook | Twitter | Wikipedia | Baltimore Wire
Over that period of time, Baltimore’s AAABA representative has won 23 national championships and finished second eight times. At last count, 48 former players have gone to the big leagues, including two Hall of Famers. Two others went on to become major league general managers.
Ray Muhl was the manager of the first Leone’s team that featured Al Kaline. He turned over the reins to Youse in 1957. Youse ran the team under three different names until he passed away five years ago. The team operated under the Leone’s banner until 1972, then had long runs under the names of Johnny’s, sponsored by Johnny Wilbanks, and Corrigan’s, with former Leone’s pitcher Bill Corrigan backing the team. The club has operated as the Maryland Orioles for the last eight years, with the support of the major league team. Read more and Press Box article
Yankee Rebels Baseball Club
In spite of getting a glimpse of the AAABA league, the most memorable experience growing up was when I played for the Rebels.
Once again, Duane Ryan was on the team. I definitely have a lot of pride mentioning that team and it will forever remain in my heart! As a matter of fact, I ran into Joe Palmer, my old coach at Extra Innings last year.
This marks the 43rd Year Anniversary of the Storied Yankee Rebels Baseball Club. In 1969 Young Joseph and Francis Palmer fresh out of the US Air Force launched a series of Yankee Rebels Baseball Clinics, while piloting a new 14u Ball Club. The 1969 team had a rough start, finishing with a record of 5-22. Things improved quickly with the decision after 1972 to have Joe manage the 14u team and Francis to head up the new 16u team. By 1976, the Yankee Rebels Babseball Club began recieving national attention by winning births to three consecutive World Series. The Palmers became Pioneers in their cutting-edge teaching techniques that gave Young Rebel Players the clear advantage over their counterparts. College Coaches and Pro-Scouts were now bombarding the Coaching Staffs for recommendations on players for their specific programs. Francis stepped in to assume the duties of State Commissioner of AABC in 1978 to rescue the troubled program from folding. This program became the pre-cursor for the Baltimore Metro Baseball League that was turned over to Rebels Coach Roger Faw.
The next twenty-five years included the creation of High School Fall Ball Leagues and the East Coast Premiere Fall Showcase Program. The Yankee Rebels Fall Showcase Program was designed for Graduating High School Seniors. By 2001 the Yankee Rebels Baseball Club included players from all over the State of Maryland with over 90% of them continuing their play at the collegiate or pro levels. Thirty-eight former Rebels Players signed Major League Baseball Contracts over the past 43 years. The Rebels have won 61 State and 24 Regional Championships, while competing in 47 World Series. The Yankee Rebels Professional Tree remains strong today with former players representing coaching at the High School, College, and Professional Ranks. Rebel Players are also currently positioned in areas of Pro-Scouting, College and Professional Umpiring, and Front Office Personnel in Colleges and Major League Baseball. Joe Palmer remains active in the Yankee Rebels Organization today, serving as President with General Manager Sherman Reed, Sr running the day to day operations of the Club. Read more
Yankee Rebels president Joseph Palmer said he has noticed a distinct difference between kids today with kids five years ago. Palmer said that kids today don’t have great baseball skills because of a lack of dedication. “If I challenge a kid like I did five or 10 years ago, he walks away. They want everything with a snap of a finger and don’t want to work for it. It’s mainly because parents put their kids on a pedestal, and the kids then think they don’t have to practice the skills part of the game.”
“People wonder how a scrawny kid like Dave Johnson [from Middle River] made it to the major leagues,” Palmer said. “He made it with hard work and by gaining baseball skills. All you need to do is be willing to work.” Palmer said some kids want to play games more than they want to learn the game. For that reason, more kids now are choosing to play in summer leagues than joining baseball camps. “Kids don’t realize that no one is going to remember who won yesterday’s game,” Palmer said. “They are focused on the winning and losing part of the game, but they can put that time into developing skills that will help them in the future.” Read more
Sterling “Sheriff” Fowble
Class of 1936 McDaniel College
Although he was a four-sport Green Terror, he excelled in soccer and baseball. After playing semi-pro baseball, he scouted for the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds, discovering greats like Al Kaline, Ron Swoboda, and Dick Boswell. He also was noted for working more than 30 years with 15- to 17-year-olds in Baltimore’s amateur leagues.
Fowble, coach 46 years on sandlots, dies at 76
Sterling “Sheriff” Fowble was a baseball man to the end. Only a few weeks ago he was saluted by a national organization as amateur coach of the year for Maryland. He went to a Western Maryland Hall of Fame affair and attended Carroll County and Patterson Park old-timers functions.
On Friday, Fowble, who managed 14-16 age group sandlot teams for 46 years in Baltimore, died of congestive heart failure at the age of 76.
For decades, when you thought of amateur baseball in this area, you thought primarily of two men: Fowble and Walter Youse, general manager of Johnny’s in an older age group.
When Orioles general manager Roland Hemond spoke at an old-timers’ banquet last year, he said: “If there were more men like Sheriff Fowble and Walter Youse in other cities, baseball would never have to worry about anything.”
More than 800 boys came under Fowble’s guidance. Last summer, even when his health was failing, he was general manager of the Harbor Federal Savings and Loan team and his wife of 51 years, Virginia, as always, was scorekeeper. Bill Becker, who played under Fowble in 1955, was manager.
“We had no children of our own, but every year we kept 18 boys out of trouble,” Virginia Fowble said. “We were the richest couple in the world.”
Fowble worked as an accountant for Bethlehem Steel for 42 years. On the side, he scouted for the Cincinnati Reds for 15 years and for the New York Mets for 22. But his passion, and Virginia’s, was their sandlot team.
Twelve players managed by Fowble went on to the major leagues, including Al Kaline, Dave Boswell, Phil Linz, Jim Spencer, Ron Swoboda and Moose Haas. Kaline wound up in the Hall of Fame.
Swoboda wound up in the outfield of the New York Mets when they upset the Orioles in the 1969 World Series. Today he is the sports anchor for WVUE-TV in New Orleans — and a grandfather.
“Sheriff didn’t have kids, but in another sense he had a whole lot of them,” Swoboda said. “I was lucky enough to be one of Sheriff’s boys. If you didn’t play for Sheriff and Youse in Baltimore, you didn’t make it in pro ball. I’d never have been elevated to Youse if it hadn’t been for Sheriff.”
It was Fowble who switched Swoboda from third base to the outfield. Swoboda was indignant. Even his mother was upset.
“In my first game in left field, on the Patterson Park diamond near the tennis courts, a ball was hit over my head,” Swoboda said. “I ran it down and threw the guy’s butt out at third base. I thought, ‘Hey, you can win games out here, too.’
“Sheriff was relentless. When you did something wrong, you heard about it. It was the first time a coach yelled at me. He was never malicious, never tore you down.
Fowble’s teams, known variously as High’s Ice Cream, High A.C., Gordon’s Stores, G & M Scrap, Highland Lanes, Hi-Landers, Highland Federal Savings and Loan and Harbor Federal, won 24 Baltimore City championships.
He had a couple of undefeated seasons and during a stretch from 1956-58, Gordon’s Stores won 83 straight. In their East Baltimore home, the Fowbles have a baseball for every year they were active with a team, except Kaline’s year, 1951. Sheriff said somebody took it out of the display case.
It all began one day in 1946 when a group of neighborhood boys knocked on the Fowbles’ door and told Virginia they wanted Sheriff to manage a baseball team.
“He’s down at the tavern playing cards,” Virginia said. “Go ask him. It would be good for him.”
An all-around athlete at Westminster High, Fowble went on to Western Maryland College and played four sports there. An outfielder, he spent a few weeks with a Boston Red Sox farm team in the Piedmont League, but couldn’t throw a lick because of a cranky shoulder that lingered from his football days. Read more
Today, I still try to keep in shape and enjoy swimming. It’s important to have heroes in life! Nevertheless, like I said earlier, the nice thing about sports is that it builds character, because there is always someone better than you tomorrow. In 2001 I competed in my first triathlon.
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.
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.
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