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
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.
In the most controversial decision in Kentucky Derby history, 65-to-1 long shot Country House was named the winner of the race after Maximum Security, who went under the wire first, was disqualified by stewards. In 1968, In the most incredible post-running of the Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was disqualified for interference on Saturday and Country Home was declared the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby history was set Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Maximum Security led nearly wire-to-wire in the Run of the Roses, but a ruling upon objection caused the horse to be the first winner ever disqualified in the American Triple Crown race for a riders’ objection. So yes, Country House has won the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The second-biggest underdog ever to win at 65-1 came out ahead in part because it stayed wide while previously undefeated Maximum Security caused a ruckus inside. Code of Honor finished second, and Tacitus was third in the rectified results. Country House likely was not impacted as Maximum Security left its lane, but Country House’s team (his jockey was Flavien Prat, and his trainer William I. Mott) pulled the objection because of a wide swing that likely caused War of Will and possibly other horses to slow down. The winner of a Kentucky Derby never had been disqualified.
Maximum Security took an early lead as many expected on the wet track and led for most of the early going, which was expected by SportsLine horse-racing expert Hank Goldberg. He held it all the way, only to see the victory taken by review.
2019 Kentucky Derby Final Results
1. Country House
2. Code of Honor
5. Game Winner
DQ: Maximum Security
Kentucky Derby payout information
Country House, 65-1 — WIN $132.40, PLACE $56.60, SHOW $24.60
Code of Honor, 14-1 — PLACE $15.20 SHOW $9.80
Tacitus, 5-1 — SHOW $5.60
$2 exacta — $3,009.60
$1 trifecta — $11,475.30
$1 superfecta — $51,400.10
This is the second straight year the Derby was held on a sloppy track after record rainfall drenched Churchill Downs in 2018. The weather didn’t exactly put a damper on the previous winner, either, as Justify not only snapped a more than 100-year-old Apollo Curse but went on to win the American Triple Crown thanks in part due to his performance in muddy Louisville. The win marked the fifth career Kentucky Derby victory for trainer Bob Baffert, who had three different horses in Saturday’s competition.
Winner is the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at 9-2. Game Winner is followed by Roadster and Improbable (both at 5-1). The entire event along with pre-race coverage and more on www.NBCSports.com (including streaming Friday through Saturday).
Live event coverage from the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will take place on Saturday with a post time of 6:50 p.m. ET. Game Winner is now the favorite to win Saturday after Omaha Beach was scratched. Read more
Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).Mar 30, 2016
Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing
Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner, at the 1919 Preakness Stakes
American Pharoah, the 12th and latest winner, at the 2015 Preakness Stakes
The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. These races are now run annually in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner.
Only twelve horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).
Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races. His time of 2:24 for 1 1⁄2 miles in the 1973 Belmont Stakes also set a world record that still stands. Read more
An older stallion. Sire Bold Ruler. Grandsire Nasrullah. Dam Somethingroyal. Damsire Princequillo. Sex Stallion. Foaled March 30, 1970 The Meadow, Caroline County, Virginia. Died October 4, 1989 (aged 19) Claiborne Farm Paris, Kentucky. Breeder Meadow Stud (Christopher Chenery). Owner Meadow Stable (Christopher Chenery, Penny Chenery). Racing colors Blue, white blocks, white stripes on sleeves, blue cap. Trainer Lucien Laurin. Record
21:16–3–1. Earnings $1,316,808
Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who, in 1973, became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. His record-breaking win in the Belmont Stakes, where he left the field 31 lengths behind him, is widely regarded as one of the greatest races of all time. During his racing career, he won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. In the List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Secretariat is second only to Man o’ War (racing career 1919–1920), who also was a large chestnut colt given the nickname “Big Red”.
At age two, Secretariat finished fourth in his 1972 debut in a maiden race, but then won seven of his remaining eight starts, including five stakes victories. His only loss during this period was in the Champagne Stakes, where he finished first but was disqualified to second for interference. He received the Eclipse Award for champion two-year-old colt, and also was the 1972 Horse of the Year, a rare honor for a horse so young. At age three, Secretariat not only won the Triple Crown, he set speed records in all three races. His time in the Kentucky Derby still stands as the Churchill Downs track record for 1 1⁄4 miles, and his time in the Belmont Stakes stands as the American record for 1 1⁄2 miles on the dirt. His controversial time in the Preakness Stakes was eventually recognized as a stakes record in 2012. Secretariat’s win in the Gotham Stakes tied the track record for 1 mile, he set a world record in the Marlboro Cup at 1 1⁄8 miles and further proved his versatility by winning two major stakes races on turf. He lost three times that year: in the Wood Memorial, Whitney and Woodward Stakes, but the brilliance of his nine wins made him an American icon. He won his second Horse of the Year title, plus Eclipse Awards for champion three-year-old colt and champion turf horse.
At the beginning of his three-year-old year, Secretariat was syndicated for a record-breaking $6.08 million on condition that he be retired from racing by the end of the year. Although he sired several successful racehorses, he ultimately was most influential through his daughters’ offspring, becoming the leading broodmare sire in North America in 1992. Secretariat died in 1989 due to laminitis. His daughters produced several notable sires, including Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, Gone West, Dehere and Chief’s Crown, and through them Secretariat appears in the pedigree of many modern champions. He continues to be recognized as one of the greatest horses in American racing history. Read more
Saturday, May 6th @ 2:30pm is the 143rd running of the Derby
Check out the News. The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. Location: Churchill Downs; Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Track: Left-handed. Distance: 1 1⁄4 miles (10 furlongs; 2,012 m). Purse: US$2 million; 1st: $1,425,000. Record: 1: 59 2⁄5 secs, Secretariat (1973). Qualification: 3-year-old. Inaugurated: 1875.
The Infield – The People’s Race…The People’s Party
Opened in the fall of 1870, with the colt Preakness winning the first running of the Dinner Party Stakes. Three years later the horse would have the 1873 Preakness Stakes named in his honor. The track is also noted as the home for the match race in which Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in the second Pimlico Special, on November 1, 1938, before a crowd of 43,000. The capacity of the stadium is 98,983.
The Preakness Stakes and the Pimlico Special are run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles. The Pimlico track record for that distance is held by Farma Way, who set it while winning the Pimlico Special in 1991.
In the century and more since its opening, Pimlico Race Track has weathered much outside history including the 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore, Great Depression of the 1930s, and several notable Baltimore riots. Pimlico also survived Prohibition and even an anti-gambling movement in 1910. As Alfred G. Vanderbilt said, “Pimlico is more than a dirt track bounded by four streets. It is an accepted American institution, devoted to the best interests of a great sport, graced by time, respected for its honorable past.” The races held at Pimlico, especially the Preakness, draw spectators from the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2007, the official attendance was 121,263 for the Preakness, the most people to watch a sporting event in Maryland history. More than $87.2 million in bets were made.
On March 23, 2010 an agreement was reached to sell the two Maryland Jockey Club tracks (Pimlico and Laurel Park) from Magna Entertainment Corporation to its parent company, MI Development. On May 7, Penn National, with MI Development, announced they would jointly own and operate the Maryland Jockey Club. Penn National, which began in 1973, operating a thoroughbred race track near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has grown to become the largest racetrack operator in the country.
In June 2011, The Stronach Group took control of the tracks when MI Development bought out Penn National Gaming’s minority stake in the Maryland Jockey Club, which owned Laurel Park Racecourse, Pimlico, and a training facility in Bowie. The Stronach Group is owned by Canadian horse breeder and owner Frank Stronach, who also was MI Development’s chairman and chief executive, a position he gave up in order to run Maryland’s racetracks. Penn National bought a 49% stake in the Jockey Club in 2010 in hopes of securing a slots license at Laurel Park. Read more
The 149th Running of the Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Read more. The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. It is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) horse race, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg).
The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion and The Run for the Carnations, is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown and is held five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes, on a Saturday between June 5 and June 11. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record (which is also a track and world record on dirt) of 2:24.
The attendance at the Belmont Stakes is among the American thoroughbred racing top attended events. The 2004 Belmont Stakes drew a television audience of 21.9 million viewers, and had the highest household viewing rate since 1977 when Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown.
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.
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.
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. Also, 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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
I will never forget this commercial growing up => ABC Wide World of Sports featuring Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali.
ABC’s Wide World of Sports is an American sports anthology television program that aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from April 29, 1961 to January 3, 1998, primarily on Saturday afternoons. Hosted by Jim McKay, with a succession of co-hosts beginning in 1987, the title continued to be used for general sports programs on the network until 2006. In 2007, Wide World of Sports was named by Time Magazine on its list of the 100 best television programs of all-time. Read more
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves. In ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics.
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 Read Sportsmanship
Brewers topple Reds 12-2 @ St. Helena Park (300 Willow Spring Road Baltimore, MD 21222). We remain undefeated, with 3 Wins and Zero (0) Losses. Our current standings would have more games played if it weren’t for all the bad weather. Unfortunately, we had over 5 weeks of rainouts and holidays so we have a lot of games that need to get made-up. For more info, visit www.over40baseball.org
Well, if you have been following my “web logs” AKA blogs, then you would know I came out of retirement three (3) years ago. As a matter of fact, I am playing “Major League Rules” baseball with my old high school glove (over 30 years ago). It’s a very small infielder’s glove that is broken in and I love it! I also acquired a newer glove to play softball for US Army – Aberdeen Proving Ground team back in 2010 which is a little bigger and I use for pitching.
We are required to use wooden bats and most little league and high school folks don’t understand why? The simple answer is power. A wood bat’s sweet spot, although usually quite smaller than composite or alloy, may perform as well as a certified bat. Also, wood bats are heavier to swing compared to aluminum and composite. Interesting side story: last year my son lost his little league glove (left at the field of the Essex Father’s day tournament). Obviously, a baseball player’s glove is “irreplaceable” and arguably the most important piece of equipment. It generally takes a few months to break a good Rawlings glove in properly.
So, to make a long story short, if MLB used aluminum they would have to build larger ball parks. Home run fence would need to be extended at least another 100 feet. The “Green Monster” is a popular nickname for the 37’2″ high left field wall at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox baseball team. The wall is only 310–315 feet from home plate.
Nevertheless, the main reason for starting this article is because of my very poor performance this past weekend. Even though we destroyed the Reds, I batted 0-4. Batting lefty, I hit 4 ground balls all to the 1st and 2nd baseman. However, one of them I hit on the “screws” but infielder made a nice play. I need to start hitting line drives. Hopefully, next weekend, Jun 12 when we face the Royals @ Martindale Park (990 Homberg Ave Baltimore, MD 21221), things will be different. Last year I had two stand-up triples and anybody who has ever played the game KNOWS there is no better feeling.
Why tracking your Batting Average is HURTING your Batting Average
Every season, players and coaches set goals based on how they want to perform over the course of the season. Hitters want to hit .300. Pitchers want to have a sub-3 ERA. Coaches want to win 20, 30, 50, or 100 games, depending on the level of play. These measurable stats have existed since the beginning of baseball, and in particular the batting average has become the go-to number to illustrate a hitters success.
But is batting average, hits, or strikeouts really the way to measure the success of hitters throughout the course of the season? When they line out to the shortstop and see “0-1” in the stat book, is that a way for them to build confidence as a hitter? It’s probably the way for them to LOSE confidence as a hitter. Because according to baseball history, an out is the definition of a failed attempt. Which is crazy, because so much of this is out of our control!
Think about it, you did everything right over the course of an at-bat. You visualized hitting a missile in the on deck circle, and strolled up to the plate with a slight smirk knowing you were about to do DAMAGE to this baseball. You had a simple plan of attack. To HUNT the fastball, be on time for it, and LET IT FLY. You were focused, relaxed, and calm.
As you saw the first pitch fastball seeming to move in slow motion to your happy-zone, you did exactly what you had planned. YOU LET THE BARREL FLY! The barrel met the baseball with so much speed and pureness, that it sent it sizzling on a line…directly to the shortstop, whose momentum took him 2 steps back after catching the baseball at such a high speed…0-1
You’re not terribly mad at your at-bat, but you are disappointed you didn’t get the end-result. According to baseball you failed. According to the stat of all stats (batting average), you are a worse hitter than you were going into the at-bat. Which is starting to weigh on your head. Because going into the last month of the season, you’re hitting .308…and your average has been steadily declining over the last couple weeks.
If the mental aspect of the game is really 90% of success in baseball, then why not approach the game with a mindset that enables consistency? If consistency is the ultimate sign of a great player, why don’t we change our mindset to allow it to happen? Read more
Bryce Harper’s Hitter’s Mentality
Do you feel “lost’ at the plate? Have you had that feeling like there is nothing you can do to get a hit no matter what you try? Does self-doubt overtake you when you step in the batter’s box?
Sometimes, a string of bad at-bats can overwhelm a hitter. You may even start thinking that you are in a “slump” and feeling that you can’t hit anything. The fact is that you can’t hit every pitch, nobody can. The only way a string of bad at-bats turns into a slump is if you buy into the “slump” mentality.
Bryce Harper, 21, is the youngest player in the MBL, despite being in his third season in the big leagues. Harper hit .143 through the first five games for the Washington Nationals. Harper even showed signs of frustration slamming down his helmet and throwing his bat at a few bad at-bats. Harper started to think he was in a “slump.”
Harper said he received some good advice from his fatherwho coached when he was young:
“Man, you need to stop thinking so much. Just go out and hit the baseball. Plain and simple… It’s sometimes where you start slow and that’s just part of the game and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just have fun, smile, laugh, just be as happy as you can all the time and good things will happen.”
Harper took heed to his father’s advice and it paid off with an eight-game hitting streak and a jump in his batting average to .340.
Harper started to trust his abilities, stopped over-thinking when in the batter’s box and knew the hits would eventually come if he focused on the process…
Maybe you had swung at some bad pitches… so what? Learn from the at-bat, have a calm mind, trust your swing, and move forward.
Adopt a hitter’s mentality: Take charge of your mental game. Focus on quality at-bats instead of your hitting average. This can help you focus on the process. (Read more).
I would be remiss if I did not include some stories about my daughter. She is turning 12 next month and I’m so proud of all her accomplishments. In particular, she has done exceptionally well in school and extracurricular activities like Piano, Dance and Theater.
When it comes to sports, there tends to be a big “misperception”. My wife found this video and it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.
Chelsea is an excellent runner and swimmer. This is her 7th year playing soccer and continues to excel with great success. This spring she is playing lacrosse (2nd year) for the Roland Park Middle School “B” Lacrosse coached by Sarah Layng and Kelsy Mugele. Read more
Personally, I played baseball my whole life so I was not familiar with some of the skills she needed to develop. Thankfully, her coach suggested the following sites that has proved to be very helpful from the Denver, Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Team: