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  #1  
Old 07-11-19, 07:46 AM
seclmw seclmw is offline
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Some general thoughts on baseball

A few random thoughts on baseball -

(1) "travel" or "club" teams -
*While I am intimidated by the various player (family) costs thrown around and also an uncomfortable about baseball becoming more of a money sport (like tennis, swimming, gymnastics, etc.) I think these teams do provide access to baseball.
*Local (community) based programs are becoming few and far between and the old-style "sponsored" teams have dropped off as their "owners" have aged. This is why I like American Legion there is still (in most cases) a community network.
*The new generation of managers / coaches are - like much of our culture - far more "results oriented" than those local individuals and business that sponsored teams because they wanted to. Bills have to paid, and often now the player (family) are the ones covering the costs.

(2) Professional sports are encountering a similar "conversion". Bill Veeck, Horace Stoneham, Mike Illitch, George Steinbrenner, Tom Yawkey are all gone. Most professional sport teams are now a business - partly because of player mobility but also the desire for quick results. See the difference in the Detroit Tigers and RedWings where the family replaced the "sportsman" Mike Illitch.

(3) Sports will always have "haves and have nots" - financial, talent, time, opportunities (even weather) cannot be controlled (at least for now); but what can be controlled are -
*player interest (this is mostly the player's responsibility)
*community interest (this means getting a lot of "no thank yous")
*game official interest (coaches & umpires/referees) - this means tolerancel

(4) The search for "best". I have been asked about the "best" HS and summer teams I've seen.
I do not know why - since I am certainly no expert.
"Best" is a variable - is it most college players? is it most drafted players? is it most wins? is it most trophies? is it "championships"?
"Best" is up to your definition. If you have a group that has an enjoyable season, is better at the end than when they started - then I'd say things are good.

*Long ago in an IBM database class they started with the question "What is the best database?". After letting us chatter away the lead presenter said "There is no single correct answer - it depends on what you need". Not a bad thing to remember about life.

One last thing - you can learn a lot from baseball -If you worry about the prior pitch, at-bat, play, umpire's call you arn't paying attention to the "now". Life is lived in the present, not the past.

Anyway - just thinking out loud in the heat.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-19, 08:12 AM
scbuckeye99 scbuckeye99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seclmw View Post
A few random thoughts on baseball -

(1) "travel" or "club" teams -
*While I am intimidated by the various player (family) costs thrown around and also an uncomfortable about baseball becoming more of a money sport (like tennis, swimming, gymnastics, etc.) I think these teams do provide access to baseball.
*Local (community) based programs are becoming few and far between and the old-style "sponsored" teams have dropped off as their "owners" have aged. This is why I like American Legion there is still (in most cases) a community network.
*The new generation of managers / coaches are - like much of our culture - far more "results oriented" than those local individuals and business that sponsored teams because they wanted to. Bills have to paid, and often now the player (family) are the ones covering the costs.


(2) Professional sports are encountering a similar "conversion". Bill Veeck, Horace Stoneham, Mike Illitch, George Steinbrenner, Tom Yawkey are all gone. Most professional sport teams are now a business - partly because of player mobility but also the desire for quick results. See the difference in the Detroit Tigers and RedWings where the family replaced the "sportsman" Mike Illitch.

(3) Sports will always have "haves and have nots" - financial, talent, time, opportunities (even weather) cannot be controlled (at least for now); but what can be controlled are -
*player interest (this is mostly the player's responsibility)
*community interest (this means getting a lot of "no thank yous")
*game official interest (coaches & umpires/referees) - this means tolerancel

(4) The search for "best". I have been asked about the "best" HS and summer teams I've seen.
I do not know why - since I am certainly no expert.
"Best" is a variable - is it most college players? is it most drafted players? is it most wins? is it most trophies? is it "championships"?
"Best" is up to your definition. If you have a group that has an enjoyable season, is better at the end than when they started - then I'd say things are good.

*Long ago in an IBM database class they started with the question "What is the best database?". After letting us chatter away the lead presenter said "There is no single correct answer - it depends on what you need". Not a bad thing to remember about life.

One last thing - you can learn a lot from baseball -If you worry about the prior pitch, at-bat, play, umpire's call you arn't paying attention to the "now". Life is lived in the present, not the past.

Anyway - just thinking out loud in the heat.
Like everything else in society someone at some point in time realized they could turn youth baseball into a money maker for themselves and or their group.
  #3  
Old 07-11-19, 08:45 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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No this sentiment is so pessimistic. A need is being met. A market has been established. A pathway to playing baseball at high levels is being developed. Yes, it is getting pricey but there are good cost efficient alternatives. Bottom line, there is some good instruction going on and there is a lot good baseball being played.
  #4  
Old 07-12-19, 10:03 AM
thePITman thePITman is offline
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There are ways to provide alternatives to travel baseball. I have been our community's 14U baseball coach the last 6 years, while also running the preseason open gyms for our 13U and 14U kids, providing stability and good coaching as they prepare to enter high school. I used to be a varsity assistant with our current varsity coach, so I know what he expects and how he coaches; and I take my job seriously of preparing our 7th and 8th graders for high school.

While many of our community's kids play travel ball in the 8U-12U age range, over the course of the last 6 years, we've seen a significant increase in the number of our players who are LEAVING travel ball to come play for our community/rec team, instead of the other way around. And for those who had played rec ball all along, I am oftentimes their first non-parent coach, which sometimes brings players BACK into the mix that had quit because of the ever-so-common "daddy ball."

Our 13U and 14U kids are still receiving excellent coaching, as well as getting in 30+ games each summer, but for a fraction of the cost (basically the community rec baseball registration fees). We belong to a league to play local teams, and we also join 3-5 competitive tournaments throughout the summer. The kids also get to play with their friends and classmates. It's a great situation all around.

Obviously it's not easy to find people who are willing to volunteer their time for 7 months out of the year to coach teams when they have no kids involved, but many good baseball programs have stability in the lower ages. I know Defiance makes sure their youth coaches all teach the same philosophies and fundamentals. For a long time, Waynedale had the same 2 guys coaching the 7th and 8th graders (whoever coached the 7th graders would stick with them as 8th graders as the other coach took the new 7th graders for 2 years).

There are many ways it can be done - and it's easier said than done - but setting up a structure that works for your community is a good start to providing an alternative to the pricey mega-industry of travel baseball.

Just my $0.02
  #5  
Old 07-12-19, 12:15 PM
thavoice thavoice is offline
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Pitman,
I believe you said you go to all the state games and have for a long time now.
I catch my fair share of HS baseball and I haven't seen the players get any better as a result of this non stop travel baseball.
Do they play more agmes now? Absolutely. Do they get as much practice time in as they should? Doesn't appear so.

I find it very crazy that the 13 yr old boy will have more games in that my JR Godson through the spring and summer and he played on a team that made it to the finals and is on a summer ACME team.

Back in the day at the HS level we usually got in 55-60 games with spring ball and ACME and that is a lot of games, but we held many a practice before and/or after said games because our coach didn't want us to lose the fundamentals.
  #6  
Old 07-12-19, 05:02 PM
scbuckeye99 scbuckeye99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thavoice View Post
Pitman,
I believe you said you go to all the state games and have for a long time now.
I catch my fair share of HS baseball and I haven't seen the players get any better as a result of this non stop travel baseball.
Do they play more agmes now? Absolutely. Do they get as much practice time in as they should? Doesn't appear so.

I find it very crazy that the 13 yr old boy will have more games in that my JR Godson through the spring and summer and he played on a team that made it to the finals and is on a summer ACME team.

Back in the day at the HS level we usually got in 55-60 games with spring ball and ACME and that is a lot of games, but we held many a practice before and/or after said games because our coach didn't want us to lose the fundamentals.
This has become a recent ongoing discussion in the wrestling community. More matches or more time drilling?
  #7  
Old 07-12-19, 05:34 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thePITman View Post
While many of our community's kids play travel ball in the 8U-12U age range, over the course of the last 6 years, we've seen a significant increase in the number of our players who are LEAVING travel ball to come play for our community/rec team, instead of the other way around. And for those who had played rec ball all along, I am oftentimes their first non-parent coach, which sometimes brings players BACK into the mix that had quit because of the ever-so-common "daddy ball."
That's great to see. Local rec leagues are the lifeblood of the future of baseball. Some of those "not-so-good" players grow up to be big fans of the sport. They also pass that love of the game to their children. If they aren't playing baseball, maybe they don't grow up as a fan.

I'm on the softball side now and what frustrates me is that we could put together a great rec league of kids from our town. As of right now, we have three teams in the 12U rec league. Most of those kids play travel ball on weekends. But there are a couple dozen playing elsewhere. We could have 5-6 excellent rec league teams that can compete with most mid-level travel teams. A couple neighboring cities are in the same situation. Keep all these kids in the rec league, they could be playing solid competition minutes from home with reasonable schedules.
  #8  
Old 07-12-19, 06:01 PM
BASESWIMPARENT BASESWIMPARENT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thavoice View Post
Pitman,
I believe you said you go to all the state games and have for a long time now.
I catch my fair share of HS baseball and I haven't seen the players get any better as a result of this non stop travel baseball.
Do they play more agmes now? Absolutely. Do they get as much practice time in as they should? Doesn't appear so.

I find it very crazy that the 13 yr old boy will have more games in that my JR Godson through the spring and summer and he played on a team that made it to the finals and is on a summer ACME team.

Back in the day at the HS level we usually got in 55-60 games with spring ball and ACME and that is a lot of games, but we held many a practice before and/or after said games because our coach didn't want us to lose the fundamentals.
With all due respect, I am flying the BS flag right now on this. Three years ago, not one high school player got drafted in the major league draft. Not one. Last year 5 got drafted in the tri-state area alone (all five signed by the way). This past year, I think there were 2 in SWO alone and I think a couple up north. Couple that with all the D1 signees all over SWO and I cannot believe the baseball has not gotten any better. Maybe there are some teams that get hot and make it to the tourney finals and more talented teams crap out (yes Mason I am talking about you), but high school baseball is certainly being played at a higher level on average across the board.
 

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