Thursday, June 21, 2007


I've written numerous blog about illegal sling pitching and how it changes the whole dynamic of the game.

But what about the opposite end of the spectrum - Lob pitching?

Lob pitching is when the pitcher slowing tosses the ball over the plate.

It ironic that a lot of guys can't hit lob. It should be as easy as cake , like whistling dixxy.

But it's not?

Top Ten Reasons Why Hitting Lob pitching is Harder than it looks

10. Overconfidence - it looks so easy even a Caveman can do it - but looks can be deceiving
9. Inability to wait on the ball - Impatience leads to lunging which leads to easy ground ball to 3B or SS. It goes against the very nature of how hitters are taught to react. Hits are taught to be quick and react. Lob Balls requires patience and staying back
8. Pull Pull Pull - everyone wants to pull the ball macho style - leads to a lot of over swinging and lazy fly balls. People forget a hit to the opposite field counts the same as a hit to your pull zone.
7. You just suck and even when the pitcher gives you the ball you still can't hit it
6. People press - Lob can frustrate aggressive hitters, it starts out with a few hard liners that are caught, and you feel you need to do more, but more is less as you fall into the trap that points 9 and 8 addressed
5. It gets in your mind - It's mostly psychological like point 6 alluded it
4. Slow Pitching makes you sleepy. Sleepy players slump and before you know it your saying "I can't believe we only scored 2 runs off this guy"
3. If you play on a nice field with Lob pitching, the infielders play people to pull and the balls are usually hit clean and sharp to them giving them more time to throw, while outfielders play deep and few balls get passed them because of the high grass. In other words, nice fields prevent errors which help any pitcher out.
2. Lob pitchers rarely walk anyone, so if a lob baller catches a team on a day they are off and he is getting good defense, it puts even more pressure on a struggling offense to hit there way on.

and the Number One Reasons Why Hitting Lob pitching is Harder than it looks

1. Inability of a hitter to adjust, check their ego, and hit the ball on the ground to all fields. My boy Chris said it the other day "I don't want to hear that you can't hit slow pitching!! That's retarded!!!"

Disappointing Plays

"Tener vergüenza es parte de el juego" - having shame is part of the game
"Baseball is a very humbling game"
"Baseball/Softball is a game of failure"

These are all says that some wise baseball philosopher came up with to help ball players deal with failure.

They help a little, but the facts are that disappointing plays are well disappointing

Here are some of the more disappointing plays and what they feel like

Top Ten Disappointing plays in Softball

10. Dropping a fly ball - This is a totally shocking and embarrassing error - you feel like this should never happen. The worse part is your all alone in the OF standing out there on an island - you feel shipwrecked
9. Hitting into a double play with runners on 1st and 2nd or bases loaded - Leaves you with a totally impotent feeling
8. Striking out in softball - this one is Tricky - If it was the umps fault you can blow it off - but if an average pitcher K's you - you feel like everyone is laughing at you
7. Throwing Error - one of the worse types of plays b/c you end up giving the runner extra bases - has a snowball effect
6. Collision in the OF between 2 fielders - feels like a car accident that you never saw coming - it hurts
5. Manager walks one batter to get to another batter who then promptly homers - Manager is 2nd guessed to death and gets labeled as a micro-manager who over thinks
4. Walk Off Lost - other team wins in the last inning and leaves you on the field - Makes you feel like someone stole all your Birthday or Christmas presents
3. Winning a game by Forfeit - covered in a previous blog - It's like bad sex - leaves you disappointed and unsatisfied - total waste of time
2. Passive Errors - Infielder backs up on a grounder, OF miscommunicate, pitcher walks in the game winning run - leaves you feeling sick to your stomach

and the Number One Disappointing Play in Softball

1. Losing on a Bad call my the Ump - feels like some Con Man stole your money or worse like the IRS audited you and you have no choice but to do what they say even though you hate them

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Softball Birthday

As Yogi Berra might say
"Today is my Birthday and there special b/c I only get one once a year".

Today, June 19th, I turn 38 - damn that's old but in softball terms that's the prime of your career.

On your Birthday you get to make a wish but being that I am Mr. Top Ten I get Ten of them

Top Ten Softball Birthday Wishes

10. I wish all slingers would stay out of modified leagues - I know I'm a broken record about this topic but that would make me happy
9. That Gallagher's beats Choice Parts this weekend while I'm away in Boston and sends the evil Sith Lord Rosenmiller home with a loss
8. That Gubi never wears that horrible wife beating tank top ever again to one of our games
7. That we beat Bears Stearn's tonight in the Wall Street Softball league
6. That the Mets beat Johan Santana tonight - I know that's not softball but my Mets need all the help they can get and a little Birthday luck might do the trick
5. That Johnny Castillo come out of the witness protection program and return to play softball
4. I hope I get all the liquor I want into my system immediately after the game tonight - nothing like blogging hammered
3, Astrid - again not softball related, but she's really #1 and if I don't include her in this blog I'm history - In other words, I'm p-whipped
2. A good season gets better

and the Number One Softball Birthday Wish I have

1. Championships!!!!!!!!! Holler!!!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007


A very important acquisition for any Softball team is the FA position.


SS is someone who plays shortstop.
RF is someone who plays right field.
FA is someone who plays Forfeit Avoider.

In most softball leagues you need 9 guys to play a game (some leagues let you start with 8 and I actually won a game with 8 guys once).

An FA's #1 job is to give you a player who will give you enough guys to avoid a forfeit.

He doesn't have to be good.
He doesn't need a uniform.
He doesn't need a glove.
All he, or she for that matter, needs is a pulse.

are crucial because every team no matter how good or bad are going to have days when they are extremely short on heads.

are under appreciated and highly exploited, as managers quickly casts them aside for the lure of signing a stud player in the hopes of winning.

The best kind of FA is one that neither hurts you defensively nor complains about playing time.

Who are some of the best FA's I know

10. Me - not a stud player but not a total scrub - dumb enough to show up week in week out
9. Palma - skilled player - her only problem as an FA is that she always wants to play. Softball warrior mentality is to be commended.
8. Sehe - Cardinals. A Rick favorite. Looks like Costello from Abbot and Costello. Is very loyal and dependable - knows the game and don't sleep on him he can play.
7. Alex - Wall Street and Merrill Lynch - his pulse and heart rate conform to FA requirements
6. John Sheppard West - whenever his team needs him he's there - very scrappy and knows how to play - FA status is in jeopardy this year because of knee injury.
5. Blonde - Knockout and Gallagher's - contrary to popular belief he does own a glove
4. Lou - West/Highlander - as 1st base coach watches over 200 games a year - always has his cleats on - in 200 games has like 1 at bat
3. Steve Jimenez - not only FA's for his team but for other teams in the same league. Stands out there like deer in headlights because the game must go on, Does have a sincere deep love for the game.
2. Jeff Marcus - Gallagher's and Commishioner Big Apple League - Actually the perfect FA - has no desire to play but shows up every week - prefect safety net to avoid a forfeit

and the Number One FA in Softball

1. Dio Jackson - no FA can play the infield or dress better than him - but above all else his head first slides into all bases are a thing of beauty

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Terminator Future?

In the movie the Terminator, the Future goes terribly wrong.
Machines take over and their number one goal is to destroy humanity.

I fear the future of modified softball is going to go terribly wrong as slingers are starting to take over and leagues will become less and less competitive.

Slinger pitchers are the softball version of The Terminator.
An undeniably irresistible force that changes the very nature of the game with sole intent of blowing away every batter.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that modified become some Lob Arc league.

I have no problems with pitchers that throw hard as long as they follow the rules.

Good legal pitchers like Simon, Lou, Fran, Murphy, Gilbert, Edgar JR., Freddy Suarez, Eric, Carlos Con, and Castillo throw hard with movement while following the rules. In fact the latter two pitchers, Carlos and Castillo, are both top notch slingers who do not sling during modified games.

They know the difference and so does everyone else, people who hire slingers just want to win at any cost and have no respect for a league or the quality of a game.

The problem all starts with the integrity and political nature of a league.
Once you let one slinger in you let them all in. The dam busts wide open.

It's like the movie the Terminator, once you give the power to the machines they didn't want to give it back and tried to wipe out anything that stood against them - namely humans.

In softball we don't have the ability to go back and time and try and stop the future from happening like in the Terminator movies, we have to act now and take a stand against all this corruption or modified softball as we know it will be ruined.

How? more on that in the sequal to this Blong - Softball Terminator II - coming soon

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Most Softball consists of DoubleHeader, two games, to maximize the softball experience.

So why not do a Doubleheader's Blog - Two Topics in One Blog.

Game One of a Softball DoubleHeader is fresh and new with the intrigue and promise of something happening that no one has ever seen before a definite possibility that draws every player to the game.

Topic Number One should be fresh and new as well, and nothing is more fresh and new to me than the comments of my loyal readers.

My most loyal reader is someone with the unique name of Anonymous.

Mr. /Mrs. Anonymous always has something to say, and most of time the feedback is witty, on point, and original. But why doesn't Mr/Mrs Anonymous come honest and list their real name?

I know why

Top Ten Reasons Why people make Anonymous comments to Softball

10. They don't want anyone to know that they actually read Rick's blog and fear public humiliation if identified
9. Scared of having their identity stolen on the web and used in a card card commercial
8. Too Scared to list their name for fear Rick might write a blog about them
7. They are killing time at work and don't want their Boss to know they are goofing off so they leave no name to reduce the evidence.
6. The person leaving the comment plays for Rick and wants to avoid being benched
5. Why sign a name when everyone knows only Blonde, Astrid (my wife), Evil Palma and John Castillo are the only ones who read my blogs anyway - process of elimination will find the person out - no need to sign
4. Anonymous is in one of Rick's fantasy league competitors and doesn't want Rick upset because he is hoping to get Prince Fielder cheap in a trade
3. Their high when they write a comment and just forget to sign their name
2. Their freaky like that - they even have their lovers call them Anonymous in Bed

and the Number One Why people make Anonymous comments to Softball

1. Who cares !?!?!? Most of time any comment is a good comment because it means people actually read this stuff - HOLLER!!!!!!!!!

OK now that the newness and awkwardness of Game One is over it's time to start Game Two.

Game Two is all about Momentum.

If you win game one you try and keep it going by coming out strong early and putting your opponent away, essentially breaking their will.

On the other hand, if you lost Game One you try and weather the storm, calm the troops, play solid fundamental ball and show the other team you can beat them.

That is easier said than done.

So .....

Top Ten Ways to Regain Momentum after a tough Game One Loss of a Double Header

10. Pitching - Momentum is as good as your next game starter pitcher.
9. Defense - Nothing is more demoralizing than losing a game because of bad defense. Pitching plus defense will always give you a chance. It's like novicane give it time and it always works. Nothing like turning a double play to give a team a spark.
8. 10 Man Lineup - If your not hitting, 11 man lineups are like anchors unless your 11th hitter is a stud like Carlos Con, Georgie, Castillo, or Gilbert
7. Don't panic - Experienced managers and players always believe they can come back from a bad play or game. Confidence is teh 6th tool - Remember?
6. Don't fight among yourselves - Fighting in public for a couple or teammates is the same thing - Embarrassing. Keep it behind closed doors.
5. Stay positive "HIP HIP HORRAY HIP HIP HORRAY" - So corny but so true
4. Go to the bathroom - release all your waste and feel fresh
3. Practice and stay active between games so you can try and regain your Mojo
2. Take your mind off of softball if your burned out - call your girl, play with some kids, - Whatever it takes to relax

and the Number One Way to to Regain Momentum after a tough Game One Loss of a Double Header

1. Score early - It will relax everyone - even if you only score 1 run - try and manufacture a run via hit and run, advancing runners, hitting the other way . In other words, HIT!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Puerto Rican Day Parade

Today was the Puerto Rican Day Parade in the City - Notoriously the wildest parade of the Year.

Puerto Ricans are affectionally called Boriqua's.

So I have to give a Top Ten Shout out to all my Softball Boriquas out there

Top Ten Boriqua Softball Players who must be recognize on the day of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

10. Jose Carrion - Gallaghers - played his Don Calderon Reggae ton Cd all day and bought some Guanábana fruit from a Dominican street vendor in the Bronx - also verbally accosted like 1,000 fat Latin women all day long
9. Ralph - Working Class - the man bought a cow bell to Central Park - Proud and Hard-Core
8. Gilberto - Gallagher's - pitched 3 games for 3 different teams on the PR day parade
7. Joel Goldman - honorary Jewish Boriqua - employees cheap Boriqua labor at his sweat shop in Queens
6. Angelo - not Hispanic but wore his NY Ranger Puerto Rican jersey on Sunday
5. Rick - only half Boriqua - but used to be a parade legend selling shots of Bacardi for $1 was my thing - arrested twice - never convicted
4. John Sheppard - manager West - Corona spokesman
3. Gubi - actually didn't play on PR day as he started a new job - but his new job is doorman at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Central Park West allows him to rap to 1,000,000 chicken heads.
2. Pete Martinez - manager Wall Street and Merrill Lynch - Pimp Daddy to the fullest - Went to 3 after party clubs in the Bronx and met up with some serious MILF"s

and the Number One Boriqua Softball Players who must be recognize on the day of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

1. Hector Hernandez - West - one of the best Shortstops in all of softball and hard-core Boriqua - was representing in all his colors on Sunday and his PR Hick Campesino Hat to the fullest

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Harder you Try The Worse You Do

Jason Bay of the Pirates ( and a fantasy baseball stud player ) said the following last night after hitting a game winning homer run ""The more you try, the harder it is," Bay said. "That was definitely the last thing on my mind, especially off Cordero. I was just trying to get on base -- a single, double, trying to get something going. For most guys, that's when the home runs happen - when you're a little more relaxed."

This is so fucking true and it sounds so freaking simple but it is the ultimate contradiction in softball. The more your care and the harder you try, the worse you do. I guess it all depends on how you look sat it and how you deal with it. Life is hard.

This is true for playing and managing.

I guess the best thing to do is just do the right thing.

Play the game the right way - hit liners, advance runners, catch the ball, keep your mouth shut.

As for managing - you always want to win - but you have to give people chances. The balance between loyalty and winning is the hardest thing about managing. You can't make your players love or respect you no matter how hard you try.

You just gave to do what Jason Bay said Relax and try and do the right thing - Spike Lee style

Monday, June 4, 2007

Get Wacked

I haven't blogged in a while. I guess I've been too busy watching TV - especially one of my all time favorite shows that Sopranos.

On the Sopranos, one of the most Popular terms is "Get Wacked" - that means killed off, swimming with the fishes, turned off, you get the picture.

Anyway, in Softball who should "Get Wacked" - not literally just in a softball sense

Top Ten People in the Softball World that Should "Get Wacked" out of the modified Softball World

10. Al Morales - President of Yorkville Sports - Greed is Good is his motto - worse value dollar for dollar in all of softball - has a monopoly on the fields in NYC
9. All umps afraid to call an illegal sling pitch - That might not be possible b/c then there would be hardly any umps left. Cowards.
8. CJ - EMS - nice guy - Big Time Hustler- anyone that makes you play 2 games in 2 hours has to go. Might be spared getting wacked b/c he looks like an older Jamie Foxx and the hit man might get confused.
7. Rick - sends out obnoxious blogs to decent hard working people who happen to play softball
6. Fat Freddy Pelham and 259th street - invented the following softball math formula that has ruined softball in the Bronx : Faster Games + More teams = More $$$ = Watered Down Competition
5. OJ and Camacho - former Bob League umps that now work the Lawyer league - Flat out suck and do not respect the game. They lie and cheat players and like Al Pacino said in Godfather I that makes me angry because it insults my intelligence
4. John Rosenmiller - excellent manager of Choice Parts - he is a master manipulator - evil dark lord of the Sith - Master of the darkside
3. Dio Jackson - Highlanders - actually Dio is good for Softball because he tries to win and is an excellent recruiter but the only thing is he is like R Kelly "a Flirt" don't bring your girl, I mean your best players around him at the field b/c he's a Flirt - Winning is an obsession
2. Parks Department Permit Office Workers- face it they have the power in softball - you control the field you control the league - never date a Park's department worker if something goes wrong - Hell Hath No Fury like a softball official scorned

and the Number One Person in the Softball World that Should "Get Wacked" out of the modified Softball World

1A. Sling Pitchers - go get paid in a 3 OF league with bunting, stealing and passed balls - stay out of Modified
1B. Sling Liars - you know who you are - people who bring slingers into a modified league and then argue that they are legal. Keep telling yourself that maybe you will believe it. No respect