Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Technically Speaking

I've always been of the opinion that  the Spirit should supersede the Letter of the Law as good intentions should take precedent over technicalities. Others strictly obey the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter"),  but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Regardless, justice should prevail.

Unfortunately, the letter defeated the intent of the law this week in an independent arbitrator's decision to overturn NL MVP
Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension.  I'm so sick of talking about Steroids. I am so sick of listening to Steroid talk.  I am just so sick of Steroids and wish I could watch players like Braun, who has one of the best right handed swings I have ever seen, play baseball.

But I can't. This was not justice.

Performance enhancing drug testing was put in place to create a fair playing field, not a legal technicality laced mine field. The drug agreement between management and the Major League Baseball Players Association calls for a tested sample to be sent on the same day taken "absent unusual circumstances." Braun won his appeal when his lawyers proved that there was a 44-hour lag between when his urine was collected and when it was given to Federal Express for transport to a laboratory in Montreal. Thanks to some bullshit rule his clever sleazy lawyer dug up Braun got away with murder. OK murder was more like OJ,
but you get the idea. To make matters worse, Braun then had the audacity to go in front of world and declare his innocence and vindication.

Dude stop it. No need to insult our intelligence, you failed the test.Technically speaking, Braun may have won the right to keeping playing and earning, but at the end of the day he lost so much more – his Name.

Monday, February 27, 2012

At the End of the Day

A popular phrase many people invoke both on and off the field is "At the End of the Day”. At "The End of the Day" generally means after everything else has been taken into consideration this is what really matters. It clearly is results and relevance oriented which is cool, unfortunately most people who use it are usually just rambling, bullshitting, and are looking to just wrap up their hustle/pitch for immediate gratification or promotional purposes.

Results and goals are important, but so is the journey. As the season begins we are reminded that Baseball/Softball is a marathon filled with many peaks and valleys, successes and disappointments, thrills and challenges. Before you begin this long journey you should ask yourself "At the End of the Season" what would make me happy and if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Sounds simple and corny, and it is, but it is also true.

Some people might cite the following examples of softball happiness:
  • Winning the Championship
  • Award Recognition
  • Stellar/Improved Performance
  • Playing Time 
  • Competition
  • Bragging Rights
  • Financial Rewards
  • Friendship
  • Revenge
  • Redemption
  • Recovery
  • Respect - Earning or Restoring it
  • Power
  • Justice
  • Progression 
  • Wearing a nice uniform and looking cool
  • Banging some hot girl you met at a game
  • Drinking before, during, and after games
  • Getting away from the real world
  • All the Above
  • None of the Above
Only you know if the long softball journey ahead full of aggravation, failure, assholes, gold diggers, critics, goons, politicians, phonies, etc., will be worth it. So before it begins know what makes you softball happy at The End of the Day.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meathead.. behind the scenes

As an actor, Rob Reiner

first came to national prominence as Michael "Meathead" Stivic, the son-in law of Archie Bunker on the once in a lifetime politically incorrect classic TV show All in the Family. The character's nickname became closely associated with him, even after he had left the role and went on to build a high-profile career as a director. Reiner has stated,

"I could win the Nobel Prize and they'd write 'Meathead wins the Nobel Prize". I took a stab at becoming softball's version of MeatHead
when I was asked to create a Professional Softball Umpire Website . From a site design standpoint I had my CitySoftball I.T. department to properly guide me
CitySoftball Management

and on the pictures side I had talented photographer "Q" http://www.qbaseball.com/
to take great shots. Next I needed a softball environment and that's where my main problems were b/c:
  1. It was February and it was freaking freezing. No games were going on
  2. I needed Actors and had no Money to spend.
I got lucky as experienced softball players/friends Christian, Cano, and Bandanna Man agreed to wake up early, work for food, and help me out.

Now that I had my Motley Crew in place and drove them all to Brooklyn to get down to work.

As a Meathead director

I wanted to created professional umpiring environment so I directed the following situations:

Behind the Scenes : Manager-Officials Pre-Game Meeting Shot

As both a player and umpire I know this a key time in a game where an official establishes his professionalism and control. Good Idea, but it didn't make the final cut b/c we actually got better pictures. Now I understand when actors say "it got left on the cutting room floor".

Behind the Scene : Actual Calls
My photographer, players, and officials took incredible pictures considering the circumstances but one criticism of myself is that I made it a point to not to micro-manage and I was too hands off. For example, these two shots

could have been so much better if I was on top of things. The batter was standing awkwardly in both shots and he's not a lefty. As for the umpire, he was too close in the first shot.  SB Meathead has to be more involved and attentive next time. Oh well, live and learn

Behind the Scenes : New Official Training
I was both an actor and a director

 in these shots. The pictures looked great, but it was tough to explain to everyone what I wanted while actually play the role of a Blue  This was multi-tasking at its best and exhausting, as it really made me appreciate actor-directors.

Behind the Scene : Videos
As part of the site my creative juices created three types of videos
Video 1 - Personal Statements

Video 2 - Case Study on how an umpire should professionally handle an argument These of course led to bloopers like me forgetting to argue
and moving variables 
and rookie director mistakes

 Video 3 - How to properly call an illegal pitch. Good idea, but again didn't make the cut

At the end of the day

we had a good time and delivered a quality product to the client. Meathead couldn't have done it without his friends and being the professional that he is "Q" http://www.qbaseball.com/ offered to go back during the season to take live shots. Meathead might get a second chance after all till then I'm hungry, I guess being called Meathead does that to you.

West Coast Witness Protection

New York City Jack "Bandanna Man" Cutler

 for personal reasons

has taken his championship trophy and enrolled in Softball's Witness Protection program by moving out to Los Angeles California

for a couple months just to get some fresh air

While on the West Coast Bandanna Man has decided to enjoyed the sunshine and search for some softball action. He has had to made the adjustment to a new ball that travels faster and farther

Weird Arc Ball

and the West Coast version of Pickup New York Pick Up

He's having a good time, but I'm sure this sabbatical makes him appreciate NY Softball so much more. Hurry back BM - Batting Practice 1st!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Inside Pitch

I've been known to Tip Pitches on occasion and today's I'm putting my fingers down and selecting an Inside Pitch for my readers to turn on as I introduce my 1st sponsor  

This isn't a damn infomercial and I don't want to rip anyone off. This is a quality family owned business

that I trust and respect. They have been making professional signs and more
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You name the kind of sign SignsofAllKind Sign Gallery
  • Store fronts, canopies, banners, neons 


  •  A-frames sign boards, light box, business cards ,vinyl lettering

  • Custom wallpaper, vehicle wraps, stylish custom decals, plaques 


and they will deliver it to you. You don't have to pay below 96th street ridiculous prices to get quality service anymore.
Please visit their website (their ad is on the right corner of this blog) and then contact them at 212-346-7850.  
Mention Sofballinsider.net "Ricky" for a generous discount.  Holler!!!!!!!   

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Only Name that Matters

A big part of being human is individuality. We are all unique. All different. 
The individual does matter. 

Being on a team should never mean giving up your identity as it should be about blending your identity and skills with others to pursue a common goal -  Winning

I am a team first guy and believe in“The only name that matters is the one on the front of the jersey,
not the one on the back".

But I am a bigger believer that each individual player must be allowed to express their personality and be responsible for their own production. We are not faceless, thoughtless, dependent rah rah drones going through the motions.Your name should be reflective of your individuality and be at the core of why you play the game.Plenty of team players are famous (i.e. Jeter , Bird, Magic Johnson, Brady, etc), yet maintain a high level of personal performance, team success, and star power. Your name is much more than a collection of letters as it represents who your are and what you stand for in life/sports. 

Through this blog, I have become my own independent figure, the Softballinsider "SBI", but I have a name, even though most below 96th street people misspell it as Rhonda (a blog for another day), my real name is Ricardo Ronda. Sometimes I feel I've created a monster as no one sees Ricardo Ronda anymore, they just judge me from what I write about on "SBI" . My name matters, and like this blog, it doesn't have a malicious power controlling agenda, rather it stands for honesty, self-respect, and ambition - all qualities that I bring to my readers, my friends, my family, my team and life. Damn all those words will never fit on the back of a jersey, I guess Ronda will due.

Being humble and team oriented is honorable, but never forget that your name matters.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Take One For The Team

"Taking One for the Team", unselfish sacrifice, is one of the truest forms of love. Winners always Take One for the Team, both on and off the field. It's a dirty job but sometimes you gotta take the pain, without glory, for the benefit of others.

Examples of "Taking One for the Team" is prevalent throughout sports  : 

(A) Taking a charge foul in Basketball
That Shit has got to hurt
 (B) blocking in Football
No Glory
 (C) "Taking One for the Team" is a big part of the baseball/softball mentality.
(1) Giving Up your body to turn a double play
No fear
(2) Getting Hit by a Pitch to Get on Base
You know this Sucks
(3) Giving yourself up to move a man over (bunts)
Productive Outs
"Taking One for the Team" is not limited in sports. In battle brave soldiers are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice 
and fall on the grenade to save others. While on the dating scene, falling on the grenade occurs  when your friend's girl is a Queen, and your girl is a thing  

 but you hook your boy up and Take One for the Team. In every relationship you sometimes have to
No Caption necessary

at one point or another. In the business and government world,  the blame game always requires someone to be a scapegoat

and Take One for the Team.Lately the economy has been so bad that I have had to Take One for the Team and move beyond the traditional job search realm
and hustle in the following ways:
  • Interview for some wack ass boring 50 % pay cut job in Connecticut that had an over 1 hour driving commute.
  • Professionally Deal with Scum Bag Recruiters. I hate them. Fake ass bastards.
  • During an interview for a job that begins in June, I told them I would work for free until it began b/c I was so interested and motivated about the position and wanted to get a head start. If that's not sacrifice I don't know what is.
  • Create and Develop Websites  for others
  • Prepare Taxes for others
  • Plan to Expand the Jersey City League
  • Plan to Create a New Manhattan Weeknight League
  • Business plan someone Else's small business
  • Play Dodge Ball with Kids in an after school program
  • Shovel Snow for money

it's humbling but I am thankful for everyone's help. All Winners always Take One for the Team