Friday, April 12, 2013

Captive SB Audience

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." ...The Green Fields of the Mind (Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977)

Love that quote. As it highlights the connection baseball has with the seasons, all the seasons except winter. To lovers of our game, there is no season in winter as it’s usually too cold to play baseball/softball during those long dark freezing nights. 

If Winter isn't a season, then what is it. It's a prison. A prison to where  baseball/softball enthusiast are exiled and sentenced until liberated many months later in the spring. Spring, ah spring, that's when we are finally granted our "get out of jail" card after serving hard non softball time.

Now that spring has finally arrived and we are finally free of our metaphoric jail, but I still can't help but think about real jail. Luckily I am completely ignorant about jail as I never have been really arrested and I want to remain that way forever. Jail must suck. Really suck. Think about it. Most people in jail can't escape their captors like we escaped winter. No freedom as you do the time because you did a crime. 

What if in Softball we had a jail system? Let's look at some Usual Suspects and see how they would do during their time behind Softball Jail Bars

Ricardo Ronda, AKA Softball Insider

Crimes - Numerous

Side Note : OK anonymous get your predictable corny drop your soap in the shower joke/comment out of the way and let's look at how Rick would do in jail.

How would he do in Jail? -: Fucking Horrible. If you locked me up inside my own house with food, TV, and a computer on a beautiful day while everyone else was playing softball I would go inside and need straight jacket. My best bet is to rely on my lawyer to defend me
or drill holes in the wall to escape

Jose Carrion

Crimes - Can happen at any minute as Jose would say "Your life can change in a minute"

How would he do in Jail? - All you need to know is Jose would try and escape every second of every day. Death before Dishonor for this severe claustrophobic.

Angelo Gonzalez and Jack "Bandana Man" Cutler - cell mates of course
Crimes - enforcing and gambling
How would they do in Jail? -:Angelo would run the joint and Bandanna Man would take all the sports book action

Juan "Blonde" Moreiras

Crime : Impersonating the Lochness monster
How would he do in Jail? -:Blonde would do well in jail keeping to himself and reading like 10 books a day.

Bob Morello

Crime : "The Computer Makes the Schedule"
How would he do in Jail? -Surprise Surprise another commissioner makes the list. Staten Island Mafia would be placed in a minimum security prison out in 1 month


Crime : Gil would get put away for Softball Tax evasion for not reporting cash income.
How would he do in Jail? - he would run the motor pool and workout a lot

Isaac "Gubi" Delgado

Crime: Reckless driving. Might be the most likely next guest at the state hotel on this list. 
How would he do in Jail? - Certain to spend his days lifting weights, praising Allah, and telling everyone how good he is.

Joel Goldman
This Picture was 30 years ago-looks the same
Crime : Bullying
How would he do in Jail? - Bully


Crime: Public Smoking
How would she do in Jail? In a word - well. Most definetly would run the sale and distribution of cigarettes and make a killing. Unless she got to the big house by actually killing someone. Hopefully, not me

Softball jail, the more I think about it the more I think it's possible and in some cases deserving.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mr Ronda's Softball Neighborhood .. Today's Word ... Recidivism

Back in the day many of us grew up loving and learning on TV from the legendary Fred Rogers on TV

who hosted Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1968–2001. Rogers took action into his own hands as he didn't like the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when developed his own show. Over the course of three decades on TV, Fred Rogers became an indelible American icon of children's entertainment and education. On his show, Rogers would teach music, ethics, morals, and vocabulary to kids

Over the years, comedians and advertisers have done spin-off skits and commercials based on his show to get their point across.

So I figured why can't I do my own version, let's call it Mister Ronda's Softball Neighborhood (video version coming soon, ugly 80s sweater and all), so I can get my point across.

Let's Begin with a little song ...
 "It's a beautiful day at the softball field, a beautiful day at the softball field, won't you be my teammate?"

Hello Softball enthusiast. 
Welcome to Mister Ronda's Softball Neighborhood. 

Today at work I learned a new fancy big complicated word - Recidivism 
Recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior. Recidivism is the inability to learn from past mistakes.

In softball community the very epitome of Recidivism can be found in the Big Apple League.

First the league constantly makes the mistake of allowing members to vote for pitching rules. Vote? C'mon I love America, Democracy, and the right to Vote

but voting has no place in softball as people vote what's best for their team rather than what's best for the league. A league should take suggestions and recommendations, but final say should belong to the commissioner who is looking out for everyone's best competitive interest. 

This voting mistake was unfortunately compounded by their yearly mistake of trying to define modified pitching rules. While I at least give them credit for trying to address illegal pitching their voting options were all flawed and as follows: 

Option 1--Strict ASA 10-man modified - 7 votes - Winner. Translation teams that do not have slingers voted for this
Option 2--Our new 2012 pitching rules that allow certain 9-man features - 3 votes. Easy to guess which teams voted on this

Option 3--Go back to previous 2012 rules that included the step back + 1 foot on the rubber - 1 vote – such an easy shot for me to take on who voted on this that I won’t even bother

Option 4--Go to the 2012 rules that include choice 3 as well as allow veteran pitchers to continue to pitch they way they always have with their normal motions even if they deviate slightly from standard ASA modified. - 1 vote – This option is ridiculous. Pure softball recidivism

Per this "Vote", pitching rules are as follows:

Rule 2.  Pitching Rules:  (New Rule) -  The BASL is a modified fast-pitch league.  The BASL shall adopt and enforce ASA Rule 6, Section 3, as specified below, with respect to the legal pitching motion, or as updated.  Any pitcher who uses a modified fast-pitch motion is approved to pitch in the BASL.  The BASL specifically prohibits slingshot, sidearm, submarine and windmill pitching.   A pitcher who has used an illegal pitching motion or thrown illegal pitches that were not previously called by the game umpires is not permitted to continue doing so.

(a)  Pitching Motion:  The BASL shall adopted an enforce ASA Class A Modified Pitching Rule 6, Section 3.-  The pitcher MUST start with TWO feet in contact with the pitching rubber.  The pitcher MAY NOT take a step back with the lead foot prior to moving forward. The pitch shall be delivered on the throwing arm side of the body and not behind the back or between the legs.  In the act of delivering the ball, the pivot foot must drag + not lose contact with the ground. The stepping foot must be pointed toward home plate + must not touch the ground in front of, or cross over a straight line between the pivot foot + home plate. It is not a step if the pitcher slides the pivot foot across the pitching rubber, provided contact is maintained with the rubber. Raising the foot off the rubber, then returning it to the rubber creates a rocking motion that is illegal.

Not only was the voting classic softball recidivism, but it is also useless. Why? B/c it is based on footwork which is mostly irrelevant as it is a technicality. There was barely a mention of arm angle and no mention whatsoever of the wrist. None. No legal modified pitcher will show the ball outside the wrist. It’s obvious... As long as the power leg/foot is on the mound, it’s just not a factor.

So as a fun thing to do Boys and Girls in Mister Ronda's Softball neighborhood let's go over wrist movement in modified softball:

Ball inside the wrist = GOOD Boys and Girls
Ball outside the wrist = BAD Boys and Girls

Think about this: all legal modified pitchers can sling at any time, but slingers CANNOT throw modified, they simply don't know how to. It is very hard to learn to be a good modified pitcher. Sling is just easier to control and learn. 

I was shocked this past weekend when hardly a peep was made about the pitching in the league. It’s early. I predict these rules changes will not end the vicious cycle of repeated open pitching in this league boys and girls. Softball Recidivism will continue.

Mister Ronda’s neighborhood can’t all be critical though. The insider does applaud the league for breaking their maddening lifetime union deal with Mr. Johnson’s umpire crew and hiring new officials. The early grade on the new umpires is promising too bad the rules they were given flawed pitching rules to follow.

Anyway, brush your teeth, keep your stats, and until next time boys in girls in Mister Ronda’s Neighborhood. See ya

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Darkest Softball Emotion

  • I want to do a funny blog, but I don't feel funny right now.
  • I want to do a hardcore editorial old school softball blog, but I don't feel analytical right now.
  • I want to do a top ten blog, but I don't feel clever right now.
You see what I feel right now is the worst possible emotion you can feel in softball - Jealousy. What am I jealous of? Basically everything
  • Other players, Teammates , Youth, Talent, Managers
  • Power , Other teams, Lefties , Speed , Scrubs
  • 5 tool Players, Wasted Talent, Money , Other teams recruiting tactics
  • Things like someone else is Hitting and I wasn't
The list continues to spiral out of control. Why? I don't know and I don't like. Maybe it's frustration. Maybe it's just that the game can be so hard sometimes. Maybe it's just stress. Whatever it is it's definitely given me writer's block and is causing hatred to flow through my veins. Sometimes it feels like I'm going psychotic as I've turned into a hater.  

Competition drives every top player. I know I'm not alone as many players have that alpha male rivalry gene inside of them. Jealousy is common in our sport, but blind jealousy is a path to the softball dark side. I know, I know, excuse the corny Star Wars quote, but so fucking true. Uncontrolled Jealous is evil.

When I feel dark evil rage jealousy boil inside of me the only way I can get rid of it is admit that it exists and focus instead on using it as a motivator. In life we have no control of others, but what we can control is how we act and react so I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. Jealousy has clouded my brain long enough. If you want to make things better for yourself you just got to do it yourself.
Time to do Insider

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Manager and a GentleMan

Always a Showman, Dio Jackson made his managerial debut in the Big Apple League today in grand fashion as he proved his is a Manager and Gentleman

by honoring his long time Love Patricia Flynn 
Nice White Pants Richard Gere

with a bag tribute today
on her Birthday April 7th

The Insider has always held Trish in high regard and treasures her happiness.

Happy Birthday Trish

P.S In a request game, Dio's Highlanders swept longtime powerhouse West. Their victory was capped by a walk off game win. The Softball Gods definitely approved.