Monday, July 27, 2015

Has Certain Ring to it

August is almost here and that means some leagues have begun their playoffs while others are coming down the home stretch. In leagues were the regular season is down to the last few precious weeks, something maybe more important is happening than teams jockeying for positioning and seeding, that thing is Roster Qualification Eligibility 

Softball managers are checking their rosters to make sure their players have made enough games to play in the post season. Many players just don't show up enough to meet the minimum number of weeks to become eligible for the post season, but have no worry my friends as that's where the Ringer comes in.

The RINGER in softball is simply a stud pitcher or impact player that never shows up during the season and gets snuck onto the post season roster. This year I have seen a ringer explosion in every league. Every single fucking one.

Ringers are hard to check for many reason:

1. Bad Handwriting on score cards and books makes tracking players impossible
I was good at Math, should have been a doctor

2. Shiesty Manager
3. Lazy umpire just wants to get paid.
4. Commissioner has his money already. Fuck it
5. No one cares
6. Team sneaky in the Ringer just doesn't care or or too stupid to know the rules anyway.
7. Ghetto is as Ghetto does. Ringers are a street thing and common place
8. Non money league.
9. Honor System in Softball is a contradiction as most managers will do whatever it takes to win.
10. B96 - Ironically Ringers are easier to sneak in B96 as in A96 everyone knows everyone

But to the trained SB eye here my Top Ten ways to Spot a Ringer at Playoff Time

10. A Player Shows up to at playoff time and asks "Does Team X play here?" and then plays in game. He's a ringer.

9. Batter steps into box and asks "Is the Count 1-1?". He's a Ringer

8. Asks umpire if "leading after the release is allowed?". He's a Ringer

7. Team Regular season record is average and the playoff team they field is stacked.  They have Ringers.

6. Team ranked average or low in runs allowed during year and in the playoffs a stud pitcher is on the mound. He's a Ringer.

5. No matching team shirt - Not always fool proof sign of a Ringer but a red flag.

4. Accused Team tells you "he's been here all year". No he hasn't. Ringer

3. Racial Angle Average white team with about 2 stud Hispanic players. Someone is gettithis HTML class. Value is 2659245ng paid. Ringer. On the opposite side, average at best Hispanic team with stud white player is rare. White guy probably either getting paid or is the boss. Tough call.

2. Ringers are generally are under 6 foot tall and wear Umbro Shorts. Hits the ball a goddam mile.

and the Number way to Spot a Ringer at Playoff Time

1. Proper Ringer Coach Speak When you ask the player how many weeks they have showed up and they look you dead in the eye and say the exact number of week allowed to qualify. For example, if the number of weeks to qualify is 6 and you ask the player how many game you played and they say 6. He's a ringer. Answer is too good to be true.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pitching Change

“Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength
Come with me and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
 Eminem Mosh

I am a very emotional person and player. I go all out in softball to:

Over the years to do that I've needed my pain, my hunger, my anger, my hate. It's part of my game. However, lately I feel like there's no more SB anger, no more SB hate to motivate my skittish side as:
So whose left? Seems like there are no more or at least very few softball assholes to attack. Peace can be scary when hate/anger has been a way of SB life.

I guess I could get my "Hate On" by going at outside SB losers like the NRA or the GOP party, but that's too easy, and more importantly missing the big picture of :

  1. Maybe Peace is Good
  2. How hard and special it is to attain Peace
  3. People are scared of change.

In many of the peaceful softball conflicts resolved/changed above it took one person, many times not me, to willing to take a calculated risk and extend their hand in trust to make things better. That takes maturity, trust, and courage. The potential for good made it worthwhile.

In the real world change is even harder, slower, and scarier as lives are at stakes. The recent
Iran Nuclear Deal is the poster child on how people are not ready or afraid of change.

Bottom Line: Iran agrees to have their nuclear programs monitored and they get their money. I am down for change, it's not 1979 anymore

and differences need to be set aside. It is very risky to give a lifelong enemy nuclear power, but what is the alternative? Nuking them? No that's not an option,

Peace can be scary, but someone has to extend their hands in good faith negotiations. This opportunity for peace cannot be turned down. as this deal signals a new brave world where the U.S and 5 other states have extended their hand in good faith, they would be suicidal fools not to comply. Through verification and monitoring their nuclear capability trust will be earned not just given away. People born before 1979 will have the most difficult time living in this new world, but those born after will most likely reap the benefits.

It's time for change,

Monday, July 13, 2015

MMM - "Cliches"

"Taking a page" ("cliche") from "Monday Morning Quarterback" ("cliche"), today I am starting "a new lease on life" ("cliche") feature called Monday Morning Manager "MMM". Today's MMM's is on Cliches that manager's all deal with each and everyday. 

Cliches are commonly used phrases or sayings that speak a certain truth or wisdom. Like anything else cliches can be corny and overused so "while two wrongs don't make a right" ("cliche") they can often be worth a "bird in the hand" ("cliche") and "at the end of the day" ("cliche ") are a part of every managers existence. 

Now I know it's not morning anymore, at least this blog is "Better Late Than Never" ("cliche") so without further cliche ado 

Top Ten Cliches that every MMM experiences on Sunday

10. "The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts"? 

Stats, Talent, Reputation, Desire, Ego, Confidence are all important, but you have to somehow find a way to add them all together to make a team that is greater than it seems on paper. In other words, teamwork. People working together are able to do more work when their individual efforts and talents are added together.

Easier said than done.

Why? - Stats, Talent, Reputation, Desire, Ego, Confidence

It's a "Catch 22" ("cliche")

9. “You only hurt the ones you love” 

Players you love will:

  • get mad at you,
  • yell at you,
  • turn on you.
  • lash out at you,
  • hate you and 
  • vise versa - you will do it to them. 
It good to be the player hard to be the MMM. Deal With It.

8. Stick to your guns 

It's good to get options, but "at the end of the day" ("cliche" "cliche") "Trust your Gut" ("cliche"). Everyone thinks they know better but you are the one with the right to make the right choices. Sometimes it has to feel right to be right. Have Trust Confidence and Conviction in your self. It will make MMM easier the next day.

7. Be Kind to the People you meet on the way up the ladder to success, they will be the same people who see on the way down.

"Karma is a Bitch" ("cliche"). Be humble.

6.You are only as Strong as your Weakest Link 

  • I've been and seen the supposed last guy on a team win numerous games many times times. 
  • It's easy "to shit on" ("cliche") your "quote unquote" ("cliche") worst guy.
  • Never have anyone on your team that can't do their role. 
  • Show love it can pay bog dividends ("cliche")
5. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Ignore Ignore Ignore - goon fans, players, umps. whatever, As Biggie Small rapped 

"Never let 'em know your next move. Don't you know Bad Boys move in silence and violence

4. Yank your chain

Remember which players said "Yeah I will be there" and didn't show

Fuck them

3. See the Big Picture/ See the whole field

Always remind yourself what is the End Game ('cliche")
Sometimes the best move is a non move and vice versa.

2  Between a rock and a hard place

It is What it Is" ("cliche") - You make hard choices like playing time, loyalty, confidence, match ups. Somebody fucking has to!!!!!!!! Consider cliches 10 thru 3 above when doing so and as Spike Lee said "Do The Right Thing" ("cliche")
and the #1 Cliches that every MMM experiences on Sunday

1. "Light at the End of the Tunnel"

As detailed in this OG classic blog "Train Ride"  the season is a long dark tunnel and all your passenger players just want to get home safely. Get them there.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Is the SB Cure Worse than the Disease?

We are all familiar with the phrase "the Cure is Worse than the Disease"

When treating a sickness it refers to the hell, pain, and suffering a patient must go through to recover.

Figuratively it refers to a solution to a problem that produces a worse net result than the problem does, especially via unintended consequences.

This winter it was obvious that a softball patient, The Big Apple League was dying. It had only 1 team that wanted to return via the existing pitching rules. To save the SB patient, pitchers that consistently showed they could not conform to modified standards were banned. As a result, the league was saved. But was "the Cure Worse than the Disease"

The Cured SB Patient was exhibited the following modified cure symptoms:

  • Thinner Competition
  • New Teams adjusting and struggling. Understandable but still an after effect.
  • A New Team Dropping Out
  • Old Teams that left - The competitive talent, fire, and Challenge  of Contact, West, Highlander, Cardinals, and Ironbound is missed
  • Bad Luck - Rain Rain Rain
By far the worst thing I feel/sense in the league is Apathy. Do people care anymore?
Apathy is the worst possible thing: It exists now over

  • Players miss the Top Pitching
  • Players miss the Rivalries - Contact was great. I hated them, but they were great.
  • Players feel it's a forgone conclusion that Choice Parts will win

These serious side effects from the non modified pitching are real and unintended consequences of the Cure. So how do we get over these post cure symptoms?

Simple Play Good Softball. 

Good Softball is

  • Excitement
  • Intensity
  • Competition
  • Talent
  • Drama
  • Effort
  • Trust
  • Enthusiasm

This week will be the week that happens. As after 3 weeks off because of rain and holidays Commissioner Jeff Marcus has put together an excellent schedule:
  • Old School vs Choice Parts - The six time champion in the last seven years, will look to clinch 1st place in their division, while Old School opens it's summer session.
  • Rangers vs Kings - These teams played a competitive split earlier this year since then the Kings have been excellent in their 1st Big Apple Season and the Rangers have an eye on 1st place.
  • Freaks vs Braves - New Team Battle as they look to establish themselves.
  • bye 1st place Empire - they will be back strong in 2nd half.
  • and oh yeah, their is more potentially good softball on the menu as the Rangers and Braves will finish a continuation game from the earlier this year.
It's time to take the 1st step and begin to reap the benefits of a Cure.

Play Ball

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SB Archie Bunker and Doctor Evil All in One... Message "Encourage Yourself"

When Edgar Sr speaks

I generally ignore him as he's known as Softball's version of Archie Bunker

and Doctor Evil all in one

but sometimes, just sometimes he's says something that sticks like  "Encourage Yourself"

Wisdom. Now Ricky go get me my beer while I get my evil on.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Champ is Here "The Return"

After being disgraced with no honor by losing on forfeit the afternoon was almost a complete wash until the Softball Gods brought the Return of Charlie "The Champ" Bailey ...
You cheered us up and you are missed, sort of

Monday, July 6, 2015


True Softball Lifer Martin Josefski

passed away this past winter, but today his life was celebrated my family, friends, and teammates

 on his favorite field: Central Park Hecksher Ballfields #4.