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Details for Tate22


Real name:
Don Newhard

Location:
Huntington Beach, CA

Division:
Men's 55

Messages posted by Tate22 »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

Dec. 27, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: survey

I play in 3 senior leagues in Southern CA that are packed with tournament players aged 50-65. All feature 4-3 counts, and we typically get in 6-7 innings with normal game times. The 1-1 count dramatically changes your approach as a hitter, while heavily favoring the pitcher. If you take a strike to measure the pitcher, you are suddenly in the defensive mode of swinging at crap.

SSUSA is stampeding this rule for their own benefit, and that of tournament directors. Get a little whining about games running long, let's pass a new rule. Sorry, but the tournament game is about the players, not the directors or the organization. The 1-1 count should not be part of regular tournament play as it artificially changes the game without solving or improving any actual game conditions or situations (no safety or competitive improvements).

Vote "No" on "SSUSA-care"!
JMHO;
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Nov. 27, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Thoughts for the upcoming SSUSA Rules Committee meeting!

As for the alleged problem that "plus is broken", incessantly repeating a theory does not make it correct, just annoying. At least in 50's and 55's, Major Plus is a lot of things, but it is not broken. First, it is absolutely wrong to assert that moving up to Major Plus should be the goal of every team. I have long advocated that Major Plus can and should be combined with Major, but that does not appear to be in the cards.

It is also wrong, and completely out of touch with reality, to assert that a champion plus team could/should be broken in half and then just scoop up half of a new team with relatively skilled players. Why, for what purpose? The only evident reason for someone advocating that solution is to remove competition through legislation. If you need rings that badly, Jostens will still sell you one. Heck, they might even throw in an "All-Keyboard" plaque.

Major Plus exists for one reason, to isolate or quarantine high performing teams who field a number of highly skilled players. Let them play each other, and improve the odds of the remaining Major teams. That is neither good nor bad, it just is, and it has not killed the game. In the last 10 years in these divisions at the SSUSA Worlds(50&55, M&M+), there has not been a significant difference in the total amount of teams playing, nor in the numbers at each age and level. It ain't broke, so there is no need to fix it.

I've played and managed in these divisions for the past 10 years, including playing and managing in 55 M+ for the most recent 4 years. Never once have I heard my fellow competitors like MTC 55's(either version), Hendricks, Fan Grabbers, Roberts, Connecticut Sportsplex, MN Grayhounds, Black&Blue, Mich./Ind. combo teams or anyone else in our division whine or complain about the so-called big ole mean "dynasty" teams with the thought that they should be broken up because they win. RATHER, as Stick 8 states above, the collective sentiment has also been, bring 'em on, we'll give it our best, and if you get us, we'll be after you even harder next time. It's called succeeding through competition and performance, not legislation! For those advocating anything else in the Plus division, give it a rest, here's a tissue.

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55M+



Nov. 27, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: pitching screens

My experience with screens is they are a distant 2nd place to appropriate protective equipment in protecting pitchers. Screens are awkward to play around, and take away a key defensive play, the come-backer, or even better, the come-backer that turns into a double play. Screens also give a false sense of security to the pitcher hopping out from behind to make an instinctive play on a shot up the middle. The injury risk comes from being struck by the batted ball, and the best thing to mitigate that risk is adequate headgear, shin guards and ultimately, a light weight chest protector. Of course, a ready defensive stance and a quick glove also help.

A reasonably equivalent risk in sports is the baseball catcher. The evolution of light weight,durable protective equipment means catchers live to fight another day, NOT that a screen is in front of them. Even with equipment, catchers are quite mobile. The same protection exists for our pitchers, is currently within the rules, and does not adulterate the game as does a screen. Bright sun, bad lights at night, single wall bats or Mikens, the pitcher is still protected, as is the game.

The best part is, if your macho man ego is too threatened by using the protection, you don't have to use it. Take one in the pie hole, tough guy! Catchers gear has been referred to as the tools of ignorance, but the ignorance is found in the decision to not use the only method that truly protects.

JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
July 29, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT WINNER AUTO MOVEUP - Part II

Swing- I appreciate your posts and you ask good questions. While it would be ideal in M+ to have a number of teams playing every event, that will probably never happen as long as the M+ exists. I think, like Jawood and others, that 3 levels is enough in each age group. For financial and other reasons I don't think M+ will ever be merged with M. Coming up in the 50 M's, there were 25-35 teams every year in Phoenix. That is outstanding, so why mess with it.

Also, Mr. Jawood,I apologize if it seemed I was personalizing on you. You and I most always agree. It's just after 200 posts there were so many inaccuracies about Sommerville Softball and Major Plus. Those are my friends and we share a sponsor. I strongly disagree that it is a sin to win, and that the winners/performers should be punished, further quarantined or disbanded at the M+ level. M+ exists to separate those really top performing teams. It is ridiculous to then suggest that the top teams need to be further handicapped or broken up. I know that is not what you advocate, but the fact that there aren't a lot of M+ teams to play locally is just a byproduct of the creation of the M+. It is impossible and impractical to think that you can have an large M+ division AND placate those that feel they can't compete with the many equalizers like runs per inning and home run rules.

In So CA 55M+ we had 3 55M+ teams, plus a couple that would come over from AZ to play in So. CA. Two of those teams have be reclassified as 55M, so it makes is a little tougher to play strictly within the division locally. We do, however, get excellent competition at this level that makes it well worth playing "qualifier" type events throughout the season. And then when Webbie and his excellent GSF 60's crew shows up, the competition goes way up. Taits, that is why I focus on the 55M+ World and point out it's relative health, all of our play points to being prepared for that event.

As such, I don't characterize the M+ division as broken. It is what it is, and I don't think it can be "fixed" or even needs fixing. There is an old adage - We can have anything we want, we just can't have everything we want. If you accept the fact that you have teams from different age levels and ratings to compete with, and may have to give equalizers (not all teams take them, right Webbie and NCI) you can play a lot of great softball all year and be ready for the Worlds.

Let's Play Ball while we still can! gotta go, have a double header in my Sunday single wall local league.

Don Newhard
Nighthawks
July 28, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: TOURNAMENT WINNER AUTO MOVEUP - Part II

Wow - nearly 200 posts, Plenty opinions being slung, facts few and far between. Here are a few facts that are very pertinent.
Jawood - Consider the following on Sommerville Softball (last known as the Mavericks in 2010),
They are NOT the defending SSUSA 50 Major Plus champions, did not particpate in 2011. Your team beat them in 2011 in Reno. This year, the scourge of senior softball, as you portray them, won 3 of their 4 games in Reno by an average of 3.5 runs. Your team was averaging 30.5 runs a game going into the Reno final. You guys scored 16 runs in the final, is that their fault, should they be broken up on that basis. Contrary to your contention, they have only won 3 of the last 5 SSUSA Worlds. Impressive, but earned on the field As Marv19 points out, they lost to AZ Elite recently in a seeding game, but won the event by demonstrating their exceptional athleticism and conditioning with a one-up homerun rule in place. All with guys that could sleep in their own beds after playing the event. BTW - the core of this current team has been playing together almost 10 years dating back to the 45 division. How dare anyone suggest they should be broken up just to clear the deck for those that would prefer to succeed through legislation, exclusion, and whining instead of athletic performance.

Swing asks - How does the M+ feel about the situation? As manager and player for a 55M+ team, thanks for asking. IT IS NOT BROKEN!! SSUSA decided a long time ago that a Plus division was needed to separate a handful of very good teams. While I've advocated many times in support of merging M+ & M because there are plenty of equalizers in place, I'm not holding my breath and continue to play 12-14 events per year. During the year, we play 50's, 55's, and 60's of either M+ or M ratings, give plenty of equalizer runs, but enjoy the heck out of playing. Every close game, artificially or otherwise, makes us better and gets us ready for the Worlds in October.

Let's look at more facts about this supposedly broken division. Over the last five years, both 50 and 55 M+ divisions have averaged 8 teams each in the Worlds. 55 M+ has featured 11 teams each of the past 2 years. NOT BROKEN, by any means.

SSUSA will either merge or not merge M+ and M. Meanwhile, there is plenty of competitive softball to play, and plenty of opportunity for teams to step up, compete, and improve. IMHO, there are really two divisions, competitors who show up, meet the competition head-on, and compete to the best of their abilities, and whiners that worry about everyone and everything else rather than focusing on improving their own team. Whatever the real agenda of those advocating breaking up of M+ teams, the fact is that the division works just fine as is in SSUSA. So much energy is wasted worrying about rating teams and players. Look in the mirror, nut up, get in better shape and be humbled by the fact that we can all still participate in tournament-level ball in a congenial atmosphere. Over the past 20 years, I've had the good fortune to play for a ASA 40 champ, 2-time ASA 45 runner up, a 50M SSUSA triple crown winner and a SSUSA 55 M+ champion. I do not play for rings, bat bags, tee shirts etc. I play for the privilege of competing against the best, PERIOD. I'm not alone in this view, but enough already with the legislative poor-me approach to success?
JMHO

Don Newhard
Manager/Player
55 M+ Summy's (Sommerville) Nighthawks


June 6, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: On Base Percentage (OBP)

Great discussion, I definitely track and use OBP. I've always believed, however, that stats should be calculated and reported as designed. Nothing wrong with a productive out like a SAC fly that drives in a run, but it is still and out and the batter cannot score. A base hit that drives in that same run is a better outcome for the team, as it doesn't shorten the inning by recording an out. I therefore leave the formula alone so it provides the most accurate measure of a hitter's productivity.

Also, at the major plus level, those OBP's better be in the .700+ range, or you are in for a long (actually short) weekend.

JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55M+
May 11, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Reno 55 Major +

Nighthawks will be there, and I understand Double Play Classic will also be there in 55M+

May 2, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: So few 55AA

@ Corky - agree that the TOC is the wrong time of year. It is in the NEW season, not the one you qualified in, It's basically an exhibition tournament. But there must be some money in it, so it continues. We usually earn 2-3 berths per year, but have never gone. I hear it is a nice event, but not really a championship. It's a long way to go in February from California for a social event when we can play 4-6 55 M+ and 55M teams at the same time of year an hour from where we live.

Jawood, I usually agree with you, but I disagree that there too many age groups. For the vast majority of players, the five year groupings are just right. There are always exceptions, and those players can play down if they wish. For the most of us, though, five years works just fine.

Are there too many divisions, absolutely, IMHO. I've come to the conclusion, however, that SSUSA is just responding to their market and the wants of the majority of their customers. Over the 10 years I've been in senior ball, I've encountered a number of teams and managers who prefer to be the biggest fish in a smaller pond. Their choice, and I'll refrain from commenting other than to say, to each, their own. If 4 divisions gets more participation, there could be worse things. Hey, they'll even give you a few free runs to show up and compete. Such a deal!

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+


March 31, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Las Vegas April (Dave D, SSUSA)

Johnny Hose - great point made by a great guy about another great guy - THE Dave Dowell! We also had a great time in Mesquite, the tournament was well run, it was mentioned earlier that umpire crews at Pioneer were exceptionally good all weekend. Hope to see you guys in Reno, we will be there.

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
March 26, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Mesquite Mistake?

Swanny 22 - nice post on the umpires. We had both Shawn and Jeff, and they were excellent. Two others worth commending were Rick and Gil in our championship game.

Jawood - you know I agree with your point.
March 5, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What 55 Major Plus and Major Teams are going to Mesquite?

So far in 55 M+, Nighthawks and Double Play Classics will be there.

March 1, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Giving 5 runs to "inferior" teams

There have been some great points made above (not necessarily mine included)in a fairly civil discourse. This prompted me to re-examine my true position on the courtesy 5 run rule. The Wood and LeftyOdoul say it best. I've found that playing close games in February really helps us be ready for close games in our classification in tournaments that really matter in October. Although I may quip at those teams (primarily the 55 M teams) taking runs, I really appreciate that they are there and competing in local events all year so that we have a place to play senior softball against quality opponents all year long. If the five-run rule is needed to make that happen, so be it.

I've gone on record many times about combining Major and Major Plus, which would end this debate in those classifications. I stand by that belief as I think there are enough equalizers in place (runs per inning, limits on homers)when M+ and M play. Three levels is enough in each age group.

As LeftyOdoul points out, the free run rule is not a perfect solution, but if it produces the best outcome by increasing participation, it has its place. We won't take it if it's available, but that's just our M/O. We think playing straight up makes us stronger. Just something to consider when the opportunity presents itself.
Let's Play Ball!
JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Feb. 28, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Giving 5 runs to "inferior" teams

Whoopie, whoever you are. Who's crying? I'm calling out Major teams who take the free runs, especially the ones that pick M+ players just up from the younger age group. That's the embarrassment. In seven years my teams have never taken runs when playing M+ teams or younger divisions, including teams likes J
K 40's or the strongest editions of the Mavericks. We'd rather have the challenge of playing the best straight up. Your right, there is no crying in softball, and there is no bigger boo hoo in this game than "I want my baby runs". As for my good friend Mango, he couldn't agree more.

Stop by and introduce yourself sometime, I'm not hard to find. I look like Larry Tate and I wear #22. If you're taking the runs, I'll spare you the needling as you already know how I feel.
Feb. 28, 2012
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Giving 5 runs to "inferior" teams

As a 55 M+ team, we give up runs almost every game we play this time of year. What's worse than giving up the runs is trying to get eye contact from the teams that actually take the runs. With apologies to the Marine Corp, I have a new motto for those teams that are hooked on the government cheese runs, "Wimper Five"! Man up and play straight up, especially if you are a Major team.

Same stupid question that never gets answered objectively, What is a M+ player? 99% of previous answers and the method of administration of this rule is that it is a player that had the good fortune to play for a successful major team.
Jan. 17, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: We are all friends!

Andy, it was good to see you as well. You are right sir, we are all (and should be)friends. Senior Softball players belong to a unique fraternity. There is much that unites us, I prefer to focus on that. Good luck this year and amen to the staying healthy concept!
Don Newhard
Summy's Nighthawks
Jan. 13, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WHERE ARE THE 60 M+ & 55'S PLAYING??

Nighthawks 55M+ - 2/18&19 Hemet, 3/23-25 Mesquite, 4/14&15 Hemet; 5/19&20 Temecula, 6/1-6/3 Reno, 6/23-24 either Hemet or Pendleton, 7/14&15 San Clemente, 8/4&5 Temecula, 8/24-26 San Clemente, 9/8&9 Hemet, 9/28-30 Las Vegas

Don Newhard
Manager
Summy's Nighthawks 55M+
Jan. 11, 2012
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SCSST/SSUSA WINTER CLASSIC IN MENIFEE

@GDMoses - Thank you, how nice to see a positive comment on the board about this event, including results. We are looking forward to playing this weekend in the 55's. Looks like the amazing weather will continue, I'm told we will have 10 teams in our division. January, 70-80 degrees, good local senior competition, priceless!!

Don Newhard
Summy's Nighthawks 55M+
Dec. 5, 2011
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: JAN. 2012 HELP

Nighthawks 55 M+ planning on Menifee 1/14&15.

Nov. 14, 2011
Tate22
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Impact player rule is a joke!!

One of the biggest wastes of time and energy in Senior Softball is the endless scheming and theories on how to segregate players based on some mythical, subjective image of an "impact player". Even a real impact player like Ron Parnell only bats 4-5 times a game.

Get rid of the Major Plus designation, and the volume of whining and scheming on this board to dilute competition would decrease dramatically.

Anyone playing in top-level nationwide tournament softball should welcome the chance to compete against the best, or should stay the blank home and impact the Barcalounger.

5-year age brackets work, and 3 divisions is more than adequate at any age level.

Don Newhard
55 M+ Nighthawks
Nov. 14, 2011
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA,What's the procedure for a player to get re-rated?

Although George is a pleasant enough guy, I'm pretty sure he has to run all such decisions by the "Power that BE", TH.
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