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Sept. 3, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Re: USA National Game Teams

the wood, you make an important point. Our team did not participate in the Western Nationals. If we had known it could result in a potential 1 or 2 seed at worlds, we would have likely adjusted our schedule to attend. It might be a good idea, but it should have been announced in January.
Aug. 31, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSHOF

twins25, you are correct on the qualification requirements by SPA. Here is what it says: "All nominees must be a minimum of 60 years old, have participated a minimum of 10 years in senior softball, and may begin earning nomination points at age 50."

Maybe Rick is still playing with a different team, or older than you think.
Aug. 27, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: So, you don't wear pitching protective gear!!

Webbie25, I have responded to your valid perspective on useless pitching rubbers in the past. The ultimate idiocy was when I played in Medford, Oregon on a turf field. Great facility with one exception—there was a pitching rubber sticking up out of the artificial turf infield!

Happened to run into the field manager and an umpire before the tournament and asked them both why the pitching rubber wasn't just part of the artificial turf as it is at all BLD and other turf fields. They had no legitimate answer. One thought the younger players liked it. The other said tradition. I said "unnecessary danger".

The only reason I could imagine is that fast-pitch pitchers like to push off from a raised rubber (I did myself back in the day), but I forgot to ask if they ever had fast-pitch games on those fields (maybe girls softball uses them, but in our area, girls fast pitch teams want real dirt, not artificial turf).

But the danger for the pitcher is high enough without a lip in front of you. What is needed is a real good solution for dirt infields where you don't have to rechalk the rubber every other game. Maybe a plastic spray?
Aug. 27, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitchers Mask or Helmet Mask Combo

I've used GameFace for years, but the recent breakage incident is making me look elsewhere. I would like to use a Rip-It because it has better visibility for those low ground balls in front of you, but I couldn't find a suitable Rip-It three of four years ago because it was originally made for girls fast-pitch and they were all too small. I bought one anyway, because of the visibility and metal, but I only used it two games—too tight on my chin and temples. Guess I have a big head! I'm intrigued by the new Rip-It with a bill since the GameFace is terrible, even in mid-morning sun, when the sun is directly in front of you. Are the new Rip-Its larger?
Aug. 24, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Bat restrictions for Seniors.

Swing running and catching a ball at 390 feet (presumably on an unfenced field) is routine for him. No report on whether the kid's knuckles drug on the ground when he stood erect.
Aug. 23, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Bat restrictions for Seniors.

DCPete, I think it is pure conservative thinking that keeps the titanium banned. There was a poster on here who worked for a softball company (Kevin?) who posted 3 or 4 years ago that tests showed the Miken Ultra II was hotter than the banned titanium. I'd be interested in the experience of guys who have swung both. I knew only one guy in our league who bought the titanium (really, really expensive in those times) who had a good two games in league before it was banned and there went hundreds of dollars of investment! But he stopped playing about 15 years ago and never had a chance to hit with a composite.
Aug. 23, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Bat restrictions for Seniors.

Swing, was it a man or a gorilla that hit that?!
Aug. 23, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Bat restrictions for Seniors.

Biscuit, your question was legitimate about the purpose of SSUSA equipment, but older senior players will find it amusing.

Parks were built in dimensions of 250 -270 foot fences as recently as the 1980s (some parks also used by hardball players were larger). Only the true home run hitter could put the ball out of those parks with wooden bats and these men were rightly admired and praised. The single wall aluminum bats weren't much hotter if at all. Their advantage was durability and perhaps more precise weight, balance, and end load. On my teams, they helped a few guys raise their average, but no one hit the ball faster or farther.

Then came the double walls and the exotic metal bats. Some were banned because they were dangerously hot. With the lively balls of the day, more and more balls were flying out of the park. My teams had a couple of guys that once had warning track power at best, but now were able to hit home runs. I was still hitting singles and the occasional gap double. As a result of the hotter bats, newer complexes were building fields with 290 - 300 to the fence. We thought they were enormous parks for the game of softball and buck shorts began to be moved to four outfielders to cover the ground. One result was that the lively balls went out of favor since park departments didn't want to have to deal with frequent balls landing over the fences in streets, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Didn't last long. The composites came along, much more powerful than the feared titanium bats of old, and suddenly lots of guys could clear the fence, even on the 300 foot parks. I now hit my FIRST home run over the fence after 50 years of playing softball! A pipsqueak like me clearing the fence! Older, weaker, slower bat speed, poorer eyesight—how ludicrous. Hit two over in one game and the coach asked me to hit a single my third time at bat. The result was even bigger fields to protect bystanders and parked cars, a banning of composites by many recreation departments since they had no room to expand fields, and a dumbing down even more of the balls.

That's where we are today. SSUSA senior bats are hotter than ever, with new bats claiming even greater performance (bigger sweet spots, longer range, etc.) yet somehow staying within spec (although even that was raised slightly a couple of years ago). Very few in senior ball want to play on an outfield with 350 foot fences, so once again the balls will have to be changed to keep balls in the parks. And Fabe is absolutely right—no legal ASA bat is going to outperform the senior composite bat. They are fun to swing, but traditionalists (and rec department directors) bemoan the loss of the game of 20 years ago.
Aug. 21, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Another You Make The Call

Now we are into guessing intent. Similar scenario: runner dashed home, crosses line, goes back to retrieve his cap that fell off close to third. Outfielder has retrieved ball and fired it to shortstop who has had back to field. SS turns and sees runner near third base and jogging toward home (on way to first base dugout). He yells at catcher that he is coming home with ball. The dugout isn't sure the runner crossed the home plate line, so they yell at him to get home. Runner is startled and dashes home and is thrown out. Still an out? I don't think so. Ump already saw him score. Even if batter on first advances to second on the unnecessary throw home.
Aug. 19, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: RE; NCSSA HOF event this week at BLD in Manteca

It was a well-run tournament with good umps and kept pretty much on time other than extra-inning games which are beyond the TD's control. The 7 am games were killers on 4 fields, either blinding the pitcher and middle infielders, or blinding all of the batters. One way is dangerous; the other ludicrous. I think pitching screens should be mandatory in such situations and should be provided by the park—depending upon possible batting practice screens by one of the teams is not good enough. I think the early schedule happened because of the large number of teams and the attempt to not have to use fields in neighboring communities. I suppose the same poor conditions applied if any games went into the sunset hours.

I actually thought the fields were better than in the past. Of course the infields should be resurfaced, but that takes money, and despite the $3.00 entrance fee per person, the money might not be there. I was critical in the past of the poor patching job on the base paths which made them unnecessarily dangerous, but most of the patching looked O.K. on the fields I played on. One exception was down the line to first on one field, where a hitter took a nasty face-first tumble because of a lip about 10 feet in front of 1B. It was so poorly done it could open up BLD to a negligence lawsuit. I also thought the outfield conditions with natural turf were better than some years in the past.


Aug. 19, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: GSC~~~Where Are You?

Shut Up & Pitch, when I saw Miken, it was love at first sight. In fact, wonder of wonders, I still have my first love since 2003! I have heard that some of her younger sisters have not been as faithful and have broken off their engagements. Don't tell anyone, but I began to worry about Miken's faithful support a couple of years ago—she is up in years—so I actually have a secret engagement with Combat, just in case Combat is needed suddenly. I hear a lot of good things about this new gal, GSC, but seeing is believing, isn't it?
Aug. 18, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: GSC~~~Where Are You?

Shut Up & Pitch, since they didn't even have a prototype that I was interested in, I didn't order one, so I said goodbye to the looker at the party and went home to my wife!
Aug. 17, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: GSC~~~Where Are You?

Shut Up & Pitch,

I've walked through a model home and not a single home like that was available for sale at the development, but I could buy an empty lot with the hope of a similar home.

I've been to an auto show, and viewed the car models for the coming year, but not a single one of them was in production yet so I couldn't buy one, even if I loved the design and features.

I've seen previews of a coming attraction at a movie theatre, and got quite excited about the film, but nowhere in the world was the film already available for viewing at that point.

In other words, promotion of a new product before it is available for purchase is very common in our culture. I've swung the new GSC bat at Rock 'N Reno, but all they had as prototypes were end-loads, so it wasn't a feel I liked. I talked to a new GSC rep this weekend, and he says they are aware that there is a great demand for a balanced bat, but it isn't on-line yet. Stay patient. I admire the fact that they don't take your money until they can actually give you the bat you desire.


Aug. 13, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Eastern National Championships 2013 updates

lgoehrig, not just power but dangerous hitters throughout the lineup and when Swing says defense, he means defense. As a pitcher, against AAA teams, I find there is often a drop-off in hitting ability after the 6 or 7th man in the lineup. In other words, the bottom of the order are often comparative easy outs. And as far as defense, my team gets on base more than a couple of times in AAA because of an error.

When I pitch against Major, there are usually good hitters in the entire lineup. You have to work for every batter, and it is not unusual to see a power hitter batting 9th or 10th. Also, errors are rare. If an outfielder can reach a ball they almost always catch it. If the shortstop can get in front of a grounder, it is likely going to be an out at first.

When I pitch against Major Plus, there are never easy outs. Even worse, there can be home run power throughout the lineup with maybe a few exceptions. And the defense is quick defense, defense that gets to the hole and makes the play where a Major 3B or SS would not quite get the ball, or if stopping it, be unable to make the throw. And almost all Major Plus players can run for themselves.

One quick example. Our Major team is playing up in a seeding round against a Major Plus team. I am catching this game and they are slamming our pitcher around with a couple over the fence in the first 5-run inning. Not our pitcher's fault, they're just monster hitters. In the second inning, a skinny little guy comes up who is the last batter in the lineup. He is a lefty, and a strong 20-mile wind is blowing in from right field and we are on a 320 foot field. He fouls off the first pitch to his left. "Finally," I think, "a batter we can get out". He takes a ball. Then he hits one, into the wind, that easily clears the fence and goes about 340 before landing. This is a Major Plus team!
Aug. 12, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Big League Dreams Fields

I think Taits is on to something with the heat factor, especially in a multi-game tournament. Artificial turf can be considerably hotter than natural turf. In the fall or spring (or winter where I play), the extra warmth is welcomed, but in the hot summer, it can easily be 120º on the field. Playing in that kind of heat is enervating. And in BLD parks, where bringing in any beverage other than water is prohibited, I notice a lot of guys don't drink enough fluid.

hoovedog, in my experience, where I play more than 100 games a year on artificial turf (very common in California and Nevada where saving water is a high priority), I find the artificial turf easier on my knees and back than natural turf.

Another factor is that some BLD parks have artificial turf on the infield and natural turf in the outfield. Outfielders usually wear cleats and they put more pressure on their feet while running the bases. Some of my teammates wear their turf shoes the entire game, even if they play in the outfield and lose some traction without longer cleats.
Aug. 5, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Double Runners to First

A true senior moment. Batter is so physically compromised that he asks for a runner to run from home...and then the batter takes off himself moments later and reaches first! I hope he didn't beat the designated runner to first!LOL
Aug. 4, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Midwest Championships 2013

The California Championships, also a TOC, concluded for many of the divisions 4 weeks ago and still no scores. I think SSUSA is overloaded with tournaments at this time of year, so scores are slow to be posted.
July 28, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Missing post

taits, maybe it was easier to dump the entire thread than selectively edit?
July 28, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Missing post

Not sure Sacramento can delete an individual posting if there are other replies on the thread. It seems to be either remove it all or leave it. Think of the many times in the past when a thread would get out of hand (einstein? dirty?) and SSUSA would yank the entire thread when maybe only the last posting or two would have been out of bounds. We lost some good discussions and input that way.
July 25, 2013
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Took one off the chest pitching BP

Forgot our screen once and so we pitched BP without it. Mistake. No one was hit, but scariest time pitching I have had in awhile. Balls are being thrown in behind you, guys coming in flip a ball to you, pitching as quickly as you can, not getting set since you don't expect your teammate to hit middle, etc. etc. Maybe best argument for a screen is garyheifner's though, it lets the batters practice hitting middle and opposite field and also experiment with grips, etc. No reason not to use a screen—they aren't that expensive.
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