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Downers Grove, IL

Men's 55

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

May 24, 2015
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: milwaukee tournament

My team is 55AAA. The scheduling & format leave a lot to be desired. We had some 45 minute games with very long waits in between, and with the round robin format most teams were out of contention on Saturday. Ours came down to a 1-run loss in the 3rd game Saturday, but we stuck around for 2 games Sunday to finish 2nd. They stuck a 55 major team in our division (instead of putting them with 50M) and that team didn't stick around for Sunday. The local team that won our division might not return next year because of the lousy format, and we might not either.

That would be a shame, because other than the Elgin tourney in early August the Milwaukee "Classic" is closest to home. I wish the SSUSA office would work with the tournament organizers to make some improvements, including posting the teams & schedule in the SSUSA web site.
March 17, 2015
Topic: Bats
Discussion: God's Sports Company P413 Senior Bat

I purchased and never received a 2011 GBA model from GSC in Sept 2010 when Bill Gately was the owner. I've been in contact periodically with the new company the last couple years. They've been good at answering emails and have promised me a bat when the production units are ready, but it's always sometime in the future. Latest communication is they're getting into production of the finished bat now and I'll have one within a couple months, but no firm date.

Maybe this year they'll actually produce bats for general consumption. The P413 has been reviewed at the link below:
Nov. 27, 2014
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: courtesy runners

stick8, I like your suggestion. Too often teams use a courtesy runner a batter or two later when the slow guy gets to 2nd with 2 outs and a faster runner has a better chance to score. I think that's an abuse of a rule meant to allow players with bad legs to still play this game.

Here's another suggestion:
A courtesy runner can advance only 1 base on any hit other than OTF HR. One of my park district leagues has this rule, and it greatly reduces the instances of coutesy runners.
Nov. 1, 2014
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Better bats or better marketing?

Fred, have you ever considered adding extra layers of tape to a bat handle to make it the thickness you prefer? I like thicker handles too, and that works for me with thin-handled bats that otherwise feel good with my swing.

The most important factors to me (as long as the bat has sufficient performance) are weight, balance, and feel upon contact. I can tell right off if a bat is too heavy or too light, but it takes a good number of cuts with a broken-in bat before I really know if it can be my gamer. Currently I'm swinging a 27oz Miken Big Cat, and until it was sufficiently broken in and the sound changed I was concerned I might have wasted my money. Now I like it. A lot. Before the Big Cat I bought a 26.5oz Combat Dirty R3 Loaded after reading some glowing reviews in this forum, but it simply doesn't have the right feel for me and I'm looking to sell it.

During my first several years in Senior softball I swung only the single piece black Miken balanced bats, but they kept breaking so I've tried different brands and have gravitated towards endload (though I'm still swinging a Senior Miken). In my ASA park district leagues I swing a 27oz Combat Wanted, while some teammates are still swinging the old Miken Freak 98 I carry. I also have a DeMarini The One which I like, but I'm getting better results with the Wanted.

Bottom line is, until you try a variety of bats you never know what you might be missing -- and handle thickness shouldn't be an issue (unless you like a thin handle and the bat is manufactured thick).
Oct. 21, 2014
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count? Playing Devil's advocate

oops ... that should read:
The game is slowed down with a 0-0 count.
Oct. 21, 2014
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count? Playing Devil's advocate

I don't think anyone has asserted or implied that "every player in every game in every tournament is extending the count down to the last pitch in every at-bat." That's an all-or-nothing argument that misses the bottom line, which is that overall more time is spent watching batters take more pitches with a 0-0 count as opposed to 1-1. I don't think anyone can honestly dispute that.

All other factors being equal, the 0-0 count slows down the game and results in fewer 7-iining games. As I said before, all other potential means to speed up the game are separate issues that may or may not be acted upon. Are you proposing a new rule in which players/coaches are not allowed to have discussions and argue a call, or do you think players/coaches will voluntarily desist in order to speed up the game?

Also, as I said before, regardless of whether the game goes 7 innings or not I think the dynamic between hitter & pitcher and the game itself is better with a 1-1 count. I've been a pitcher but I'm an outfielder these days and it's my experience the rhythm of the game suffers when defenders stand around watching batters take more pitches. And it tips the balance even more in favor of the offense.

Of course, that's my opinion, but I'm hoping it will be food for thought.

Not opinion, but fact:
The game is slowed down with a 1-1 count.
Oct. 21, 2014
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1-1 count? Playing Devil's advocate

OZ40 asked:
"Why shouldn't the batter,(trying to help his or her team), be afforded the choice of pitch selection?"

The batter is afforded that choice whether the count starts at 1-1 or 0-0. You have the choice to swing or not swing, and that is based on the hitter's judgment of the pitch.

This is already such a hitter's game with a strike mat (eliminates a big variable of what is or isn't a strike), senior bats that turn warning-track outs into homers, and senior defenders who aren't as fast as they used to be. On top of all that you want extra opportunities to wait for a big fat meatball to hit?

I like the 1-1 count because that's what I've been playing in all my local leagues for decades, because I think it's a more competitive dynamic between pitcher & hitter which makes the game better, because there is too much downtime for all the other defenders watching batters take pitches, and also because the 1-1 count reduces the number of time-shortened games.

All the other ways to speed up the game are separate issues that may or may not be acted upon regardless of whether the 1-1 count is adopted for the Senior game (which I've played for 8 years now).

I understand that hitters want every opportunity to swing at the perfect pitch with the hottest bat, and that's why we still have extra pitches in Senior slowpitch softball.

But that doesn't make it good for the game.
Oct. 18, 2014
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Chicago Prime 55s

Stankus, I've been with Chicago Prime for 8 years and on the 55's the last 3. I'm not the manager and I don't know of any current teammate moving to NC. A middle infielder from our 2013 team moved to NC last winter, but he was not with us in Raleigh this year. Email me at if you want more info.
April 17, 2014
Topic: Bats
Discussion: 2015 Combat Dirty G3 Reload

I ordered a 26.5oz Dirty G3 Reload, and it arrived today. Haven't had a chance to hit it yet, but it swings considerably lighter than my 27oz ASA Wanted.
April 9, 2014
Topic: Bats
Discussion: 2015 Combat Dirty G3 Reload

What weights have you swung with the Wanted and Dirty, and how do they compare? For example, does the Wanted swing heavier than the Dirty at the same weight?

April 8, 2014
Topic: Bats
Discussion: 2015 Combat Dirty G3 Reload

I need a new senior bat, and the 2015 Dirty is on my short list. I'm trying to gauge which weight would be best for me. I swing a Combat Wanted 27oz for my ASA leagues. It's very end-loaded and just a tad heavy for me, but nevertheless is my gamer.

The 2015 Dirty is .5oz end loaded, and the weights are listed as 25.5, 26.5, 27.5 or 28.5. I'm leaning towards the 26.5, but before I shell out $199 I'm hoping for some feedback from somebody who's swung both the Wanted and the Dirty.
Jan. 15, 2014
Topic: Bats
Discussion: GSC Bat - Status

I bought the original White Veteran from Bill Gately, then he offered the 2011 GBA model for $99 to those who bought his first bat. I sent him the $99 in September 2010, but never received the bat. The new GSC owners promised to make good and they've been good at returning calls & emails, but the date for delivery keeps receding like the hairline of some senior softball players I know. I sent them an email 2 weeks ago and received this prompt response:

We just shipped one of the last components from California to South Carolina to help us get to a light production schedule. That will take a few weeks to put in place and then we should be able to begin/resume our light production schedule. Please check back in a few weeks to see how we are coming along. We look forward to you having a bat in your hands very soon.
May 23, 2013
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Catcher's verbal interference

At Milwaukee this last weekend the opposing catcher yelled FOUL on a drive hit down the line. Our batter & baserunner on 1st heard that call come from the direction of the umpire and stopped running on what turned out to be a fair ball, advancing only to 1st & 2nd when they otherwise would have made it to 2nd & 3rd.

We complained that should have been ruled verbal interference, but the umpire said there had to be "intent" on the part of the catcher. I said it's impossible to read a player's mind and the ump said that proves his point, but I take the opposite meaning. If a baserunner physically gets in the way of a defensive player fielding a grounder, is it interference only if the baserunner did it on purpose?
April 19, 2013
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The Stutter Step

Guys who grew up in Chicago playing 16 inch softball are more likely to walk the batters box. There used to be no arc limit, and with the big old wooden bats it helped to start out farther back and step forward into optimal position to put everything you had into the swing.
March 16, 2013
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Gods Sports Company FACTS

surf88, I thank you for your post

I paid Bill Gately for a 2011 GBA on Sept 13 2010, but have yet to receive a bat. I have received repeated assurances from Steve and Chip they'll send me a bat, but actual delivery always seems around a future corner. I think it's extremely presumptuous for a commercial enterprise to name themselves "God's" Sports Company; to me it sounds more like a hook to attract cusomers on faith than a reason to trust the proprietors.

Although I haven't met you, your post gives me some reassurance that, eventually, I'll have an actual bat in my hands from them. Considering the history and the degree of skepticism, if there really is a factory it seems suspicious they have no evidence of it on their web site. When I talked to Steve last year he said the delay in delivery was due to the sheer volume of orders for their senior bat. I found that very hard to believe, given how little support for it I've encountered in this forum and among senior players I know.
Feb. 12, 2013
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Here's my question on RATINGS

SSUSA Staff, you NOTED:
This also includes players who were on the changed team's roster(s) during tournament play that resulted in the rating increase. Those players were responsible for the team's performance and related rating increase, and they carry the new rating as well.

Some AAA teams were moved up even though they didn't win any national tournaments, so does the application of the rule stated above apply to all players on the roster during that season?

You're probably aware that not every player on a AAA team that got bumped to major is a major player. He may have had a limited role and limited playing time mostly during seeding rounds or to give the starters some rest.

How does a non-impact player get his personal rating changed when he leaves a team that got bumped to major?
Jan. 3, 2013
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Out after 3 Home Runs

Which rule is more advantageous to an AAA team with several power hitters?

a) Unlimited home runs, with walks after the 3rd homer.
b) After homer #3, every fair ball hit over the fence is an out.

If home run walks help power teams win more games and tournaments, isn't that more likely to get power teams moved up to Major?
Dec. 9, 2012
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: AAA Home Run Outs

"Learn to hit the other way, hit the gaps, learn to aim"

And that's exactly what AAA teams with power do when home runs are outs. They hit fewer over-the-fence shots in 2011 than 2012 when excess homers were walks -- but they still had just as many players with the power to do it.

So even though a AAA team has the capability to hit 6+ homers per game, they stay at AAA because they're not hitting the ball over the fence due to a restrictive rule. Seems to me the rule is hiding power-hitting AAA teams rather than exposing them and forcing them up to major.

Unless, of course, they're not regularly winning games by large margins and they're not winning big tournaments attended by top AAA competition. Shouldn't those criteria be the real measure of a team's competitive level?

If a AAA team has several power hitters but several marginal players as well and they're not all that good defensively, they're not going to dominate other AAA teams regardless of the home run rule. But I'm hearing arguments that they should be a Major team solely on the basis of number of homers per game.

I'm not describing my team; Im talking about 50 & 55 AAA in general. Rarely in 2012 did my team hit a home run walk. Personally I rarely hit a ball over the fence, so it's no fun whatsoever for a player with average power when that rare dinger is an out. I don't like home runs being outs, period. (kinda obvious, eh?)

Get rid of the juiced bats, or let the players swing away and let their team's win/loss record sort out AAA from Major. If home run power and home run walks win games & national tournaments, those teams will move up.

If there are too few teams in the M & M+ divisions, then figure out a way to achieve optimal competitve balance by moving the top M teams to M+ and the top AAA teams to M. Restructure if necessary.

But the proliferation of AAA home run walks in 2012 didn't expose AAA teams that should be Major under the current structure as much as it exposed how ridiculous these bats are.
Dec. 8, 2012
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: AAA Home Run Outs

I'm a 55AAA player, and I don't like any of the rule changes.

The one rule I really wanted is the 1-1 pitch count, which all my park district leagues have used for decades. This is slowpitch softball, tilted heavily towards hitting (especially with senior bats). The 0-0 count gives the hitter more cushion to avoid the 2-strike pitch and wait on that fat one over the middle. Standing around waiting for the batter to swing is the least intersting part of action on the field, and is a factor in games shortened to fewer innings.

70 foot bases ... don't we run far enough playing 5+ games in a weekend? This rule doesn't particularly bother me; I'm OK with 70' bases if it's the standard at fields for all age groups, but what's driving this change for seniors ... has the ratio of foot speed to arm strength changed, or are longer bases intended to put infielders a little further out of harm's way from senior bats?

Excess AAA home runs as outs is the rule change that prompted me to start this thread (the other thread had gotten very long). Senior bats enable me to hit an occasional home run, but I've always been opposed -- partly because of increased risk of injury to players with slower reflexes; partly because it's very costly replacing these very breakable bats; and because I think these juiced bats are detrimental to our sport, tilting the balance even more to the offense.

But that's a different debate. I accept that U2's, Reebok Legends, et al are here to stay in the senior game (for the forseeable future). For the majority of players, the pleasure of hitting lasers and monster shots outweighs the other concerns.

Which brings me to the point. Why penalize hitters for usng the approved equipment as intended? AAA teams are hitting more than 3 homers per game because this capability is very common for softball players in their 50's. A typical AAA lineup of 12 hitters will have 4 who can put it out with regularity and 4 more with enough power to do it occasionally. Those 8 players combined will have about 30 at-bats per game, but they can't cut loose 9 out of 10 times. Yeah, I know, you can swing as hard as you want as long as you don't elevate that line drive, but something's wrong when you have to focus on not hitting the ball too far.

Supposedly, what's wrong is that AAA teams hitting in excess of 3 per game really should be in the Major division. But if so many AAA teams hit dingers for walks in 2012, maybe that's a measure of power with juiced bats at the AAA level rather than a measure of how many teams in AAA should really be Major. A normally strong healthy softball player in his 50's can hit the ball 300+ with a U2 but that doesn't necessarily make him a major player, and half a dozen of these players don't automatically make a team competitive at the major level. Defense and pitching still are major factors in winning games, and a team with a high on base percentage & good defense will often beat a team with a handful of sluggers. The biggest difference between AAA & Major is usually consistency throughout the lineup, with fewer marginal players.

The number of home runs per game should not be the primary guideline for assessing the competetive level of a team. SSUSA already has other more telling criteria for moving a team up to the next level -- the average margin of victory in runs per game (a measure of both offense & defense) and winning national tournaments in a highly competitive field.

Home run outs are apparently intended to frustrate strong hitters to the extent they'll want their team to move up to Major, but being consistently overmatched at tournaments is even less fun. By all means let's find the right competitive balance, but home run outs in my opinion is not the way to do it. If a team consistently wins games by hitting home run walks there is already a system for moving them up -- average margin of victory and winning national tournaments.
Nov. 26, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitching screen

Dan, our 50's & 55's teams both use the pitchsafe net TT linked to. Call Rick K; I think the 50's might have an extra.
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