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Discussion: Observations

Posted Discussion
Jan. 16, 2009
Player25
Men's 55
51 posts
Observations
After reading the MB for a long time, it appears there are at least 2 distinct opinions. One is for unlimited everything and one to make various divisions more competitive. I recognize a few of those who are on the MB often and know the teams they play for. It appears the group that is for unlimited everything play for teams that were built around playing major plus. It appears the group that is for more competitive rules were built to play major or lower but by being successful, they have been moved to major plus. Our team is the later. We do not have the power to compete day in and day out with teams and rules which allow home runs over the limit to be singles/walks (anything but outs). With the home run rule as singles/walks it is possible to not have a defensible ball hit during an inning. Thus giving a big advantage to the most powerful teams. Some will question why not just pick up more power hitting players. Here are several potential answers: 1.) Do not want to leave the players we currently enjoy playing with. ( Softball at the senior level is about comradiere, fun and enjoyment. Sure the teams want to win but it is not the end of the world if they do not.) 2.) Players may not want to leave the teams they are currently with. 3.) Do not have a sponsor willing to put up the money required to pay for air fare, hotel, meals, gas, etc. 4.) Do not have the caliber of ball players in their area. ( Locations such at Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, New York, etc. have a much larger pool of players to pick from.) 5.) Would not want to play with other players for a variety of reasons. (has to do with team chemistry.)

SSUSA is trying to appease the "true" major plus teams by getting them more teams in their division. But the moved up major plus teams will not be "fodder" for the "true" major plus teams. Several major teams were built around the 3 hr limit and excess being outs. With success these teams have been moved into major plus. These teams have a combination of speed, defense and a little power. Singles/walks after the hr limit, negates the speed and defense. Thus making it vary difficult to compete.

In MHO I feel teams have the right to play with unlimited rules but I do not believe that teams should be moved up to that division. It should be strictly voluntary. If there are not enough teams that want to play with unlimited rules or they do not show up at the same tourneys, then those teams just would not get to play at that tourney. It would be like the "elite" teams of the 70's and 80's. They had their own league and play teams that wanted to be there and not teams that were moved up. For the balance of the teams, they can play by the new rules in their respective divisions and see how it goes.
Jan. 16, 2009
2awesom
Men's 50
296 posts
Player25 Well Stated! My 50+ team was just moved to

Major Plus, you must know our team, you hit the nail

on the head!
Jan. 16, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Player 25 and Rick I just can't agree with this assessment. These are my observations and opinions only. It has been my observations that there are a number of ways to play major plus. I'm going to contend that a well balanced team over a long season and a long tournament will do quite well and cause alot of commotion. Me personally I love being in a position where a team that may not catch the ball very well but hits the snot out of it has to play outfield defense when I come to bat. My only thought is how much stress I can put on that fielder and see if I can slow him down because I made him have to play defense when they come up to hit. Please point out to me the true major plus teams in the USA. I'm dying to hear who the teams are. It sounds like from your description it is only the teams that can bang the ball out of the ballpark. That simply is not true and does an injustice to everyone who plays the game correctly and hard. Player 25 if the correct teams aren't moved up then the petition letters to move down to your division won't be far behind.
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Lecak I agree with player25. The next time you hit with Steve and Stoney they can tell you who the real Major Plus teams are. Im not going to name the teams but in Phoenix in the one of the Major Plus division (not 55) there was 3 teams that spent a combined $25,000.00. Average a little over $8,000.00 per team for one tourney. These are the REAL Major Plus teams. There is also a team or two who is paying bonuses for so many balls hit out of the park these too are TRUE Major Plus teams.
Hope all is well in Vegas and you have a great 09.
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
You know, Butch, I have to tell you that I personally resent the inferences that you just made. You allude to the M+ division that only had 3 teams in it... it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out which division that this was... after all, you figured it out and you weren't even there.
Of the 3 teams, two of them were west coast teams and one of them had 9 players in AZ... that would be us, GSF.
So the other two teams must have spent the majority of the $25,000.
But, more importantly, the innuendo about paid bonuses muddies the water for all of us. I do not know who told you such a thing but DO NOT LUMP OUR NAME IN ANY STATEMENT LIKE THIS... EVER. We have never paid any type of bonus for any level of performance.
If you've got something meaningful to say, spit it out ot back off.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
So it's all about the money then. So there are only three teams in the whole USA who are major plus caliber. To me that is an insult to everyone who keeps themselves in shape and plays hard. I'll keep going back to my thought on the brand new never played senior ball 50 year old who finds himself against major plus teams and their point of reference hasn't been all jacked up. To him it was good competition and alot of fun and lets do it again.
Jan. 16, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
wood don't understand where your are coming from,i can't see where butch has named any names in his post,why are you so defensive about it.his thoughts have been around for a long time for the M+ div.maybe your team doesn't but hey we don't know,alls we see is the better players going to teams like yours and not having to shell out like the lower div teams and such.i do know of a team or 2 that did do as he said and so what.if you do it you do it,don't pee don't my back and tell me its raining.
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Joe, that's BS and even Butch knows it. If this were true, how could the Old A's have dominated the 55 and 60 divisions (as they did at times)? I'm sure that Butch has some 'reliable information' suggesting that they paid their players.
The truth is that they had minimal sponsorship all during their existence. As many guys as have played for them over the past 9 years, is there one guy that will dispute this?
But it serves Butch's purpose to state it that way to justify his wanting to play down. C'mon Butch, it doesn't even past the smell test on the web site.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Bob we're on the same page. Money alone doesn't make a person perform, Barry Zito would be a monster, Ryan Leaf etc etc. Anyone spending money on balls hit over the fence I'll leave it at that.
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Mr. Wood I was NOT talking about your team as I know nothing about your team. I never said there was only three major plus teams in the country. I will not name the teams as they know who they are. My point was to Lecak that there is Real Major Plus teams that pay for hotels, airfare, food, rental cars not all Major Plus teams as I can attest to that. Bob you know what I'm saying in a small players market the team with the money usually wins the recruiting war. If the truth hurts somebody's feelings so be it. I've been in this game a long time on both ends. I never said the teams that dont have that type of sponsorship cant compete and win. But to think that all things are equal the old way is crazy. Butch
Jan. 16, 2009
softball4b
Men's 60
744 posts
Bob, I pretty much think he is talking about the 50 Division. We both know a couple of sponsors that fully suport their players, but I do not know anyone that pays their players. Not these days anyhow.
Jan. 16, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Butch that still is only a handful of players that are receiving some sort of help. I won't speak to the 55's and 60's but in the 50's I don't think that is such a big deal. There are plenty of ways to shake good players out of the trees. I'll pat myself on the back I think I have done a real good job in Las Vegas introducing a fair number of really nice players to senior ball. I've also got a really good relationship with a number of the 40 teams within a few hundred miles of Las Vegas. Those teams are gold mines of soon to be good 50 year olds. My example on new players playing their first tourney against really good teams and not really giving it much thought and then I'll compare that to asking a seasoned senior and the answers and responses are alot different.
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Mr. Wood this was not a ploy to play down as we look forward to playing WITH THE NEW RULES in major plus. I believe in a discussion we had a certain team used these exact words "We must finish the tourney by 1:00 pm as last year I (the sponsor) had to pay over $3,000.00 to change my players airplane tickets. Once again it was NOT your team. These were the teams that Player25 was talking about and Lecak does't believe they exist. Bob hope you and GSF have a great year in 09. Butch
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Butch, you specifically stated that there are 'a team or two that pay bonuses for balls hit out of the park'. This was right on the heels of your previous statement about the 3 teams that spent a combined $25k. As I said, I resent the inference.
Mike, the 50 division had 5-6 teams in it... we were the only one with 3. Incidentally, ask JD to enter NCI in the Feb 21-22 event in Phoenix.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
softball4b
Men's 60
744 posts
I will see him this weekend and hopefully we will hve our schedule finalized.
Jan. 16, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1007 posts
Butch I know it happens paying for flights etc. I'm arguing the point that this is not a valid reason to avoid the Major plus division. I can't help your age group nor can I help the 60's what I can do is sell the game to my friends, stay in touch with my peers and continue to work with the 40 division. Then in a year or two when I'm ready to play the next age group there is something to go to.
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Butch, paying a player's expenses and paying performance bonuses are like night and day. We pay airfare, entry fees and uniforms. They pay rental cars, meals and hotels. To show our appreciation for their loyalty, we occasionally buy the team a meal. If they miss being there, which is their choice, we do not provide 'meal money' to them... winning or losing is not the deciding factor of when this occurs. This is all contained in the rule books of different assns... i.e. reasonable travel expenses.
So when you say that a sponsor pays extra airfare, hotel or rental car expenses it shouldn't be stated as a negative (extra because the event lasted later than expected). The closest thing that we do that even can be lightly construed as a performance bonus is an award given to the top hitter, top slugger, most improved, etc... and these are wall plagues, not money. As sponsors go, GSF is middle class... some are better, some are less.
Again, the Old A's record proves that there is a lot more to being a M+ team than money. If it were all about money, the NY Yankees would win more frequently than they do... or Tampa Bay wouldn't have been in the world series. How does Minnesota consistently compete, year in and year out, from a small market?
You state that you're willing to play M+ with the new rules. Does this only apply to SSUSA/ISA or will you venture into SPA, SSWS, LVSSA, etc..?.. places that do not use the same rules. I hope that you guys have a good year as well.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Bob I am sorry if what I said looked like it was just a three team division as this was not the case. I was making a point and as i'm not very saavy with the computer , Mr. Imlay would agree, it came out so you might think that. Im not saying that players are getting paid but I do know about the bonus unless I was lied to.
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Bob I will leave these tourney's to a players vote. We will not do Vegas because of Phoenix and we dont have anyone to pay our airfare or rental cars or meals also 2 years ago it was the worst run tourney of any senior tourney I have ever played in.
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Butch, I may be hyper-sensitive to the issue of paid players, especially coming from someone that has at least dabbled in the M+ division, I reacted strongly to other guys last year that made similar overures. But they were easily dismissed because no one really knew them or their psuedonyms.

To anyone willing to promote the M+ facade:
First of all, no one evers names names, etc.... it almost always seems to come out as 'he said, she said'.
Secondly, it isn't true... yet it condemns all of us.
Thirdly, you have to take a step back and ask yourself 'who are these people that sponsor teams'... are they just a bunch of 'wannabees' that could never play the game? Or... are they just everyday guys that love the game, have grown up with the game, want to give something back to the game, would like to help players as they themselves were helped many years before, etc., etc. Why is it that folks, who clearly don't know squat about us, like to 'go on record' and make borderline libelous statements about people that are essentially trying to make the game better for many. Do you (global 'you') ever consider what we could do with a like amount of money in lieu of putting toward our teams?

Butch, you are at least man enough to include your name. So many of the others guys are less gutsy. I know better than stating this but. nonetheless, it would be nice if you guys would think before you write... when it comes to the M+ division, sponsorship, paid players, etc. If you cannot name who told you and who it is about, don't cloud up the MB with that type of drivel.
So, yes, I am a bit touchy when it comes to this.

DG:
You had stated previously that M+ is less than 10% of the senior population and 90% of the MB issues. If people would stop making totally erroneous comments about us, the latter number would more closely resemble the former one. I am not calling you out, rather I'm making an effort to demonstrate to you the type of M+ BS that is constantly being thrown about. Butch is not the first and surely won't be the last. Maybe we should be flattered that so many feel so envious of so few (with proper apologies to W. Churchill). I don't find it flattering at all.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Butch, I forgot to mantion that I agee with your assessment of the 2007 event... not that it was the worst that I had EVER attended but that playing only 4 innings in 5 straight games was not what we wanted. Fortunately for us, we were within 400 miles of it... most of our guys were. But we also had 4 guys from Nor Cal that had to fly there.
Plus, it was our last event as a 55 team so it left a poor taste in our mouths... and, as you and everyone else knows, we didn't play well.
65 minutes and finish the inning... no 'plus one more inning'. I really felt badly for the eastern teams that paid good money to travel there, Travelodge included.
How much different will it be this year? We'll play more innings but roughly the same amount of time. Are teams willing to travel out west for 65 minute games? I don't think that I would do so if it were in the east.
BW
Jan. 16, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Bob thanks for agreeing with me on vegas. This is my last mention of this subject. I would never name names or teams as that is not my style about any subject. The players that told me that I have personally known for years and plays for the team that was doing it. They have never lied to me before maybe this time they were pulling my chain. If they did fine if not fine I personaly dont care. Right wrong or indifferent there is a margin between the teams set up to play major plus and the teams that are moved up. Example 50 major plus in phoenix a team was beat 60 to 20. Im sure that left a wonderful taste in the mouth of the team with 20. This was a game between a team moved up versus a team built to play major plus. At least this year they will be able to compete with the new rules. I never said the players got paid to play I said something completly different. Lecak wanted to know what a major plus team looked like and you have to agree that the difference between the top of major plus and the middle is mainly how much money do you have. Also if you think I'm envious of any team or player, Hugh Hefner maybe, you dont know me very well. Enough said hope your enjoying your weather its below 0 here. Butch
Jan. 17, 2009
DoubleL10
Men's 65
821 posts
Butch, The 60-20 game in Phoenix was between Hendricks from Texas and Windy City from Illinois. It should be noted that Windy City, the team moved up to M+, did beat Hendricks in the seeding game by 6 runs so I am sure there was extra motiviation on the Hendricks team in the DE game. Having played them a few times ourselves - and we are a 60 team - they can go off at any time.

As for your statement that the the difference between the top of major plus and the middle is mainly how much money a team has - I have to disagree, at least for the 60 M+ division in which we play. To the best of my knowledge, none of the teams I have played with and against - Boaz/ASI, Old A's, MTC, GSF, Ruth, Scrap Iron, Turn 2 and Florida - are fully sponsored. I have friends on each of these teams and the most they pay for is air travel and maybe, some rooms. Our sponsor pays for some air travel. On others, the players are self-sponsored. As Bob W stated, the Old A's dominated for years with basically a self-sponsored team. So the blanket statement about the diffenence between the "haves" and "have nots" is not money - at least not in the 60s. I know it may be different in the 50s and 55s but that is what I see from where I play.
Jan. 17, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Butch, I wasn't speaking of Las Vegas... I was speaking of Phoenix. that was where we played your team and the series of 4 inning games.
LVSSA is a whole differnt animal than SSUSA.
Fog:You mentioned that no one has unltd HRs anymore but the LVSSA does for the M+ division.
BW
Jan. 17, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
DoubleL10: The seeding games mean very little. A lot of the times the team you play in seeding is not the same team you play in the tourney. Now I'm not saying all brand new players but the guys that play alot know what I'm saying. I know there are a lot of teams with limited funds that do play and win in the Major Plus. Lets not kid ourselves we are all grown men here softball has always been and will always be about teams and money. Early days fast pitch the team with the money got the pitchers. Slo-pitch Howards, York, Steeles, Bell Corp, Starpath, Jerrys Catering. This is not to say that there were not teams out there that didn't win but these teams had a great advantage. I'm not saying this is wrong but to deny that they dont exist is absurd. I can only speak for the 50s and 55s. I personally dont see it as much in the 55s. We have players that could play elsewhere but choose not to and we have lost a player because we couldnt pay his expenses. Once again I'm not saying players get paid to play I'm sayng the teams with the money have an advantage and you are right turn-two is a great example of a very sucessful team with limited funds so they do exist and will always exist. My whole point is with the new rules I believe ALL teams will be able to compete and not get beat by 40 runs.
Jan. 17, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
And speaking of turn-two what a great bunch of guys and they kicked our 55 butts in NC. Butch
Jan. 17, 2009
butch17
Men's 55
415 posts
Bob your right about Phoenix our games in the tourney were 3 and 4 innings not a lot of fun. In vegas that year we were playing our 5:30 games at 9:30 both Fri. and Sat. not a lot of fun spending 6 hours at a park to play one game as they didnt want you to leave incase a diamond opened up or some other crap. We had enjoyed that tourney in years past.
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