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Discussion: Pitcher's Screen vs Rocket Bats/Balls

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March 28, 2011
Cal60
3 posts
Pitcher's Screen vs Rocket Bats/Balls
Some of our "50 Plus" Ohio Leagues are now using or are considering using pitching screens. With the high tech bats and rocket balls we use, we can't figure another way to protect the pitcher from an inadvertent hit up the middle. No one wants to give up their $200 bats. Has anyone come up with another solution? How about the Winter Nationals in Vegas. Has there been any talk about Pitching Screens? Wish we were 21 again...but many of us are over 60.
Thanks
March 28, 2011
Jawood
Men's 50
784 posts
Screens should be used in local senior leagues where many different skill levels play against each other. Tournaments are a different story, this is why there are divisions ... too many divisions, but divisions nonetheless.
March 28, 2011
DRob
34 posts
We use screens in our senior leagues in Indy for the reasons Jawood mentions. Last year screens were optional. This year they're gonna' be mandatory. Any batted ball that hits any part of the screen is a dead ball out. Some guys wanted it to be called a foul ball but we opted for the out. We tried a batted ball hitting the pitcher being an out but that doesn't really make any difference to a pitcher laying in the hospital. I don't want to get into a urinating contest but that's what we do. It's league play! No sense in getting somebody hurt or killed (happened right here in Indy several years ago) over a game that really amounts to nothing more than recreation and practice.

The screen has to be placed so that it hides half the pitcher's plate. This prevents a guy from using it as another defender standing next to him. If he choose to leave the protection of the screen, that's his choice but he gets no other protection by rule.
March 28, 2011
LP
266 posts
if a pitcher needs a screen to protct his self he should think of another postion to play sense he much have lost his reflexes. we cant dumb down senior ball because a few guys want to hang on to there position when they cant field the ball anymore. i pitch ( 60's divisin) this is just my opinion. if the screen comes here to Texas i'll go fishing.
March 28, 2011
Cal60
3 posts
Hey LP, Do you Pitch?
March 28, 2011
Cal60
3 posts
The problem is just as Jawood stated. We have 48 year old players and 65 year old players in our league. I was hopng that you would have a solution other than just telling the older guys to go play golf.
March 28, 2011
GI
Men's 60
160 posts
LP enjoy your fishing in Texas. Everone of us pitchers know that at some point a linedrive will have our name on it and we will be hit by some 100mile plus ball hit back up the middle. I watched in Vegas in Nov and saw two pitchers break an arm and leg by a ball up the middle both played in 50 div. I know the one from PHX well and saw him return for first time since leg was shattered. he pitched in PHX little over a week ago but now wears protection for the legs. Soon many of us pitchers will have full gear helmit, leg , heart and chest protectors just to pitch and play the game. reflexes have little to do with getting hit these days when you see guys who could hit short singles as a youth now hitting for home runs with these powerful bats. I can accept that a ball will hit me as many have in p-ast but to hear , your old, play another spot is not an answer. It would be I guess like someone needing a blue pill to enjoy their wife and telling them stop because their reflexes are no longer there. Sorry for example but it is just as stupid. We are lucky to still be able to be a part of the game- Time will catch us all at somepoint and until it does I am glad to share my time with many friends on the field.
March 28, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
cal60 i can vouch for LP being a pitcher and a very good at that,after playing against him numerous times.

i may be able to see it for leagues,but with all the different ages and skills,why do you want to use the hot stuff to begin with,use ASA rules(bats and balls),it is what we do here in tyler,tx and have no problem with it,actually makes for a better game,more defense and such, also we have no one getting blasted.
March 29, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Cal, you have stated the case well. The hot bats of the last 8 years are too much for aging reflexes to safely handle. In our leagues, we also have mixed ages, and screens have been mandated for pitchers for the last 10 years.

One difference, rocket bats are not allowed until 75 or older, and even double walls are not allowed until 70. Every now and then a new player gripes, but soon adjusts if he wants to play. Guys with composites use them in tourneys and batting practice, but for league play it is still safer with a screen.

As mad dog often notes, another alternative is to change the ball (we use a lively ball), and then the screen may not be needed. The third way is when the screen can be used by any pitcher willing to lug it on the field when he is pitching (this was our league practice 11 years ago).

Eventually, probably within the next few years, there will be so many pitcher injuries like GI observed in Vegas, that a few will result in lawsuits claiming that the associations knew of the danger, and in response, after paying damages, the associations will either ban the composites or mandate a screen. I'd prefer banning the composites, but male egos will probably go for the screen so they can continue to hit the artificially-enhanced long ball.
March 29, 2011
wagon487
Men's 50
507 posts
we use utrips bats in our senior league.
everyone is happy!
March 29, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Quite simply, if a guy cannot hit with a Utrip bat and needs the special bats he should be playing checkers.
March 29, 2011
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
Cal60,
If you read all of LP'S message, he says he pitches in the 60 division, and a damn good pitcher he is!OH, it was just go fishing........not golf.Having LP on the golf course would be a scary thought.lol.

WE had a player on our tournament team this year who told us he has nightmares about playing 3B and see's himself getting hit in the face, he was terrified to play there and every ball hit at him, he started backing up. He's a great guy, and some told him to try another position or if that didn't help. try another sport. Just my 2 cents worth.
March 29, 2011
Corky
Men's 55
444 posts
As usual Jaewood and DRob hit the nail on the head......with the wide range of talent in leagues, the screens should be used (tournament teams use them in BP). Not so in tournaments. There is more parity in the skill levels. Most guys want to use the bats they use in tournaments in league play to get the muscle memory thing goin. League players want them to win a T-Shirt. Use the screen and everyones happy. "Keep on Playin"
March 29, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
omar the kids league i play in,just started using the 52-275 ball and guess what, no complaints what so ever from these egotistical little brats,LOL.....hell i've hit 2 in 2 games off the fence(290').i pitch for the kids and have no prol on the mound with it either.
March 29, 2011
17Black
Men's 50
207 posts
I'm fine with a screen if it is voted on for a league. I'm also fine if not, as well. I pitch too. Defensively, if I pitch, I don't like it there, I like trying to field my position.

From a softball standpoint, I've seen inconsistent calls from umpires on line drives hit directly up the middle. Regardless of the call, a pitcher is at risk--------However, regardless of senior softball or OPEN softball in younger divisions like we used to all play, the pitcher is STILL at risk.

It's part of the game. I got drilled up the middle when I was 25 untill I started playing senior ball. I broke my hand in three places catching a line drive up the middle in ASA Nationals when I was 35.

Quite honestly, unless playing in national tournaments, most guys in our league aren't benefitted that much with high tech bats-------a lot of guys just don't swing that hard. Two other teams are loaded with home run hitters.

Guys that are going to hit home runs with any bat, anyway, just hit them farther. Guys who don't hit home runs, still might not hit any home runs with the advanced bats, or get a fluke one or two per season.

If your league has a screen, I don't think they should be penalized for an out if they hit it? Should be a foul ball in my opinion or a dead ball, not a penalty.

Why take the middle out of play???? Might as well take out the right fielder and have a ghost man on third, pitchers mound is as good as first on throws too??????

In some respects the game is out of hand, between screens, signing waivers if not wearing protective equipment, wearing a hockey uniform on the mound, using bats than can hit a softball out of Yankee Stadium, balls that should be on a WHAM-O commercial, no sliding at home. Where does it end????

I agree with one of the posts above, lets just go play ball.

MAYBE we should just put a windmill in front of the pitcher, like at our local putt putt course? If it hits the windmill, too bad, if it goes through, OK?????????
March 29, 2011
kbl
Men's 60
523 posts
17Black...that is a great post...well thought out. thanks, ken
March 29, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
God I like 17Black.
March 29, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
My sentiments exactly 17Black. If there is to be a screen on the mound, and since the screen is there to protect the pitcher, then the pitcher should not be able to veer off either side of the screen to be a fielder. Just my humble $0.02 worth.
March 30, 2011
thndr1
Men's 50
29 posts
This is always going to be one of "those" subjects. As another long time softball pitcher who has taken his share of shots I am in favor of the screen. The manufacturers are not going to "dumb" down their equipment, even the new .52/275 balls will be changed if enough people stop buying them. Its all about the benjamins when it comes to the gear we are using.

Senior softball has become an entirely offense based game now. In the past I remember the cuban guys coming in and playing sick infield and now some of those same players dropped from the sport once the composite bats came into play.

While I am still hugely competitive, I also know that I have to get up Monday morning prepared to go to work. That may not be so easy if I have a broken leg, shattered face, etc. I like to think that my reflex's are still up there with the best of them but I have seen shots go by me that I never had a chance to react to. Those are the ones that worry me.

Cliff
March 30, 2011
UMBACH
31 posts
They should try a tournament with a screen and see if there is any interest, you may be surprised
March 30, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
thndr1, no offense intended but if you can no longer confidently field the middle play somewhere else. When a cornerback can no longer cover wide receivers he does not ask for a rule to make them run with ankle weights so he can keep up. He goes to safety, or to nickleback, or retires.

No one should want the game changed for them.
March 30, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Gary19, you are deliberately misreading thndr1's post to get your own hobby horse in about the changed game.

thndr's point is that the game has already changed! As he noted, it is now offense-based as opposed to the balanced game of only 10 years ago when defense had a vital role. He also notes that bats and balls are not likely to be dumbed down, or remain there if they are.

He also notes that of the guys who loved defense and were good at it, some are no longer playing because the game has changed.

An age-related decline in reflexes and speed and power have always been a part of senior softball. This hasn't changed. What has changed is the introduction of the hot bats and the conditions so lively that pitchers are required to armor up as a consequence, and now screens are seriously considered (who would have thought that in the 90s?).

Telling guys like thndr1 to go play somewhere else is no more logical than telling you to go play where they still use single walls, where they can still slide at home, where innings are unlimited until three outs. I know you would love that, but since you are playing, you have accommodated to a changed game...and that's all that thndr is talking about.
March 31, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1936 posts
We play with the screen in league. The first time you hit it is a foul ball and the second time is an out in the same at bat. I agree with its use there because of the disparity in abilities. However, I am very strongly opposed to it for tournaments. It can become an eleventh defensive player with a good fielding pitcher. It can also take a good fielding pitcher out of the game by taking away easier ground balls that could be fielded and maybe turned into a double play. I haven't run into a pitcher on a major or major plus team that wants screens.
IF, and that is a big IF, they decide to use screens in tournaments, they need to make a rule that the pitcher must stand behind it after every pitch. ALSO, the screen needs to be shrunk to about 2 feet wide (wider for 'portly' :-) pitchers). Also, the top of the screen will be adjustable to the height of the pitcher. Any pitcher that touches a ball hit up the middle will be severely chastised by the umpire and the batter will be awarded first base. However, with that rule in place, there needs to be another rule that a batter can only go up the middle twice in a game, since the pitcher cannot field the ball. Any batter that goes up the middle a third time in a single game will have to sit out 2 innings in the penalty box in the dugout as punishment for flaunting the rule, and his up-the-middle privileges will be taken away for one game. Further violations will result in suspension for the duration of the tournament.

OK, ridiculous?? Sure, but these discussions will come up if screens are adopted. Pitchers have always been at risk more than other defensive players because they are closest to the batter. In 1979 I saw a pitcher get his face destroyed with a ball hit off the rubber which deflected into his face, so this is nothing new. The main difference is that with the huge sweet spot on these bats, more balls are hit hard than before. The only thing that will make these bats disappear is if we stop buying them or associations ban them. I don't see that happening any time soon.

(I still say remove the actual rubber from the mound area. The only function it serves in slowpitch is to deflect a batted ball into a pitchers face.)

Mark Weber
Desperados
March 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Omar, not trying to 'deliberately' misread anything. I understand all of his points, and agree with most of them.

But the point is he said 'I am in favor of the screen' along with 'but I have seen shots go by me that I never had a chance to react to'. Now he certainly has every right to do what he must to protect himself from injuries and lead his normal life.

I know you realize I see no point to the special bats, or to all of the whacky rules they have caused. But again, if anyone does not feel comfortable pitching or playing anywhere because of the bats and/or their advancing age and declining reflexes, just do something else but DON'T introduce yet another whacky rule (e.g. screens) for the rest of us.
March 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Webbie, great point! Not only are the special bats especially hot, but the size of the sweet spots is ridiculous. It is very hard to mishit a ball with them.

It is just a bad combination.
March 31, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
well guys here we go again,like i said the only change we would need at this moment would be the ball.to many seniors have their money tied up in our senior bats,so the only way to go is the ball.i started playing with the 52-275 ball(and we are using one of the first ones out,not one of the better ones out now) this year in league(they finally got some sense in the parks and recs dept)b/c of 5 major surgeries to players last year and the city being sued for the expenses for them.so far i haven't had a prol with this ball,it gets thru the infield pretty good and i have hit a couple off our 290' fence in 2 games so far,oh and we are using non-senior bats(kids league,or flat bellies if ya like).

ok on the thought about not playing any more if your scared,well i want one person who has played inf or pitched say they have never been scared by our hot combo and sometimes kind of fear for them selves when seeing certain batters up they know can blast the ball,i don't think there is any who can say that,and if you do you a liar or a fool.also tell me,do you get in front of one these blasts or play it off to the side.......
March 31, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
gary the man has concerns about safety,so its his opinon that the net is the way to go,i"m not going to agree or disagree with him,if you dont like the whacky rules maybe you should try another sport,how about jumping in the lake and playing water polo.

mad dog,i"m going on my sixth year of senior softball,i have been hit twice once at the isa worlds in st.louis hard hitter from florida nailed me in the left thigh,and in a senior league here i was hit on the side of my shin,i enjoy pitching and my reflexes are still pretty good but not as good as my first couple years of senior ball,and yes i do have some concerns when pitching to certain players and teams.and i catch most balls behind me,this is done on purpose its a fielding style i have developed.
March 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Rich, I believe I said pretty clearly that he is entitled to his concerns. But that does not mean we all have to take action on them.

If an aging pro boxer has legitimate concerns about his slowing reflexes and his ability to protect his face and head should everyone have to use headgear, or should he retire?

If a cornerback has concerns about his diminished speed do all wide receivers have to start wearing ankle weights so he can still play CB?

Everyone has to stop at some point, so do we need to continue dumbing down the game to accommodate everyone?
March 31, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
why do amateur boxers where headgear

why do football players where helmets.

its called safety,you pitch do you have any concerns about your safety when your pitching.

March 31, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
rik of course he doesn't,he is the all mighty.like i said he is either a liar or a fool if he isn't scared out there at times.senior ball has gone to far with this combo we have now for bats and balls.i feel i still have decent reflexes but there are times when i just say wow on a hit ball,if that had been hit at someone they would be dead or in a emergency care unit fighting for their life.
March 31, 2011
MaverickAH
59 posts
Just a thought..........

Since you have such a wide variety of ages in your league, why not impose bat restrictions by age?

Under 50: Singlewall
50 - 60: Multiwall
Over 60: Composite

This would level the playing field a bit make it somewhat safer.
March 31, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Webbie, here's a solution to all of your concerns about rules surrounding screens.

All games use a standard screen: 6 1/2 tall by 2 1/2 wide. This covers all portly pitchers (except those too obese to really play) and the under 1 % who are taller than 6'6".

Screen must be in a limited space (let's say 4-5 feet max from front of rubber and nearest edge no more than 6 inches from left or right of rubber.

First time hitting the screen is a dead ball strike (and a potential out if already two strikes), second at same at bat is an out. No need for other penalties. This is severe enough.

Pitcher can play wherever he wants and field what he wants. The screen is for his protection. If he steps behind, that's O.K. If he runs around for a pop fly, that's O.K. If he has time to move left or right for a slow ground ball, that's O.K. If he sticks out his hand to field a line drive, that's O.K. He takes the risk—the league/tournament has adequately protected him if he so desires, and without cumbersome armor. This also solves danger for pitcher of pitching into a low sun.

Screens are provided on all fields by league or by tournament director. Since they are portable, they can be shared by different tournaments.

That said, as a pitcher I would prefer to play without a screen, but the hot bats and lively balls make it a dangerous and humbling position. I am one pitcher, with major team experience, who can live with a screen.

P.S. I also agree that there is no longer a need for an actual rubber. A painted one or chalked one can serve as well and is less dangerous and results in no flukey bounces off a rubber.
March 31, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Honestly, I am not "concerned" at all. Sure I know things can happen. But I don't consider it concern, just acknowledgement.

No, sad puppy, not almighty at all. I just don't expect an entire sport to have to change its rules to accommodate my shortcomings. Now if you consider that to be almighty, then I guess I am. And you no I have NO use for the special bats, but they are in the senior game for now so what can I do about it. I just refuse to ask for more whacky rules to make up for the special bats.

Omar, you are talking about dirt here. Paint or chalk will last just minutes before being obliterated.
March 31, 2011
Jose #12
Men's 60
86 posts
We have a very sucessful senior league (allows senior bats)in South Jersey that has used the screen for a couple of years. It's a dead ball if it hits the screen.No problems have really come up. If you want to move to the side it's your option.

As for fielding, the problem is your reflexes diminish more quickly than your hitting skills. Honestly while playing both 60 and 65 last year I couldn't tell that much difference in the hitting. I could tell a lot of difference in the running, fielding and throwing aspects of the game.

The screen offers an option. You can still use the senior bats and balls, while offering protection to the pitcher.

I'm not advocating, just offering an option. There is no way to please everyone. Take away the bats and some are going to be upset, use the screen or armor and others will be upset.

I pitched for years (not in seniors) and got hit playing with metal bats and juiced balls. But I had much better reflexes than I do today. The screen is just a compromise.
March 31, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
Omar when you say defense played a vital part of the game 10 years ago are you referring to senior ball?
March 31, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Yes, stick. When I started playing senior ball, it was mostly on 275-300 foot fields. In the age of the double wall, you always had the sluggers who could put it out and you had other powerful hitters that could zip it through the gaps, but there were a lot more infield outs (because infielders could react in time and also reach more slowly hit balls), and a lot more fly outs since fielders gathered in long flies and with less ground to cover (shorter fences) they were able to close outfield gaps. Today, there is not much defense possible standing in the outfield and watching a 2 hitter or a 7 hitter put one over your head and the fence.

Now, I seldom see a third baseman, for example, playing at the bag or a step or two behind. They are back almost to the grass, trying to both not get hurt and also have a chance to field a zinger.

Those are areas of defense that I was once part of and now miss. I'm one of the current "power hitters" who hits several home runs a season at my advanced age, and while I have played softball every year since I was 13, I never hit a home run until I got a Miken Ultra II in 2003. I'm not alone. I know several former base hitters who are now "sluggers" with a composite bat.

I will say that I never played senior ball in my 50s—I was playing with the youngsters then. Maybe the 50s aren't as affected as older players—their reflexes are sharper and they can send it with a double wall. Don't know if the change is as noticeable in that age group.
April 1, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
Omar, what you say is true. No doubt the bats make the game more offensive. I'm ok with that as long as it's equal for everyone. It's when they contemplate and put in gimmicky rules to accomodate the continued use of these bats is the issue I have. I would have loved to play that game you reference from 10 years ago.
April 1, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
stick, you couldn't be more correct.
April 1, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
stick and Gary, I do feel sorry for you youngsters missing those days before the composite era. There was the same camaraderie of old guys just glad to be alive and still able to play ball, the joking and the after-game beers, the anticipation of next week or next tournament. This hasn't changed.

But not only were fielders more important with their defense, and praised for their contributions to winning, but fast base runners were valuable (and most guys ran for themselves) because they could go first to third, even if they weren't sluggers. This also made strategy more important because runs were more often manufactured, not the result of a home run blast.

Glory days, and I miss them, and yes, Gary, not every tournament had 5-run limitations and no pitcher armored up and a screen was considered a joke. I also heard no talk about shaving bats and guys were not retiring as pitchers because the ball came too fast for their reflexes. Did we get plunked as pitchers—sure, now and then, but it wasn't a potential death or disfiguring blow. You see why I am no fan of composite bats.
April 1, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Omar, do you have any thoughts on what made old guys lose so much pride and insist on the special bats and all of the silly rules that come with them?
April 1, 2011
Omar Khayyam
958 posts
Gary, I think they just gave in to the dark side. Seriously, when the first Miken came out, it was way, way beyond any previous bat as far as power. It was so powerful, as you know, that it was subsequently banned.

But the hook had been set. Guys who were never sluggers began to dream of hitting the long ball. Fellows with weaker egos became obsessed with hitting it farther than other guys, even though they were already home run hitters. Men who had never paid more than $79 for a bat began to justify putting out $295 for a U2. The genie was out of the bottle.

I can say on behalf of a lot of older players who were in senior ball both before and after the introduction of the composites, that they have come to their senses and realize that the game has been changed from what they used to love. When EVERYONE can hit with power, and this power now exceeds the reflexes of aging players, it's not so fun anymore.

Yes, it is lack of pride and I am surprised at some men who sacrificed legitimate pride in keeping in shape and doing their best, for the lure of the hot bat. But as you and I have learned, we also had to buy the composite to stay competitive and not let our team down. But I also don't understand any man of integrity who would shave a bat for an illegal gain. Maybe real men of integrity don't shave bats and refuse to use them?!

The silly rules are mostly safety-oriented, and I think there will be even more of them to come until the day that safety demands the banning of the composite or until the introduction of the sock ball.
April 2, 2011
thndr1
Men's 50
29 posts
Gary, I wasn't lamenting my reduced abilities, just being honest. I know I have slowed down but it hasn't kept me from pitching in every single tournament our team plays in. We all know that most SSUSA tournaments do NOT use a screen. I think the screen is good in league play. I would hate to lose one of my tournament guys because he got blasted in a league game.

I still pitch in the young adult leagues and I usually don't wear my helmet unless I am playing against guys I know like to middle pitchers. You know as well as I do that they are out there.

I love playing this game and hopefully I won't have to quit anytime soon. I also know that we all have our own opinions about how the game is going and where it is going, but inviting me to move to another sport??? Was that the best constructive advice that you could offer?

April 2, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
thndr, IF you feel you need something like a screen to feel safe (and we will all get to that point at some time, sad as it will be) then yes that is very constructive advice.

Now, if you still feel able to play the game without some of the gimmicks that the special bats have created, and it sure sounds like you do, then please enjoy continuing to play.

But yea, not just to you but to anyone, if a guy gets to the point where he cannot feel good about playing anymore than what is there to do but find a new hobby? I know I will NEVER expect the game to be changed for me. I think/hope/believe I will know when it is time to move on.
April 2, 2011
samg
24 posts
As a pitcher at the "younger" age and moving into the senior level this year I understand the concerns about safety for pitchers. I too, have taken many a hit ball up the middle, most were done intentionally, as I know where I pitched the ball and whether the hitter pulls, hits middle, or opposite field. The middle became a bigger concern when the different sanctioning bodies of softball established homerun rules for the different classes. We can all remember "back in the day" when there were no homerun limits and if your memory is still good you don't recall this as a concern unless you had a team go after a pitcher intentionally. I hate the fact that even occurred, but when a player hit up the middle my team mates would always ask me where the pitch was. One would like to think that at this point in our lives, and if we are as good as we want everyone to believe we are, we have a lot more control over our bats. Noone wants to admit that most, I said most, hitters do have this control and just do not use it when the chips are down. They are so obsessed with a base hit or getting on base they hit a hard shot up the middle to get on or score a run. I am excited about this season at this point in my life that God grants me the skills and athleticism to continue to play a sport I dearly love and respect. I do not intentionally hit the middle but do try to go off to the left or right sides of a pitcher for a single. I also can hit for power or percentage. I think the screen at a recreational level is a viable option that will allow those with a little slower reflex time an opportunity to continue to play and maintain friendships they too have made over the years. Looking forward to meeting new friends at the senior level this year.
Sam Grisham
Universal Mechanical
Powell, Ohio
April 2, 2011
thndr1
Men's 50
29 posts
Gary,

I think I am starting to understand you a little better as I read more of your posts. I agree with you on knowing when to move on. I do know that my time has not come yet and I love the sport more than ever.

I am one of the old timers that prefers outstanding defense to 4' nothings jacking the ball over the fence. As Samg posted, there were times when home runs were earned by players who could truly hit, not just throw their hands at the ball and let their bats do the work.

We will always have some issue with going middle on the pitchers. Even if they adopt the new .52/275 ball, someone will still have to dodge it sometime and the war of words will start all over again. I honestly believe that the bat manufacturers will go out and develop a bat that will drive that new ball just as far and just as fast as they are today. Its what makes them money.

Cliff Hansen
Southwest Legends
Las Vegas, NV
April 2, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Cliff, if that occurs it will then be up to the associations to have some common sense and not allow those bats. Just because someone makes them does not mean they have to be allowed.

As far as batters hitting middle, I pitch and that is fine with me. The middle of the field is there for a reason, and should not be an issue just because a bunch of prideless guys insist on special bats. I just don't believe most batters are trying to hit te ball directly at the pitcher as those balls should become outs. And what would be the reward in that?
April 2, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
why are the guys pride less,the bats test the same as when bat testing first was introduce by ASA,and senior assoc's accepted that test for their bats,so where does special enter here.there is nothing special done to these bats what so ever,well unless your a cheater.wish you guys would quit harping on special bats.just b/c one assoc bans a bat for them why is it speial.if your thinking like that,then any bat used by anyone in USSSA are special players and pride less,as their bats are banned by ASA.
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
They are special in that they are commonly referred to everywhere, including on this site, as "Senior" bats. They cannot be used, in the vast majority if cases if not all, outside the jurisdiction of Senior softball. When only a very small number of all softball players can use something, it is special.

Prideless refers to guys who actually believe they are doing something, or at least delude themselves into believing it, that is often primarily attributable to the bats. Prideless are guys who have said, and there have been many on here, they would stop playing if the Senior bats were banned. Prideless are guys who would rather play with what are clearly contrived rules just so they can hit balls in their 50s and 60s what I have seen first-hand many weren't in their 20s and 30s.
April 3, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
like i said,where is the specialty.they were approved from the beginning using the ASA test.B/C ASA changes their test why do all others have to,USSSA doesn't go by the same strict test,so i guess they are using special bats and are pride less,also.please tell why we all have to change b/c "1" assoc does(ASA).
oh by the way each assoc goes by their bat name aka ASA bats,USSSA bats,so why do we need to change by calling the senior assoc bats something different.
April 3, 2011
stick8
1238 posts
Omar the men's game was pretty much like you elluded until Ray DeMarini came out with the Demarini double-wall bat (1987 I believe). Major players did have their bats made to their specs but that was the birth of the enhanced bats that were available to anyone. Then what really propelled the enhanced bats was when the original Ultra and Ultra 2 came out.
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
name me 10 people on here who have said they would not play,and i guess i'm from a differant plant what does pride have to do with senior softball,other then proud of your team and other players who are still hitting the field and playing at our ages. this crap about not doing something when they are 50 that they could not do when they were 20 or 30 thats bs,the guys who hit them back then are hitting them now,yes once in a while the base hitter will still hit one,anyone ever think maybe all the years of batting practice maybe we are learing how to hit better.


mad dog played in a kids tournment this weekend where the 52 275 was used on one field and 44 400 on the other,i was on the one with the 44 400,but i took a swing with the 275 didnt hit it solid but seem to fly ok,but the sound is horrible,reminds me of hitting a 16' ball lol
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
"anyone ever think maybe all the years of batting practice maybe we are learing how to hit better."

Best line of the day! I bet you think Barry Bonds did all the home run hitting in his 40s because all of his years of practice finally paid off. LOL That was a good one. Thanks for the comic relief. :)
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
you are so narrow minded its unreal,still waiting of the ten people,oh wait a min. let me help you,who on here refuses to play softball if senior bats are not allowed.
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
me and you already talked about this,how should i start practicing my defense,and i dont look like a goalie yet. lol
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
I am glad you don't. If guys really feel they need to, then they should. I know none of us make a living off softball.

But the fact that the equipment is making guys feel like they need to I find unfortunate.

Now
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Oops.

Now I recall our conversation. I am not sure why so few guys do anything to improve their defense. I remember the days where defense counted as much as offense, and you needed to get three outs to 'earn your ups'. Now, with the senseless 5-run/inning rule, that is sadly no longer the case. Let's just suck, give up 5 runs, and then we get to go and use our special bats again. :(
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
no you dont remember the conversation i have always said defense is important in softball and yes that means senior softball.i play with coors light from 06 til 09 in those three years we won 3 worlds one isa,spa and ssusa and guess what we were the not a big homerun hitting team,we one with defense and timely hitting.and lots of beer drinking,quick funny storie,in 08 we were in the parking lot at papago in phoenix waiting to play in the championship game,we are sitting drinking some cold coors light,someone walks bye and says you guys are in the championship game and we say yup just warming up.
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
and again you avoid the question,how do you improve you defense,oh wait its like hitting cant be done at our old ages
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Sounds like you guys are what Rome talks about.
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
you going to the brickyard this year
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
Uhhhhhhhhhh, practice.

When your team takes BP, take the fielding seriously. Long toss to improve arm strength. Agility work to improve range. Guys seem to find time to hit, make the time to have someone hit grounders and/or fly balls.

Are you serious that you don't seem to know how to practice fielding?
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
No, haven't been there since '06.
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
no i dont work on my fielding other then grounders before a game and thats just to get loose,long toss for a throw from the pitchers mound to first?agility now i will think about that one since my 50 caliber teamates laugh at me when i get knocked off the mound and they make comments that i looked like a beached whale
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
I just think the agility would help you get deeper drops after you release the ball, give you a bit more quickness/range side-to-side, and would help you in covering first on grounders.

Anything helps! :)
April 3, 2011
RIK56
Men's 50
118 posts
my side to side and drops are good heck,i pitch from the back line,i can cover second real easy on ground balls,now the covering first well i"m horrible at that,i have played with two very good fielding guys at first,and they will tell you i'm not getting there.
April 3, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
I think it is all a give and take at this point. The deeper you get after the pitch, the easier it is to cover second on forceouts but the tougher to get over to first since you wind up nearly as far from first as the batter is when the ball is hit.

At this age we do what we can. :)
April 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
RIK56,i used the 52 ball in league now with the kids,and i'm very please in how it does perform.yeah the sound is a little different than the other balls when hit.it does seem that balls not hit all that good will go a ways if you happen to get some good back spin on it and get it up.

now as for practicing,how does that help when your aging and no matter what you do father time takes your reflexes and such away from you,doesn't matter how much you practice,aging can not be beat.and the more we pound the body,the more it ages.............

now i need to post this post multiple times to get my point across i guess.
April 4, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
sad puppy, tell me you really aren't as dumb as your last post.

Yes we are all aging, but you really believe that "no matter what you do father time takes your refleses and such away from you, doesn't matter how much you practice, aging cannot be beat"? Really, you actually believe that?

If you do, then try this. The inevitable aging you speak of will inevitably kill you, so try not going to doctors anymore since what can you do, you are going to die anyway.

In the meantime I am going to continue to train and practice and do my best to slow the effects of aging as much as I can. You, well, I guess just sit back and get older, slower, and die.

That seems to be the path you advocate.
April 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
well i guess dipty you have found the fountain of youth,as no matter what you do,you can not stop aging and reflexes slowing ya down.now if that isn't true why aren't all these professional athletes (MLB,NFL,NBA,MSL,NHL)playing into their 50's,60's and etc, mmmmmmm now tell me who the dumb one is.your just like the people say you are that i have encountered that know you,and i have talked to ,just full of it,ya might want to put a sh in front of that it.
April 4, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
"mmmmmmm now tell me who the dumb one "

You, dumba$$! Please point out where I wrote that you can STOP aging. Please, let me know.

But you certainly can slow down the process and its results. Let me try asking you again, since you clearly don't like answering direct questions, do you actually not believe that to be true?

And again, if you really don't believe you can slow the inevitable, then why do you see doctors? Just let your inevitable death occur. After all, we are all going to die.

Being dumb is one thing, pup, being so willing to show it is quite another.
April 4, 2011
mad dog
Men's 60
3922 posts
THEN WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SHOW IT,DUMMY............you age you slow down,thats a fact,no ifs, ands or buts,its a fact of life,i don't care what you do to think your stopping/slowing it down,as you seem to think you can.i will guarantee that 5 years from now,your slower than what you are today,no matter what workout you do.as i said your fellow Ohioans have let me know about your lack off prowess to begin with,so i figure that would be to far fetched anyways.
April 5, 2011
pitcher55
Men's 55
130 posts
ther is no way to stop a ball from 50', traveling at 100mpr+.in st. george,i had two line drives go by me that i didn't have time to flinch! either one could have killed me.i only pitched tho innings.yeah,i swing a senior bat- cause everyone else does,but i'm all for banning them.i've pitched since '72.i'm good at it and quick on defense. but you can't stop a BB. we shouldn't have to put on hockey gear. i know,some will tell me to go play checkers,but most of them are playing deeper.SSUSA,are you listening?
April 5, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2617 posts
sad puppy, since you seem to think you are a doctor/scientest/physiologist/biologist please tell us at what age we should give up and stop trying. 30? 40? 50?

At what age do we reach the point of no return, should stop doing anything, and just wait for our inevitale death? At what age should we just lay down and die?
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