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Discussion: HIT THE MIDDLE.

Posted Discussion
March 10, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
HIT THE MIDDLE.
I played last night in a 'C' league.
There were several 'A' & 'B' players on the other team. During the 1st game, the 1st two batters went up the middle. In this 8 inning game, the middle was hit about 10 more times after the batting team was out of HOME RUNS. (LIMIT WAS 3.) In the 2nd game, an 'A' player hit our pitcher in the bottom of the 3rd. We had only 10 players & had to fold. EASTON'S 100 PLUS was used. The 'A' player & several other players on this team did not say sorry, or anything of such. The ball that hit our pitcher was going over 110 mph (a worth 44 cor ball w/ a 525 comp).
Home Runs need to be Home Runs & not outs. A doulbe or single after a team has hit their limit. ALSO, Batters need to hit w/ both feet completely inside the batters box.
Several of the players that went up the middle r known for hitting the midddle. It is to bad that these players do not pitch. They just run their mouths & act like LIL' bad asses.
I hate to say this, but, do not be surprise if, more bats get banned in mid-season. EASTON SYNERGY 100 PLUS, & others may get ..........
March 10, 2004
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
I would echo this message. I'm 48 and for the most part have no choice but to play in these situations if I want competition. In my humble opinion the sport is at a crossroads for folks over 35 and under 50. I played in a B league last fall and it is a grind mostly mentally trying to stay sharp. I won't do it again. I will play some rec and alot of golf till the big 50. My friends and I have given this some thought over countless beers and we have been unable to come up with any reasonable solution to protect pitchers. Anything we thought of would only add to the length of games. Your idea of singles and doubles is nice but in the higher categories everyone is capable. We were fortunate enough to have played years ago where you had to learn how to hit if you wanted to play. If you couldn't hit you better have been a great fielder with an arm. You don't see that anymore.
March 10, 2004
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
For the in-between players we dropped from 50 to 45 for entry in the league. After 1 yr we have six 45 teams. Half the 45 teams are good and half are ok.
It is good competition to get ready for nationals.
As for the pitcher....I pitched in A and C until 52. You have to bail out to get more distance between you and batter. Some of the young guys are full of the big 'T' and think it is a badge of greatness if they hit a pitcher. Most are good guys though.
I just play senior ball now.
Have a good season.
March 11, 2004
Chris
Men's 50
31 posts
bottom line is that pitchers need to be able to pitch from 53' and further, as well as being in a good defensive position before the ball reaches the hitter's bat.
Anyone else is playing "roulette".
Simple, eh? Yeah, as long as you don't have to consistently throw strikes. Take it from a pitcher who had a finger nail ripped of his glove hand (with the glove on), as well as being hit 16 times from the thighs down.
March 11, 2004
Coach
Men's 80
15 posts
One solution that the younger divisions won't adopt is to use the 11th fielder over the middle. I have pitched in both and there are very few hits on purpose up the middle with the middle infielder.
March 11, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
ALSO: We have young & old men that just do not care or have any compassion for their fellow man, period. This was an ASSULT w/ a bat & ball. 'A' or 'B' player should never go up the middle. This man & his team mates r gutless & have no backbone. Quote: "If, u can not get out of the way, don't pitch." Most of this teams players have no problem hitting a pitcher, period. I have seen several of these 'men' hit other pitchers.
The ump is gutless. The field monitor was a young kid. The CITY's employees that run the rec department r also, clueless. & have no backbone. The major softball organiz.'s will not inforce the rules & intent of the game.
15 years ago, one of my team mates or I would have finished this assult in the parking lot. Why, do I feel that this young man needs his butt kicked?
March 11, 2004
T.Burk
48 posts
Stoneman; we had that problem here in KC with a power hitter from a local team (55+) who set as his goal last season to hit as many pitchers as he could. He nearly hit DC in an early league doubleheader and we kept DC from killing him. We then began palying a fielder up the middle and he discontinued for awhile. We played them again in OK City and he whistled one past the head of one of our pitchers. My leadoff hitter in the top of the next inning went after their pitcher ( a friend of ours) with the message that someone better let their guy know paybacks are nasty. The message was delivered immediately by the members of that team and we had no problems the rest of the year. It's not right that a jerk can have a free shot on a pitcher and the retalliation never seems to directly affect those who are guilty. But in the end, someone from the offending team will suffer the consequences and will then monitor their own team.
March 11, 2004
armyho211
Men's 60
52 posts
1) add simple rule to the league: you hit the pitcher, you forfeit the game,and are through for the nite: the same player hits another pitcher later, that player gets suspended for the season. 2) give the pitcher control of the game, UNLIMITED ARC, MAKE THE STRIKE ZONE 2FT X 3FT, that way the pitcher can pitch deep, short,inside and outside,that puts the batter on the defensive. THE SCARY PART, in reading various websites, people are offering ultra 1's and ultra II's that repainted as other less potent bats and you cant tell the difference . AND GUESS WHO IS BUYING these repainted bats? the young egotistical idiots that in their vainess is going to kill somebody by hitting up the middle. strictly my opinion.
March 11, 2004
Gary Heifner
248 posts
Just a thought. If you have an "A" player in a "C" league that seems to enjoy hitting pitchers, see if the other teams agree and simply walk the guy each time he comes up. He is probably going to get on 70 to 80 percent of the time anyway. Would you continue to play in a league where you NEVER get to swing the bat???
March 14, 2004
Hoover
10 posts
I played in Redwood City, Ca. last year. They put a net by the pitcher as is done during B/P. The pitcher can choose to be protected by the net or move to the side of it so he can field a batted ball. A ball striking the net or the frame is a dead ball. No added ball or strike. This gives the pitcher some protection and also takes away the middle for those that don't want to hit it over the net. Can't think of any reason why anyone in their right mind would enjoy hitting another player. Maybe they have been hit in the head a few too many times themselves.
March 14, 2004
CL33
1 posts
I am writing this because i am the player that this topic was started about. What people need to know are the total facts surrounding this situation, not just one persons view on how they want it seen.

I will start this off by saying yes, I was hitting the middle, and no, i was not trying to intentionally hit this pitcher.

Before this game even started there was bitching about our team having an illegal player who had played on another team a weak prior. This claim was not true, I can assure you as I run this team. After this was discussed with the umpire, the coach declined to protest this 1st game. It was then that your pitcher wass overheard to say F--- them we will beat them anyway.

There were balls hit in the middle by both teams this 1st game and the game was a good close one with us winning in the last inning.

The second game statred with your coach raising the same issue with our player that has been on this team all year. This delayed the already late game another 15 minutes.

The game started and in the 1st inning again a few balls by both teams went middle. In the second inning my teamate hitting before me hit a ball to the left of your pitchers feet. The pitcher yells over to 1st base that our pitchers "a dead man". As i am getting ready to hit you tell me that my pitchers gonna get it. Well, the rest is history. I will say again, i meant to hit middle, but did not mean to injure your pitcher.

Yes, I have played some upper level ball, and i will tell you this if you are going to make death threats at an apposing team's pitcher and talk the talk then you better be able to protect yourself and expect that you are going to take some shots.

Our pitcher is an A/Open level pitcher and never would have conducted himself in this way.

I hope this cleared the air somewhat on this issue. It is unfortunate someone got hurt. I hope that we can understand each other's points of veiw, and if we meet on the field again, hopefully we can have a well played respectfull game.
March 15, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
B.S. PERIOD.
March 15, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
In the top of the 1st , in game one yer 2nd batter & 4th batter hit up the middle. Yer L.C.
March 15, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
Last try. U were not home team the 1st game. Yer 2nd & 4th batter hit the midddle in the top of the first. Yer # 2 batter has already played against us a few weeks earlier & played on the other field the 2 games before us. Yer 1st baseman hit our pitcher. Not one of yer players or the 1st basemen went over to say, I'm sorry. Yer team had to have hit 6-8 balls @ our pitcher the 1st game. The batter before our pitcher got hit sent a shot @ our pitcher. Yer illegal player hit 3 balls @ our pitcher. Why? This left handed outfield was kicked off a Thursday night team last year that sevral of us played on.
Our pitcher did use the 'f' word after a hard shot has hit @ him.
Then u hit him. No I'm sorry or anything. Forget it. U had 4 players that hit the middle. Not one said I'm sorry
March 16, 2004
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
I'AM A LITTLE CONFUSEDOR MAYBE I MISSED SOMETHING. ISTHEIR ANYTHING IN THE RULE BOOK ABOUTHITTING UP THE MIDDLE, IF THEIR IS I'LLSHUT UP NOW BEFORE I GET YELLED AT. IF THEIR IS NOTHING ABOUT HITTING BACK AT THE PITCHER LET ME KNOW AND I WILL CONTINUE. AND YES I'AM A PITCHER ALSO THANKS
March 16, 2004
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
I have witnessed some very serious injuries in the last several years mainly due to the bats. The most serious was an fellow who took one in the face and had his orbital bone crushed. Case in point I stumbled on a web site from New Jersey and a topic on this website was what pitcher would you most like to hit against without a glove on. Some of this stuff is premeditated and the younger guys 25-35 are really dangerous. I pass no judgement.
March 17, 2004
BONES
Men's 60
93 posts
STONEMAN HOPE YOU GOT MY E-MAIL. YOUR DIFFENENLY RIGHT. TAKE CARE AND GOOD LUCK. BONES
March 18, 2004
Fred
45 posts
I have played this game for 35 years now. Many of those years as a pitcher. I currently picth for a USSSA youngsters team of 20 and 30 year olds. Risk of injury is and always has been a part of this game. I have taken too many shots to count. Off the toes, shins, knees, arms, shoulders and yes even off the head. They come from bad hops, knucklers and screaming line drives. They have been hit all types of bats imaginable. I know that some guys like to shoot the middle. As long as they don't talk about, I'm OK with that. I personally take it as a challange and love to turn their shots into outs. As a pitcher you should know the risks and prepare for them. When you realease the ball, back up 2 or three steps and get set. I'm really tired of everyone wanting to change the rules, ban the bats, etc., ect. The best thing that can be done is to go to the gym or do what ever you do to stay fit and make sure your reflexes are as good as they can be at our age. If they're not, don't pitch. That's my 2 cents worth.

Fred
58 years young.
March 18, 2004
Airbosn
Men's 65
321 posts
Well said Fred. I also pitch in open leagues, play some 3rd and 2nd base and for real fun pitch in a COED league on a fast pitch field, up close and personal. Hitting the middle is part of the game and will always be that way.
March 24, 2004
Davey00
3 posts
I play Div 1 locally as well as 40+ divisions when possible. I pitch and I hit for power. As a pitcher I strongly believe that the player must be able to field his / her position. At the very least, back peddle and defend. 3 years ago I took one in the face. Hard ! The next season I was ducking at every ball that went by. At that point I made a mask and helmet combination that works great. I wore it at the SPN Mens' A natl's in 2002. The first 9 guys came straight up the middle. The confidence I had that I wasn't going to get killed let me stop or get a peice of 7 of them. It didn't take long for the other teams to realize I wasn't going to flintch. They stopped hitting middle shortly after that. Since then I have seen lacross helmets and a product called "Game face" used in senior ball. Scared to get hurt ??? Fight back with the right equipment !!!
March 24, 2004
STONEMAN
Men's 50
535 posts
I should have sense to leave this alone.
TO FRED: My friend is in training year round. He does back up w/ each pitch.
TO AIRBOSN: I hope when u play, u do not try & hit the other pitcher. Hitting the middle is part of the game, as long as the batter(s) r not trying to hit that pitcher.
TO DAVEY 00: Right equipment? I am glad that u r 10' & bullet proof. There r teams & players that can hit the ball so hard that the pitcher can not react & some times do not see the ball.
MY PAST POINTS: This is a game. Players should not try & hurt other players period. For grown men that have great bat speed & timing, this was nothing short of an ASSULT w/ a bat. If, they wanted blood, why, not just call the game & take action in the parking lot.
League night games r for rec. Is winning a tee shirt important? What is wrong w/ players, when these 'men' feel that the only action is to hit a pitcher? Why, r we not thinking of what this action can do to another human?
March 25, 2004
Davey00
3 posts
Stoneman:
First of all let me be very clear on this. I FULLY support what you are saying. When folks are shooting middle in an effort to win a t-shirt, then they have serious issues. But shooting the middle is not new. They were doing it way back when with .52 cor 500+ comp ball, 38oz bats and 250 pound guys swing'n them. Today, it has become a public issue through the public medium of message boards. Add to this the fact that todays players are no longer retired fastball players or bulked up beer leaguers. Todays players are purpose trained muscled up monsters hitting the ball as far and hard as possible. Drop a hi tech bat in their hand and they become lethal. Especially in leagues that have not gone to a low compression ball. What I am trying to say is that this issue is not going to go away. Even if the bats are regulated, the ball compression will came back up. (Everyone loves the long ball). At our age, and I'm a kid by this boards standard, we don't move or react as fast as we would like to. Why not use equipment that is intended to protect us from injury? Masks, helmets, knee gaurds and whatever are fully certified and legal for play. I am not condoning a pitcher gearing up in catcher gear, that's a bit extreme. No offense intended but, I wear a face mask because it DOES make me feel 10' tall and bullet proof. It makes me confident enough to play my position and my team confident to let me. It makes me a better player. I'm a pitcher and damn good at it. The alternative is to change the way the game is played with a fence or a no hit zone but I'm sorry I do not support either. A 5 man infield is very effective but let's face it, how many teams have the legs to play a 3 man outfield an entire event. I have stood in front of Super major teams, Alesium Chase and Boardwalk wearing a helmet and cage as well as at the senior men's level (under 40)up here in Canada. If I had pitched at the World's last August, I would have worn it there. Considering all the Ultra II's and Synergy's I saw in the bags it was a good call. In My personal opinion, for what it's worth, I think leagues should look at making the mask manditory long before they do something silly to change the game.
March 25, 2004
Bat-Heater
Men's 50
64 posts
On the money Davey00
March 25, 2004
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
The ball used being changed to 44 core and 375 comp. does nothing to change the ball speed in the infield (as far as I can tell).
I played SSWC last year with this ball and it was still a rocket.
The above is a question and a statement.
Have you guys had the same experience with the 44/375 ?
March 25, 2004
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2663 posts
I believe that the stats on the 44/375 state that there is no difference in batted ball speed through the infield.
March 31, 2004
LOBO
Men's 50
39 posts
LOBO:
I have been pitching for thirty years and find that when you play younger teams they do not have regard for the pitcher regardless of age and they will go up the middle when they want to.

I am playing in the monthly half century tournaments and they respect your age and your teams ability to go up the middle as well. One batter almost took my head off but he could not apologize enough that he did so. Part of the reason he hit the middle is because he was standing on the outside portion of the batters box and when he steps to hit he leans towards the middle. The umpires should not allow any batter to be on the batters box line at anytime and should be cognizant of any batter stepping up in front of home plate to hit the ball. Even with the rule of allowing the pitcher an extra 5 feet to pitch, it still does not give you enough time to get out of the way of a hard line drive especially with the Miken bats and 47 core ball.
I am enjoying the competition of the 50's and as long as everyone continues to respect each others pitcher I do not see a problem with the Miken nor the 47 core ball. Being a pitcher I do not try to hit the ball up the middle because I do not want to hurt anyone. This is supposed to be for fun and anyone who continues to hit the middle is only going to penalize their own pitcher when it is his turn to pitch.
March 31, 2004
crusher
Men's 70
395 posts
The prev post referenced the batters box and a batter on the outside line.
In the SPA national (Plano, Tx) championship in '03 the batters box was a huge oval about 10 or 12 feet across.
Hey Ump 'what is this big oval in chalk'? Ump's Reply--You can stand anywhere in the area to hit the ball.
You could stand 5 or 6 feet from the plate.
Has anyone seen this batters box oval in any '04 tournaments?
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