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May 27, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What to wear for shoes at Golden Eagle/Reno

Hey guys. The photo looks like it's all synthetic. Not even a dirt area around the bases for sliding. Field Turf is not all it's cracked up to be. Here are some of the downsides.

The abrasions caused by artificial turf have been linked to a higher incidence of MRSA infections .

Some artificial turf requires infill such as silicon sand and/or granulated rubber made from recycled car tires. This material may carry heavy metals which can leach into the water table.

Periodic disinfection is required as pathogens are not broken down by natural processes in the same manner as natural turf. This notwithstanding, recent studies suggest certain microbial life is less active.

Turf toe is a medical condition which is often associated with playing on artificial turf pitches.

Friction between skin and artificial turf causes abrasions and/or burns to a much greater extent than natural grass. This is an issue for some sports: for example, football and baseball in which sliding maneuvers are common and clothing does not fully cover the limbs.

Artificial turf tends to be much hotter than natural grass when exposed to the sun.

Many players claim that the lack of "give" in artificial turf leads to strain and injury in the legs, especially amongst players used to playing on natural grass. Some players refuse to play on artificial turf, and there have been cases of players not signing with a particular team for fear of damaging their legs by playing on artificial turf.
April 15, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Hernia surgery comeback

Hi Boston. I have had both sides done. The first one was done with the scope through the navel and the second one was done the old way with the incision just above the pubic bone. Either way, you should wait the full 6 weeks before doing anything that could retear the repair. Avoid any lifting over 10lbs for the first month. It will be worth the wait.
April 14, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Bashbro1 extends his popular early life tv series to 79!

Hey Bash. You left off my personal favorite "Leave it to Beaver", the show that spawned so many great beaver jokes.

See you this weekend in Kennewick. Pray for sun.
March 24, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: sore quads

This is a very long post but well worth the read. I saved it from a trainer who forwarded this to me. I get lots of good info from him.

Using Static Stretching to Warm-Up!

There is a belief that by that doing static stretching
exercises (a stretch where you hold a position without
moving for a given amount of time) prior to doing sport
or exercise helps prevent injuries.

The rationale is that by increasing the range of motion
around a joint or muscles, there is less chance of injuries.


We now know that it is not the case. Serious studies
have clearly shown that performing static stretching
doesn't prevent injuries.

Did you read that? Static stretching performed prior to
physical activities DOESN'T prevent injuries.

Even worse, some studies have also shown that it could
be detrimental to the performance of speed-power athletes.

Softball players are speed-power athletes because all of
the actions in our sport have to be done quickly and explosively.

Did you read that too? Stretching potentially decreases
performance on the field!!


The reason is that in order to generate speed and power,
our nervous system needs to be "turned on". The problem is
that static stretching does exactly the opposite: it turns
off the nervous system!

Studies have shown that athletes performing static stretching
are losing power for up to an hour afterwards.

Again - you lose power for up to an hour after stretching.

DO YOU want to bat or pitch with less power???

This is really bad news for any softball player! We need
all of the power we can get to perform on the field!

Now, I am not saying you should not warm-up or that
static stretching is bad.

Warm-up is essential to prevent injuries and to prepare
the body to perform while static stretching is an excellent
mean of increasing flexibility.

My point is that we have to reconsider how we warm-up and
when we use static stretching. Static stretching is not a
good way to warm-up.

Moreover, the idea that increased range of motion helps
prevent injuries is still a valid one. However, we need
to increase the range of motion without turning off the
nervous system.

The three main goals of a general warm-up are: (a) warm-up
the whole body gradually, (b) increase the range of motion
around the major joints, and (c) turn on the nervous system.

Most sports conditioning experts now agree that a good
warm-up should mostly be dynamic in nature - NOT sitting around
in a circle and stretching passively!

That means that it should be comprised of movements that
allow us to reach all three goals.

Typically, a good general warm-up will consist of some sort
of activity that brings the body temperature up (i.e. jogging)
followed by exercises that will challenge the nervous system
and also increase the range of motion around the major joints.

These exercises are often described as "dynamic flexibility
exercises", "mobility exercises" or "movement preparation

Static stretching is still a great way to improve flexibility
and promote recovery.

The purpose of a warm-up is NOT to increase flexibility but
to prevent injuries and prepare the body to perform optimally.

As a result, the best time to use static stretching is
right after a game or a training session during a
cool-down period.

At that time, muscles are more compliant to flexibility
training (they are warmed) and the body needs recovery.

So, don't make the big mistake of using static stretching
as the core of your general warm-up - do dynamic warm-up
March 1, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC too

Hi Shane. I am on the Board of Directors for Spokane Sr. softball and will get the word out over here. We are still digging out from the huge snow fall this year so it may be too early for most teams but I think there my be 2 that are interested.

Please e-mail me at and I will give you my phone #. If you have a tourney flier, please sent it.

I spoke with Bill Ruth a few weeks ago and we are very interested in getting more teams from this area involved with SSUSA.

Jan. 20, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA Rule proposed rule changes

Stoneman: You missed my point completely. I think it takes a lot of Cajones to pitch and I pitched for many years in USSSA from the time I was about 22 until the last tourny I played with the youngsters at age 54. It is just my opinion that any pitcher that wants to take a DBO if they are hit has no business pitching.

I firmly believe that 99% of the players do not try to hit the pitcher on purpose and should not be "punished" for doing so. I know you are probably giong to tell me all about the "middle wars" that go on in the younger divisions and possibly, possibly with some of the Major+ or Major Seniors. If that happens, that is when the umpires and UIC should take control of the game and start ejecting people like they do in baseball when opposing pitchers start head hunting.

I just think implementing this rule is a bad idea and as Lefty said there is protective gear that pitchers could wear if they so choose.
Jan. 20, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA Rule proposed rule changes

It appears the proposed "DBO for hitting the pitcher rule" has received the most negative comment. If SSUSA is committed to moving forward with this idiotic rule, I HAVE A SUGGESTION: Let the pitcher have the option of playing with or without this rule. Let the wussies, whimps and whiners take the DBO.

If you are a pitcher and afraid of getting hit, #1 you should not be pitching. #2 buy and use protective gear. #3 Use the pitching from 6 feet behind the rubber rule to your advantage. #4 Use the hang time on your picth to reposition yourself in the event of a ball coming back your way (backup).

Just my 5 cents worth.
Jan. 18, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Significant Rule Changes for SSUSA 2008 Season!

IT"S A SAD DAY FOR SOFTBALL !! if the DBO rule for hitting a pitcher goes into effect. As a guy that pitched USSSA for years, I took great pride in my ability to "field my position". Now, a pitcher could just stand there and never have to field a ball.
What happens if a pitcher takes a step or 2 to the side to field a ball and gets hit? What happens if a pitcher attempts to field a slow 1 hopper and gets hit? There are just so many scenerios that would require some kind of interpretation that it makes no sense.
If the associations are that concerned with pitcher safety, why not mandate some protective gear such as face masks, shin guards etc. ????
The middle is part of the game and I really don't think 99% of the players would intentionally try ot hit a pitcher.
2. If the mat becomes wider, does the batters box get moved 2" farther from the plate to compensate or does it stay the same?
Jan. 17, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC too

Hi Shane and Bash. Great to see this one back. Had a good time last year and for those of us in the frozen tundra of eastern WA, this will be a much needed "rust buster". I will try to organize a 50's team from the Spokane League to attend.

I will be playing on a 60's team (to be determined) and always look forward to playing some of the best 60's competetion in the country.
Jan. 8, 2008
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Why Composite Bats?

Good stuff Bash. I have a question regarding handle flex. As you know, the Easton Synergy CNT Flex has been one of the most sought after ASA bats. It took me a while to get used to the flex but I have to say, that it is the best balanced ASA bat I have used. Based on your comments, would you suggest a stiffer handle? I know you don't swing ASA but if you did, what would the recommendation be? Balanced not EL.

Nov. 24, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitch height, mats, zone

I can see it now. Teams will be out recruiting the next Eddie Gaedel who was the shortest Major League Baseball player ever at 3'7'. That way the ball would only have to reach that height and when it reachs the mat, it would be ankle high.
Also, have you ever played unlimited arc? I have and it was the worst thing softball ever came up with. I believe it lasted 2 years and was so universally hated, it was stopped.

What's wrong with the way it is now??? Most umps do a fair job of calling it right.
Nov. 17, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: ASA to change mound distance

If they are considering 4', it would have to be like USSSA and that is that it would have to travel a minimum of 4' up from the point of release. Unless you have a pitcher that can really get low on their delivery that would still fall in the 6' to 12' range. 15' is way to high.

A 53' rubber would be alright by me. Most pitchers I see just pitch the ball and stand there anyway. No backward movement.
Nov. 16, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: What do you think about a 10' arc.

Hi Gary. Not sure the 10' limit is the answer. I find that many more umpires do not call the high pitch and see a lot of pitchs going 13 to 14 ft high. Some umps seem to have no ceiling. The other thing that I find frustating is when an umpire can't get the illeagal pitch call right. Some just forget and call it a ball, some call it too late and some you can bearly hear (not so unusal considering the hearing loss). The 12' limit works well with the umps that get it.
Nov. 4, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Bashbro1 Crunches the SSUSA Adjoining State’s Population Numbers!

Good work Bash. I have to believe that the sunbelt state numbers are skewed even higher when you factor in the much larger senior population. FL, CA, AZ, TX, NV would surely have an even greater pool from which to draw.
Oct. 13, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Ilegal pitch call.

Southern Leather: The umpire must call "illegal pitch" on the way in. We consistantly have problems with this call. For some reason, they forget to call it or call it too late just as the ball is getting to you.

No one has answered my original question however. If a batter swings and misses at an illegal pitch, is it a strike? The umpire said the batter had to make contact with the ball. Anyone that has an ASA rule book, please look this one up. Thanks.
Oct. 11, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Watch out for Bestbats on Ebay

Hi Captain. Ebay has a resolution department and you should be able to get a full refund from them. I bought a bat earlier this year that was not as advertised and after not being able to resolve it with the seller, Ebay gave me a 100% refund.
Oct. 10, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Ilegal pitch call.

Was playing a league game (ASA) this weekend. Umpire called an illegal pitch (too high) and the batter swung and missed the ball. The umpire called it a ball saying that on an illegal pitch, the batter must make contact for it to be a strike. I have never heard this before. Is the call correct?
Sept. 6, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Ultra II

RG: FYI, the original Ultra ll has an ASA stamp on it. You cannot buy that one new anymore but can find some used ones on e-bay. That one is much more durable than the second generation Ultra ll s or the Advanced and I beleive it has more pop.
Sept. 6, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The price of winning....

T-Rex. I agree with you on believing 50% of what you read and hear these days. Everyone seems to have an adgenda to promote.

One thing we seem to be leaving out of the picture is the size and ability of todays athletes from Little Leaguers up through Seniors. They are all bigger stronger and faster. The training is way better. You never used to see Seniors in the gym. Now when I go, half of them are over 50.

Did you see the size of some of those 12 year olds? Some of the plays they made would have made any Major League player proud. I think this has a lot to do with more homers and harder hit balls.
Sept. 6, 2007
Hit the gap
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The price of winning....

Here is a link to USA baseball and Little League's stand on this issue. There is not one shred of evidence to support a ban of bats and little league does not support any type of ban.

Please take the time to cut and paste or simply type this link into your browser. I think it will shed some light on the misconceptions I see posted here.
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