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Details for ChiPrimeMarty

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Downers Grove, IL

Men's 55

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

May 22, 2012
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Best Method for Breaking in a new composite Senior Bat ??

Let me clarify:

I was looking for input on 2 things:
(1) Best method to "break in" a Senior bat to get it game ready
(2) Best method to ensure durability of a Senior bat

I mentioned some advice I received from the Miken guy at a tourney,
but I was by no means stating that his advice was the best method.

I also mentioned some things everyone probably agrees on,
like rotating the bat during the initial hitting sessions
and not hitting cold/wet balls or using the bat a lot for BP.

This is something pertaining to everyone who uses a Senior bat,
so I thought it would be a worthwhile topic.

I talked to Alan (who may be a bit keyboard challenged)
but seems to know his stuff about composite bat technology.

His advice was to hit 25 balls (44 core, 375-400)
with about 50% - 55% effort, rotating the bat 1/5 - 1/4 turn with each swing;
hit the next 25 balls with 60% - 70% effort, rotating the bat with each swing;
hit the last 25 balls with normal game swing, rotating the bat ...
... and it should be game ready.

This method achieves both objectives:
Getting the bat game-ready and helping to enhance durability.

When a new composite bat strikes a ball, small spider-web cracks develop under the paint in the composite material. Distributing these small spiderweb cracks around the barrel up & down the sweet spot produces some "give" which opens it up for top performance. What you want to avoid is taking full hard cuts with a new bat, which produces larger localized cracks rather than the evenly distributed smaller spiderweb cracks. The bigger cracks can turn into weak spots and breaking points.

Anyway, that's how I understood it. Alan, please clarify if I didn't translate this correctly.
May 21, 2012
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Best Method for Breaking in a new composite Senior Bat ??

Just ordered a Reebok Melee EL 28oz, and I want it to last longer
than the 4 Miken U2's I broke in the last 2 years.
I also want this bat ready to perform up to its potential
at my next Senior tourney in 5 weeks.

I'm looking for the best method to break in this bat
... without having it break on me after a couple hundred hits.

The last time I bought a Miken off the truck at a tourney,
the Miken guy advised rotating the bat while hitting it
at the top & bottom of the sweet spot with another bat or a rubber mallet.
Also stepping in the handle to increase the flex

In batting practice I don't hit wet or cold balls, or in cold weather
and I rotate the bat with each swing (1/8 turn)

Once the bat loosens up and gets that broken-in pop, it's used only during games.

What other and/or better methods are there for breaking in a Senior bat,
and getting the most durability out of it ??

Does the type of ball used for batting practice (aside from not being cold/wet)
make much difference in terms of risking breakage ??

I broke my last Miken during BP before the first game in Milwaukee this weekend.
It was warm, dry, and the bat had maybe 100 hits on it.
May 1, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Brickyard Tourney

Question for SSUSA Staff:
It is noted on the schedule that
"Schedule Subject to Change at Discretion of Tournament and Field Directors"

Is it possible that our first game on Saturday (noon, 55AAA division) will be unexpectedly moved to an earlier time slot?

Some of our players will be driving down from Chicago Saturday morning and might be late for that first game if it's moved up without advance notice.
April 18, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Any work from you "buyers" on the Veteran Core Bat

Last response I got from Steve[] was Feb 5 this year when he said the Veteran Core should be ready by May. Since then I've sent him 3 more emails asking for updates and posted twice in this forum in a Veteran Core thread he posted in, but nothing since Feb 5 ... and YES, I paid $99 for a bat in Sept 2010 and so far I'm still swinging in the breeze.
April 18, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: LTB 26el or 27bal yellow senior combat

Ain't no "maybe" about it.

And here's another thing for certain:
Batsunlimited won't get my business in the future.
April 18, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: LTB 26el or 27bal yellow senior combat

Batsunlimited continues to advertise the yellow bats even though they don't have any, and haven't for awhile. Several days after placing my order I got an email telling me to call their 800 number about my order. When their salesman gets you on the phone he'll try to sell you a new Worth Launch 510. I told him I wasn't interested in any other bat, and got my PayPal account refunded. I asked him why they're still advertising the yellow Combats for sale (you can add it to your cart and transact the purchase!) when they didn't have any to sell, and he said he didn't know why.
Feb. 24, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Veteran Core bat

I bought the original white Veteran, then took Bill up on his offer of $99 for the 2011 GBA -- which I paid for on Sep 13, 2010 -- and never received. He's been good about returning emails and answering questions when asked, and Steve has responded as well. Last word is delivery sometime in May of 2012 -- 20 months after I paid for a bat.

I'm not holding my breath, but I'm holding out hope. I have only one senior bat remaining (broke 3 in the last 2 years) but will hold off buying another until May (and my first 2 tourneys) have come and gone. I have good teammates who will let me use theirs if my last Miken breaks.
Feb. 8, 2012
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Something I doubt you know about Congress.

When I was in my early 20's my father owned a neighborhood tavern frequented mostly by guys our age now. When I tended bar my dad knew my interaction and conversation with our customers could be a positive for the business, but he cautioned me to never ever get into debates about religion or politics.

It was good advice, not only in that business environment but also within a group like a softball team. I'm pretty sure some of my teammates hold very different political views, and given the level of political discourse so evident today I've made an effort to avoid the divisiveness that can easily spoil team chemistry and even friendships.

I'm all for intelligent fact-based civil debate on important issues. Unfortunately there is little of that on any level, including nationally televised debates between candidates who might be the next POTUS.
Jan. 13, 2012
Topic: Bats
Discussion: New Veteran CORE thread.....

Bill, how about a Friday update?
Dec. 30, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: New Veteran CORE thread.....

Bill, how's production of the Veteran Core coming along?
Dec. 9, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: New Veteran CORE thread.....

I ordered and paid for a new GBA on September 13, 2010. I was hoping to have the bat for the Winter Nationals in Fort Myers that November, but I guess I missed the cut on the GBA's that were produced and distributed. During the course of the 2011 season I broke 2 bats and replaced them after I couldn't wait any longer.

Living in Chicagoland I won't be playing any outdoor softball until April, so delivery of the new Veteran Core is not as urgent. Waiting more than a year for any product bought and paid for would be outrageously unacceptable from any company that was not a small American outfit trying to make a competitive bat in a market dominated by big foreign manufacturers.

I sincerely wish you success, and I hope my long wait and patience will have been worth it. I'm really looking forward to trying out the Veteran Core.

I have a couple favors to ask.

Please keep us posted on this board, and try to give us an idea of how the weights of your balanced & end loaded bats swing in comparison to Ultra2's of the same weight (or some other bat most of us are familiar with). I'd like to make sure I get a bat that feels right for me and won't have to return it for a model of a different weight. I understand your bat may feel different from other products out there, but buying a bat without swinging or hitting with it can be a very hit or miss proposition (pun intended).

Be as communicative as you can be. It will build trust and confidence with the players upon whom the success of your business venture ultimately depends.
Sept. 25, 2011
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Changes to the HR Rule - needs more thought

Here's a suggestion for a modified 1-up rule:

In AAA after 3 homers have been hit, my suggestion is having the 1-up rule appliy to TOTAL OVER-THE-FENCE hits. For example, under the current 1-up rule if Team A has hit 5 more over-the-fence shots than Team B, they are still only 1-up on shots counted as HR's. If Team B hits one they are even, and the next shot by Team A counts as a homer.

My suggestion is to count the total over-the-fence shots whether they are counted as HR's or walks. The team that is behind in this count will continue to have their over-the-fence shots counted as HR's until they go 1-up in actual number of over-the-fence-shots.

This could result in team B having more shots counted as HR's, especially if team A keeps hitting over-the-fence walks and stays ahead in the total count.

This may not seem fair, but it does discourage power teams from abusing the 1-up rule and just keep cranking shots with their U2's. It's a bit of an equalizer between teams with power disparity, and it re-introduces some strategy for hitting HR's without ruling them as outs.

I agree that a home run should not be an out. That especially sucks for the guys who rarely hit them. But at the same time, I think cranking shot after shot over the fence detracts from the game. This is a game of offense and defense, but the latter comes into play less and less as a higher percentage of balls are hit over the fence.
Aug. 30, 2011
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Who is the best 50 AAA right now in SSUSA?

K Sheeran is as good as any team we played this year, including a couple Major teams in mixed brackets. We cruised through our other bracket games at Lansing, but couldn't get past them. In the first game there were almost no easy outs. Solid base hits and home runs when called for, plus great defense. Their second baseman put on a highlight reel performance against us. We traded leads with them a few times in the championship game, but in the end they didn't have to bat in the 7th.
Aug. 16, 2011
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What would you do

Apologizing to the pitcher may not be "necessary" for the reasons some have stated, but it is a simple sportsmanlike gesture that could help prevent animosity from escalating to where opposing players start going after pitchers intentionally.

Perhaps the best prevention is to have a pitcher who fields his position well and turns shots up the middle into outs and double plays. The flipside of that is when it becomes evident that the pitcher is not a good glove man and shooting the middle is a sure way to get a hit. This has long been part of the game and an important part of team defense.

Even so, there is a difference between going for hits and having total disregard for the safety of the pitcher. It's a mental attitude that crosses the line from taking advantage of a weak link in the defense to intentional intimidation and not caring if someone gets hurt.

As with all things, a little perspective is in order. Winning a softball game should not be a matter of life or death.
Aug. 15, 2011
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What would you do

I have never deliberately tried to hit the ball directly in line with the pitcher because some pitchers are good glove men and the object is to hit the ball where they ain't. However, a lot of my hits are up the middle in the 6-1 or 4-1 hole. The center field gap is an inviting target, especially when the outfielders are spread far apart. One time I loaded up with the intent to split those outfielders and took a cut that would have easily cleared the fence if the trajectory had any elevation. It didn't, and went right between the pitcher's legs just below the jewels before he had a chance to react. It didn't touch him and I apologized as I was on my way to first, but he and his teammates were having none of it. For the next couple innings they shot the middle but did no damage to our pitcher -- me.
Aug. 15, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Veteran CORE is almost ready.......

Bill, I bought the original White Veteran 28oz balanced, and want my CORE to have a similar weight/balance. Can you tell me which CORE model that would be?
July 31, 2011
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Survey Time:

YES, I'd play with any combination, but I think U-trip bats (or ASA) are better for our game than juiced-up Senior bats.
July 23, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: What Do You Think

You have just defined "dumbing down" as letting anyone convince you that you are "insecure, warning track, immoral, uncaring or wrong in our desire to use lively bats and balls which we've been using and wanting to use since we was babies."

By that definition, you have nothing to worry about. Nobody will ever convince you of those things (though I doubt that baby einstein had those desires).

On the other hand -- by the same definition that defines "dumbing down" as letting someone convince you of something contrary to what you fervently believe -- "dumbing down" (to someone who opposes U2-level bats) would mean being convinced that lively bats & balls are absolutely necessary for Senior softball to thrive & survive.

Dumbing down thusly defined is in the mind of the beholder, and can be used to advance an argument on both sides of an issue.

However, that's not how I would define it. "Dumbing down" as applied to how our sport is played means reducing the level of strategy & skills required to win.

Now, you may certainly argue that hot bats enhance those aspects of the game.

But you haven't (at least not in your response to me).
July 23, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: What Do You Think

It would be interesting to see a comprehensive poll of all 50+ players on which bats they prefer and how many (if any) would quit playing in SSUSA tournaments if the hot bats weren't allowed. This poll would have to include players (if any) who already quit BECAUSE of the hot bats.

It's hard to believe that a lot of players would quit on account of not using bat technology that wasn't even available during most of their playing career, but I understand resistance to change and all of a sudden being reduced to warning track power.

I'll play either way, and I simply want what's best for the sport and its players. I don't claim to KNOW what's best, and I think we need input from more players to make that determination.

My guess is we'll leep the hot bats and the sport will be just fine.

One more thing:
I think the term "dumbing down" is bogus. Precision hitting and more defense could come into play, which is hardly "dumb."

July 23, 2011
Topic: Bats
Discussion: What Do You Think

I'm not looking to get into any personal arguments but since the issues raised in this thread have a major impact on how the sport we love is played, I think it's appropriate for everyone to contribute their honest thoughts here.

No. I'm a pitcher, and would sorely miss the opportunity to make defensive plays. Screens are for batting practice.

I would not change the number of defensive players on the field because this would change the game too much. However, I would consider allowing an extra re-entry or two so defensive players can be rotated and rested throughout a game without having everyone on the bench in the line-up. The number of games we play in a 2 or 3 day tournament (especially in hot weather) really takes a toll, even on the best-conditioned seniors.

The mat had larger than standard dimesnions at the SPA Buckeye Classic, and didn't have a noticable impact. What I would like to see is starting with a 1-1 count. Standing around while as many as 6 pitches are thrown to a batter is not the most fun part of the game, but consumes a good chunk of our game time.

Already optional. I wear one in Senior ball, but not in ASA leagues. I'm hesitant to make them mandatory (can't take the mound without a mask) because some pitchers would be in open revolt against such a rule, but to tell you the truth I would breathe a sigh of relief if they were mandatory. The other two pitchers on my team don't wear a mask, and I fear for their safety every time they take the mound. I always tell them "All it takes is once" (for a life-altering or ending event).

Using the entire hitting field is part of the game. Unfortunately, so has intentionally going after the pitcher. I have contempt for anyone who would try to hurt another player, and I don't want my players taking retribition against the opposing pitcher if I've had some missiles come my way. It is (if intentional) the antithesis of good sportsmanship, and borders on criminal assault. The governing bodies have had a difficult time devising rules to protect the pitcher without detracting from the game. The current rule (up to the umpire to determine if it's intentional) leaves wide discretion for judgement. Before a player is ejected for hitting up the middle there should be a clear verbal warning to both benches, after which any ball hit through the pitchers box is an out with an ejection iof the pitcher is hit. As a hitter if you don't like having the middle taken away, then it's up to you and your teammates to be good sports and not let a situation escalate to the point where a verbal warning is issued.

It's pretty apparent that all the issues raised here are related to Senior bats that result in substantially increased velocity and distance. There are a lot of very strong hitters in my division (50AAA) but none of us are as fast or quick as we used to be. Does anyone disagree that this increases the likelihood of injury?

I like hitting with the Senior bats, but I also like hitting with my ASA bats. What I don't like -- and what I think detracts from the game -- is a player having to apologize for using up one of our 3 home runs with no one on base, or having it be an out for a player who rarely hits one. I understand the need for home run limits, because scoring most runs with over-the-fence blasts detracts from the game even more than trying to NOT hit home runs except when strategically advantageous.

But think about that ... does being put in the position of trying to NOT hit the ball as hard as you can add or detract from our sport? Yes, I know; you can hit the ball as hard as you can and still keep it in the park with good bat control. Nevertheless, we wouldn't be having this discussion if a lot of players did not see issues related to the increased velocity/distance with Senior bats.

Whether or not a player wants these bats allowed in Senior play, he is at a disadvantage if doesn't use one while the opposition does. And he spends more on bats because these things break much more frequently. For some players all the expenses of Senior ball (travel & hotel) are already hard to afford. But sales are good for the bat manufacturers.

Anyway, that's my two cents (more like a piggy bank full of change). I like playing no matter what bats or balls we use -- but I might have to reconsider Senior ball if screens or extra fielders changed the game too much.
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