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Details for TexasTransplant

Real name:
Jim Morgan

Plano, TX

Men's 70

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March 23, 2016
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Appeal Play?

I posted this on the umpiring forum and got two contradictory answers:

SSUSA tournament. Potential 5th run in a 5-run inning is on 3rd. Two outs. Batter hits what would be a clean single. Runner from 3rd touches the scoring plate with what would be the 5th run of the inning. Batter goes straight to the dugout without touching 1B. After discussion with defensive coach, umpire calls the runner out (3rd out) and disallows the run.

Is this the correct call?

Is this an appeal play?

If an appeal play, does that make it a timing play with regard to whether the run scores or not?
March 6, 2016
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How is this scored #2

Since no one else has stepped on this one, I'm going to hazard a guess:

I'm scoring it 2U (Catcher Unassisted) on the basis of the catcher being the closest to the batter (same rationale as the catcher getting a Put Out when the batter strikes out).

I believe the next batter should be the third batter in the order (the one who follows B on the official scorecard).

Now everyone can fire away and tell me how wrong I am!
Feb. 27, 2016
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Are possible changes ahead for future TOC tournaments

And there are plenty of precedents from professional sports of wild card teams going on to win big in the WS and Super Bowl.
Feb. 24, 2016
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Softball Quotes

"Nice throw; does you husband play?"

Feb. 13, 2016
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Batting Average or On Base Percentage

It's always seemed to me that taking a hit away from the opposition is as valuable as getting a hit. Unfortunately, on defense, its difficult to differentiate the routine play, that anyone should make, from the exceptional play that deserves recognition. If I stand in my position and flawlessly field everything that is hit to me, my fielding pct. is 1.000. If I range all over the field, cutting off balls in the gaps, backing up other fielders, digging throws out of the dirt and play flawlessly, I achieve the same 1.000 fielding pct. Undoubtedly, defense plays a factor, but judging defensive performance is much more subjective, therefore most teams default to considering only offensive statistics.

As to Batting Average vs. OBS, I think it depends on how you calculate OBS. If it's just hits + walks / AB, I think OBS is a better gauge. If you calculate is hits+walks+errors / AB, as many managers do, I think it OBS rewards the batter for defensive lapses and Batting Avg. becomes a better measure.
Feb. 12, 2016
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Aggieland Classic

Seems to have been changed. This seems more reasonable.

Feb. 11, 2016
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Aggieland Classic

I noticed that the schedule for the Aggieland Classic in College Station, TX has the 50's snd 55's playing on Sunday, 7/24 and Monday 7/25. Can that possibly be correct?

It doesn't affect any team I play on, but it seems highly unusual.
Jan. 4, 2016
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Status of the GSC bat

CPM, maybe you're lucky, one of my old BP partners died still waiting for his!
Dec. 9, 2015
Topic: Rules of the game

The cut of the infield or the distance of the infielder from the "infield" is immaterial as long as the infielder can catch the ball with "reasonable effort'.

There was a NL playoff game between the Cardinals and (I believe) the Braves a few years ago where the outfielder actually dropped a ball 100+ plus feet in the grass, but the IFFR was called because the SS, in the umpires judgement, could have caught the ball "with reasonable effort."

The following explanation of the infield fly rule is "stickied" on the Umpiring Forum of The author is an ASA ump, but I believe the rule is the same for SSUSA and other sanctions.

Infield Fly Rule
This is perhaps one of the easiest rules in the book that all too frequently gets overcomplicated. Let's break it down step-by-step.

ASA defines an Infield Fly as "a fair fly ball, not including a line drive or an attempted bunt which can be caught by an infielder, pitcher or catcher with ordinary effort when first and second or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs." Every other organization (USSSA, NSA, ISA, SSUSA) defines it in much the same way.

How does the Infield Fly Rule work?

Let's break it down into its four parts:

"A fair fly ball, not including a line drive or an attempted bunt..."
This is one common area where fans get mixed up. Ultimately, the batted ball must be ruled that it was a fair ball for the Infield Fly to be enforced. If the batted ball is ultimately ruled foul, then the batter may not be called out on an Infield Fly. Umpires are advised (though not required) to call "Infield Fly if fair" if the ball could possibly result in a foul ball.

"...which can be caught by an infielder, pitcher or catcher..."
This is the other common area in which fans get mixed up. The key phrase here is "can be caught," not "is caught." The fielder may certainly let the ball drop to the ground, and the Infield Fly Rule can still apply.

"...with ordinary effort..."
This part is where things can get a little tricky. What is "ordinary effort?" This is entirely left up to the judgment of the plate umpire. Typically, if a fielder has to break into an all-out run, this would not be considered "ordinary effort." Some umpires consider it ordinary effort if the fielder does not have to turn his back to the infield. Some umpires consider it ordinary effort if the fielder doesn't have to do more than a light jog. All of these umpires are well within their rights to use these as measures for how they define "ordinary effort," as this is a judgment call.

"...when first and second or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs."
This one speaks for itself. First base and second base must be occupied, or the bases must be loaded. There must also be no outs or one out. If there are two outs, the rule does not apply.

I look at this rule as like a house of cards: if any one part is missing, the whole thing falls apart, and the Infield Fly Rule does not apply. All of these parts must come together in order to form the Infield Fly Rule.

What happens when the Infield Fly Rule is called?
The Infield Fly Rule does only one thing: call the batter-runner out, removing the force on the other runners. That's all it does, nothing more. Beyond that, it's treated just like any other fly ball - runners may attempt to advance at their own risk. If the ball is caught, runners must still tag up after the ball is first touched by the defense. If the ball is not caught, runners are not required to tag up.

Whose call is it anyway?
In ASA, this should be the Plate Umpire's call. The Base Umpire may certainly assist the Plate Umpire in making the determination of an Infield Fly, but ultimately, this is the Plate Umpire's call. Other associations may have different mechanics, but I'm not aware of any such examples.

Some True/False regarding the Infield Fly Rule:
#1: The ball is dead.
Answer: False. The ball is most certainly not dead on an Infield Fly. The ball is always live, and runners may advance at their own risk.

#2: If an infielder drops an Infield Fly, the infield fly is still in effect.
Answer: True. The infielder only has to be able to catch the ball with ordinary effort.

#3: Runners no longer have to tag up the instant the Infield Fly Rule is declared.
Answer: False. It's just like any other fly ball. If it's caught, runners are still required to tag up after the ball is first touched by the defense.

#4: An outfielder can catch an Infield Fly.
Answer: True. So long as an infielder could have caught the ball with ordinary effort, the rule still applies. Just because an outfielder actually caught the ball has no bearing on the Infield Fly Rule.

#5: An Infield Fly landing in the grass is not an Infield Fly.
Answer: False. Again, so long as an infielder could have caught the ball with ordinary effort, the Infield Fly Rule applies. The rule mentions nothing about whether the ball must actually be in the infield.

#6: If a team is missing an infielder (such as their second baseman), and the infield fly lands where s/he would have been, it still counts.
Answer: False. A infielder actually has to be present to be able to catch the ball with ordinary effort.

Oct. 19, 2015
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Difference in Bats

James, you hit one with your UII in Dalton, then picked up my Dudley 13" End Load and hit one on your first swing. Same in Vegas when you picked up the Big Cat. You are just an animal at the plate.
Oct. 15, 2015
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Runner Interference at Second Base

We have an ongoing discussion/argument on our team that flares up every time there is a double play attempt and the base runner going into second appears to be in the way of the pivot man making a throw to first. Most cite the idiom: "Slide or get out of the way." We have even had a few umpires cite that opinion.

If you read the Umpiring Forum on softball, however, the consensus of the knowledgeable umpires seems to be that the runner is entitled to the base path and as long as he does nothing to overtly interfere (wave his arms, divert his body into the ball deliberately, ala Reggie Jackson, etc.), he would not be guilty of interference EVEN IF HE WAS HIT BY THE BALL, the rationale being that the runner cannot simply go "poof" and disappear. They even opine that the pivot should have enough game presence to know the runner is approaching and move to the left or right so that his throw avoids the runner in the base path. They further state that should the runner veer off his direct path to the base and subsequently be hit by the throw, he would then be guilty of interference.

Just curious to see what this board thinks about this. Particularly interested in thoughts from umpires and input from SSUSA staff as to whether there might be a special rule on this for Senior Softball
Oct. 9, 2015
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: 70 AAA schedule Masters-Bitch time

There is no doubt that Shadow Rock is a sub-standard facility. I can't really say how it compares to the other facilities in Vegas, because the team I was with has been assigned to Shadow Rock on my last three trips.

My league team plays on a very poorly lit field in Richardson, TX, but it seems brilliant after playing Shadow Rock at night. Throw in the dusty conditions and the concrete backdrops on the two turf fields and it becomes nearly impossible. Our spectator/wives joked the the outfielders disappeared when they had to chase balls into the corners.

I saw the first batter in one of our games swing and the next time I saw the ball was when it hit about 20 feet to my right in left field. I could not see ground balls until they left the dirt.

The "grass" outfields were as Crusher described above. Uncut grass in one place, bare dirt/dust in others, punctuated my the occasional desert weed.

Turf fields were probably worse for 70+ because you have to play aggressively short (180-200 feet) or be dinked to death, leaving you vulnerable to line drives in the gaps and the resulting 30-40 yard sprints to retrieve the ball.

Of course both teams play under the same conditions, but these facilities are not enjoyable, win or lose.

With Nellis on one side and the gun range up the hill on the other, it was sort of like being back in a war zone.
Oct. 9, 2015
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: 70 AAA schedule Masters-Bitch time

Gary, I have been writing the same email in my head since returning from Vegas. Our team has a meeting each January to decide what tournaments to attend in the coming season. Unless the three day format is changed, my vote will be to skip Vegas. I somewhat understand the younger guys lobbying for a three day format because of work commitments, but it's not necessary for 65+ and 70+. A one size fits all solution is not necessary or wise.

I don't so much object to the number of games per day and the heat, but night games for 70 year olds are dangerous. Especially under the lighting conditions at Shadow Rock.

On a positive note, however, the "flyover" by the Thunderbirds was pretty neat, even if unplanned.

Aug. 31, 2015
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Question regarding Senior Recreation Leagues

Our league in Richardson, TX allows 1.21 bats. Starts at 50 (with maybe a provision for 1 or 2 45+ on each team). Pretty dangerous combination since all ages play in the same division (we have some 50 and 80 year olds). We do use a screen for the pitcher, although I have yet to see one get behind it.
Aug. 24, 2015
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vegas -armiho211 and Mad Dog

Well, good luck with that,Bruce!

July 19, 2015
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: 15" gloves

I pasted the section of the rule book pertaining to glove size below. I also posted instructions on how to measure a glove from the Glovesmith website. I believe the measurement from the 1st finger top to the bottom edge is the one manufacturers us to describe the size of the glove. That being the case, 14 inches would be the max.

Gloves may be worn by any player, but mitts may be used only by the catcher and first baseman. No top lacing, webbing or other device between the thumb and body of the glove or mitt worn by a first baseman or catcher, or a glove worn by any fielder; shall be more than 5" (12.70 cm) in length. Here are the maximum length specifications: palm width (top) 8" (20.3 cm), palm width (bottom) 81⁄2 (21.6 cm), top opening of web 5" (12.7 cm), bottom opening of web 41⁄2 (11.5 cm), 1st finger crotch seam 71⁄2 (19.05 cm), thumb crotch seam 71⁄2 (19.05 cm), crotch seam 161⁄2 (41.91 cm), thumb top to bottom edge 91⁄4 (23.5 cm), 1st finger top to bottom edge 14" (35.56 cm), 2nd finger top to bottom edge 131⁄4 (33.66 cm), 3rd finger top to bottom edge 121⁄4 (31.12 cm), 4th finger top to bottom edge 11" (27.94 cm).

How To Measure the Length of a baseball Glove (from Glovesmith website)

Start at the top of the index finger and using a flexible tape measure go down the finger across the palm keeping the tape along the contour of the glove until you get to the bottom of the heel. Note: The tape measure must be touching the glove at all times to get a good measurement. It is best to go down a couple inches at a time keeping the tape against the glove with you finger. Both fielder gloves and first base mitts are measured using this method.

July 17, 2015
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Loss of a great teammate, Robert (Bob) Dobbins

I didn't know Bob, but it is always saddening to hear of the loss of a senior player. Condolences to his family, teammates, and friends.

I don't know the circumstances of Bob's accident, but I do know that many of us do a lot of traveling to play senior ball and there are a lot of crazies on the roads. Everyone, please be careful out there..
July 15, 2015
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: SSUSA Needs to review bat rule

I am sitting here looking at a 2014 LS Z3000 ASA Model. It does not have the BP 1.20 designation and the ASA approval stamp is neither the 2000 or 2004 stamp (it is the more recent approval stamp from a couple of years ago; no specific year indicated).

I don't know why anyone would want to use this bat in senior ball unless they simply didn't have access to a senior bat. Compared to my senior bats, it is a log.

However, if I followed the discussion above correctly, sorting out rant from fact, it is my understanding that this bat would not be allowed in SSUSA competition. In other words, there are some ASA bats that would not be legal (i.e., those approved by ASA after their newer specs were put in place). Correct?

July 2, 2015
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Which Sports Do More Americans Participate In?

Bruce, I saw Oklahoma high school girls slow pitch championship on one of the regional sports channels either this year or last. Pretty sure Ok. has fast pitch as well.

June 29, 2015
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

k man, one night before my wife and I got married (we've been married 42 years) she and I were on a date and I saw a nice glove (I always took her to the most romantic places). I told her I was going to buy it because I liked the looks of it and it would probably be the last one I ever buy. I've still got it, by the way. Forty-two years later, I've lost track of the number of "last gloves" I've bought. It's become a standing joke in our household. As a matter of fact, I have my eye on one now.
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