a plethora of 2-5’s on the pitching staff   4 comments

i coach little league baseball.  they’re a surly bunch of sixth graders with very little competitive spirit.  they like playing the game ok, but that super overdrive ‘WIN, WIN, WIN’ spirit either hasn’t kicked in yet or they got skipped when it was handed out.

now in fairness, they are a great group of kids.  most of them are going into sixth grade and we’ve done very well the last two seasons (we play three seasons per year —  spring, summer, fall).  during the fall and spring our record was 18-6.  during this summer season, though, i decided to see what they were made of and pushed them up a level.  we’ve been playing against 8th graders.  with two more games left, our record for this season is 2-8.  we’re hitting fine, but getting our cans handed to us with our pitching.

from the last level to our current the pitcher’s mound moved back 8 foot and the bases were extended from 70 to 90 (was supposed to be 80 foot, but the city didn’t do it right nor are they about to fix it).  so i was standing in the dugout trying to figure out how to improve my pitching.  i think it’s a matter of strength and maturing.  they’ll be fine with that distance in another year, but now it’s tough to watch.

after the little league game last night, while playing out some games in the replay, i had to go to the bullpen for one of the teams (Chicago, i think).  i was looking at their pen and thought, these guys stink!  and then i was reminded of my OWN pitchers and came to the conclusion that my pitchers, if graded would probably be rated 2-5’s.  we’ve had those games that they pitch decent, but overall, the wildness has killed us.  when they are finding the plate, they’re being hit hard.  last fall and spring i would have rated them 2-7’s and 2-8’s.  amazing the difference a season (and level change) can make.

i wonder how my sixth graders would feel if i told them they’re pitching is like a PB 2-5.  i’d probably get the same glazed over stares you’re giving this post right now.



Posted 08/11/2010 by rick in Baseball

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4 responses to “a plethora of 2-5’s on the pitching staff

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  1. They’re playing practically year round. No wonder they have no fire.

    • practically year round, yes. but it’s only 36 games for the entire year (12 games per “season”). i think the two biggest factors this season have been the heat (this summer has been hellishly hot) and playing against kids that are older by a couple of grades. it’s only two years, but you there really is a huge difference between a sixth grader and an eighth grader.

  2. Yet, we force too much structure on kids. It’s one thing to have a little league season in the spring, but then to add all the elite travel squads on top of it. They simply should not be playing one sport year round. They should play soccer, basketball, and football too.

    • i’ve coached select teams where that’s all they do … play, play, play. but they were 14 and that’s what they were in to. the kids i’m coaching now aren’t all about baseball. most have a very active life off the field. we play 36 games during the entire year. no traveling, no tournaments, no high pressure. i tell the parents the same thing every year, “if you want your kid to win at all cost, you’ll need to find another team. my goal is to teach them the right way to play the game, let them have a good time, and prepare them for high school ball.”

      the last group i coached before these, 13 of 14 made their high school team. i’m ok with that and it didn’t come at the expense of their health or mine.

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