Toeing the Rubber


I was at practice Wed. night and strained a muscle in my groin area. The doctor said to rest for a few days and he would reexamine me. He said I might have a hernia. If it improves on its own, he said I should be ready ti play in a week or so. If it doesn’t, I will probably need surgery. Hopefully, it gets better on its own.


Not really helpful, just some comic relief.


Pitcher17, thanks for that. Lol. Thankfully, the groin strain went away on its own with a little rest and light stretching. l’ve been playing starting point guard on our jv team. I’m averaging 9 points and 6 assists a game. Our record is 4 -2. I’ve been playing on the varsity too in mop up duty. I had 2 points in the last game - 2/2 at the foul line. The varsity is also 4 - 2 (should be 5 - 1, got some home cooking served on us in a tournament in PA).
Baseball warmup starts after the first of the year. I’m feeling good - ready to pound the zone.


I scored 16 points in our last game - an overtime loss. I’m really frustrated. The AD at my school was fired yesterday. He was very passionate about making our school a sports powerhouse. Unfortunately the powers that be had a different vision - one of mediocrity. I don’t want to be mediocre. The AD had hired several new coaches that had his vision. I don’t know whether they will leave or stay. I don’t like the way it looks. My dad and I have talked about moving south. It may be the right time. Anybody in North or South Carolina or Georgia looking for a three sport athlete. I will be a sophomore next year. Let me know. My dad will need a job too. Lol.


Lack of leadership is a national epidemic. I don’t care where you go, you will likely find the same problem manifest itself in one way or another. When you are tempted to look critically at others motivations and actions, see it as a sign you need to look deeper into yourself.

The grass is greener is largely a myth…anything you are proud of will not come easy. You can go through the briars or you can walk around. The results will be totally different based on your choice.

Don’t make decisions until you have reached A place where you can see the entire field of battle. What it looks like from your current position might be misleading. Of course, sometimes we are forced to make decisions without knowing all the facts. But whatever you choose…don’t look back. It’s part of what makes a good leader.

Best of luck with your basketball career and your baseball endeavors.


Dino makes some very good Sun Tzu-ian points.
It has more to do with the human condition…people wanting control, or afraid to give up control, politics, favoritism ect…than your particular school.
My son played for 3 baseball coaches in 4 years in high school. One was ok. One coach (who was canned for mistreating players and missing money from fundraisers) was rehired (coached freshman and senior years). They would interview much more qualified coaches, even some with college experience. Why was the same joker rehired…he is best friends with the AD.
Now going on his third year he has a record of 7-41 over the last two years. There are so few guys going out for baseball they barely make cuts.
I get it with wanting to win…its a lot better than the alternative, but, the only thing you can control is yourself and your own level of effort.
Here in Nevada a private school in Vegas has won 6 straight state titles in football (4 or 5 in basketball and 5 out of 6 years in baseball). The school costs a ton of money and draws kids from LA, Phoenix, San Diego ect. despite being in Las Vegas. So, there is a school, because of talent and money is always going to win. A guy we know sent his son there. He was a very good player locally where we live and was a starter on his zoned high school team. He went there and was continually behind guys brought in from southern California and other states. Coaches at schools like that can hand pick their rosters. He never played in two years and came back home for his last year so he could play.
Grass is not always greener. Keep working hard…16 points is awesome by the way.


Thanks for the good advice - and merry Christmas to one and all.

I think we will see how the rest of the year plays out. My dad’s financial situation will be a big factor. Some of the parents, staff, and students at the school are pushing to get the AD back. They are supposed to meet with the archdiocese about getting him reinstated. We shall see.

I’m playing the 2nd team point guard during varsity practice, but sometimes I’m playing 1st team 2 guard, so I may be seeing more varsity playing time - especially if I can consistently knock down 3s. We play in a tourney this weekend so we will see how it goes.


We won one and lost one in the varsity tourney. I got in both games - at mop up time. I didn’t take a shot. We play twice this week- JVs and varsity. Baseball indoor practice is supposed to start this week too. I plan on start throwing some. I grew a little less than I hoped from last year at this time. I’m 5’11 1/2" and weigh 130. I measured myself on Jan 1 each year. I grew about. 1 1/2" in the last year, so I may be slowing down. I’m 15 1/2 years old now. My dad grew 3" after he graduated so I may not be done yet.
I’ll check back after baseball practice starts.[/wmp]


I’m back! Basketball ended last weekend and our first baseball game is this Sat. I pitched 1 inning in a scrimmage today. I didnt do bad facing varsity batters - I struck out one and walked one in one inning. The team we played started their ace who threw in the mid to high 80s. We couldn’t touch him. Our coach gave each pitcher one inning each, just so he could see what he had. We have several new players, including me and two players from India who had never played baseball before - they had obly cricket ( Check out the movie “Million Dollar Arm” and you’ll get the idea. I might be starting Sat., we will see how it goes (weather permitting).


Good to see you back in it! Good luck with your season!


Thanks Astro. Well, we got snowed out on Sat. Today’s the big day - I’m the starting pitcher against one of the best teams in the area. They just beat my old school on Monday, 5 - 2. I guess I’m ready. I’ve been working on my delivery and it feels right. My curve ball is working. I might start the game with it just to put them on notice. Lol. I’ll let you know later how I did.


Trust your stuff and give them hell!


Thanks Steve! I will!


I survived. My coach limited me to 60 pitches in my first outting. Unfortunately, I used them up in 2 innings. I struck out their lead off hitter and their next batter hit a weak grounder to short . . . and he booted it. I gave up one hit and a couple of walks. We also gave up 6 runs, 5 of them unearned (4 errors). I ended up with 3Ks. I struck out their big hitter with 3 knuckle curves - he was walked intentionally every at bat in his first game. I challenged him. I felt like I pitched well enough to shut them down, but that wasn’t the case. I’ll get them next time.


Drake, great posts man! You have a passion for the game that I honestly wish I had throughout my career. I liked it, and even loved it at times, but I never had the internal drive you have.

One mechanical thing I think I’m seeing. When you land your foot is still pretty closed. Landing on a slightly closed foot is fine, but I think you are leaving some rotation in your hips which could translate to some more power. Really fire those hips late!


Thanks Sidewinder! I’ve been working on that foot placement and it’s getting better. It’s hard to break old habits. Lol.
I pitched 2 innings yesterday. We were down 14 - 0 when I came in with nobody out and the bases loaded. I struck out the first batter and thought I struck out the second but the ump didn’t see it that way. I ended up going from 0 - 2 to 2 -2 with both good curves that caught the corner being called balls. He poked one between 1st and 2nd to get two more runs in. We ended up losing 17 - 1. My question is this : What do you do if you’re not getting your strike-out pitch swung on or called?
Btw, I overheard one of the other teams players say “I’ve never seen a pitch do that before - it looks like a fastball and then breaks away at the last second.”


If hitters have never seen a real curve before definitely don’t change what you’re doing to fit the under-educated competition. I remember when I first learned a curve before anyone else kids would buckle and never swing, and umpires didn’t know how to call a curve. Don’t let it get you down - the competition and officiating will catch up.

A word of advice - never show up the umpire. Even if he misses a fastball called strike three down the middle, don’t change your body language or indicate in any way that he is an idiot (even though he probably is) :slight_smile: Umpires appreciate a pitcher who respects them, and that next batter will be punched out emphatically when you get it close. I’m not saying you did this, but I know I did a few times in younger days, and it never works out well.

Tell your coach to stop pitching you when your team is getting run ruled! Doesn’t seem like his alternatives are faring too well.


Most umpires at lower levels cannot call curveballs. They tend to call the ball where the catcher catches it not where it crosses. You are almost forced to hang them to get a strike call a lot of the time. But, fortunately most young hitters struggle with even an average CB.
In my experience many have a bad attitude and (unintentionally) do a decent job of hindering the game.



@CoachPaul what do you think?


Most HS umpires that I know are pretty good at calling the curve ball. Most call it for where it crosses the plate. The ones who call it based on where the catcher secures it will give you the high curve and not the low curve. The ones who call it based on the plate will give you the low curve and deny the high curve. When a pitch is borderline and has a lot of late break at the top of the zone, the ball can trace around the zone without actually crossing it while still seeming like a strike from the dugout as it’s crossing the batter who is actually behind the plate and not across from it.

The major issue when people think an umpire is tight is that they are watching from the side and seeing where these borderline breaking pitches cross the hitter and not where they cross the plate.

Most batters are at the severe back of the batter’s box–well behind the plate.

To call the zone the umpire will imagine a lane over the plate the width of the plate plus 3-4 inches to each side . Then the umpire visualizes the batter’s stance as he prepares to swing at the release of the pitch–not when he’s just standing there watching the first part of the delivery. This visual provides the upper and lower limits and completes the mental cube.

At the youth level, umpires are not used to calling breaking pitches and give up on them before they break–thinking it was a change up gone astray or a fastball that has no chance. Once the concentration is broken, they are really just guessing. The more they see curve balls, the better they get…in theory anyway.

Does that help?