Monday, July 21, 2008

Washington State University Dorm Desk Lamp

Your living room is alive with light thanks to the team goose-neck desk lamp from The Memory Company. You can watch the game with an abundance of light coming from this 14.5-in x 6-in desk lamp, which features a durable, high-gloss, baked-enamel finish in team colors with printed team names and logos on the shade and base.

The Great and not late John Wooden says you are only a failure if you have not given a complete effort at all times whether on the field of court. What do I mean? if you are get beat by another team or individual it's OK as long as you gave your best. It happens, you tip your hat and move on. Sure we're disappointed in the outcome but not in our effort. After the games are gone what are the players going to take with them about sports and competition?

Stephen K Reynolds is publisher of the LSR Unlimted "Free" newsletter which focuses on helping newcomers & seasoned pros learn the secrets to marketing in the ever changing world of the internet! Working from home on the internet allows him the time to coach little league baseball in western Montana. For more information on this e-mail

We had players giving up on plays when they should have been going all out and making the other team beat us with their best instead we gave them easy outs. here is the main point I'm driving here is to make the other team beat you, don't hand it to them. That is not acceptable. I mentioned something to them at practice last night and the best player on the team said well we won anyway! Wrong answer!!

Getting adults to understand the importance of a clear perspective on winning and losing is very difficult let alone do the same with little league baseball players. Here I will show why it is important that adults need to show the way for young athletes to understand the objective in sports.

Instilling A Winning Effort Into Little League Baseball Players

Remember coaches you are a teacher and these values go way past playing baseball. Teach them the right way to play the game and have fun with it.

Let's get right into it shall we. Too often i hear especially at the major boys level (11-12 year olds) it all about winning! Well that's great, I like winning as much as anyone and i get very competitive. However I am an adult and and the coach who needs to keep the players with a great understanding of competition.

We play one of the better teams in our league and that 3 runs wouldn't have been enough and we left 3-4 runs out there on the field with a lousy effort.

We are not talking about pro sports here yet that same axiom should and does apply with them most of the time. My point is this you can win a game and not be happy with your players effort and they need to hear about it.

Just last week I watched the team my son is on and that I help with win a game 3-1 against a young team that we should have defeated 8-1 or more. To the other teams credit they played us hard and were right there at the end. Our team made base running blunders that took us out of innings and eliminated additional scoring opportunities.

Sterlingcraft® Silverplated Baseball Bank

Standing 3-1/2" tall, kids will love collecting and saving money. The twist slot on the bottom allows for easy access to what has been saved. Gift boxed.

How to implement this Baseball Hitting Strategy:

Much like everything in life, you get better at things the more times you do them. Baseball Hitting is no different. For this reason, the best baseball hitting advice anyone can give you is to practice your swing. Mickey Mantle was said to swing the bat at least 100 times a day right handed and then do the same left handed. Also, modern day players like Barry Bonds are said to swing the baseball bat 500-1000 times a day. If this strategy works for the pros, it can also work for you.

Over time, you will see your strength grow and should develop a more natural swing. Also, as you get stronger you can increase the number of overall swings. This is an excellent Baseball Hitting Strategy to follow.

Bottom line is do not let a lack of access to a batting cage prevent you from practicing your swing. It should not matter whether you have access to a batting cage or not. In the end, all you really need is a baseball bat and a strong desire to improve.

1. The best strategy is to divide up the swings throughout the day. After you get up in the morning, take 25 cuts batting from the right side and then take 25 cuts batting from the left side. (It does not matter if you are not interested in switch hitting, practicing swinging from both sides will allow you to develop your muscles more fully.

How To Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Through Practice

From here, you can incorporate this repetition principle into other aspects of your Baseball Hitting routine. For instance, if you do not already practice your swing by hitting off a tee, it is a good idea to acquire a basic hitting tee and a bucket of whiffle balls. The cost is minimal as these two items can be purchased for under $65, but the benefits to your Baseball Hitting can be quite large. A Hitting Tee affords you the opportunity to practice your baseball hitting of inside and outside pitches. For example, if you have difficulty hitting outside pitches, you can set your self up away from the tee so to practice hitting outside pitches. Over time, you will see your skill improve because of the repetition principle.

3. Then, take 25 cuts from each side right before or after dinner.

How To Improve Your Baseball Hitting Simply Through Practice

4. Finally, take 25 cuts from each side right before bedtime.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2008 Topps Heritage Baseball Cards Factory Sealed Hobby Box (1959 Design) (1 Autograph or Memorabilia Card Per Box)

BOX BREAK DOWN INFO: 24 packs of 8 cards per box. This year's product features more than 500 stars of today on the classic 1959 design. Autographs and Relics from 1959 Legends and today's stars. News Flashback cards from historic events from 1959, original 1959 Topps Buybacks inserted.

Some manufacturers of baseball batting gloves include Easton, Franklin, Mizuno, and Rawlings. They make each with a variety of materials, including leather and fabric. The gloves work well to allow batters to rely on their equipment without thinking about how it performs. They offer players the ability to grip the bat and properly protect their hands from the elements. The materials used are waterproof, and some of the gloves come with anti-microbial materials. Some retailers can also offer the convenience of purchasing baseball equipment online.

The design for batting gloves is pretty basic on the surface. But because they are so important each manufacturer has its own unique approach. Each manufacturer has its own designs as well. These designs the manufacturer hopes will create stand apart gloves.

The Internet offers customers a fast and convenient way to find whatever they need. Players have a large selection at their fingertips and with such selection can choose good equipment at prices that work within their budgets. Because they can buy merchandise that is of the necessary quality to play the game well and at prices that work for them, players of all skill levels can rely use the Internet as a reliable resource to peruse the many different batting gloves available and find the particular gloves that work for them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fastpitch Softball - Shortstop Positioning

Situational positioning of the Shortstop may be the most common coaching oversight in Fastpitch Softball. My guess would be 95% of the teams put the shortstop in the middle of 2nd and 3rd and never move her. Okay, that's great with no runners on base, but what about all the other situations.

Runner on 1st Base

In 10U & 12U it's almost a given the runner is going to steal. In 14U and up, the odds are still pretty strong that at some point the runner will try to advance, either on a straight steal or on a bobbled pitch. We KNOW this is going to happen a very high percentage of the time.

So why is your shortstop still in the hole? How many times have you seen the shortstop have to cut the corner to get to the throw in time, and therefore be two or three feet in front of 2B and unable to make a tag? Aaaaggghhh!!! I hate that! And there is no reason for it to happen.

When there is a runner on 1st base, move your shortstop about 5 feet towards 2B. More if need be. Depending on your age group, the odds are probably between 50% up to 95% that there will be a play at 2B. On the other hand, the odds of the ball being hit to SS are much lower. You might even get lucky and have a ball hit up the middle which the SS can field and tag 2B or even turn a double play.

Lead Runner on 2nd Base

If you use SS to cover 3B on steals, the same philosophy applies. Move her about 5 feet from the hole towards 3B. It's a very tough play for SS to cover 3B on steals. She has to get their, find the base, catch the ball, and make a tag. How many throws to 3B have you seen wind up in the outfield because the runner and SS got tangled up at 3B? Too many. Take the precision timing out of the play by getting her in a better position before the play starts.

By placing her in the optimal position before the pitch is thrown, you also avoid her breaking to the bag while the pitch is on the way. Huh? I'm sure you have seen shortstops break to the base as soon as the pitch is thrown, and then have a ball hit right where she should have been standing. Since she is breaking on the pitch, her momentum increases the size of the hole immensely. Whereas, if she is positioned correctly before the pitch, she can hold her position longer before making her break to cover the steal.

The Hardest Play for a Shortstop Runner on 1st and the batter shows bunt

I will cover this play based on age in more detail at a later date, but for now lets get the basics down. This play requires extreme discipline by the shortstop. First, you need to understand that if the player does bunt the out should be made at 1B. Don't even think about going to 2B to get the lead runner! So if the ball is bunted where does your shortstop go? Third base. Otherwise, the base is uncovered and the runner on 1B can make the turn at second and keep going to third. Oh, how you are going to hate that when it happens to you. So if the ball is bunted, make the out at one, be looking to throw across the field to third, and cover 3B.

What if the batter misses the bunt or fake bunts and takes the pitch? Here is where the extreme discipline comes in. Shortstop has to cover 2B on the steal. Therefore, the correct positioning is the same as protecting against a straight steal. Before the pitch, move her approximately 5 feet towards 2B. This puts her in position to cover 2B on a steal and should the ball be bunted successfully, she should have ample time to beat the runner coming from 1B to 3B.

Make a mental note to yourself, after each batter look at your shortstops positioning. This is a chess game. Think about what you expect your opponent to do in this given situation, and position your shortstop appropriately.

Jim Moyer is the author of Having coached over 600 youth fastpitch softball games, Jim decided to put his knowledge online to allow parent/coaches to draw on his unique experience.

Specifically designed to help younger baseball players catch the ball the right way--in the pocket--the Mizuno Prospect GPP1151 youth glove boasts a series of innovations unmatched in the industry. The 11.5-inch glove features Mizuno's patented Power Close 2 technology, with an exclusive outer thumb slot to improve the glove's "closeability." The V-Flex Notch design in the heel, meanwhile, also helps initiate easy closure. Combine the features and you have a glove with a huge sweet spot, making it ideal for those who are still learning the fundamentals of the game. Other details include Mizuno's SureFit foam cushioning, which adds cushioning to the back of the fingers for a more custom fit, and a ParaShock palm pad that reduces shock to minimize the "sting" of hard throws. The glove, which offers a utility pattern and a diagonal tartan web, carries a one-year warranty.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Guidecraft St. Louis Cardinals Table Lamp

Officially Licensed Major League Baseball furniture! This hand carved, hand painted table lamp bears the official logo, colors and markings of your favorite team.

Why are you playing fantasy sports? Is it for recreation or is it because you enjoy competition? If you fall under the first category then this article really isn't for you.

I play to win and I have won quite a few times. So here are 10 strategies that I apply when I am drafting.

1. Know Your League Settings

I know this one seems obvious, but it is very important. What are your leagues settings and how will that effect your draft. Is your team a roto league or is is a head to head league. Each format requires different players. In roto leagues consistency is important, but as long as their stats work out in the end then it's all good. Whereas an inconsistent player in a heads up league may cost you a few wins.

What stats are being used to keep score? Why don't owners know this? It is inexcusable to be clueless. This determines the value of a player in a particular league. A guy like Todd Helton in a league that has Avg. OBP. SLG. and OPS is a 4 stat stud where if he was in a traditional league he would be a bottom tier 1st baseman.


2. Research

If you want to do well at a fantasy baseball draft then you have to research a little bit. You don't have to be obsessed like I am and look at obscure stats, but you do need to do some. When you get into the late rounds you will be shooting in the dark if you have not done adequate research.

3. Don't be afraid to reach for players

Many times an owner will be afraid to reach on a player because the other owners will criticize him for it. Well often it is the guy that reaches for a player that will end up winning the league. Those who reached for Miguel Cabrera in 05 most likely won their leagues and the same is true for those who reached for Prince Fielder last year. So blow off the critics and draft your team, not theirs.

4. Don't draft a closer until late

Don't make the mistake of spending a 4th round pick on a closer. You can find efficient closers late in the draft or on the waiver wire. Last year there were over 50 closers that compiled more than 10 saves. I actually never draft a closer. Usually I will scoop up a closer off of waivers and do just fine with them. It is only one stat so I don't believe you should overemphasize it.

5. Draft for consistency

I prefer consistency over one stat studs. I am always looking for a guy who bats around .300 and scores runs and steals about 10 bases. Consistency makes you a 5 stat threat.

6. Avoid focusing on one stat

If you take a look at the bottom dwellers in a league they usually are great in one or two stats and absolutely horrible in the rest. This happens for 2 reasons:

1. They were clueless at the draft

2. They focused on one particular stat

Guys that focus on power are usually strong in RBIs and HR, but weak in AVG, Hits and SBs. They also struggle with long droughts at the plate. (a no-no in a heads up league)

Guys that focus on speed end up being strong in SBs and Average but are not competitive in HR and RBI.

It is fine to be strong in one particular stat as long as you are not punting 3 or 4 stats to be strong in them.

7. Don't be a Robot

This strategy has won me more league than any other strategy. Think differently from the rest of the owners. I won't get into too much detail because I am going to write about this strategy exclusively so just remember the concept.

8. Be Able to Adjust

Rarely does a draft go the way you want it to, actually it never does. It would be great to end up with 5 studs on your team, but there is a problem with that thinking...everyone else has to draft too. There are going to be guys that get drafted earlier than you had them going and it messes with you rankings. Let it go and stay focused. You should be able to make adjustments quickly because you have researched the players.

9. Think Ahead

This is a strategy that is not for the weak at heart. I occasionally will draft 2 guys back to back that play the same position. I know that sounds stupid, especially when I do it in the early rounds, but it works if you do it right.

If you are really strong at a shallow position then you can use that as leverage in a trade.

This is what I did last season:

I drafted Utley in the 1st round and then Phillips in the 5th. 2 of my first 5 picks were spent on 2B. I then turned around and traded Utley for Hanley Ramirez and a throw in.

At that point I had a great SS and a great 2B. Han-Ram was draft in the 2nd round and ended up being the best SS last season. Brandon Phillips was the best 2B last season. I could have never acquired a team like that without thinking ahead.

10. Be Realistic

You can't win a league through the draft alone so don't be hard on yourself when one players don't work out the way you planned. Everybody has one or two of those guys. Try your best to stockpile talent to trade away and don't be afraid to make the trades either. Not only is this unwise but it is no fun at all.

Usually the 4th or 5th place teams never make a trade during the season. They laugh at the 11th and 12th place teams that made the bad trade and that is there reason why they play it safe. Of course they ignore the fact that the 1st and 2nd place winners made trades that made them champion.

Nobody remembers who finished in the middle of the pack.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sports Fun Wall Stickers

SPORTS FUN Decorative Wall Stickers . Self-stick, removable, and reusable Jumbo Wall Stickers are the easy way to decorate and won't damage your walls!It's so quick and amazing , just peel and stick!Jumbo SizeDecorate in minutes!!Easy to apply.Works best on clean, smoth, dust-free surfaces. Apply even pressure to entire sticker surface. 65 pieces of Peel & Stick technology will adhere to any smooth surface. Easily removable and repositionable. Washable with mild soap and sponge. Safe for use in all rooms including the bathroom. Decorating has never been so easy! Clamshell Packaging.

One thing that really sets me off is when someone is late for an appointment (you'll probably remember me ranting about "Doctor's Offices" not long ago). And it really drives me bananas when the person is unapologetic for being late. To me, being late is a sign of disrespect to the person or persons you are to meet. I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi who said, "Being late is an act of violence, an act of terrorism, because you unnerve people." Consequently I make an effort to keep my appointments and try to arrive on time if not a bit earlier. My friends kid me that I operate on "Tim Time" as I show up earlier than just about everyone else.

Punctuality is a sign of discipline, something we try to ingrain in our youth through school bells. If you're late for a class, you are given a "Tardy Slip" which might carry a penalty of serving in "Detention" (the school's version of jail). Nonetheless, schools are trying to operate on a routine basis and have an agenda to follow in order to properly educate our youth. I cannot imagine a public or private school that doesn't operate according to such structure.

I understand President Bush is a stickler for punctuality, going so far as to lock the door to cabinet meetings when they start. I think it would be rather amusing to see the door handle jiggle from the outside by a Cabinet Secretary who arrived late for a meeting.

Back when I was managing a critical I.T. project, I would start the day with a status meeting with my team of programmers at 8:30am. Inevitably someone would show up a few minutes late thereby holding up the meeting. Being a baseball fan, I would admonish the programmers, "Do baseball players show up at game time? No, they arrive early to stretch, warm-up and practice a little." (In fact, baseball players are fined if they show up late). To overcome my problem, I changed the start of the meetings to 8:00am ("Tim Time") thereby forcing the programmers to show up earlier so we could properly accomplish our work. It's sad that we have to do such tricks to get people to show up on time.

We could also berate people for being late, fine them, or let them go, but more than anything, it bothers me that people simply lack the discipline and consideration for keeping an appointment. Maybe we need to institute some school bells in the work place and pass out some "Tardy Slips." That would be a hoot.

Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.You can find his work on the Internet at:

He can be contacted at:

Copyright 2007 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Diamond Sac O' Taters Bag of 6 D-OB Baseballs

Heres fantasy football information that fantasy football nuts should print or write down immediately. Dont worry about the Vikings suffering on offense, due to the loss of Randy Moss. In fact, you can outfox your opponents, because of the Moss trade. You see, most fantasy football people will still value Moss to the point of spending a high pick on him, which may or may not work out, with Moss being a Raider. What most fantasy football owners will also do, which will be a deadly error, is de-value other Vikings, because of the loss of Moss.

So, the fantasy football information that most of the fantasy football books will likely overlook is to place a very high rating on Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson. Watch the running back situation, too, because head coach Mike Tice says the Vikings will emphasize the run next season. Of course, Daunte Culpepper will continue to be a fantasy football stud.

Burleson, though, will be the true steal of your draft. Burleson is entering his third season, when many wide receivers begin to figure out NFL defenses. He went from 29 catches his rookie year to 68 in 2004. His yardage more than doubled from 455 to 1006. Best of all, especially if youre in a basic scoring fantasy football league, Burleson found the end zone 10 times, while playing second fiddle to Moss and Robinson for most of the season.

Consider that Burleson didnt become the number one receiver until about week ten, and his value increases even more, as it is clear that hell be the new number one, with the departure of Moss. Fantasy football players can expect 80-plus catches, 1,200-plus yards and 10-14 touchdowns. Note, the fact that Burleson returns punts increases his chance to reach pay dirt.

Nate Burleson is a true fantasy football thoroughbred. Most fantasy football owners will under value this fine young receiver, assuming hell be available in rounds three or four or even later in smaller leagues. Armed with this powerful fantasy football information, you now know not to wait too long on Burleson. Grab him early, let others scoff at your selection, then sit back and ride his performance all the way to the Fantasy Bowl.

Check out more great information now at Expert Commentary

cf baseball card center

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Sandlot

The new kid in town gets invited to join a group of baseball players, even though he doesn't know anything about the game.
Genre: Feature Film Family
Rating: PG
Release Date: 11-MAR-2003
Media Type: DVD
Customer Review: .
When ever I watch the Sandlot, I always think of when I was a child and I have this deep attachment to the film. I love it.
Customer Review: I love Sandlot!
The shipping seemed to take awhile, but the product was packed well & brand new!

Happy New Year!

While there is no great way to see exactly what a particular player is capable of (short of inviting)18 candidate players & staging a pick-up scrimmage game), Try this system with the goal of getting the players (& their parents) ready to go home within an hour & a half:

Sign up 20 candidates (or less) per time slot & ask them to show up 30 minutes early to warm up. Make sure an official from the team or league is there to greet them and get them warmed up.Have at least league V.P. along with 2-3 young men (high school players if possible) (NOT team coaches) to assist.

Each candidate is to hit two ground balls at the shortstop position. The candidate fields them both & throws to 1st base

Each candidate is to hit two fly balls to approximately short left-center field. Both flies are fielded & throws are made to 2nd base & then to 3rd base on respective catches

The candidates are asked to report to the dugout for batting five at a time, with the remaining 15 or so to stay in the field to "shag" the hits. Each is given seven pitches from a pitching machine: the first two are bunted & the remaining five are hit "swinging away". After the last pitch, whether hit or missed, the candidate is requested to run the bases. The candidate returns to the field to "shag" the hits & to allow all candidates to rotate through the hitting cycle

At the end of the tryout, the candidates are asked if they pitch and/or catch.

With the fact in mind that these are still kids, we have our tryouts on consecutive Saturday mornings. This allows those who may have had a "bad day" on their first tryout to come back for a second chance. Only one tryout is mandatory to attend. If the candidate feels his/her best performance was done at the first tryout, there is no requirement to have them return for the second.

This tryout system will give you results equal to having a long involved 2 hour plus work out involving additional base running and pitching. Pitching and catching tryouts can be performed at a later date. It will eliminate long lines and bored players.

Players should workout prior to their scheduled tryout time. Going on the field cold, lowers your chances of performing well. Many young players feel nervous, which is natural. Prepare for your tryout as you would a game. This way, you can combat the nerves, because you know that you are ready to play.

With spring coming up quickly, it's never too early to plan ahead. Youth Baseball Coaches who plan ahead will benefit when spring hits and you start to run out of time. I hope you find this article of help. Come on spring!

Coach Chip

Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game is something that really needs I feel. I have a free e-course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches.
Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do. Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Topps Baseball Cards Complete Set (Series 1) - 330 Cards - Loaded with top superstars & teams!

Customer Review: Another Solid Set From Topps
The 2008 Topps Baseball Series 1 card set is a nice addition to the longtime tradition of baseball card collecting. Collecting baseball cards is just as much a part of Americana as the game itself. The standard card for the 2008 edition of Topps Baseball features primarily action shots (just a few posed shots) on the front of the card with each player's signature, team name in team colors, and the Topps logo and players printed name in silver. The back of the card features the player's complete stats as well as their position and basic info such as birth date, throwing and batting arm, etc. League leader stats are printed in red and in italics, and there's always a fun tidbit of information on the player if there's room to spare. Inserts included this year are Own The Game, Year In Review, 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team, two Mickey Mantle subsets, Presidential Stamps, the obligatory relic and autograph cards as well as other insert sets. Heck, there's even a Campaign 2008 set that some might be in the hunt for. Overall this is a nice set from Topps. I do think that they went a bit overboard with the Campaign 2008 set, but some folks might just enjoy that.

The New York Yankees and New York Mets signed Alex Rodriguez and Johan Santana this off-season, respectively, to huge contracts that will make each superstar rich beyond any of our wildest dreams. The reality is, the New York Yankees and New York Mets will not make them rich-you will! Still like your team's deal?

It is not just the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Any of your favorite baseball teams paying for high-priced baseball talent, this story is about your team, and the effect of these huge salaries on your wallet.

To read about the contract of a Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez or any other big-money baseball player, is on the surface to say, "Great, my team made a big move. At least it's not my money." Whoa, not so fast. The reality is that it is your money. How? Any time you pay for a ticket to the game where the price has increased, you help pay their salary. Any time you sip from the cup of beer at the game where price have gone up, you help pay their salary. Any time you bite into the hot dog at the game where prices have increased, you help pay their salary.

Is it fair for a baseball player or star athlete to make exponentially more money than a teacher, a repairman or anyone else that helps us live our lives in a more immediate manner? Fair, my friends, has nothing to do with it. Economics 101-the law of supply and demand. The fair value of something is the exact amount that someone is willing to pay for it.

Alex Rodriguez and Johan Santana are merely playing the system for what it is worth, getting the most money from the New York Yankees and New York Mets that their agents can draw.

In reality, we would do the same whether we openly admit it or not. When we go into our reviews at work, we look to improve our state, and deservedly so. We work hard, are loyal, and have only so many opportunities to reap any kind of reward.

MLB, its Owners, its players and machinery are out for one thing and only one thing above all else. That is, to make money for itself and its players. How does it do this? By getting money from its fans.

So the New York Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez to a long-term, huge contract. Better believe that your ticket prices, beer, hot dogs, gear and cable bill are headed North accordingly. So, in the end, it is you that pays Alex Rodriguez, or Johan Santana, or whichever high-priced star happens to play at your favorite stadium.

As a New York Yankees fan, New York Mets fan, Los Angeles Dodgers fan or wherever, you want your team to win. To win, you have to pay high-priced players. The question is whether you mind paying more for a better product?

When you buy a television, you expect to pay more for a better brand than Joe Schmo's TV brand. We don't think of it in those terms but it is the way that it is when you the fan shell out money to be a part of sports. You want to follow a competitive team? Then you will shell out the bucks, out of your own pocket, to compensate your favorite team in return for a better product. Fair? Fair has nothing to do with it...never does.

Fans of MLB do have a choice, and the power, to put the brakes on high-priced contracts, such as Alex Rodriguez and Johan Santana's. The reality though, is a stark one for true fans. The answer is to stop paying.

The New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and every other MLB team pays attention to one thing and one thing only-how much cash is rolling in.

Stop following the Los Angeles Dodgers or Boston Red Sox with your wallet, and there will be less to pay the players. Less to pay the players, the less salaries will be. Less fannies in seats, the lower ticket prices will become. Supply and demand.

The reality however, is that MLB knows this will never happen. In the wake of strikes, steroid scandals and such, MLB still enjoys record attendance throughout the United States. As a MLB fan, you cannot have it all. If you want to follow MLB, be ready to pony up cash. The closer you want to follow, the more cash you will need.

Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana and the others do not care about how much you have to pay. They care about how much they can make during a limited MLB career. It is a Catch-22, but fans will continue to come, continue to pay, continue to harbor some resentment.

MLB fans-the reality is this is the going rate to have access to the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets or whichever team you follow. You cannot have everything. You can have your favorite team, on a competitive level which is expensive, but in the end it will be your cash bankrolling the winning, creating the competitive atmosphere that you are then able to follow. Is it worth it? Only you can decide for yourself. Until now, the answer among MLB faithful is a resounding, yes.

cf baseball store

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DeMarini Voodoo (-12) Baseball Bat - 2008 Model

Safety is your number one concern when playing baseball and it's paramount that the batting helmet used be well made and meet the safety standard to protect the batter's head from an impact. Once you have chosen a batting helmet, you may want to customize it and that's easier than you think.

A batting helmet, like most helmets; is good for one major impact only. After that the helmet could contain microscopic cracking that will interfere in the ability of the helmet to protect the batter's head from an injury from a flying baseball or other risk faced during play. If you're going to custom paint your batting helmet, just remember it won't be a forever kind of thing as far as wearing it.

Many amateur teams paint their own matching batting helmets to get something uniquely "them" and also something that shows unity as a team. There are painted batting helmets that have flaming skulls, baseballs with growling faces and even depictions of famous players in action painted directly on the helmet. And those are just helmets to be actually worn and used, other helmets that are used in collections are sometimes painted very elaborately with logos and other insignia to show devotion for a favorite baseball team.

When you choose to paint a batting helmet, avoid sign paints which will adhere to almost any surface, but most contain lead and you don't want that anywhere near your body. Instead use lead-free paints and after the paint is completely dry, give it a couple of coats of clear coat. The clear coat will lock in the paint job and keep it nearly nick free by protecting the paint.

Nine times out of ten it's best not to try to paint over a batting helmet that has already been painted and sealed with a clear coat finish. If you do manage to get to the paint to stick - it will probably peel off in chunks not long after you begin using the batting helmet as the clear coat has no "tooth" in other words, the paint needs a slightly roughed up surface to stick to, and it won't get that with a surface that has been clear coated.

How you want to apply the paint will be up to you. A finely bristled paint brush will do the job, or if you're good with an airbrush, you can get some amazing effects for the helmet through the use of different tips for the way the paint is sprayed. At most hobby stores you can purchase beginner air brushing kits that consist of a host, a sprayer (to apply the paint) and it's powered by an aerosol can. Attach the sprayer brush to the hose and the hose to the can and release the pressurized air and you'll be in the business of painting a batting helmet.

If you want to make an unusual gift for your favorite local team or you want to give someone a gift that is very unique, consider getting a batting helmet for the baseball/softball enthusiast on your gift list and make them a batting helmet that will be head and shoulders above the rest in uniqueness.

Rick Grantham is the owner of the site BooYah Village He has written numerous articles on sporting goods, sporting tips, and fan gear.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Plug' N Play 16 Bit Wireless Baseball With 17 Games - Black/gray

Originally, I was going to write two articles, i.e., separate lists of underrated and overrated athletes. I decided, however, against these two articles for several reasons: 1) they have been done before; 2) these lists seem very subjective; 3) I am not a big fan of overrated lists; and 4) it is often unclear how an athlete is actually "rated" by so-called experts, other players, coaches, serious fans, and casual fans. All sports fans have seen lists of underrated and overrated athletes in newspapers and sports magazines, and a quick search on the internet will produce access to several more lists. Several of the lists (or at least part of the lists) I thought were very inaccurate, and the fact that some athletes show up on both (!) lists confirms this. After all, logically, one of the lists has to be wrong (maybe both are wrong -- who knows). Now, I do not know for sure if the lists are inaccurate because I do not know for sure exactly how accurately any athlete is actually rated by the public. In addition, how an athlete is rated can be different, depending on who is doing the rating. For instance, experts, players, coaches, serious fans, and casual fans may all rank an athlete's abilities differently. So, when someone says that some athlete is underrated or overrated, I think it is important to ask three things: 1) underrated or overrated by whom?; 2) how do we know for sure if they are overrated or underrated?; and 3) if an athlete is underrated or overrated -- how did he or she get that way?

How a person ranks another person's ability in something, sports or otherwise, is always subjective. The likes, biases, and prejudices of the person doing the rankings will inevitably affect how they rank someone or something. This factor, coupled with the fact that it is often very unclear how a specific athlete is actually rated or whose rating we are talking about, makes a specific individual's list of underrated and overrated athletes practically meaningless. Harsh, but true. We need to have an accurate ranking of an athlete's abilities (based upon lots of informed votes), PLUS lots of lists of underrated and overrated athletes totaled together (again by informed people) before we begin to have any underrated and overrated lists that have any accuracy. (Numerous people are necessary to do the rankings and lists so that people's likes, biases, and prejudices will offset each other.) Now you know why I have never been a big fan of overrated lists -- they are often unfair and inaccurate. The same could be said, of course, about underrated lists, but at least those lists are meant as a compliment and not as an insult.

As noted above, how an athlete is rated can vary, depending on which of the five groups listed above is doing the rating. An athlete, for example, could be rated much higher by other players in the athlete's sport than they are by casual fans, and vice versa. Hence, assuming we figure out what an athlete's "true rating" actually is, some athletes could actually be overrated by some groups and underrated by other groups. What a mess! But, let us say that we actually get an accurate rating of an athlete's abilities and we agree, somehow, that our perceived ranking is a combination of the five groups above. Then, why do some athletes inevitably end up underrated and others end up overrated?

Not surprisingly, the answer to this question is not clear, however, (and also not surprisingly) I do have some theories. It is first important to note that athletes in team sports are more likely to be underrated and overrated than athletes in an individual sport. This is because an athlete's accomplishments in an individual sport stand on their own more clearly than an athlete's accomplishments in a team sport (for obvious reasons).

I think athletes get overrated when one or more specific things occur. First, when an athlete played a decent percentage of his career in a large market, especially New York. Large markets have greater media coverage, hence, the athlete's accomplishments become well-publicized. (If you are dying for examples, okay, but keep in mind I am not a big fan of labeling athletes as overrated.) Joe Namath, Joe DiMaggio, and Phil Rizzuto come to mind. (Although Joe Namath is talked about as being overrated so often and is on so many peoples lists, I wonder if he is starting to become underrated by some people. Just a thought -- I do not know if this is true.)

Second, when an athlete played on numerous championship teams. Same theory, the playoffs and championship games always get more publicity and, most importantly, television coverage. Incidentaly, this happens most often in basketball and, to a lesser extent, with the quarterback position in American football. At first, it may seem to be just the opposite, because in basketball, more than any other team sport (at least in the U.S.), a great player can influence his team's chances of winning a championship. However, sports fans are aware of this, hence, they put more emphasis on the number of championships won by a great basketball player when evaluating how great the player's career was. And sometimes, they put too much emphasis on this fact. An example of this is Bill Russell. While he may not be overrated if you polled all basketball fans (especially younger ones who might actually underrate him), the people who still think he is the greatest basketball player of all time because of his 11 championships (the most in NBA history) are overrating Russell and overemphasizing the championships his TEAM won. Michael Jordan (6 championships) is the greatest basketball player of all time, and it is pretty clear. The bottom line is that championships are won by teams, not individuals, and a single player can only influence the outcome of a game only so much.

Players only have so much control (before free agency, practically none) over how much talent is on the teams that they play with throughout their career. In baseball, a player has very little control over whether his team wins a World Series (although this would not be true if starting pitchers were physically capable of pitching every day). However, sometimes people forget about this fact and can overrate a player who played on a lot of championship teams (again, DiMaggio and Rizzuto are good examples). A quarterback in football, because of the uniqueness of the position, has a lot of influence over the outcome of a football game. However, he is still only one of 22 players on the field at any given time and plays less than 50% of the time. Contrast this to basketball, where a player is one of only 10 players on the court at any specific time, and a star player usually plays around 80% of the game (i.e., 40 of 48 minutes), often more in important, close playoff games. In addition, a star player in basketball may sometimes take one-third of his team's shots during a game and has to play both offense and defense. Hence, it is safe to say that a great basketball player has more influence than even a quarterback in football over whether his team wins a championship. Individual football players who do not play the quarterback position usually do not have a lot of influence over whether their team wins a championship, however, there are exceptions. A great quarterback's legacy is routinely judged by how many Super Bowls (or NFL championships for pre-1966 quarterbacks) "he" won. But, sometimes quarterbacks are given too much blame when a game is lost and too much credit for their teams winning NFL Championships (although probably not Otto Graham -- see below), especially Super Bowls, because of the almost unbelievable publicity and worldwide coverage of these games. (In addition, quarterbacks get more MVP Awards in Super Bowls than they deserve, because sportswriters and sportscasters get blinded by the importance of the position.)

Third, an athlete played well in the clutch, especially in championship games. While this is undeniably an important trait in any great athlete, sometimes these feats can overshadow an athlete's otherwise inconsistent career. An example of this is Reggie Jackson, who is overrated by the non-serious baseball fans.

Fourth, the athlete is currently playing. Obviously, because their feats are still fresh in people's minds and they were seen by everyone (i.e., the people currently doing the ratings), young or old.

Fifth, an athlete is physically attractive. No explanation is necessary here unless you are under the age of six, from another planet, or a Paris Hilton fan.

Sixth, the athlete has a charming personality. Almost everyone overrates people they like in life, and that includes athletes.

Seventh, an athlete is smooth, stylish, or just plain exciting to watch when he plays. This one, I think, is more complicated than it appears. Generally, when an athlete is pleasing to watch the person watching will like that athlete more and subconsciously rate him or her a little higher than he or she should be rated. However, when an athlete goes beyond stylish and into the realm of fancy, i.e., a "hotdog", now that athlete becomes overrated by the casual fan because that fan thinks, "wow (!), if he can do that he must be great." This concept becomes more complicated in the case of a very exciting player who is not necessarily fancy, but just very gifted athletically. The serious fan, in an attempt to display his perceived superior intelligence and knowledge, sometimes AUTOMATICALLY thinks of this type of athlete as being overrated because he "knows", more so than the casual fan, that being an exciting player to watch does not make that athlete great. The truth is actually somewhere in between, depending how fundamentally sound and consistent the athlete in question is when he performs. When an athlete is fundamentally sound and his stylish play does not affect his performance, I think the athlete becomes underrated by some serious fans who are misguided, but well-intended. For example, people who are not Michael Jordan fans think he is overrated because they think the casual fans overrate him because they were influenced by his spectacular dunks and drives to the basket. However, people who follow basketball closely know that Jordan was extremely fundamentally sound and probably the most consistent player in the history of the NBA. Hence, Jordan, ironically, is actually underrated by some people. However, an athlete who is fancy and not fundamentally sound deserves to be labeled as overrated. I do not know which athlete is the best example of someone who is overrated because they had "flash without substance", so I will just leave that thought up to you.

Eighth, the player excels offensively, and in relevant sports, is not a good defender. Lots of examples of this one -- fans and the media love players who score.

I refrained from giving you a definitive overrated athletes list for the reasons stated above, but I will talk about someone else's underrated list, because at least this is a positive list and, more importantly, the athletes on the list provide good examples of why and how athletes become underrated. (With the exception of Alex Rodriguez, all the athletes below that I use as examples were on the list.) ESPN Classic's "Who's #1: Most Underrated" series came out in 2006, and they listed and profiled 20 athletes, with Stan Musial coming in first and Otto Graham second. There were 9 baseball players, 4 football players, 3 basketball players, 2 boxers, 1 tennis player and 1 golfer. Notice that 16 of the athletes came from team sports and only 4 from individual sports (see above). Also notice that there are 9 (!) baseball players on the list. I do not think the only reason for this is because baseball is popular in the US -- otherwise there would probably be an equal number of football players (or close to it) on the list. I think it is because, as I alluded to above, baseball players have very little influence over whether their team wins a World Series. Hence, a baseball player could be truly great and not win any championships (unlikely in basketball). No championships, no publicity, and ultimately, no full appreciation of the player's talents.

Athletes get underrated when one or more specific things occur. (Not surprisingly, most of the reasons are the opposite of the reasons why athletes are overrated.) First, they play most or all of their career in a small market, and as a result they get less publicity and are seen by fewer people. Examples include baseball players Stan Musial and Hank Aaron, and basketball players George Gervin and Bob Pettit.

Second, they did not play on any (or maybe on only 1) championship teams for reasons already discussed. The same 4 players are still good examples and there are many more.

Third, a player does not perform well in the post-season and/or in the clutch. It is even worse if the athlete plays in New York, for example, Alex Rodriguez . While the player deserves to be criticized for not performing well at these times, sometimes the criticism is so intense that the player's career regular-season accomplishments start to become overlooked.

Fourth, the athlete played a long time ago and/or in the sport's infancy. It is hard to know for sure how great someone was if you never saw them play. Or, in some cases, never even heard of them. Good examples of this are football players Otto Graham and Don Hutson, baseball player Lefty Grove, Musial, and Pettit.

Fifth, a player is physically unattractive. I will leave any examples up to you for this one.

Sixth, the player had a not-so-charming personality. Again, this one is on you.

Seventh, the player was not-so-pleasing to watch. Players who are workmanlike and are not particularly stylish almost always get underrated, since they do not draw attention to themselves. Many of the players listed above would fall into this category, although certainly not Gervin or Rodriguez.

Eighth, a player is known more for his defense than his offense. Defense just does not get as much publicity and is not as glamorous. For example, basketball player Joe Dumars.

It is tough to know for sure if an athlete is actually underrated or overrated, and if he is, then why. Perhaps this article will clear things up a little. Or, perhaps not.

Mark D. Hauser

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


This is the world's first headphone that utilizes 6 independent sound chambers to create rich 6 channel surround-sound effects. Every other headphone in the market today claims to be 5.1! Don't be fooled by those "virtual" 5.1 headphones! You deserve REAL 5.1 channel headphones! ESound brings "virtual reality" to reality! LESTEN TO BELIEVE...

Have you ever noticed a lot of the top athletes in other sports are very good golfers. Quarterbacks in football are good golfers. Case in point: Tony Romo, who is the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is a very good golfer. He missed qualifying for the U.S. Open and the Byron Nelson golf tournaments by only a couple of strokes. Pitchers in baseball are very good golfers as well. Another case in point: Rollie Fingers, who is a retired pitcher qualified for next year's Senior Tour.

The reason athletes in other sports are good golfers is because the golf swing, when executed properly, is a natural athletic move. What is a natural athletic move? A quarterback throwing a football, a pitcher throwing a baseball, hitting a baseball, a forehand in tennis, and a hockey player shooting a puck are all natural athletic moves. The golf swing shouldn't be any different. The problem that most middle and high handicapped golfers have is trying to make a "golf swing" instead of a natural athletic move which other athletes make in their sports.

Try this image and feeling out next time you practice or play. You can even practice this in your garage or yard without hitting balls. Do you remember skipping stones across the lake when you were a kid? How about throwing a ball side arm? Go ahead, get up right now and mimic one of those motions. Did you notice anything resembling a golf swing...? If you made a natural motion of skipping a stone or throwing a ball, you made a motion of a correct golf swing. You also made a natural athletic move.

Full-time golf instructor and coach with The First Tee in Nashville, Tennessee.For more information go to

Friday, June 13, 2008

Spalding 15175 Multi-Sport Return Throw System

Want to improve your throwing and catching? Spalding's 15175 Multi-sport Return Throw System can help you to get better because it's ready to practice whenever you are. This multi-sport return throw system is 59-inches tall and 44-inches wide, with a one-inch, welded steel frame. This return throw features adjustable, steel-frame legs that allow multiple angles of return, so you can practice catching fly balls, grounders, and everything in between. The all-weather, nylon net is secularly attached by bungee cords, assuring a superior return, and it features an adjustable strike zone. The return throw also comes with four ground stakes for added stability and even folds up for easy storage.

Customer Review: Very Happy With This Product
I haven't used one of these ball returns since I was a kid, but I wanted my 7-year-old son to have an opportunity to practice like I use to. I was hesitant about ordering this, because surely it couldn't be as good as the one I use to have. Boy, was I wrong. This is a great ball return and is quite sturdy. Be prepared for the dreaded "some assembly required." The directions are far from good, and I eventually resorted to using the picture on the box for reference. But after it was assembled, it became fun to use and we look forward to many practice days ahead. I would highly recommend this.
Customer Review: Great for young aspiring athletes!
I purchased this for my grandson who is 5-1/2 and loves playing T-ball. It has helped him learn to be ready when the ball comes back to him to catch and he can play by himself without having someone else throw the ball to him. It is very sturdy and easily assembled.

If you a contemplating coaching little league baseball or you are already involved it is always good to step back and review your program and decide if you are still on track. I always remind myself that i am here for the players, after all this is all the the kids not the adults!

It is good to decide why you are coaching little league baseball or why you want to? In order to be successful in little league baseball a coach must have a plan and stick to that plan. Practices need to organized with the idea of keeping it snappy and interesting for the players. how do you do this??

Don't stay to long on the same drill! I can't stress this enough. Coaches always want to see there players perform a certain drill to perfection, that's great but if you stay on the drill too long players lose interest. I'm helping a guy who is the manager of a Major boys little league baseball team that my son was just drafted onto.

Just the other night we were doing a drill were 2 coaches hit balls at shortstop and 2nd base. This is a great drill however i felt like we stayed too long with it because the kids couldn't get to 10 in a row with out throwing the ball away or making a fielding error! You can always tell when they loose their focus. it should be 10 minutes no longer and then you say to them that will come back to that the next practice.

In order to get the most out of your players you have to keep in mind that they are young and to keep it fun and keep moving through the drills.

Another point to focus on is covering things that will happen in a game situation. Are you stressing things that will happen most of the time. Force outs, where to throw the ball from outfield in certain situations. Stress to your young players to always ask themselves if the ball comes to me what am I going to do with it??

Don't waste time on a situation that is not likely to come up very often. Remember we Don;t have a lot of time so make the most of it!

Getting back to a organized practice, always talk to your players just before practice starts about what they are going to learn today! Once practice is over go over what you worked on and then ask them what they learned. Coaches, remember long after the game is over players will remember how they were treated not what the score was.

For more information contact me at 406-542-1723

Stephen K Reynolds is publisher of the LSR Unlimted "Free" newsletter which focuses on helping newcomers & seasoned pros learn the secrets to marketing in the ever changing world of the internet! He also is a coach in youth baseball in Montana. working on the Internet allows him the freedom to coach little league baseball. For more information on this e-mail


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Baseball, The Nicaraguan Way

Well over a hundred years ago, baseball achievements and Nicaragua seemed unrelated concepts. The game of cricket was the popular sport in Nicaragua. Most of it had to do with the British occupying the Atlantic Coast in the late 1800s, but that soon changed when a man by the name of Albert Addlesberg who convinced a couple of the teams that baseball culture was taking over throughout the world. America had already seen some spectacular baseball achievements from around their country, and Addlesberg wanted the same in Nicaragua, even flying in the equipment from Louisiana.

However, Nicaragua didn't have its first official game until 1891 when Granada played against Managua. Fifty-one years later, the national stadium was built, and today holds as many as 40,000 fans to watch baseball games their national team plays. A team that is known around the world today as a national powerhouse used to be nothing more that a mixture of players who didn't even hail from the country itself.

While Nicaraguan players like Dennis Martinez and Marvin Bernard found their way into the major leagues, the style of play is a little different then how it is played in the States. You won't find many Nicaraguan players that run out infield grounders, that's an easy play for the opponent. Baseball in their country is more about pride, and the love for a game that all players feel they were born to do. It's not about the million dollar paycheck, but more about a tradition even at a younger age where everyone plays on Sunday.

A notable difference has to be the respect for the umpires. In the years before, it was normal for umpires and players to argue, but it used to escalate into fighting and everyone realized it wasn't healthy for the game. So today, you will find that if a questionable call arises during the game, temper tantrums are nowhere to be found, and the game just moves along. It has become a style that people know as Nicaraguan baseball.

There are a few other things that distinguish their style to America. For instance, the side-arm or three quarters pitching motion is the normal teaching in Nicaragua. Then of course, the team chemistry when a meeting is held on the mound is a customary measure of its own. You will find that the entire team, especially after the sixth inning, all players on the field will be involved with the meeting. Not like the U.S. where players are singled out, and unless you're the catcher or trying to be a team player, no one else listens in. You almost never see outfielders come to the mound for a meeting.

Even though these are just a few of the ways that baseball is played in Nicaragua, their baseball culture is one of a kind. We've only seen a handful of their players come to play professional ball in the States, but the ones that did have certainly made an everlasting impression. Sometimes it's not always about all the baseball achievements that a player accomplishes that make him a hero. No, sometimes it's just getting to the major league level, letting your other countrymen know the dream is possible.

Discover more about baseball training achievements on baseballtrainingsecrets.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

BMW Roundel Logo White Baseball Hat

BMW structured 100% cotton twill cap.BMW roundel logo on the front.Six-panel cap with Velcro closure at back.One size fit most.High quality brand new official BMW product.

Coaching Youth Baseball is a great experience for men and women to be involved in. One of the awesome things about being involved in it is the opportunity to be around young people and motivate them to be their best.

There are tons of books and materials on youth baseball so i wont try to re-invent the wheel here.
I just want to hit on some things that need to mentioned. Keep it simple!! The majority of reasons why teams aren't as good as they could be is because they don't do the simple things!

Coaches want to be smart and try to employ strategies that are just to sophisticated for young players especially for 9-10 year olds. Stick to the basics ground ball practice, fly balls, throwing fundamentals, basis pitching mechanics.

Incorporate games into the drills that way kids can see the result of why they need to use a technique correctly. Keep it light and fun that way your players keep coming back for more.

Remember long after the games are over the players will remember how they were treated, not what the score was!! Here is one for you Dads... Your Son or daughter will never be as good as you Thought you were!

Another important key is using stations, less standing around. lets face it there is never enough time as it is. The secret is to make good use of your time while you have your players.

Bottom line have fun with this great game and enjoy your time with the players it goes by very quickly!!

Stephen K Reynolds is publisher of the LSR Unlimted "Free" newsletter which focuses on helping newcomers and seasoned pros learn the secrets to marketing in the ever changing world of the internet! For more information on this e-mail



Major League Baseball 2K8

It's 2008 and it's time to hit home runs as 2KG Major League Baseball 2K8 brings you your best season ever. Thrilling features have been added to make this season more exciting. Are you out or in? Joe Morgan is announcing 2K8! Play ball!
Team play is more expansive as there are 90 minor-league teams added to the game, including authentic uniforms, many authentic minor-league stadiums, and a few generic ones as well. 2K8 also features a new baseball-card system, in which you can earn players' cards by completing certain tasks. You can then sell duplicate cards for credits to buy new card packs, which consist of 10 cards and may include a stadium or special team. But by far the coolest part of the card system is the online card battles. When you have enough player cards to fulfill the requirements of a full team, you can then combine your cards to create a team and take head-to-head against other gamers' card teams online. An entirely new and unique pitching interface which is unlike anything that's been done before. The main input comes from the right analog stick. The execution involves matching a gesture to throw the desired pitch. This enables a lot more granularity from the input than a digital face-button approach.
Revolutionizing your control of the 5 tools in baseball are brand new pitching, fielding and base running controls and completely overhauled batting interface. Featuring a totally unique trading card mode, robust Minor League system, all-new Signature Style animations for 2008, and more! 90 Minor League teams available in both Franchise and Exhibition modes Over 1 MILLION online gamers in the 2K community for head-to-head games
Customer Review: MLB 2K8 (Wii)
The game arrived earlier than I was told and was in perfect condition. It was the lowest price available and probably one of the best sellers.
Customer Review: Three steps away from great
Okay, if you're reading this review after having read a whole bunch from a lot of sites, including Amazon, you are probably as confused as I was before I picked this game up a couple of weeks ago. Well, I will try to be as up-front as I can about this game and hope that my comments help you decide to buy it. I titled the review "three steps away..." because the game is just that: GOOD, but not quite at "great" yet. The basics: Batting: This is only difficult if you can't get the hang of Wii Sports. It's all about timing. Hitting in a specific direction has never been easier, and I love the ease of bunting and hitting fly balls. (A) Pitching: I actually really enjoy the pitching. It is also timing based, but the fact that this sports game uses the Wii-mote effectively is a big plus. I also like the realistic movement on MOST pitches. There are a couple that move too much for a low-caliber pitcher, but nonetheless, pitching is solid. (A-) Fielding: The fielding controls are a little sensitive, but not unreasonable. I found myself diving when I didn't want to once or twice, but climbing the wall and sprinting when necessary are still pretty easy to accomplish. (B-) Depth: The lack of complete minors rosters is a bit frustrating. I am a fantasy baseball fan, so I'm seeing a few guys hit the majors right now that aren't in the game. BUT, for the most part, the rosters are okay. Some complain that trades weren't accounted for, but not having Santana on the Mets, while frustrating, isn't earth-shattering. The game modes are solid, but the lack of minors involvment is tough to have missed. I also enjoy the trading card system, which is NOT in this game. (C) So, the "three steps" are: - Graphics: No, this Wii isn't as advanced as 360 and PS3, BUT it should look better than PS2, right?!? - Depth: I think the lack of minors and trading cards is acceptable for the first year of this game, but I hope it makes it into 2K9 and beyond. - Fielding: The fielding is a bit choppy and inconsistent at times. This is the only gameplay gripe I've found, and it's not a huge one. I'd grade MLB 2K8 as a B-. I think the game is good, not great. I think that this first effort is a baseball sim that isn't complete. If they can get the graphics slightly better, add some depth, and tweak the minor gameplay issues, it will be an "A" game.

There are very few things more frustrating to an athlete than than to struggle at the plate as a hitter and not understand where the problem stems from. When I work with hitters, I focus on perfecting the functions of lower body mechanics because of the affect the lower body has on the upper half. Trying to solve upper body hitting mechanics without addressing the lower half first is like attempting to build a house beginning with the second story prior to building the basement - it doesn't work too well.

Some of the common mistakes that can be ironed out with some common lower body baseball drills are:

1. Collapsing of the backside (shoulder dipping)

2. Front side (hip) flying open

3. Hunching over the plate (upper body)

4. Hands extending away from body through swing

Here is what to check for as you work with the lower body mechanics of your athletes during some baseball drills.

As the hitter shifts some weight onto his back leg (the load) prior to the pitch, look to see if that weight continues to stay on the back side as the swing begins. Many hitters have the problem of letting their hips slide forward towards the pitcher during the beginning stages of the swing. This problem (often called floating) can be a major cause of some of the above problems.

Because I understand that visualizing the process I'm referring to in text can be tricky, there are a couple videos posted on my blog that will illustrate a proper trigger and lower body mechanics. Upon entering my blog, click on hitting on the left hand side of the screen and you will be able to view that will illustrate what I've written on.

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career coaching both high school and college baseball. His website, launched last year, contains information and videos on various baseball drills and mechanics as well as an instructional blog designed to aid in the development of well rounded baseball players.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Champion Sports Adult Baseball/Softball Uniform Belt

This Champion Sports adult uniform belt for baseball offers a comfortable elastic construction with durable, full-grain leather tabs. It measures 1.5-in wide and is sized 32 in - 46 in.

Runners on second and third. The pitch is low and outside and passes the catcher. The scramble is on and the catcher recovers the ball quickly to find the third base runner half way to home plate. Catcher makes a throw to third as runner retreats only to have the ball bounce off the batters bat which is on his shoulder.

The hundred dollar question here is did the batter commit interference? There are several answers to this daunting question.

First, was the Batter still in the batters box?

The batter is not required to leave the batters box on a passed ball unless a teammate is attempting to steal a base, then the batter is required to move out of the defenses way. So, in part 1 of this play, the batter moved correctly and there is no interference.

Has the Batter moved out of the batters box?

In our scenario his teammate is attempting to steal home plate, but then retreats after the catcher recovers quickly. So, on the retreat is the batter to return to the batters box? No, the batter should stay where the ended up on the initial play of the passed ball and steal attempt.

Did the Batter move to serve an intentional purpose?

If it is obvious, which I believe would be difficult if not impossible to distinguish, that the batter aligned himself to force the defender to work around his position to make the throw to third. It is unlikely that this can be determined, but if so, then yes, it is interference.

Was the Batter responding to instructions from the Umpire?

Particularly in little league where players, bless their hearts, follow instructions from the Umpire without giving it a second thought, Umpires often give instructions as a good intentioned part of the learning process.

Unfortunately, any Umpire giving any instruction removes the player being instructed from any liability or penalty arising from that instruction. During the course of any game, Coaches are to instruct and Umpires are to rule on what the Players do.

If we change our scenario slightly, the runner at third has a good lead, but does not attempt to steal home plate and is walking back to the base with his back to the catcher.

With the Batter still in the batters box, there would be no interference as the Batter is protected by being in the box.

Should the Batter leave the box, then his has committed interference as there was no play at home plate and the Batter had no reason to leave the batters box.

If the Batter following the Umpires instructions, then there is no interference as the Umpire is interfering with the game.

Was the batter intentionally getting in the way of the defender, then yes, it would be interference.

What is most important to remember is that the call on the field is up to the Umpire. They can only call what they witness. To argue what they witness does nothing but waste time and frustration everyone.

What you can argue are the rules and how they are applied to an event the Umpire witnessed.

For a complete call, the Umpire must have taken note that the runner attempted to advance on the passed ball. This is the critical moment of the decision as it results in two significantly different decisions.

Players must also be aware of their responsibilities. In our fist scenario, as the runner made an attempt then the Batter moved correctly. The latter found the Batter at fault.

Mr. Dowdy is the father of 3 and after re-entering competitive baseball with his oldest frustration of finding suitable glove is what lead him to become an Official Distributor for NW Kelley USA Click now for a free catalog or sign up your e-mail for special offers.

You can also visit the Hirsch Group site more news/tips/articles on the subjects of baseball, construction, building codes and more that most will find a quick way to fall asleep. You can even stop by the Hirsch Group Blog for current events

Thanks for reading my article!

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Peterson's "Super 16" Baseball Scorebook / Softball Score Book

The Peterson's Scoremaster "Super 16" Score Book is a 9" x 12" hardback baseball/ softball scoring book. It can provides scoring capabilities for up to 25 games (when recording both teams), 16 batting positions per team and a substitution slot for each of the 16 batting positions. Each page is equipped with pictorial scoring examples for easy to learn examples. The scorebook also features an area for prefigured batting averages. The Peterson's "Super 16" simplified scorebook also features: lineup cards, average chart, team schedule, instructions, season summary, and a team roster. Coaches and parents alike can use the Scoremaster as a reference of stat sheets to accumulate game by game records on each player. There are 4 pages in the back of the scoring book, each page has 12 perforated tear-out line-up sheets to hang in the dugout. Overall, the Peterson's Scoremaster Score Book is more than perfect for any baseball or softball team, especially Travel Teams.
Customer Review: Didn't hold up well under wet weather
This is a portrait layout scorebook which IMHO isn't as user-friendly as a landscape. It is helpful if you have large rosters and there is a continuous batting order (little league), but that's about the only plus I can see. The boxes are almost too small to use. The printed page ink ran in the rain, and the pages don't dry out very well afterwards. If someone opened the book to a blank page and the page got wet to any extent, it was unusable even when dry. Maybe some people like this style and brand, but I think there must be better.

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Seattle Mariners Franchise Fitted Baseball Cap

Founded in 1946, Twins Enterprise is the creator of The Franchise, their signature cap that is always the perfect fit. Twins has the exclusive rights to create fitted, relaxed caps for Major League Baseball. Several top universities (including Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, and North Carolina) look exclusively to Twins to create the Franchise cap for their students and fans. When Major League Baseball players celebrate winning their Division or the Wild Card they proudly wear caps manufactured and created by Twins Enterprise. Available in just about every major sport, as well as many impressive companies and brands, Twins Caps are everywhere. You may even be wearing one right now.

Customer Review: Go Mariners!
This is a great hat. When it first arrived, it was horridly tight fitting, but has since stretched out a bit to fit my head by wearing it about an hour each day. The emblem on the front is great quality. One of my favorite hats.

The Houston Astros made an incredible run to finish the 2005 regular season, stealing the Wild Card and defeating conference rival St. Louis in the playoffs on their way to the World Series. Having to win to make the playoffs got the Astros playing great baseball and gave them good momentum heading into the postseason. We saw this same effect with the Steelers this past NFL season when they had to win do or die games for over a month to make the playoffs. While other teams were coasting, such as St. Louis, Houston was playing to win.

Many analysts were saying that the Astros ran out of gas in the World Series. Realistically, they ran out of bats. They struggled to support their elite pitching staff all season long, and I dont see big changes on the offensive end on the horizon. It really hurt this team to lose Beltran and Berkmans numbers suffered slightly because of it as his 2005 stats were below his career averages. They dont have a strong lineup and rely heavily on their pitching staff to pick up wins. Outside of Berkman, Morgan Ensberg is the only guy with any punch, after hitting .283 last season with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs.

The Astros have started slow the past several seasons and have caught fire down the stretch. They have especially struggled early on versus left handed pitching as they started last season winning just 4 of their first 18 against south paws and just 1 of their first 12 on the road versus lefties. It would be wise to take a look at this team in the early going to see if a similar trend develops. The pitching staff has really carried this squad the last two seasons and last year they held opponents to only a .246 opposing batting average, which was the best in the major leagues. Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, and Brandon Backe form a decent top three, but they will be anxiously awaiting to see if Roger Clemens is going to make his way back into an Astros uniform. The bullpen has developed great talent over the years, with Dotel, Wagner, and now Brad Lidge. Lidge struggled in the playoffs but Im expecting him to recover and have an impressive season after picking up 42 saves last season.

The Astros have become a fan favorite and one of those teams that people really enjoy betting on. A lot of that comes from them playing in the same division as the Cardinals and Cubs and getting a lot of quality games against ace pitchers. With that being said, you can really benefit by opening up multiple sportsbook accounts so you can keep track of where the public money is going and hit up advantageous lines. Look at the sponsors at this site and you will never be stuck with a losing sportsbook, just ones that pay when you making winning picks.

This article was written by Jimmy Boyd Pick up his Free MLB Picks here.

Jimmy Boyd is an expert baseball handicapper who releases free MLB picks daily.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Oakland A's Franchise Fitted Baseball Cap

Founded in 1946, Twins Enterprise is the creator of The Franchise, their signature cap that is always the perfect fit. Twins has the exclusive rights to create fitted, relaxed caps for Major League Baseball. Several top universities (including Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, and North Carolina) look exclusively to Twins to create the Franchise cap for their students and fans. When Major League Baseball players celebrate winning their Division or the Wild Card they proudly wear caps manufactured and created by Twins Enterprise. Available in just about every major sport, as well as many impressive companies and brands, Twins Caps are everywhere. You may even be wearing one right now.

Customer Review: What do you say about a hat?
It arrived at my place within 2 days, and it fit. That's worth 5 stars anyday. The pictures on Amazon make it look darker than it really is. It was hard for me to tell that it was green from the pictures, but in real life it is easy to tell.

The floundering Yankees managed to win one yesterday. Many are questioning A Rods tatics in the top of the ninth. With the Yankees up by two runs, Alex Rodriguez was running from first on a pop fly by Jorge Posada. As the Blue Jay Clark, 3b, was preparing to catch the pop fly with McDonald, ss, backing up the play; A Rod let out a yell. This yell was heard by Clark as one of his team mates calling him off and he backed off at the last moment. McDonald was unable to make the catch and the ball fell in for a hit.

The controversy started immediately. Umpire Chad Fairchild had to seperate McDonald and Rodriguez when McDonald started jawing with Rodriguez. The Blue Jays manager entered into the onfield dispute and the homebase umpire had to intervene. Rodriguez remained at third base with his smirk, until he came into score on Giambis single.

Rodriguez later brushed aside the Blue Jays anger, saying the Yankee$ were desperate for a win.

Honestly, I couldnt care less, he said. They have their opinions. Were looking not to be swept.

The thing about the Yankees, one of the reasons theyre so respected, is they do things right. Always have, manager John Gibbons said. Theyve got a lot of pride and a lot of class. They play the game hard. Thats not Yankee pride right there, he said. Thats not the way they play. I thought it was bush league.

It sounds like the sort of thing that would happen during an unsupervised game on the sandlots or a beer ball game. Technically there is nothing wrong with what A Rod did. After all, he didnt go out of the baseline or try to bowl over the player fielding the ball. Players really should know the voices of their other team mates.

In the final analysis, Alex resorted to a parlor trick trying to fan the embers in the overbloated bellies of his fellow Yankee$. It smacks of misplaced desperation.

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Pre-season Player Projections Blog, March 8th :: Fantasy Baseball 2008

Philadelphia Phillies Franchise Fitted Baseball Cap

Founded in 1946, Twins Enterprise is the creator of The Franchise, their signature cap that is always the perfect fit. Twins has the exclusive rights to create fitted, relaxed caps for Major League Baseball. Several top universities (including Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, and North Carolina) look exclusively to Twins to create the Franchise cap for their students and fans. When Major League Baseball players celebrate winning their Division or the Wild Card they proudly wear caps manufactured and created by Twins Enterprise. Available in just about every major sport, as well as many impressive companies and brands, Twins Caps are everywhere. You may even be wearing one right now.

Customer Review: Nice cap, but XL is made too small
Nice hat but sizing is not 100% accurate. XL size was made too small and the brim was also on the small size. On my large noggin (24 inches around) it looked like a child's cap. I gave it to a co-worker with a slightly smaller brain, er, head and it looked fine on him.
Customer Review: good hat for the price
Nothing much to say. It was cheap, and it's a hat. I'm wearing it right now and it feels fine. I got it as a Goldbox deal, so I can't really complain because it was very cheap. You could easily pay double for this item in a store.

Jackie Robinson transcended the color barrier in major league baseball and became a hero for humanity. He was an icon for civil rights and helped lead the way for other ballplayers. A true inspiration to us all. An example of bravery and courage. Baseball was simply a vehicle for Jackie Robinson to bring light to the problems of racism in a time when racism was high.

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the major leagues in 1947. He was a leader and knew the hardships that would follow. He exhibited extreme bravery and it took a man of Jackie's magnitude to handle all the problems that followed. He was so important to civil rights and helped lead the way for others to follow. An above and beyond leader whose number 42 will never ever be worn again in any major league park.

Having Jackie Robinson debut with the Brookly Dodgers in 1947 was one of the greatest civil rights moments in our history. It was made possible by Branch Rickey who served as the club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was wonderful that Jackie got his chance to play in major league baseball, and it was a tragedy that the fiber of America during that time was so full of racism.

It has taken a man of Jackie's temperament and courage to help change the ugly face of racism in America. Mr. Robinson was a man of a fiery temperament who was asked to stay calm during his first couple of years and handle the pressure. I don't believe any other man could have handled the pressure. And because of his courage and bravery and willingness to stand tall, barriers have been brought down and continue to do so.

It is for these reasons that Jackie Robinson should be so honored. His jersey's number will never ever be worn again. He is an example of others to follow and in his words he stated: "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

Jackie Robinson will always be a true civil rights hero who just happened to play baseball.

Bill Bathe - former major league ballplayer who played in 1989 world series. Been coached by Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, and Dusty Baker to name a few. You can learn more by visiting which provides tips, advice, drills, equipment and video analysis of your swing. Also, inspirational stories and pictures of the journey to the big leagues.

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How To Hit A Baseball

This gets really down to the nitty gritty of do you really really care or want to know how? One of the first things you should do is canvas all the baseball players you know. Ask them to show you how to hit a baseball. Pay particularly close attention for you see they

may have the whole answer. They each one in his or her own way will give you their version of what you must do to know how to hit a baseball. You might even find one or two which duplicate some of the mechanics of how to hit a baseball.

Let me ask you a question or so about what you found out during this quest to learn about how to hit a baseball. Did anyone tell you to pay close attention to the placement of your elbow when in the hitters stance awaiting the next pitch? How about this one how many instructed you to place your feet an exact way when you stepped into the batters box to get ready?

How many of your ball players told you, "You must remember to always hold your head steady to be able to hit the ball?" Did anyone tell you to stand real close to the home plate or to stand well back deep in the batters box? Do you remember any of these players saying, "You must always swing your bat level when striking at the ball." How about this one , "Spread your feet as far apart as you can and still be comfortable to swing your bat."

All of that instruction you received coming from different people most likely was all different. Of all the things you were told which one did you feel natural , relaxed and confident that it would definitely make you hit the baseball? If you tell me one thing for sure that you remember and know will make you hit the baseball then for goodness sake put it in your memory bank and calculator called your brain for it will indeed help you accomplish and know how to hit a baseball.

All the rest of the how to hit a baseball you gathered is just so much "PHOOEY."

Here are some names of some of the best baseball hitters who ever played the game of baseball and you tell me me which ones listed had the same style, same mechanical swing of the bat , same stance, same position in the batters box etc etc.

Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe Dimaggio, Stan Musial, Barry Bonds, Honus Wagner, Nap Lajoie, Hank Aaron, Wee Willie Keeler, Mickey Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski , Roger Maris. I think you will have to conclude these were all great hitters and you will also note they all had their own unique style and way of how to hit a baseball.

How to hit a baseball foremost and always must be your very own natural way. Gain the knowledge for the essential elements involved in how to hit a baseball and apply that knowledge to your very own natural way to get the job done.

Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....

Major Wiley B. Channell USMC (ret) invites you to come visit and learn the five essential elements of Hitting A Baseball at:

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why Do They Call It Shortstop?

Happy Spring,

Shortstop duties Part #2

The shortstop will need to back up throws to third base on steal attempts. The left fielder will also be helping out on backups, but the shortstop is the best chance to cut down runner trying to score on an overthrow.

For one thing they will be closer to the play. The shortstop usually has a more accurate arm, and is used in making these kinds of throws. Being mentally ready and recognizing runners beginning to steal, gives them that split second jump to get into position to back up the throw.

It is the shortstop's duty to yell loudly as the runner begins to steal. So make sure to have the shortstop hustle over and back up third base, that's the best chance to nail a runner trying to advance home.

When there is a bunt to the left side, the wheel play requires your shortstop to quickly cover third base to take the throw from the pitcher, or catcher to tag or force the runner at third. It is vitally important that the shortstop get the sign to all the players involved, since this is a timing play. Straddling the base in an athletic position, allows the shortstop to adjust for an offline throw and still make a play.

Shortstops must also be the relay man on a ball hit past the left or center fielders. Knowing the arm strengths of your outfielders is crucial. You must be positioned as a relay man to make short accurate throws to the bases.

In other words, don't have your shortstop go so far into the outfield that they will have a long throw to whatever base they are throwing to. This is where mental preparedness will help your shortstop. If they already know that your right fielder has a great arm, have them set up where there is a realistic shot at third base. A relay throw that bounces to you is far better than relay throw over your head. These are all the minute details of baseball that are often overlooked by many coaches.

For an accurate quickly relay throw, they must receive the ball with your glove shoulder pointing toward the infield or base you are throwing to. The shortstop must catch the baseball, transfer, and throw all in one motion.

This quick smooth transfer will save you precious time to get the base runner out on a close play. Shortstops with strong throwing arms are an asset on relay throws. They can gun down base runners trying to move up and possibly score. When the opposing team sees your team has a strong relay technique, they won't be so aggressive on the bases.

Shortstops must also be very vocal on short hops or fly balls into the outfield. When your shortstop is certain it is a ball they can catch , they must continue to yell loudly to ward off your outfielders. If the fly ball has been in the air for a long time, the outfielder may call them off. They actually have a better route to the ball. They are also coming in, so if they hear the outfielder call for the ball, clear out, and let them have it. They have run a long way for the ball, so let them have the reward. They also have a lot of momentum, and we want to avoid collisions at all costs. That is why practicing fly ball drills is so very important.

The position of shortstop requires a special athlete. It also requires the coaching staff to have all the knowledge they can get to maximize this position. Do your best to study or research as much coaching material as you can. A well coached team is a pleasure to watch. That part is your responsibility.

Thanks for your time.
Coach Chip

Chip Lemin has been a promoter of youth baseball since they started using aluminum bats. That's a long time. I have witnessed many good people get into coaching without solid coaching skills and it is not fun for them or the kids.Today's newer coaches are also being shortchanged on sportsmanship, like there is none. Visit my site to sign up for a insightful, informational, free coaching e-course at

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