Saturday, May 30, 2009

SB FROST NIXON ruined by the Chewbacca Defense

Recently I saw an outstanding movie that I highly recommend called Frost Nixon. In the flick, the disgraced US President Richard Nixon, played Oscar worthy by actor Frank Langella, is interviewed by David Frost and their discussion of the Watergate scandal is fascinating, powerful, and brilliant. Frost is unafraid to ask all the tough "no holds bar" questions and, in the end gets the better of Nixon who finally admits to lapses in judgement.

On a much lighter note (it is "only" softball) I thought the Big Apple Committee would follow David Frost's lead and ask all the tough questions regarding the issue of whether John Brown is a Superstar pitcher.
The official league decision on JB is as follows :

"The decision on John Brown being banned as a superstar is found by the committee to be without merit because for 2 years in a row at the league meeting the managers voted to define the superstar pitcher as being significantly better than John Brown, etc. He hasn't improved that much since March. What we're doing is getting a league wide vote to repeal the superstar pitcher rule and concentrate on legal motion--to not allow slingshot or windmill pitchers + eliminate the blatant slingshotters that we have had recently. "
The first part of this explanation makes no sense to me and is flat out stupid. Sorry guys I know and respect all of you, but it is stupid but that's how the league rules are currently written. It's basically just some mumbo jumbo double talk loophole like the famous South Park Chewbacca Defense
that keeps a dominant "superstar" non-modified pitcher like John Brown in the league and does nothing to improve fair competition in 2009. That's the way it is.

On a positive note and to be fair, the second half of the statement that reads "getting a league wide vote to repeal the superstar pitcher rule and concentrate on legal motion" is very encouraging and definitely worth pursuing in 2010 and beyond. I sincerely wish the league the best with this aspiration. However, calling the current ruling and rules stupid pretty much makes my chances on getting on the committee zero. Se la vie
PS If I ever get accused of a crime (definitely a possibility) I want Rosenmiller defending me and the Big Apple Committee on the jury b/c if all else fails everyone knows a Wookie does not belong on Endor.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Tonight I umped an obscure Yorkville game on Grand Street in the rain. Usually nothing to write a blog about, but tonight was different. The losing Team, BALCO, sucked but they had one hitter #1 named CRUNCHO who was amazing. He hit three lasers for homer over LCF on field #2. Amazing. Simply amazing.

Much props

Vegas odds Americas Next Top SB Commissioner

Much props to my fellow Cardinal Spellman High Alumni Sonia Sotomayor
who President Barack Obama tapped for the Supreme Court, making her the first Hispanic in history picked to wear the robes of a justice.


It took balls and vision for Barack to select Sonia so it got me to thinking who would I tap as Americas Next Top SB Commissioner.

While I might not be as stunning as Americas Next Top Model host
Tyra Banks
I am as opinionated, qualified, obnoxious and ... like her humbled by a recent battle of the bulge to the Search for Americas Next SB Commissioner

Current Vegas Odds are as follows:

2 to 1

Lou "22" Gonzalez - Big favorite, Dude the guy's nickname is the "Commish" - tough to top that

3 to 1

Gilberto Gonzalez - If you think pitching rules are tight in Inwood you ain't seen nothing yet. Gilberto would rule with an Iron Fist

25 to 1
Jimmy Bitros One of the kindest people I know, but just wouldn't want the job b/c he doesn't want people hating him.

Joel Goldman (middle below)
Too Right Wing. The people would revolt!!!!! Que Viva La Revolucion

500 to 1
No one would understand him plus he makes too much money grounds keeping to take the job.

1,000 to 1
Dio JacksonWould give speeches that not even Obama could match, but would be impeached Richard Nixon style.

I would pick Gil, but what do you the readers think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Speech Making Managers

What would a softball game be without the pre-game, in-game, and post game speech by the SB manager/coach. So without much further ado
Top Ten SB Manager/Coach Speech Makers

10. Pete Martinez - Merrill Lynch.
Like James Brown Pete is the godfather of Softball

Pete's mad old skool, he doesn't fuck around and gives you mad tough love
Pre-game Speech: "Fellas these guys your playing suck, but if you don't put it on these boys right away before you know it it will be the 4th inning and the score will only be 3-2 us, then in the 7th it will be 4-3 them and then YOU'LL SUCK. Now let's go out there and take care of business"
In-Game Speech : "You motherfuckers are looking professional"
Post-Game Speech : "Good job coming out tonight and next week, uh excuse me Ricky why the Fuck are you talking when I'm talking. Shut up and Listen before I send you home"

9. Ben Manelli Pipefitters
Pre-Game Speech
: "Hi"
In-Game Speech: "Ok I'm cool with that"
Post-Game Speech "Thanks for coming"

8. Dio Jackson- WestLanders
The pre-game speech is not enough for Dio, he sends out about 1,000 text messages during the week about everything from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Pre-game Speech: "Focus. Stick Together. Trust me I have a plan. These guys are men just like us. Who cares what anyone says. Play the game. I love you guys". Honestly, I could go on and on, but think Denzel Washington in "Remember the Titans" In-game Speech : "Stay with Me" - in other words your out of the game, as you can see him telling me below

Post Game Speech: "I love you guys but we need to play Westlanders softball. Stick with me. I have a plan. Now let's go hang out and drink beers"

8. Blonde - Knockout KA Fidel Castro below

Pre-Game Speech : "Rick read the lineup"

In-Game Speech : " "

Post-Game Speech : " "

7. John Sheppard - Championship Manager

Pre-Game Speech: "Ricky read the lineup" - common wise choice as experienced guy has loudest mouth read the lineup

In-Game Speech: 3 Classics

"Not for nothing, but guys leave the umpires to me".

"Ricky shut up and do as I say"

"I don't care what anyone says about your Ricky I love you"

Post Game Speech:"Where's Smokey?"

6. Mike Mena - Bombers

Pre-Game Speech: "Guys I made the lineup last night and here it is

In-Game Speech: not applicable - Mike is very laid back and easy going

Post Game Speech:"Pay your league fee guys"

5. Lou "22" Gonzalez - one of the greatest softball competitors and players around. Lou never manages, but is always in charge. Lou gets your ready for softball war. After he speaks I'm ready to storm the beach at Normandy!

Pre-Game Speech: "We're here to win. Don't sleep on these guys they can do xyz and beat us. Just cause you won 1 championship that's nothing your a one hit wonder like Minny Vanilli, you got to build a reputation of continued excellence. We came to win"

In-Game Speech: "You've seen this pitcher already make the adjustment"

Post Game Speech:"Great Job guys. You beat a seasoned quality opponent and every single one of you did something to help us win"

4. Charlie and Brian - Westies
Pre-Game Speech : "Nice to see you"
In-Game Speech : "Sit this inning and then go to Cf next inning"
Post-Game Speech :"Nice to see you again see you next week"

2. John RosenMiller - Choice Parts
Pre-Game Speech : "Where are my cigarettes?"
In-Game Speech : "Good call Mr. Johnson" & "Where are my cigarettes?"
Post-Game Speech: "Where are my cigarettes?"

and the Number One SB Manager/Coach Speech Makers

1. Bob Morello - Charter Fabric
Pre-Game Speech :
"Guys take a strike and don't throw the ball around"
In-Game Speech : "Guys take a strike and don't throw the ball around"
Post-Game Speech : "Guys take a strike and don't throw the ball around"

Saturday, May 23, 2009


What is tougher to find in Softball an excellent leadoff hitter or a top notch cleanup batter? Inquiring minds want to know.

Let's put the 3 hitter aside for now, b/c that's usually your best batter, and by default for the most part the best batter hits 3rd in most lineups.

My personal initial reaction is a leadoff batter, but lets look at it more closely.

Let's Look at Qualification's

Elite Leadoff Batter Skills:
(1) Speed
(2) Ability to hit deep in counts, AKA Take pitches
(3) Line drive hitter with reasonable pop. In other words, he's not a slap hitter, he can drive in runs and the other team cannot play shallow. This will allow him to get his share of bloop hits and bloop hits plus speed leads to doubles and more runs scored.
(4) Hit to all fields. Combine this skill with #1 and this puts a lot of pressure on the defense.

Guys who fit these skills are Lefty, Hector,Elvis, Dusty, Vic, Eric Z, Cabezza, and my old skool favorite Jack Steinman

Elite Clean Up Hitter Skills
(1) Line Drive (LD) power. There is no defense for line drive power. If you have LD power to all fields, then your a major threat that the defense has to play straight up.
(2) Good RBI man. In other words, likes to hit with men on base and comes through in those situations. "Clutch"
(3) Offer protection to the 3 hitter. If he has characteristics #1 & 2 above, then the other team will have to pitch to the 3 hitter. If your 3 hitter gets going, then your offense is really clicking on all cylinders.
(4) Will take his walks, usually the more power you have the more walks you get. In other words, smart hitter.

Guys with these skills are Ricky Nen, Carlos Con, Castillo, Sito, Danny Vasquez, Eddie Brown, Jamie & Wayne from the "Cardinals"

There are other factors to consider like the field you play on, and the other needs on your team, but if I had my druthers I would probably pick an elite leadoff batter. I believe you need to start the offensive fire as quickly as possible, but hey to each is own. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject


Friday, May 22, 2009

Softball GroundHog Day on May 21st

It's the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, but last night I couldn't help but feeling the way Bill Murray did in the classic movie Groundhog Day.

In the movie Murray's character was a selfish news reporter forced to cover a quaint little human interest story about how a small town celebrated Groundhogs day. However. he thought the story was beneath him and acted like an asshole to everyone and just wanted the story to be over. As punishment the magic of groundhogs day forced him to relive the same day over and over again. At first, he thought it was cool b/c he could eat, drink, and do anything he wanted without worrying about the ramifications of tomorrow.But that charm soon wore off, and he started going mad

Well last night turned into a Softball Groundhogs day for me.
I had it all planned out. I would 1st play in a modified game in Red Hook in the Wall Street League (WSSL) ( and then take a quick 5-10 minute ride and umpire a non competitive division II Yorkville Men's modified game on grand street . I was thinking this would be the Best of Both World's - Play ball and make some easy money on the same night, and for a while everything was going according to plan. We played a brisk 1 hour game in Red Hook and I was on grand street in my umpire uniform 10 minutes before game time.

Things even got better as the men's modified game I was umping looked to be a mercy as the Flex Bruisers got out to a commanding 12-2 lead after 2 innings over a team called the Cough Drops ( I can't make that up). Like I said Easy money.
Yeah right.
As the Agent of Chaos the Joker would say "And Here we Go" and soon Chaos erupted!!
The Flex Bruiser pitcher could not throw a strike, Not a single goddamn one. It turned into every umps groundhogs day nightmare. A long poorly played and walk filled game. The Cough Drops rallied for several runs and they game turned into a seesaw back and forth marathon. After 4 innings the score was 18-17. Let me repeat that, 4 inings and a 18-17 score, Brutal.
I just wanted this day to be over, built SB Groundhogs day continued. I had hope in the 5th when the Bruisers launched an 11 run assault and got the score to 29-17, which was right at the 12 run mercy rule limit. All I needed was 3 outs and I was out of dodge. In the bottom of the 5th, the Cough Drops loaded the bases with 2 outs, and their 3 batter lined a shot to LCF and the game appeared to be over, but the kid dropped the ball and it went for a grand slam. No Mercy. No Justice. No Peace. The game must go on.
This two plus hour "offensive" display finally ended with the Bruisers winning 29-24, and the game only ended b/c the lights went out.
Groundhogs Day for me on May 21st was finally over and my lesson was learned, as an ump never wish for a mercy

Monday, May 18, 2009

Judge Mountain CJ Landis

Last week I wrote a blog
blasting EMS and Saturday Central Park Softball umpire James Flowers for terrible officiating in the WolfPack-Cavalier game. Well I was mad as hell an wasn't going to to take it anymore so I emailed EMS commissioner
CJ Johnson @ CJCOMMISH@AOL.COM to complain. I didn't expect CJ to act as aggressively as legendary MLB commissioner Judge Mountain Landis
but to his credit he did.
CJ took control. He researched the matter, verified my story, and suspended James. CJ gets dissed and criticized a lot, at times for good reason, but this time he got the job done right.
Well done.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The road to Hell's Kitchen is paved with good intentions

They say "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions". I guess that means good ideas go wrong, and with Hell's Kitchen (HK), softball (my team) the jury is still out, but yesterday we got a little heavenly help to earn a doubleheader sweep over the Bombers in the Big Apple League to improve to 4-2 overall. A long winter of recruiting and over recruiting (is there such a thing as over recruiting???) paid off for HK as despite being without Joe Soto, George Colon, Sito Baez, Issac "Gubi Delgado , and Mike McDonough the new players plus established veterans got the job done.

In game one, new pitcher Andy Muldanado gave the HK a big boost by throwing 4 strong innings before having to go to work. Before Andy departed, HK jumped all over Bomber Ace and softball pitching legend Cedric to build a commanding 8-0 lead. The 8 run explosion was capped by a three run blast by new HK player Walter Mercado. Please do not confuse our version of Walter Mercado with the outlandish Spanish horoscope guy

Our Walter is a much better hitter, dresser, and a Hell of a lot more honest.

On a side note, one of the more entertaining moments of game 1 was the confrontation between me and Cedric. During my at bat he start yelling Johnny Castillo as he pitched, he eventually walked me and really pissed me the fuck off. Whatever, its my fault I should have ignored him, like Jay-Z raps "you shouldn't argue with fools b/c from a distance you can't tell who's from who ".

In game 2, the Bombers jumped out to a early lead as Angry Jack tripled in 3 runs against an over shifted HK outfield. HK ace Edgar Jr held the Bombers at bay the rest of the way and its a good thing he did b/c crafty lefty Bomber veteran hurler Teddy had HK sleeping and reeling all game by limiting us to 2 scratch runs over the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Bomber manager Rudy Randolph properly went back to his ace, Cedric, to close out the game. Cedric was about to survive some hard hit balls and walks to safely get out of the 6th until HK caught a break on misplayed fly ball and a booted grounder to take a 5-4 lead that we never relinquished.
Good Sweep.

Hell Tidbits

John Sheppard resumed his role as team manager..... Angelo Gonzalez continues his stellar defensive play at 1B... Aaron Fernandez finally wore a hat during a game -- sideways of course, Aaron was also late - of course :)), Alfi Hernandez has the fast track at winning rookie of the year in the Big Apple league with his solid play at SS...... Edgar Jr is carrying the pitching staff, hopefully Andy will ease his burden and Meyers will return, Issac "Gubi" Delgado had to sit out the double header with a back injury, unfortunately he stayed at the game and told everyone how good he is all day long. Ricky is kuku ... As expected Mr Johnson umped the game and Ricky, Shepard and Angelo didn't argue or say a word to him. I gotta give him credit he did a good job, is better/smarter than Ump Mr. James, but is still

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dumb Ump Jokes

Recently stunning Miss California Carrie Prejean
has said & done a lot of dumb things like bashing gay marriage and have nude pictures surface that have negatively affected her career.
While I know you might not have noticed b/c your eyes where elsewhere but the young lady is a blond and as everyone knows "Dumb Blond" jokes are famous.

Here are some corny Dumb Blond jokes :
A Blond was Fired from pharmacy job for failing to print labels b/c ....."duh".....bottles won't fit in typewriter!!!

A Blond got excited b/c she finished jigsaw puzzle in 6 months.....the box said "2-4 years!"

A Blond tried to go water skiing.....but couldn't find a lake with a slope.

A Blond lost breast stroke swimming competition.....she learned later, other swimmers cheated, they used their arms!!!

A Blond got locked out of car in rain storm.....her car got swamped, because top was down.

When a blond was asked what is the capital of California she said "C".....isn't it???

Why do Blonds Hate M & M's.....b/c they are so hard to peel.
A Blond baked a turkey for 4 1/2 days b/c the instructions said 1 hour per pound and she weighed 108!!!
A blond was in danger but Couldn't call 911 b/c .."duh".....there's no "eleven" button on the phone!!!
Ok Ok Ok enough already with the dumb blond jokes b/c blonds aren't the only ones who are dumb, there are dumb umpires out there.You all know about how I feel about Mr. Johnson
He's awful, but now he has company ... Umpire James Flowers from EMS and the Saturday Central Park League is just as bad. Maybe dumber.
I hate blaming umps. Players make or don't make plays that's what decides over 95% of the games. I'm an ump I know umps do make mistakes and blow calls. I can deal with that. But what I can't stand more than anything is an ump who is bruto (ignorant), confrontational, and lazy. That pretty much sums up James ... so CJ and Steve if your reading get rid of him b/c he's a a walking lobotomy.
Top Ten "You Know your Ump is Dumb" jokes
10. He yells play ball & throws a basketball out to the pitcher instead of a clincher softball
9. When asked when a slinger is throwing illegal he replies "He's good"
8. When you ask for time and he tells you its 3:30 pm
7. When he tells you he missed the call b/c he was looking at his clicker - Howie Pelham Bay did this once and it cost us a game - liar and idiot
6. When he calls foul on a ball that starts foul and rolls back fair in the IF before it passes 1st or 3rd base that was not touched. James did this last night. Know the rules moron
5. When he yells safe but makes the out sign - dumb.. happens so much
4. When he makes you play in a snowstorm or blatantly unplayable weather. Actually he's not dumb here just greedy. He wants to make a lousy $40-$50 bucks and doesn't care if anyone gets hurt. In Spanish its called "Se Hace el Bobo" - he plays the fool/dummy
3. When the count is full and men on base, he hears a coach say take off on the release so when the pitcher throws the ball he runs to 1B
2. When he walks up to ump partner to help get a call right and he still gets it wrong. This makes him look so bad and incompetent. Truly a joke
and the Number One "You Know your Ump is dumb" joke
1. This one is actually not a joke, it's dangerous. When an ump let's a team argue balls and strikes every play rather than issue one warning to both teams. This leads to tension and him losing control of the game. The game ends up a goon fest with the potential for a riot. Sure fire idiot move

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Modified Movement

For 2 1/2 years I have blogged about the pitching inequities in the Big Apple Softball League. I challenged the status quo and basically got ignored by teammates and league officials alike. I was politely told "I'm glad your not deciding the pitching rules in this league". Perhaps it was my approach, age, loud annoying voice, all of the above, whatever, but now I feel vindicated as last week the league banned 3 non-modified pitchers now a formal "superstar" complaint has been lodged against the best pitcher in the league John Brown. It was only a matter of time, and I'm sure other pitchers will be ousted using this "superstar" classification loophole.

Do I sound like I'm gloating, bitter, and dare we say happy???


More importantly, I'm happy that change is finally happening and while I disagree with the superstar classification methodology it is my most sincerest wish that a movement toward ASA modified pitching rules take place enforced by competent umpires. If someone follows the rules, then they should not be punished for achieving excellence. The goal in running a league should be fair and strong competition, and I believe if ASA modified pitching is followed the Big Apple League will be better and stronger than ever.

Your getting closer guys now finish the job

I've spoken to many players around the league and they are ver

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dear Mama ... You are appreciated

Sunday May 10th is Mother's Day so No Softball!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why is this?
Top Ten Reasons No League Softball is played on Mothers Day
uhhhh.. I think this is one occasion where no Top Ten is needed and the answer is self-explanatory.

Enjoy the day with the special ladies in your life in the meantime here is every true ghetto's kid favorite family song, "Dear Mama" by the late great Tupac

"Dear Mama"

You are appreciated

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a foolwith the big boys, breakin all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister
Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddy's, the same drama
When things went wrong we'd blame mama
I reminice on the stress I caused, it was hell
Huggin on my mama from a jail cell
And who'd think in elementary?Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day
And runnin from the police, that's right Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, mama You always was a black queen, mama
I finally understand for a woman it ain't easy tryin to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it
There's no way I can pay you back But the plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

Lady... Don't cha know we love ya?
Sweet ladyDear mama Place no one above ya,
sweet lady You are appreciated Don't cha know we love ya?

Now ain't nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn't there
He passed away and I didn't cry, cause my anger wouldn't let me feel for a stranger
They say I'm wrong and I'm heartless, but all along I was lookin for a father he was gone
I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin I needed money of my own so I started slangin
I ain't guilty cause, even though I sell rocks It feels good puttin money in your mailbox
I love payin rent when the rent's due I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
Cause when I was low you was there for me And never left me alone because you cared for me
And I could see you comin home after work late You're in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate
Ya just workin with the scraps you was given And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin
But now the road got rough, you're alone
You're tryin to raise two bad kids on your own And there's no way I can pay you back But my plan is to show you that I understand

You are appreciated

Pour out some liquor and I reminsce, cause through the dramaI can always depend on my mama And when it seems that I'm hopeless You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid To keep me happy there's no limit to the things you did And all my childhood memories Are full of all the sweet things you did for me And even though I act craaazy I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate, how you raised me And all the extra love that you gave me I wish I could take the pain away If you can make it through the night there's a brighter day
Everything will be alright if ya hold on It's a struggle everyday, gotta roll on
And there's no way I can pay you back But my plan is to show you that I understand
You are appreciated

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Today the Big Apple league announced the following ruling :
"The following pitchers are banned from pitching in the Big Apple League. (They may remain on their team's active roster as players at other positions):
Ramesh Samuel (Bombers)
Sleepy Genao (O'Hanlons)
Bobby Langer (Contact)"
The Official League report reads as follows "
- Begin statement
Report of the Commissioner’s Committee
May 7, 2009

The Commissioner Committee met on May 3, 2009 to discuss complaints that several pitchers have violated BASL Rules. The meeting lasted two hours. In addition, the Committee requested that each manager provide the Committee with his views and opinions. To date, responses have been received from all teams except O’Hanlon’s.

The Committee held an initial vote on May 3rd and re-affirmed its vote on May 6, 2009. Following is the Committee’s report and conclusions.


1. Facts and Review

On April 26th, Ramesh Samuel of the Bombers participated in a pitching audition before the Committee to determine if he is an “approved” pitcher in the BASL. The audition lasted no longer than 10 minutes. Committee members report that the level of talent Ramesh demonstrated in the audition ranged from mediocre to good. The Committee did not observe Ramesh pitching at a superstar level.

Based on the level of talent it observed, the Committee ruled that Ramesh was “approved” to pitch in the league. At the time, Bombers’ Manager Rudy Robinson did not inform the Committee that Ramesh could pitch better than he did during the audition. In a later statement to the Committee, Rudy stated that Ramesh pitched as hard as he could in the audition:

“I think it is ignorant to ask someone to throw the ball as hard as they can throw in an audition because there are different conditions then there would be in a game (new ball, dirt vs. grass, etc.). In the audition Ramesh threw the ball as hard as he could with movement.”

Following the audition, Ramesh pitched a no-hitter against Diesel Express. No pitcher has thrown a no-hitter in BASL history.

Based on statistics and personal experience, the Committee concludes that Diesel is a solid hitting team, and certainly not one of the worst in the League. This is a view that Rudy shares:

“No thought is being given to who our opponent was in the game. I sincerely doubt that a no hitter would have been thrown against Contact, Choice, West or any of the better teams. Express is not a bad team, but they are a notch below the ones I have mentioned and there are a couple other teams that are probably better.”

The Committee does not dispute Rudy’s opinion that, in addition to the three teams he mentioned, “there are a couple other teams that are probably better.” Since there are 12 teams in the league, Rudy believes that about six teams, or roughly one-half of the league, are worse hitters than Diesel Express.

Rudy’s statements clearly indicate that he believes the following:

Ramesh pitched “as hard as he could” in the audition.
Ramesh pitched as hard as he could in the game.
Diesel Express “is not a bad team.”

II. Rules and Conclusion

In reaching its decision, the Committee relied on the following rules and facts:

BASL Rule 1B - Approved Pitchers - During the season, if the Committee determines a pitcher misrepresented his talent during an audition, he may be judged a “superstar pitcher” and banned from pitching in the League that season.

BASL Rules 1A - Definition of a “Superstar Pitcher” - If any pitcher is determined to be too dominant and talented, and capable of consistently overpowering most batters, he will be declared a “superstar pitcher” and disqualified to pitch in the BASL.

Whether intentionally or not, Ramesh Samuel did not pitch as well as he can during the audition for the Committee.

The level of Ramesh’s performance in a league game is a clear demonstration that he is capable of pitching much better than he did in the audition.

It is very unlikely that a pitcher who throws the only no-hitter in BASL history against a solid hitting team is not “dominant and talented and capable of consistently overpowering most hitters.”

The Committee is required to make a decision on this complaint and therefore must first and foremost apply the rules to the facts of the audition and game, particularly since the Committee could not personally observe both events.

III. Ruling

Therefore, the Committee concludes that:

Ramesh Samuel’s performance against Diesel clearly demonstrates that he “misrepresented his talent during an audition” before the Committee.

Accordingly, the Committee rules that:

Ramesh Samuel’s status as an ”approved pitcher” in the BASL is hereby rescinded in accordance with BASL Rule 1B, and;

Ramesh Samuel is hereby banned from pitching in the League in accordance with BASL Rule 1B and Rule 1A.

The results of the game between the Bombers and Diesel Express shall not be changed.

IV. Notification

The Committee hereby notifies Bombers manager, Rudy Robinson, that, as is the case for all managers, he has the responsibility to inform the audition Committee if one of his pitchers does not demonstrate his level of talent during an audition. Each manager has an obligation to his fellow managers to act honestly and respectfully and to follow the league rules to the best of his ability.

The Committee hereby notifies all managers that any manager who deceives the Committee with respect to BASL rules may be subject to penalties, including suspension, banning and forfeits.

1. Facts and Review

Case #1 - During the 2007 season, the Committee received complaints that Sleepy Genao of O’Hanlon’s consistently used an illegal slingshot motion during League games. At the Manager’s Meeting before the 2008 season, these complaints were expressed to members of O’Hanlon’s in attendance. The managers agreed to postpone a vote on whether to ban Sleepy for throwing slingshot if O’Hanlon’s agreed to promise he would throw legally. However, during the 2008 season, the Commissioner received additional complaints that Sleepy Genao was pitching in league games using an illegal slingshot motion.

Case #2 - During the 2008 season, the Committee received complaints that Bobby Langer of the Bombers consistently used an illegal slingshot motion during League games. The Committee informed Rudy Robinson that Bobby was under review and he was to notify the Committee before Bobby pitched again. Committee members then attended a game in which Rudy said Bobby would pitch, but he never showed up. Several weeks had passed without further notification when several Committee members saw Bobby pitching in a league game despite the fact that Rudy failed to notify the Committee of his appearance.

Before the Committee took action, Bobby suffered a season-ending injury and did not play anymore. The Committee elected to complete its review the following year. Due to an oversight, the manager of Bobby’s new team, Pat Freni of Contact, was not notified that Bobby was still under review until last week. Since then, Pat has complied with the Committee’s request for notification before Bobby pitches.

Both Bobby and Sleepy are “approved pitchers” since neither was determined to be a superstar pitcher. However, BASL rules do not permit “approved pitchers” to use an illegal slingshot pitching, even if they used the same motion during the audition or in League games. In addition, both pitchers were personally told by the Committee that they cannot use an illegal slingshot motion during games.

When asked if he believed that his motion is illegal slingshot, Bobby Langer said it is legal. When asked by a Committee member why he used an illegal slingshot motion during a 2008 game, Sleepy replied that he did so because it gave his team a chance of winning the championship. During the 2008 season, at least one member of the Committee saw Sleepy pitch several games and reported that his motion was legal.

II. Rules and Conclusion

In reaching its decision, the Committee relied on the following rules and facts:

Rule 2 - The BASL shall adopt and enforce ASA Rule 6, sections 3A through 3M respectively, Class A Modified Pitching, with respect to the legal pitching motion. The BASL specifically prohibits “slingshot” or “windmill” pitching motions, as set forth in the BASL Rules and the ASA Rulebook.

Rule 1A - Approved Pitchers - Beginning in the 2008 season, any pitcher who pitched in the BASL during the 2007 season and is not currently designated as a “superstar pitcher” is approved to pitch in the League. (This does not mean that pitchers who use a slingshot or other illegal motion are “approved” to use such motion, BASL Rule 2).

Rule 1A - Legal Pitching Motion - Further, after observing a pitcher in one or more games, the Committee may decide that the pitcher consistently uses an illegal motion, even if the game umpires fail or refuse to call illegal pitches, and impose separate penalties, including suspension, banning and forfeited games (BASL Rule 2).

Rule 1B - “Approved” Pitchers Throwing Slingshot - The designation of an “approved” or “non superstar pitcher” status by the Committee is entirely unrelated to the legality of a pitcher’s motion. A pitcher who uses a slingshot motion is NOT be permitted to continue using such illegal motion, EVEN if he was approved by the Committee as a “non-superstar pitcher” OR previously used an illegal slingshot and was not called by the game umpires for throwing illegal pitches.

In the past two seasons, Committee members have observed both pitchers consistently using an illegal slingshot pitching motion during League games. (Bobby was not in the league in 2007.) The Committee has received reports from different managers stating that both pitchers use an illegal slingshot motion. Both Bobby and Sleepy are banned in other leagues for pitching slingshot. Both players have been warned using a slingshot motion; one pitcher admits to doing so.

The Committee acknowledges that both players were approved by the Committee since they were not determined to be “superstar pitchers.” The audition process, however, is solely for the purpose of determining whether a pitcher is superstar pitcher. It does not establish whether that pitcher uses an illegal motion, although the Committee routinely informs pitchers if they use an illegal motion during the audition. Bobby Langer was warned during his audition in 2008 and instructed to modify his motion during games. Sleepy Genao entered the league before auditions for every pitcher were required.

III. Ruling

Therefore, the Committee concludes that:
Complaint #1:
Bobby Langer’s status as an “approved pitcher” does not permit the use of an illegal slingshot motion, as set forth in Rule 1A and Rule 1B.

Bobby Langer has consistently used an illegal slingshot motion during league games in violation of Rule 2 and other rules.

Accordingly, the Committee hereby rules that:

1. Bobby Langer is herby banned from pitching in the League in accordance with Rule 2.

Complaint #2:

Sleepy Genao’s status as an “approved pitcher” does not permit the use of an illegal slingshot motion, as set forth in Rule 1A and Rule 1B.

Sleepy Genao has consistently used an illegal slingshot motion during league games in violation of Rule 2 and other rules.

Accordingly, the Committee hereby rules that:

1. Sleepy Genao is herby banned from pitching in the League in accordance with Rule 2.

Rule Clarification

In the future, a team that allows a banned pitcher to pitch in a League game shall automatically forfeit that game and the opposing team shall automatically be awarded a victory, regardless of the outcome of the game. Additional penalties may be imposed on the pitcher, manager or team for which a banned pitcher pitches. This clarification has no impact on games played in 2009 before the ruling. (Banned pitchers may remain in the league as position players or DHs, but may not pitch anymore.)

- end statement

I love the Big Apple League.
I care about not only winning but have a good fair competitive league.
I know that sounds like a bitch, but its true, and while it is very good to see the Big Apple league finally take some "aggressive" action after 2 1/2 years of me blogging about the prevalent pitching injustices that take place, I can't help but feel that they aren't seeing the real issue. They've spotted some trees but don't quite see the forest yet.

Why can't they just ask what kind of league are we?
Modified or Open (AKA Sling) ?
If your a modified league, then your pitchers must follow modified pitching rules.
Some people argue that these pitching rules make every pitcher illegal.
That's stupid, nonsense and double talk.
They are clear:
No rocking backwards in your motion,
No twisting/opening hips in your delivery,
No breaking your wrist.

If pitcher consistently follows these rules then he should have every right to participate. Otherwise he's not modified and is done. The Superstar rule is too vague and wishy washy they should stick to clear standards/rules. In addition, please eliminate the whole audition process it is problematic and impractical. Simply let pitchers throw in a game and have a manager and/or umpires notify the league if the pitcher is throwing illegal.

Think of a modified pitching league as a big dam, once you let one slinger in you have a crack in the system and eventually the whole dam will erupt

We would all be better off by enforcing clear standards.

Finally, below I have listed banned pitchers list for two of the cities biggest and most respected leagues - EMS and Inwood, it seems the Big Apple League still has cracks in their dam, as there still are more than one active Big Apple pitchers still allowed to pitch even though they are banned elsewhere for either being "illegal" or/and "superstar".

I advise the league to address these issues soon, anything else would be myopic and could lead the league dam to further burst


3. JEFF D.E.A/ Cardinals
25. J. D. 29ERS
29. JAVIER VILLA 23 / D.E.A.

Inwood LEAGUE BANNED PITCHERS LIST as of 09/28/2008
Mike Sanchez - Dea (EMS)
Jeff - Dea (EMS)
John Miranda
John Brown - Choice Parts (Central park League)
James Parker - (Central park League)
John Rocker
Steve Jimenez- (Gunny, 54st League)
Frankie Rodriguez - Cardinals (Gunny, 54st League)
Bobby Langa - Gents (Central park League)
Cedric Washington
Johanny - Hit Squad (Gunny, 54st League)
Angel - Highlanders
“Doc” - Choice Parts (Central park League)
Clay – Choice Parts (Central park League)
Mike Cuevas
Macho (Twins/Phillies)

Paradise Lost

According to John Milton in his book, in Paradise Lost, when Lucifer was banished from Heaven, he said, "It is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven

The actual quote is:"To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n."

Now I know you must be thinking "Damn Rick your weird and have too much time on your hands" - well to answer that Yes I'm weird, but I'm actually busy but I've always loved that quote. It means better to do things on your own terms than rely on or follow someone else
... it reminds me of the Hells Kitchen softball team.

I used to play on Gallagher's and play every game worry free in the Big Apple League. Some would say that is softball heaven.

Then I managed Gallagher's and the team finished only 15-15, collapsing down the stretch losing 10 of our last 11. Some would say that is Hell.

Now 2 years later I find myself general manager & co-manager of the Hells Kitchen softball team.

Another chance to manage.
Another chance to literally Reign in Hell

Tom Coughlin got another chance and made the most of it

so can I

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The undiscovere'd country

Arguably Shakespeare's greatest, most famous quote was proclaimed in Hamlet by Hamlet :

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause—there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolutionIs sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action."

That's some deep shit. My man Hamlet is contemplating suicide - the pros, the cons, the conflict.

Well today I contemplate a softball conflict along the same lines : "To Swing or Not to Swing at the 1st Pitch, that is the question"

There are Pros and Cons on each side of this question that leads to conflict:


1. Your aggressive. Don't worry about going wrong. Go Strong. If your on fire as a hitter and the 1st one is in your zone then hit it. On the flip, if your in a slump being aggressive will get you to stop thinking and start hitting, and as Yogi brilliantly said : You can't hit and think at the same time"

2. You know what's coming. The pitcher is predictable.

3. Zone in - Pretend the count is 3-1 and look for that one pitch, if its there bang it, if not let it go

4. The pitcher your facing is around the zone and walks no one

5. The pitcher your facing is dominant, so the first one you see hit it b/c it might be the only one you get

6. The game moves faster - not productive but maybe your bored and just want to swing

7. You suck and just want to get your out out of the way

8. Your more comfortable swinging early in counts.


1. Let the Pitcher throw. Make him work. Try and get into favorable hitter counts like 2-0 and 3-1.

2. Your manager forbids you to swing and makes you take a strike

3. The pitcher is weak and you know he can't beat you, so just be patient.

4. You suck and are better off looking for walks.

5. The pitcher is wild, swinging at the 1st pitch would be stupid especially after he just walked a batter

6. Your team will be really mad at you if you swing at the 1st pitch

7. Your leading off an inning.

8. You trailing by a lot of runs

The bottom line is that it all depends on variety of factors like:

(1) You

(2) The opposing pitcher

(3) The game situation

(4) The umpire

The Choice is yours. You decide if its right for you and your team. It is an Undiscovere'd country, where conscience does make cowards of us all ..