Better Baseball Players

Many years ago I was a ski bum. I skied downhill on weekdays when I had the money. On weekends when the, “Flatlanders” arrived from Los Angeles and surrounding areas, I was out Cross Country skiing.

The two types of skiing are more different than similar. Downhill skis are shorter, wider, and stiffer. Heavy stiff boots are needed to manage the forces of gravity pulling you down the hill. High speed is the norm with lots of turns, small jumps, moguls, and such. One skies down the mountain and takes a lift back up the hill.

When Cross Country skiing, smaller downhill slopes are relaxation from the work not a having gravity assist to keep moving. Cross country skis are lighter, thinner and more flexible. Cross Country ski boots can be as simple as a pair of specially made tennis shoes.

It was surprising how much difference Cross Country skiing makes to downhill skiing. After a day or two on a skinny pair of Cross Country skis, downhill skiing feels like the downhill skis are three feet wide each. It would be as if it were impossible to fall.

Build your skills for Hardball using smaller bats and balls.

Stickball uses a, ‘Pimpleball’ or Handball for the ball. A cut off broomstick is all that is needed for the bat. Half Ball uses the same equipment except the ball is cut in half. Generally, the ball is tossed slowly towards the plate. Some players prefer a faster ball to be thrown.

Imagine the enhanced skill set it takes to hit an undersized ball with a broomstick handle bat. Hand eye coordination is higher for stick and half ball players, speed of the ball notwithstanding.

Players from Pre-Teen Private League Baseball to the American Legion hold baseball practice using the same Bats and Balls that are used in an ‘official’ game. What if Players used a smaller ball for batting and fielding practice? Players would enjoy increased hand eye coordination, and batting and fielding averages would rise.

Practicing with smaller practice balls and slimmer bats would hone skills. When batting in an official game, to the Batter it would look and feel as if an oversized ball was being used. Stickball or Halfball, both mostly inner city sports are good for a visual comparison.

Finally, confidence factor needs to be considered. If a Batter has a reasonable batting average with an undersized ball and bat, confidence is increased. The regulation size ball and bat would feel oversized to the batter and be easier to hit.

If Stickball or Halfball sound like fun, they are. The both can be played in the street, with no special equipment other than a broom stick and a ball.

Sports and Porn, Best Actor Awards?

As someone who is watches sports on a casual level, I am always surprised at the players. Whether I watch the FIFA games, NBA finals, or MLB, there is always a show being put on. I never envied the referees and umpires. Not that the referees and umpires are being over tasked, but there roles have expanded. I am surprised at the amount of acting going on at this level of sport.
Watching FIFA, I see the acting is on par with the NBA. Players falling over in a dramatic style, agony on their faces, grabbing body parts, or laying still waiting for the whistle. They make it look doubtful they will ever be able to stand up again, let alone play. If the whistle doesn’t come, they are up in a flash running down the field.

Watching an NBA game, I see two-hundred plus pound men in the key falling over when barely bumped, acting like a train hit them. The player being touched is falling over, not the player doing the bumping. Other times players find ways to get in the way and then bumped, hoping to cause a foul on the opposition.

Players in the MLB and college level baseball, have their non verbal body language, mainly pitchers and batters, are body language experts. Often they are telling each other off using their body language. Making both subtle and overt sexual and other references towards each other involving package checks, and occasionally, other more explicit body language.

I watched a college baseball game last week where the batter was grabbing and throwing his crotch towards the pitcher. The picture was busy going through his own repertoire of movement, creatively flipping the bird at the batter.

It has all become part of the game. Each player or team trying to get an edge on the other.  Hoping the referees and umpires will be unable to separate fact from fantasy. Some of these games have more drama in them than  soap operas.

Perhaps as a casual watcher of sports, I notice these behaviors as I do not watch enough sports to make more refined observations concerning the play. For me, watching the acting is entertainment enough.

Maybe it is time to start a sports actors guild? There could be a best actor and runner up in each sport or division. There could be an award for the best sequence of falls over the season, based on believability. The best faked trip, or foul. How about the most obscene gestures thrown in a season. Award winners would get a cash award on top of a trophy.

Where does this leave the Referees and Umpires? Maybe they could have slots on the award show for most correct calls, best at ignoring antics, and maybe even directing pitchers and batters to clean up their acts.

Sports and porn are the reason the Internet made it. At one time, sports and porn took up over fifty percent of all bandwidth. Casually watching sports these days, I wonder if porn is the cleaner of the two. Especially if you throw in excessive and continuous spitting in baseball.

The falling in sports, and porn are both fake, so maybe acting during the game awards and best acting porn awards could be the same show?