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Tragedy In Anaheim

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nadenhartNick Adenhart, the Angels #1 prospect and last night's starting pitcher, died in a hit-and-run accident caused by a drunk driver.
I would like to take this time to ask you all to consider the dangers of driving intoxicated or driving with someone who is intoxicated.  It seems Nick Adenhart and the other two passengers with him who also died in the crash were innocent victims of an irresponsible idiot who at the moment, is still alive and will be charged with felony hit-and-run and possible murder/manslaughter charges.
This is a very precarious time in your young players lives.  As I have done all I can to instill good, decent life lessons about responsibility and accountability when it comes to school, baseball and life, their opinions and outlooks on life are still forming, and you parents can make a dramatic difference in hammering home the dangers of alcohol.  Don't be fooled into thinking that your child still hasn't been exposed to it yet...they all have, whether first hand or otherwise.  TV commercials, movies, and other media play huge roles in showing how fun drinking can be, but never show the ramifications of what drunk driving accidents do.
As someone who has gotten behind the wheel in inebriated states before, this accident really hits home to me...why?
In 1996, I played in Hagerstown, MD, where Nick Adenhart was from.  We used to give baseball clinics to the local leagues, visit schools and gave autographs to all kids who asked for them.  Nick would have been 10 years old at the time...I could only assume he may have been one of these camps, or may have autographs from our team...or that I may have made him smile the way I make your boys smile.
I don't want this happening to any of my boys.  Please share this with them...and prayers to Nick and the families of this senseless tragedy.
Coach Ruben


How Do We Get Coaches "Teaching" More Than Coaching?

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moms teamHow Do We Get Coaches "Teaching" More than Coaching?

The question is, how do we get coaches, and sports parents for that matter, to begin teaching young athletes instead of increasing their coaching intensity and raising expectations?

As Americans, we are going to have to come to terms with our new spot below China in the new world order of sports unless we are willing to change. Our focus on athletic development, or lack thereof, especially at the lowest levels, are allowing other countries to fill in the treasured gaps that once divided our country from competition in its long reign of athletic superiority. As wonderfully exciting as it was while it lasted, we, for example, cannot continue to expect or rely upon phenomenal athletes like Michael Phelps to keep achieving our expectations of perfection. As Jay Bilas pointed out, we are not maintaining our foothold of athletic world dominance and there are specific reasons why.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, April 07 2009 10:44 )

Mom's Team - Baseball Moms Cover All Bases

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Baseball moms cover all bases

As a mom of two young sons who are about to enter into the world of Little League baseball for the first time, I have become intrigued with baseball playing brothers.

Back in 2002, I remember watching Jason and Jeremy Giambi play together on the Oakland A's and thinking what a thrill it must have been for these brothers to be on the same team. I could only imagine how their mom must have felt to see both her boys on that field.

In fact, more than 350 sets of brothers have played in the major leagues.

Just last year in Orange County alone, more than 23,000 Little League players took to the fields, with a whopping 2.7 million players suiting up nationwide – that's a tremendous amount of bats, balls, gloves, cleats and uniforms. Who cleans those cleats, locates the missing gloves, and washes the uniforms?

In most cases, it's the baseball mom.

And who fills out the paperwork, keeps track of the schedules, drives those players to practice, brings the snacks, and cheers at their games? Yes, we are talking about the baseball mom. No disrespect to you dads, but let's be honest here, the whole system would unravel without the moms.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, April 07 2009 09:15 )

Coach Trying To Change Mechanics?

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"My HS son's baseball team has a new coach for this year. he is also the coach of a high profile summer program so he is known in the baseball community here. his qualifications for the job appear to be ok. he played college ball for a good program and played on a world champion Legion team from the area. his dad played professional ball for the Cubs and Yankees so he has been around ball a lot. here is the problem. my son is a pitcher and he has been working all winter getting stronger with weights and putting in a lot of time working on pitching mechanics. he has been working with a pitching coach who is very good and he has made some really big improvements. his velocity is up a lot over last summer and his breaking balls are working very well and his strike ratio is much improved. a lot of this is due to his improved strength but 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, March 31 2009 16:11 )

Pitcher Overuse?

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The following is my response to a parent upset about the amount of pitches his son threw in a tournament.

"Am I being over protective or what. My son started a game on Friday night and threw 4 innings. On short rest, he started again on Sunday morning and threw 3 innings. He threw 64 pitches on Friday and 26 in the Sunday morning game. The team had to wait for another game to be played so they rested for two hours before their next game. The starting pitcher in the next game wasn't doing well so the coach put my son back in and he pitched 3 more innings. Surprise, now he has a sore arm. I'm not happy.

I always thought when a pitcher was done, he was done for the day. Is this normal or even acceptable for 14 yr. olds?"

CC:  First off, its is absolutely asinine to throw that many innings/pitches in a tournament. The coach's failure is that he did not develop enough pitchers to adequately handle the workload/pressure, and now he has your son clean up the mess. If a team can only be competitive with one pitcher on the hill, then you guys are not ready for tournaments yet.

Part of a parent's job is being proactive about their safety, including arm health. I disagree with many of the posters on here that state that the kid should deal with his own problems and refuse to take the ball. I 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, March 31 2009 16:12 )