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The 2003 World Series revisited
2007-06-05 08:56
by Bob Timmermann

As part of my weekend trip to the Midwest, I saw two baseball games. One was Sunday's Cubs-Braves game at Wrigley with my nephew Dan, which I will write more about later, but I also some exciting 8-year old Little League action between my nephew Kevin's team (the Marlins) and the Yankees.



They say when hitters are in a groove, the ball just looks bigger as it comes to the plate. But in this case, the ball is getting larger as Kevin hits it. This was actually during BP and Kevin slapped the first pitch out of the machine down the first base line. At this level, all the pitches in the game come from a machine and all the players bat during each inning.



Kevin's biggest skill is his speed as you can see from this shot where he literally flies down the third base line as his feet don't touch the ground. Or if he's not fast, I have to stop buying my cameras from Eadweard Muybridge. The game was decided in the late innings when the Yankees coach opted to change pitching machines used and put in the "Jeff Weaver Gopherball-matic."

2007-06-05 10:16:20
1.   Philip Michaels
It's going to be very disappointing for the local fans when Kevin's team begins its firesale this off-season.
2007-06-05 10:32:10
2.   Bob Timmermann
For a kid who still sometimes calls the game "the one where I have to hit the ball with a stick," Kevin has already figured out that he doesn't need to swing at pitches too far outside and he actually has an idea of where to position himself in the field.

Then again, he also will carry on a conversation with the kid next to him in the outfield or infield and miss what's going on.

2007-06-05 11:49:35
3.   Bluebleeder87
Looks like he's got a nice level swing.
2007-06-05 12:03:47
4.   Sandus
"At this level, all the pitches in the game come from a machine and all the players bat during each inning."

Am I the only one who thinks this is kind of silly? If you want children to learn the game of baseball, let them play baseball.

Who's going to cover first base on a smash up the line? Is the machine going to field a ball up the middle? What happens if every single hitter just unloads in the first inning (I assume a pitching machine throws very few unhittable pitches) and the other team finds itself down 9-0 after just sitting in the field for 40 minutes?

When do players learn how to distinguish balls and strikes?

And what happens when kids finally have to pitch and they realize that they have no idea how?

I started playing baseball when I was 5 years old, so by 8, these kids should be learning to play the right way, not just how to take a 25 cent pitching machine to the opposite field.

2007-06-05 12:05:26
5.   Sandus
No offense to your nephew of course. I'm sure the kids do a great job, I just take issue with the league.
2007-06-05 12:21:13
6.   Bob Timmermann
There is a fielder who stands by the pitching machine. He usually gets most of the chances.

I was under the impression that this was fairly common now. I don't believe the kids pitch until you turn 10.

2007-06-05 13:48:26
7.   DXMachina
I haven't seen a machine used, but I know in some leagues they have the coaches pitch below a certain age.
2007-06-05 14:06:26
8.   Eric Enders
I've always been a sucker for Eadweard Muybridge jokes.

Muybridge, Leland Stanford, and a duck walk into a bar...

2007-06-05 14:08:00
9.   Eric Enders
4 If there's a smash up the line, I very seriously doubt there will be a need for anybody to cover first base.
2007-06-05 14:18:26
10.   Bob Timmermann
Kevin insisted that both his feet did not leave the ground when he ran. I said he did. I should have offered to bet him.

But he didn't have much of value.

2007-06-05 14:20:37
11.   Bob Timmermann
Almost every out that was recorded was a tag play between first and second. There were also a few plays at the plate. The kids enjoy trying to avoid the tag.
2007-06-05 16:08:55
12.   Ken Arneson
10 Having both feet leave the ground is the very definition of running.

In the track & field sport of walking, the rule that defines walking is that there must be at least one foot in contact with the ground at all times. If you get both feet in the air at the same time, that's running, and you're disqualified.

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