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Details for Bruce M


Real name:
Bruce MacLaren

Location:
North Bend, WA

Division:
Men's 55

Messages posted by Bruce M »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

Jan. 13, 2022
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Learning the Perfect Snap can add 40-60 Feet of Distance & Consistency #202

This is absolute gold. It makes a huge difference. It's a perfect way to explain it. It presents fantastic practical ways to drill it. Likely it comes naturally to the pros, but to use mere mortals, we can still learn it.
Dec. 3, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rock no longer to be used in SSUSA tournaments

Thank you for your clarification. Much appreciated.
Dec. 3, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rock no longer to be used in SSUSA tournaments

SSUSA: I was told that the Trump Stote Rock 44/375 rated ball will no longer be used in any SSSUSA tournaments. I believe it was used mainly at Worlds. If they can no longer be used, could you please explain the rationale behind this decision? Supply issue? Other? Thank you.
Dec. 1, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Stop Swinging UP! Handpath DOWN to the Point of Contact creates a more level cutting ProStyle Swing 192

Thank you, Bogie! Super important for me to drill and put into muscle memory.
Nov. 26, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Hall Of Fame form

Hoping some umpires get nominated. I didn't see any inducted in the last couple of years. There are for sure some great ones who have been at multiple World's tournaments..
Nov. 26, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: SSUSA and Bell Bank Park?

Hey, Thanks, Dave. I hope they don't price themselves out of SSUSA's budget. New facilities don't always understand market pricing. Anyway, thanks for trying. As I said, they don't have enough to field an entire tournament, but fitting into Winter Worlds or the Tournament this February in Phoenix could be a possibility.
Nov. 24, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: SSUSA and Bell Bank Park?

I might have missed this. Any chance of SSUSA playing some tournaments at Bell Bank Park in Mesa, AZ near Phoenix? https://bellbankpark.com/ The park is scheduled to open in January 2022. 8 ball fields. All turf. I heard the turf is supposed to be designed so that it doesn't reflect heat as much as standard turf. Looks like it would be a great park to play at. 8 fields won't accommodate an entire tournament...but it could be part of a tournament. Looks like it is about 20 minutes from the Sky Harbor Interational Airport. Of course, being brand new and state of the art...I have no idea how much they would charge. Just a thought.
Oct. 29, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Suncoast Melee Diamond 2021 End load-opinions

I was that guy. I needed to know 1/2, 3/4 ounce, full ounce end load or not. Wow, THIS bat must be the GOAT because of its HUGE endload!? Right? Then I thought...yeah...but what does that really, truly mean?...and how can you verify it for yourself. Dave Valasquez's video helped me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLQSQTZaGh0 He explains that even within the same bat, different weights can change the ratio of handle weight to end weight. I don't know how the manufacturers actually plan the weights of their endloads through their line of 26,27,28,29,30 ounce version. It's not just as easy as weighting the end cap. If you kept every other part of the bat the same and simply added weight to the end cap, the higher weight versions would be literal sledge hammers. Once you add or subtract weight from any version, you would have to pay close attention to the ratios from the handle weight to the end weight. If anyone has a way to measure just the end load accurately, please let me know. DV's way of weighing bats makes sense to me.
Oct. 29, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How does your team keep statistics, the book, and team communication?

My tournament team has the luxury of an amazing and experienced statistician who keeps the book and calculates statistics for every game of our season. She is the spouse of our manager. Therefore, I can see at any moment in the season where I am in terms of games, at bats, 1b, 2b, 3b, BB, HR, or strike outs. My OBP is calculated for me. I can see my statistics as well as my entire team's statistics within hours after a game ends. This is all housed electronically online using an app called TeamSnap. Through her amazing labor, the team is able to concentrate on the game at hand without having to "pass the book". Most of the SSUSA umpires know her and rely on her when they are comparing what they see. Because she is so experienced, there are very, very few disagreements about the numbers. Most of us (I'm guilty of it sometimes) know not to engage her in conversation when she is working.

How does your team manage the book and keep statistics? Do you use any sort of app like TeamSnap to keep the schedules, numbers and team communication all in one place? I'll tell you, it certainly beats email or sms! No more (I didn't get the email! I didn't know the location of the field! The schedule changed and I didn't know! Where are we in the bracket?! What field was that again?! Where are we meeting for dinner?!) Nope. It's all in one place in real time...on your phone, tablet, PC, etc.

(Disclosure: I don't work for TeamSnap and am NOT trying to sell any particular app! I do believe that these types of apps make things more efficient and fun)


Oct. 20, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Perspectives: Laughing at yourself

Can you relate? I'm working off the Tee at a ballpark. I spin one out and into the skate park. The kids are furious. They scream at me, "Hey, aren't you a bit old to be playing T-ball??!" After apologizing for the ball intruding upon their skating, I laughed. From their perspective, I WAS practicing T-ball!

Second scenario: I'm at a tournament between games. My teammate and I go to the local coffee shop. The barista looks at our uniforms and says, "Hey, I wasn't aware the kids were playing today. What team do you guys manage? I explained that we were players, not managers. She looked at me with a blank look on her face. I had to laugh.

I love this game.
Oct. 4, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Session 4 World Champs results

Thank you, Steph for posting the results. Great to see them so quick as the session just ended yesterday! Much appreciated.
July 12, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Which Ball travels further: ASA or SSUSA

Bkb555 thank you. That is my experience as well. I hear you. Clearly, the ASA balls are not as hot as the SSUSA balls. The ASA balls also lose compression in heat, which results in the ball not flying as far. It changes the game...just like a 20 mile an hour head wind blowing in from the outfield.

As Dave Dowell pointed out on other conversations on this board, the problem is supply. BSN doesn't have sufficient inventory of either SSUSA ball. Currently, they expect 191 dozen of the Rocks to come in September 15, with another 190 dozen in October. However, most of the shipments have been delayed this year. September 15 is only an estimate. Could come sooner....could come in well after Worlds.

Given the issue the supply, I think SSUSA has done a remarkable job at trying to come up with the best alternative on the market.



July 11, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: In appreciation to Bogie van Bogaert

It is said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will arise.” Like many boys my age, I played little league. My performance was slightly above average. One day my Dad came to me and said, “Well, son, you just aren’t that good of a hitter.” No batting cages. No practice. Just a judgement from someone who meant a lot to me. That was it…no baseball or softball for the next three decades. I just wasn’t “good enough.”

40 years later I took a vulnerable step to get serious about softball. I found myself at your farm in Wisconsin. An opera singer trying to learn how to swing. I was standing on Truman Stadium, which I had seen for years on YouTube. You told me you were going to, “work my ass off”.

You didn’t spend hours giving me generalizations about a good swing. You didn’t try to impress me with your elite background in softball. You didn’t waste time talking about how famous you are…how many people subscribe to your show. In fact, you didn’t even lift a bat. You just watched me swing. Then, slowly and methodically, you “worked my ass off” for a good two hours.

Drills. Drills. More drills. All of them tailored to improve my personal flaws. After the two hours, I was exhausted.
I will never forget what you said to me that day, “Great hitters are not born. They are made.” I left your farm that day more inspired than ever. Not only did I want to improve, but I had the tools and the inspiration to do so.

No, I am not an elite player. No, I’m not a hall of famer. And no, I don’t hit 75 400-foot home runs per season and “wow” people. That’s ok. What I am is enough. You taught me to always compete…to always improve…to always work hard. Clearly, I am a better hitter today than I have ever been in my life…and that in my fifties. You inspired me not to be better than anyone else, but to be the best athlete that I can be. It’s a journey…not a destination.

In deep appreciation….

July 2, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Dont blame SSUSA for the ball problem.

Thank you, Dave - while I of course accept the decision of SSUSA...I still haven't seen a valid argument against bring your own softballs. SSUSA allows bring your own bats. Above, I stated pretty clearly there is a difference between the STOTE and the ROCK. Both are SSUSA approved. There is also a difference in performance between some SSUSA stamped bats, yet we can use any SSUSA bat we want. Stating that bring your own balls (SSUSA stamped) is unfair isn't a rationale or a valid argument. I see, however, that changes will not be made regardless of the feedback. While regrettable, it is understandable. Thanks for listening.






July 2, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Dont blame SSUSA for the ball problem.

With respect....the argument doesn't hold. Again, I'm only talking about SSUSA stamped balls here. Yes, there is a difference between the Stote and the Rock. Yes, 44/375 is only a "rating"...and it doesn't mean that every ball is tested at those parameters. However, by your argument above...we should only have ONE single bat. Everybody knows there is a difference between SSUSA bats...even though they have the the same parameter limitations. If that wasn't the case, people would all purchase the cheapest SSUSA stamped bats on the market. So, if SSUSA is allowing bring your own bats (SSUSA approved)....AND SSUSA has SSUSA stamped balls....you will need a better argument as to why bringing your own balls is not fair.

If I bring at SSUSA approved 2010 bat to a tournament....and someone else brings a 2021 Suncoast Once Piece or a 2021 JB ultra to a tourney...I can't go out and cry, "unfair!" So, if I bring a SSUSA stamped Rock to a tournament...and the opposing team brings something else that is approved by SSUSA....it's the same situation.

Just because someone says you "can't do it because it is unfair" isn't an argument for WHY it's unfair. I'm not saying I'm right. I'm saying I'd like to hear a good argument against brining your own SSUSA approved softballs.


June 29, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Dont blame SSUSA for the ball problem.

Bob - you make the best softballs. You know I am a fan. I'm not blaming SSUSA for anything. However, in this circumstance....BSN has ROCKS (SSUSA Stamped) in stock for $.01 more expensive than the Stotes. So, while normally Rocks are only allowed in Vegas....an exception should be made...

https://www.bsnsports.com/ssusa-softball-12-44-375

$59.99 per dozen... before any discounts. Not sure how many dozens they have...but plenty of us out there could be brining our own SSUSA Stamped balls to the tournaments...

Let's innovate and adapt to supply issues....
June 28, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Any Update on The Stote?

With respect, we have BYOB (bats) as long as it has a SSUSA stamp on it. There are rules for altered bats. So, why not BYOB softballs that have a SSUSA stamp on them? I don't see how that is any different. If folks wish to bring 10 year old SSUSA water logged softballs for their own team to hit at a tournament, they are free to do so. For me, if I am going to pay over $1,000 to play a tournament, it is worth bringing the best and most fresh SSUSA stamped balls I can buy. I trust the umpires to know if a ball has been in the freezer or not.

If you are going to argue that only the same exact balls level the playing field...then why not mandate only a single bat from a single manufacturer with an SSUSA stamp on it?

BYOB has many advantages...it releases SSUSA from having to maintain, procure, store, and sometimes ship the balls. It lowers cost. So, the argument about leveling the playing field remains. Exactly how would it be unfair for teams to bring their own SSUSA stamped balls marked with their names on them....knowing the penalties for altered equipment?
June 2, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitchers. A bit insane?

I mean this with the utmost respect: Pitchers are a bit crazy. Anybody over 40, who is willing to put on full body armor, to stand in front of softballs that are coming straight at them at speeds 65-95 MPH have to be a bit nuts. A friend of mine came up to me yesterday to show me his dislocated and fractured finger....another friend had his the bones in his glove hand fractured. Pitchers stand 50 ft from the batter, whilst their teammates stand usually 70 ft or more. Those 20 plus feet make a big difference.

Most pitchers I know don't make a big deal out of it. They just love to pitch. Bless them.

So yes, some pitchers can be a bit "touched"...but can you blame them? I say, anyone who criticizes them should be condemned to pitch an entire game. Even if you don't get hit...having those balls fly past you at those speeds should cure any future thoughts of criticism.

Just my opinion...
June 1, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Which Ball travels further: ASA or SSUSA

Note on Pricing: ASA https://www.bsnsports.com/trump-174-ak-ez-asa $58.99 per dozen for the balls mandated in Reno. $4.92 per ball. SSUSA ROCK https://www.bsnsports.com/ssusa-softball-12-44-375 $59.99 per dozen $5.00 per ball. In stock. That's before any discounts that teams or large organizations receive.
June 1, 2021
Bruce M
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Which Ball travels further: ASA or SSUSA

Thank you, James, for your answer. I do appreciate you reading my question carefully. Thank you.

Now, since this wasn't part of the original question, but was brought up....folks are allowed to use ANY bat that has a SSUSA stamp on it and is in proper condition. They can also use any bat that that has lower compressions such as BPF 1.20. So, why shouldn't teams be able to play with ANY ball stamped SSUSA on it? Why the double standard? I mean, if everyone has to use the same exact manufacturer of SSUSA ball in a tournament, why shouldn't everyone, for example, have to swing the Miken JB 2021 SSUSA bat?
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