SIGN IN:   Password      »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 1 member: Boom Boom 1; 9 anonymous
Change topic:

Details for ChiPrimeMarty

Real name:
Martin Lolich

Downers Grove, IL

Men's 60

Messages posted by ChiPrimeMarty »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

Sept. 23, 2023
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Batter out of the box

My $.02:

The batter's box should enable batters to hit strikes without running the risk of being called out for stepping out of the batters box. This principle should be in accordance with a strike zone approximately from the knee to the shoulder.

A minimum arc pitch striking the front of the mat should not require a batter to violate the front of the batter's box in order to hit a ball at knee level that would be called a strike.

A maximum arc pitch striking the back of the mat should not require a batter to violate the back of the batter's box in order to hit a ball at shoulder level that would be called a strike.

Of course, one size does not fit all. Generally, a taller batter is at a disadvantage in the first example and a shorter batter in the second example.

If SSUSA is going to have a batter's box at tournaments, I suggest:

1. Biometric geometry accommodating a range of tall & short batters in relation to pitch arc within the knee to shoulder strike zone should determine the dimensions of the batter's box, relative to the strike mat. This is not rocket science, but it is science that can be applied with a fairly high degree of accuracy and fairness.

2. Ensure the batter's box is consistent at every SSUSA tournament. Where a hitter stands in relation to the strike mat is a key part of his game. Having to contend with inconsistent batter's box dimensions which render some called strikes nearly unhittable (changing from one field or tourney to the next) can be a negative factor in our enjoyment of this sport, and possibly affect the outcome of a game.

This is very much a hitters sport, so we don't want to take away whatever edge pitchers might have. However, the mat covers enough area so that well placed low arc & high arc strikes can be difficult to hit. When a pitcher makes that perfect pitch, I'd rather have the batter tip his hat to the pitcher than curse SSUSA because he was constrained by an unreasonable batter's box.
Nov. 20, 2021
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Answer this.

If I recall correctly, back in 2007 there weren't any rules to protect the pitcher except perhaps the face guard (which I wore when taking the mound). There has always been a lot of hits up the middle and always will be, but as a batter I've always tried to keep them out of reach of the pitcher, who has a glove (hit it where they ain't).

On one occasion the middle outfielders presented a very large gap, so I loaded up and tried to hit a deep drive with all my might. I succeeded in the velocity department, but not the trajectory. My smash went between the pitcher's legs just below the crotch, and was past him before he reacted. I apologized profusely as I ran to first base, but the other team was having none of it. When I took the mound they purposely hit hard up the middle but I caught everything I could reach, and the retaliation lasted lasted only an inning or two.

How can we be certain whether a batter is intentionally trying to hurt the pitcher? Given that death is a possibility, such intent should have no place in our game.
Sept. 21, 2021
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Dave Dowell

Congratulations, Dave! I've always appreciated your willingness to give your time and wisdom, and have enjoyed the times we've spoken.
April 7, 2021
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Intentional walk used to nulify a dominate hitter.

In Senior tournaments if a hitter is so dominant he gets intentionally walked on a regular basis, that's a clue he should probably move up to the next competitive level.

If he's already on a Major Plus team, he's one helluva hitter!

I'm not advocating the intentional walk, just adding my $.02.
Feb. 6, 2021
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Commit line abuse

The "abuse" as described creates a very easy run-down play for an out. Just get the ball to a defensive player between the runner and third base, who then advances towards the runner at the commit line for an easy tag. If the runner crosses the commit line to escape the tag, a simple throw to the catcher at the plate results in an out.

Without the commit line a run-down play between 3rd & home is more difficult, giving other baserunners more time to advance. The current commit rule favors the defense, except in plays where the baserunner does not pause at the commit line and is racing to score. A throw which pulls the catcher off the plate does not allow a tag, but that is not the "abuse" situation which prompted the call for a rule change.

Since pausing at the commit line results in an easy out for a defense that knows what to do, I don't see a compelling reason to introduce a more complicated rule with a judgement call likely to cause disputes.

The purpose of the commit line and offset scoring plate/line is to eliminate bodily collisions. Allowing a tag by the catcher off the plate could lead to collision when a throw pulls the catcher into the path of a baserunner going full speed.

Nov. 26, 2020
Topic: General and miscellaneous

Being able to play the sport we love at our age is something for which to be truly thankful.
Nov. 20, 2020
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 3 and 1: Take the pitch or swing away?

You do what it takes to help your team win the game. If the pitcher had been struggling and walking batters, taking the next pitch could be the right decision. If you swing and hit it a line shot, it could be right at someone.

On the other hand, the best hitters usually have a very aggressive mindset. See a good ball, then grip & rip. Don't change your mindset as a hitter. Yogi Berra was right; the game is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
April 23, 2020
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: To Shave or Not to Shave ?

I'm glad to see this topic isn't about illegally altering bats, which may be tempting for some who have too much time on their hands now.
Nov. 30, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Rotator Cuff Surgery

I had rotator cuff surgery on my right (throwing) shoulder Sep 26. I injured it June 14 diving for a ball in the outfield, hitting the ground hard on my right shoulder, I knew immediately upon impact I was done. Couldn't lift my right arm, and drove 6 hours home using my left hand to reach over and shift gears on my manual transmission. The orthopedic surgeon who fixed my left shoulder 3 years earlier suggested I try physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, which I did for 2 and a half months. I could do most normal activities but couldn't throw or swing a bat.

My initial recovery after the Sep 26 surgery was far ahead of the curve, then on Nov 10 I felt a sharp pain as I applied a little extra force pushing on the nozzle to put air in my tires. It set me back about a month, and I hope it was just scar tissue with nothing important coming off one of the 4 plastic posts installed during surgery.

Bottom line is you have to keep up with your physical therapy exercises while being very careful at all times. Your arm will be in a sling for about 4 weeks, and most physical tasks which involve reaching or lifting heavy objects will be out of the question for a while.
Oct. 27, 2019
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Use one up for home runs this year

Uncle Mike, Windy City has been M or M+ for as long as I can remember (though my memory is less than perfect). If SSUSA tallies dead ball walk homers, those teams might be more likely to move up -- which is one of the objectives.

The other, of course, is making the games more fair and competitive before the the power team moves up. The current dead ball out rule perhaps accomplishes that better, but if good power hitters can alter their swings after the limit to beat you with singles and doubles (more damaging than walks) they are still over-matching their opponents while flying under the radar on their home run power.

The bottom line for moving up is consistently winning games by 5+ runs and winning the big tournaments. I've been on teams that were powerful on offense but struggled to win tournaments due to sub par defense. If your team doesn't match up power-wise and has a bad weekend on defense, you didn't get beat by the rule no matter what it is.

Shortly after I moved to our 55 team in 2012, SSUSA briefly dropped the dead ball out rule. I think they might have done that to identify teams with power hitters that had been sandbagging. The 50AAA team I had been on unleashed their power and was moved up.

There are good arguments on both sides, and regardless of the current rule some will argue for the other one. Overall I appreciate the work and the due consideration SSUSA puts into crafting their rules. They provide access for player input, and they do make changes with popular support like the 1-1 pitch count (or 3-2 instead of 4-3).

Shout-out to Dave Dowell for his clarity, logic, and fairness on these topics.

I appreciate some of the good discussions in this forum and the opportunity for debate it provides.
Oct. 27, 2019
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Use one up for home runs this year

My $.02, followed by a suggestion:

The AAA & Major teams I've played on have always had some legitimate home run hitters; some who can hit for average but never put one over the fence; and a couple guys who once in a great while get every last bit of the ball -- just enough to clear the fence.

It's a big thrill when a guy with warning track power finally hits a homer.

And a terrible shame when it's a dead ball out.

I've seen it happen more than once. I hate to see a rare personal moment turn into a negative due to a rule with the good intention of fair competition. This is senior softball, and some guys have very few of those special moments left in the tank.

I prefer the one-up dead ball walk rule, with the home team not getting 4 bases on their one-up in the last inning.

To ensure fair competition all OTF home runs (including dead ball walks) should be recorded and tallied by SSUSA, and added to the evaluation criteria for moving a team up to the next level. This would serve the same purpose as the dead ball out rule and maybe do it better because dead ball outs are just outs, not captured for future evaluation.

There's no perfect solution. Teams with more power hitters do not necessarily win more games and tournaments if their defense is sub par or team OBP is low. Also, teams that do get moved up often have marginal players who frequently ride the bench -- but their personal rating gets bumped up along with everyone else. Then they get zero playing time and can't find a team at a lower level due to their higher personal rating. Teams are very selective about the 3 allowed on their roster.

It would be nice if there was an official scorekeeper at every game recording stats that are saved electronically into a database for individual player ranking.

Of course, that would cost more money and it's way too 21st century!
Oct. 17, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Torn meniscus

Danny G,

I am no expert, but I did have a meniscus tear 14 years ago (I'm 62 now). I woke up one morning and couldn't put any weight on my right leg without sharp pain. An MRI showed a tear in the meniscus which was just wear & tear, because there was no incident of injury. Somehow the flap of cartilage folded over on itself, causing the pain.

I opted for surgery even though the flap straightened out and the pain went away. The thing about a tear (as it was explained to me) is it will continue to tear as time goes on. I had arthroscopic surgery in which they cut a little crescent in the disc of the meniscus to round out the tear point to keep it from tearing more. I was lucky because I still have most of the meniscus in that joint. i was running again in less than 3 weeks, and it hasn't bothered me since.

Your tear may very well be worse, and the story I just told may not pertain to you. i recommend getting a second opinion.
Oct. 2, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Off Season Surgery

cz3114, 3 years ago I injured my left shoulder swinging a bat, partially tearing my left rotator. Surgery for that was similar to this one, but with 2 plastic anchors instead of 4 this time. Both times I opted for the nerve block with anesthesia, which blocks pain and sensation in the affected area. 3 years ago this resulted in numbness on the left side of my face until the block wore off. This time my right thumb & forefinger were on pins & needles -- annoying, but preferable to the intense pain I'm told I would have otherwise experienced. Luckily I've had almost no pain since the block wore off. I have not used the prescription painkiller.

During the early stages of recovery you have to be very careful, wearing the sling & brace at all times except when doing the physical therapy exercises. 4 days after surgery was the follow-up visit in which the bandages were removed and replaced with a clear waterproof covering, enabling me to take a shower (without the sling & brace, of course).

Recovery involves going to the physical therapist twice a week during the early going, then once a week later. It's important to do the daily exercises all through this process, and to be very careful not to push it past mild discomfort into pain. It's frustrating being disabled to one extent or another for months on end, but you have to accept it and stick with the program.

I had my first visit with the physical therapist yesterday, and have begun a limited set of daily exercises.

Still a long way to go for full recovery.
Oct. 1, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Off Season Surgery

I had surgery Sep 26 for a partially torn labrum and a seriously (though not completely) torn rotator cuff in my right (throwing arm) shoulder. I landed hard on the shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield June 14. I felt a wrenching pain and knew immediately I was done.

I couldn't raise my right arm at all so I drove 6 hours home the next morning in my manual transmission car, reaching over with my left hand to change gears while holding on to the lower part of the steering wheel with my right.

I knew I would need surgery, but agreed to try physical therapy and daily exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles. I improved to the point where I could shift with my right hand and do most normal things, but I couldn't swing a bat or throw or hold any weight with my right arm extended.

Prognosis for recovery is 6 months to be "normal." I have to wear a sling with a cushion between my arm and my side for 4 weeks, during which time I'm told it is illegal to drive a car. Fortunately I have some co-workers who live nearby. My job isn't physical.
July 13, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Commitment line

Craziest play I ever saw involved a runner getting caught in a rundown between 3rd base and the commitment line. Running in the direction of home, the last throw went to the catcher who came up the line away from home plate. As the catcher approached, the runner took a step over the commitment line and was tagged by the catcher.

The umpire called the runner out, who then went and sat on the bench.

An argument ensued, and the tournament director was called. After a lengthy discussion, the runner was called safe but was returned to 3rd base because he never touched home.

Seemed like a fair compromise, though I don't know if it was in the rule book. This was about 10 years ago at an SSUSA tournament.
May 19, 2019
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Milwaukee Classic - Rained Out

I want to thank the tournament organizers for canceling on Friday before many of us traveled.

Also, congrats to Chicago Prime 65's for their victory on Friday!
Feb. 20, 2019
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Softball shorts

Umby, I'm looking forward to seeing your legs at long last.
Jan. 4, 2019
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: 55 major plus player looking

Eric, Prime 60 has a full roster and we're Major after winning Vegas.
Dec. 30, 2018
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: 55 major plus player looking

Eric, Happy New Year to you too!
Dec. 30, 2018
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: 55 major plus player looking

Hi Roger, glad to see you found a team.

Best of luck and Happy New Year,
Older messages »
Senior Softball-USA
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
9823 Old Winery Place, Suite 12
Sacramento, CA 95827
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts international softball tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook