What the Heck?

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Colonel Mustard
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Re: What the Heck?

Postby Colonel Mustard » December 1st, 2016, 9:31 pm

Opinionguy wrote:Two businesses, separate owners who thought they could work together but after the dust settled found out it wasn't possible.  One has an established business grown from a small clientele in the early 2000's to one of the most respected -well run Baseball Programs and Travel Baseball organizations in the state. The other, has built maybe the nicest overall baseball facility in the state, with an indoor facility that is second to none.
As far as being asked to "choose" isn't that what has happened all along?  The weekend format ERA is running is the same format it was before the IH existed. It is a more cost friendly alternative to travel baseball as the better kids in a 5 county area will be playing together playing leadoffs/pickoffs as a transition to Pony/HS baseball.
Being a few weekends likely wouldnt have much impact on local little leagues Arbutus, ETJ, Forest Hills, GJYL, Iron Horse et all.
Everybody has a choice to make as to what is best for their kids. I've been around long enough to hear all the whining about politics, coaching, parents and everything inbetween. The great equalizer is time- it all shakes out and you find out how good your child is as he/she moves up thrpugh the levels. That's when your choices will come to fruition. Always good in life to have options.

I remember when Iron Horse started their league, their baseball guy was quoted as saying that 'dads are the problem with regular little leagues', and that their league would be better because they had 'real' baseball guys making the decisions, and that there wouldn't be the usual politics. Well, the baseball gurus can't coach every team, so the same dads ended-up coaching anyway.  And there was as much, if not more politics involved.  They have lost kids since year one.  And I also heard that the money guy isn't exactly a people person., which doesn't help. It's a shame that they can't make it work, because I have heard that it's a great facility.  I've also heard from some of the surviving little leagues that they weren't all that disappointed when the uber-competitive baseball people left for Iron Horse.  So it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.   



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highheat
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Re: What the Heck?

Postby highheat » December 6th, 2016, 11:52 am

What does time have to do with what is going on now?  I know a lot of people are afraid of not doing the Ripken league.  Will kids be left off travel teams if they don't play both places?  

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Re: What the Heck?

Postby highheat » December 8th, 2016, 11:05 am

Oh, and by the way I'm sorry but its little league so Dads are always going to be a part of any league. The majority of people who played baseball wouldn't have had the opportunity if it weren't for all of the time volunteered by Dads, and Moms, too.  A lot of 'real' baseball guys may know the game but don't know the first thing about making kids feel like a part of a team.  That requires a Dad. Just being on a team and being able to play means the world to some kids and by making everything so serious it has taken a lot of the fun out for many of the kids.  Fortunately there are parents who actually know that this is just a game and that its meant to be a fun outlet and activity.

Mholtz65
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Re: What the Heck?

Postby Mholtz65 » December 13th, 2016, 5:08 pm

Many 'real' baseball guys are parents themselves. They just happen to have played at a higher level than most other parents. Most of the baseball guys that you are referencing grew up locally and did play in a local league. I know first hand most of the people involved with ERA and Flood City have the best interests of the kids in mind. I say most because I haven't been involved with ERA for 5 years. Maybe they brought on some bad apples. Most of these 'real' baseball minds will tell you that they don't know everything about the game. I consider myself one of them.

Now, I am not a big believer in travel baseball and do not believe in playing one sport year round. I will not get into the reasons why on this forum. That is a topic for a different discussion.  I will say that it has gotten way out of hand in my opinion.

To your point, there are plenty of well intentioned volunteers involved with local leagues. There are also ones with certain "agendas".

As you stated, baseball is a game that is supposed to be fun. Sadly, and in many cases, it has become everything but fun.

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Re: What the Heck?

Postby Mholtz65 » December 13th, 2016, 10:06 pm

In my opinion, it was a mistake for ERA/Ironhorse to start their own league. Too big of an undertaking to administrate and too few qualified coaches. It ultimately brought instability to local leagues pulling to many kids away. Again, just my opinion. I highly doubt that money was a motivating factor for starting the league. I think the intentions were honest. ERA actually lost money by partnering with Iron horse.  

Regarding the comment that "real" baseball people don't know the first thing about making kids feel part of a team....really!!  That's a ridiculous comment. Most "real" baseball guys I know are also Dads. Many times they are harder on their own children than others. They just happen to be dads who were fortunate to have  played at a higher level. 

You are correct in saying that little league is supposed to fun. I feel that kids at that age should not be traveling to tournaments all over the place playing 70-100 games a year. There are many that do enjoy it which is fine...I think it's too much. Couple that with if a kid has bad game or two, some parents think that they immediately need a pitching or hitting lesson.  It's insane at that age.

highheat
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Re: What the Heck?

Postby highheat » December 19th, 2016, 11:15 am

I agree with most of your comments but I am not going to walk back any statements about ex-players not being as concerned with kids' feelings.  I think you are reading too much into that comment.  Just because someone played a a higher level doesn't give them kind of special ability to relate to a less talented kid than Dad's who have been coaching these kids since they were 4 or 5 yrs old.

You also can't advertise that you will run a better league because there won't be as many parents involved without getting a little bit of resistance.  In fact, I think this kind of attitude brings about dissatisfaction because sports are supposed to be fun and not about money and which kids are more suited to get the next level (and that is a different discussion altogether as well).  When everything is made with business decisions in mind then that's when it shows that its not about the kids.   

I think what turned a lot of people off is the fact that the league out there was advertised as being run by real baseball guys who know it all.  Well, it doesn't look like they knew anything about working together with normal folks if their league is going to fold up.  Both sides should share the blame.  
I just don't see how a league like ERA/Iron Horse can fail because there aren't enough qualified coaches. According to that logic every other league in the area should fold because they don't have any qualified coaches - they only have a collection of Dads running the show.

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Re: What the Heck?

Postby Mholtz65 » December 19th, 2016, 10:22 pm

If that is what you believe good for you.  At some point in baseball, a kids feelings are going to get hurt. It's inevitable. It's a tough sport. Kids easily get frustrated. They lose interest because they don't get much playing time. Kudos to the coach that can make the game fun for them. Baseball background or not, it's a special talent for sure.

The reality is that when these kids reach 13 the game changes. This is really where a lot of kids struggle and "feelings" really get hurt. The position their dad had them playing for the last four years is not where they are best suited to have success. Flood City excels at teaching pony league level ball to their 10, 11 and 12 year olds. Meaning pick-off moves, stealing bases, catchers actually learning how to throw down to second etc. 

My thoughts, ERA should have stuck with just teaching fundamentals, pitching, hitting etc. for people who want to sign up for their programs or travel ball teams. That is their expertise and their strength. I've seen many "less talented" kids gain quite a bit of confidence in their ability by going through ERA's program.  Hey, if you believe a local dad coach can do better for your kid great. Maybe he can. I've seen many supposed baseball people who are horrible coaches and/or instructors. 

Most of the time, ERA/Flood City traveled to tournaments elsewhere meaning most of their staff wasn't even involved with the Iron Horse league. It was run by Iron Horse. They aren't baseball people. They just built a nice facility. The league failed because the expectations were too high. As advertised, people thought ERA would be involved in running it. When ERA associated it's name with the league, it was expected to be a better league. Some traveled quite a ways to have their kid play at Iron Horse thinking ERA was involved. In the end, it definitely wasn't worth it no matter how nice the facility. You are correct in stating that they both share the blame. Local leagues wont fail because it's really the only option for most kids to play in and that's fine. 
 

konjo78
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Re: What the Heck?

Postby konjo78 » December 20th, 2016, 4:57 am

Baseball is a dying sport in america. Football is slowly taking over summer, basketball is year round and baseball is left out to dry.

This type of leagues folding is kinda common around the country. Just this year in my area of washington they opened a 7 on 7 youth football league in spring and they lost almost 30% of the baseball players. While spring football say 500+ kids sign up! Its just a dying sport all together

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Re: What the Heck?

Postby Mholtz65 » December 20th, 2016, 5:38 am

If that is what you believe then stick to the football thread.

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Re: What the Heck?

Postby knowitall » December 20th, 2016, 5:46 am

Yep.  I just heard the other day that Latin Americans now make up over half the players in the minor leagues.  Over half!


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