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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #22 - Protest Game
July 25, 2005

Protest Game

and other hitting related news

What you'll find in this issue:

I. An observation and training in a protest game

II. How you can help on my video

III. My thoughts on the Bad News Bears II

IV. Leftovers in case you missed them

My wife is in Brazil, so what do I do with my spare time? Naturally I go across the street to watch the Little League 10 and under all-stars playing. It was our local team against a team from one of the leagues up north.

Two great pitchers keep the score 0-0 through six. Our team breaks through for 2 runs in the top of the 7th, we get down to bases loaded and two outs until "it" happens.

"It" was a routine pop up to the 2nd baseman. He camps under it when the base runner runs right near him. (Did he touch him? I don't know, because it happened so fast, but I know that the runner is out because he interfered with the play, the rule doesn't care if there's contact at this point). The 2nd baseman drops the ball and 2 runs score. The umpire doesn't call anything and so let's the play stand. Is this a time to protest game?

What do you as a coach do? It's funny, but the kids in the league aren't the only ones who are young and inexperienced. If your league's like ours, your coach, maybe your all-star coach is just one of the dad's (or in a few cases, even moms) who's probably only been coaching, at the most, 4 years. Maybe you are or will be that coach this year or next.

You know you feel like you've just been had and if you're like this coach, you kind of feel helpless, because the umpire didn't see it the way you did. Do you have any recourse (it makes the difference of going to the winner's bracket finals, or dropping to the loser's bracket and having to fight your way back up if they get another run, since they now have a runner on 2nd and 3rd and you and your kids are real upset)?

The story doesn't turn out well for our kids. By the time I track down the coach and try to train him in how to protest game, the kid throws the next pitch and so any right to protest (in this league and in most leagues) is cancelled.

I'll show you what to do in this situation, so you can have it at your disposal for any time you might need to protest a game.

First off you need to remain calm and unemotional, call time. Know that you can't protest a judgment call, if he sees it differently than you do, that's probably going to be it, but you still can do something to try to help yourself and the team to see if there's a chance to protest game. Get the umpire talking; make him tell you what he saw, question him on what you saw. Again you're not trying to get him to change his mind.

Here's the key --> you're trying to get him to tell you something that you can protest the rule.

In this case the umpire actually made the mistake of saying "It was only incidental contact". BINGO - Protest Game time. Now he just admitted there was contact, and he can't weasel out of the actual rule which states that the base runner has to avoid the runner (so contact or not, this is proof that the umpire saw the runner not avoiding the fielder). That's what you base your protest on. And you'll win.

Game over, beat the weak team that was next, and the championship or 2nd place is yours. The way it actually turned out is they did get the 3rd run, we lose, play a super strong team and lose another 3-2 game in the loser's bracket.

Hopefully for you, you'll now be prepared to know your rule book, get the umpire talking until you find him making a ruling that's against the rule, then you calmly enter your protest before the pitcher throws the next pitch and either get the ruling right then or get it later and play the rest of the game over from that point on regardless of the outcome of the game (unless you end up winning anyway, at which point you drop your protest).

Please help me on my video

The video I've been telling you about is taking longer than I had hoped. So I was hoping by this newsletter you'd be able to see me in action as I coach and teach on the different styles of hitting that most coaches teach, the similarities and differences, and the benefits of both styles.

One of the things that's been holding me up now is the actual title.

Could you help me here? I've put up a webpage where you can vote on 4 possible titles and even enter one of your own if you don't like any of the 4. Please follow this link to vote.

My thoughts on the Bad News Bears II

Yesterday was opening day/night for the latest baseball movie, the Bad News Bears II. I lassoed up 3 of my kids (some of them are in other areas, so I couldn't get them all together) and we go see it.

Actually they had another motive to see it; one of my daughter's (Michelle) is actually in the movie. Only an extra, but shes still visible in 4 -5 of the scenes (as a fan watching her, in the movie "brother", while hes playing). Not even listed in the credits, but on her way to stardom.

As a movie goes, it was okay, maybe even funny, but it's hard for me to recommend to any of you a movie that has as much profanity and using the Lord's name in vain and especially coming from the kids themselves as this movie did.

So if that doesn't offend you the actual movie was comical and one of the starring kids actually has a really great swing (which is rare in baseball movies, they just cut after a horrible swing to the ball going over the fence).

The story line flows fairly well and teaches some life lessons along the way, but the drunken womanizing coach teaches some other subliminal messages that you might want to pass on.

So how's that for a mixed review? I trust this review helps you in whatever life stage you or your kids are in.

Leftovers in case you missed them

Last month, if you missed it I told you about a posting I made of my picture and many of you took me up on another video resourse I had for my fastpitch readers.

Here's what I said about the video: Sue Enquist, who you've heard me talk about in reference to this "new" (at least in softball circles) style of hitting, put out a video about her findings and demonstrates how to swing this way.

A lot of my students go to her UCLA summer camp to learn from Sue and the coaches that have lead UCLA softball to two 1st place and two 2nd place finishes in the last 4 years.

Now you can go as often as you want, right in your own home or if you can't travel to LA to take advantage of the live camp, she'll "come to you."

Go here to learn more about UCLA advanced hitting techniques.

If you wanted to see the picture of me, here's where to go.

Here's where to go if you're interested in going to the back-issues page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks again for all of you who read this newsletter. If you find it of value, could you please pass it on to someone you can think of right now?

Talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons.

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