Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seals: getting ready for our next game

Another great Seals game though I think all the players tonight were feeling the distractions of the busy end-of-school schedule. The usual suspects had some very nice hits tonight, but it was good to see others joining in too. Practice helps.

Also tonight Coach Mike distributed some Seals baseball cards he made up for our team. Each player has a pack of their own cards and one of every other card. Mike wins Coach of the Week this week!

We have seven potential pitchers -- that's almost unheard of. We'll be rotating candidates around so newer pitchers get more confidence. We also have two established catchers and one up and coming candidate. We're continuing to work on hitting and base running. Our practices run officially for one hour, but coaches will usually stay later to work with anyone who's interested. Pitching clinics are Monday nights, 7pm, at the Expo School field -- highly recommended.

Anyone who wants to catch can also attend the pitching clinics to practice catching. (Full protective gear is required, so make arrangements with coaches to have that ahead of time.)

I've done a very preliminary revision of HGRA Majors Seals 2007 batting order and positions. We moved Tommy to 3rd in the order to take better advantage of his hitting skills. There's a link on the left side of this page that will take you to this. Send comments, requests, feedback, etc to

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Post-game and positions for Game 3 (Homecroft)

That was unnaturally cold. I watched 'The Day After Tomorrow' on a late flight @2 am Thursday and I was having flashbacks during the game.

We played a very strong team to a draw. Great effort and spirit from everyone. We did have to explain to players that Little League rules mean that sometimes players play the same position twice or may sit out two innings in a row. We construct our rotation around pitchers and catchers, and pitchers have to pitch two consecutive innings.

We're working on the rotation for the next game. If everyone shows up then two players sit out three innings, I picked the unlucky players based on who played the most today. So if someone sits out 3 times the next game, they should only sit out 2 times the game after.

The draft rotation is here: HGRA Majors Seals positions 2007. Please email (or Marty, etc) if you'll be away on 5/31 or if you see an error or injustice. We'll try to sort it out in advance.

I'd like to hand out the rotation at our next practice so everyone knows where they'll be ahead of time. The batting order should not change and that's on the schedule too.

Update 5/31/07: We have an abundance of pitchers now, so we're rotating 7 pitchers through six innings. This makes the schedule easier.

Seals 2007 - positions, batting order, game on tonight

I've made our rotation and batting order available for everyone.

Click here for the Majors Seals 2007 current batting order and position plan

I'll update it weekly. Let me know of preferred positions.

The weather is clearing so the game should be on tonight.

Friday, May 18, 2007

HGRA Major League Standings 2007

HGRA Major League Standings 2007

The Seals come-from-behind victory gets top billing!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Games this week: reminders for Seals and Diamonds

Reminders for games this week:
  1. HGRA Baseball Schedules are online
  2. HGRA is very keen on shirts being tucked in. Look good.
  3. Bring water. Please.
  4. Write your name on your glove, inside of your cap, and your bat if you bring one.
  5. Seals please come before 6:15 pm so we can get your pictures.
  6. Don't turn your back on the batter.
  7. Don't throw your bat.
  8. Don't throw the ball at a player who's not looking at you.

Coaches: a note from Dennis Merley

This coaches note went out today:
1. The field we use at Highland Senior is the one that is tucked into the corner of Snelling and Montreal. Of the two softball fields, it is the one to the north.

2. The field we use for games at Homecroft is the west field, which is the interior field. It is the one at the end of the cul-de-sac, not the one that borders the street.

3. Minor League teams play 10 kids in the field. Please rotate them as evenly as you can.

4. Minor and Rookie teams should consider having a coach, parent or older sibling standing behind the catcher to retrieve balls that get by. It will really speed up the game. Have that person stand at the backstop.

5. All leagues (except t-ball) - know who is going to catch the next inning and get the gear on them while your team is still batting so that they are ready to go - this will speed the game up a lot!

6. If there are any cap or uniform issues, let us know. Some parents have tried going to local suppliers to ask them to give them smaller or larger shirts. Since they don't have the HGRA artwork, and since it is an infringment on our trademark, we are the ones who should take care of this.
So it appears we can get replacement cap or uniforms if there's a big sizing issue.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Seals treat schedule

We could use one more Seals volunteer for 7/28, but coaches will do that one if need be. Here's the schedule, Bryan is up first!
Bryan Visneski 5/17/2007
Calvin Carlson 5/24/2007
Luiz Rebello 5/31/2007
Elijah Gjerdingen 6/7/2007
Austin Shepard 6/14/2007
Melanie Luikart 6/21/2007
Kevin Yetter 6/28/2007
Brendan Conway 7/12/2007
Tommy Joyce 7/19/2007

Diamonds: treat schedule and numbers

Here's the Diamonds treat schedule. Henry is up first!
Henry Bogie 5/16/2007 690-1835
Charlie Peterson 5/23/2007 690-9910
Richard John 5/30/2007 699-5046
Mario Giorgini 6/6/2007 690-3847
Konrad Bostrom 6/13/2007 698-0210
Thomas Bricher 6/20/2007 699-9078
Ian Tuma 6/27/2007 698-1638
Owen McCready 7/11/2007 646-3084
Ben Faughnan 7/18/2007 699-0920
Charlie Pythian 7/28/2007 698-2724
Charlie took over Randy's slot. All of the slots are now filled.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Seals: pitching clinic and extra 1/2 hour for next practice

The head coach (Marty) asked me to pass on two items:
  • the Pitching clinic Mondays 7pm Expo School softball field for Major and Minor league players is excellent. Click the link for details. All kids can benefit from the expert instruction, not just would-be pitchers. Learn what the pros teach, and watch some excellent ball players in action.
  • next Tuesday's practice will run an extra half-hour so we can prepare for the game. We can't start a half-hour early because there's a team ahead of us. We think this will be a one-time extension, we know it's late for some players (like my son Tim!)
I also would like to thank Sean and James, who were moved by my courageous display of awful throwing and have volunteered to help out at practice when they're available. The HGRA parents guide suggests five coaches for a practice, so there's room for at least two more. Some of our players would benefit from practice with a patient adult, even if the adult has even fewer ball skills than me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Seals: practice parents needed for next week

We had a great Seals practice tonight, but, in case you can't tell, we're a bit short of hurlers. Mike has a healing finger, Marty has a bum shoulder, and John throws about as well as he did thirty years ago.

We're looking for 2-3 more parents to help with practices. You may think you're not much of a ball player, but we think you can throw better than John.

Uniforms will be distributed at the next practice. Please bring water, we had some thirsty players today.

The coaches may be ailing, but the Seals are looking good. Great attitudes and great attention from every player.

We'll be back at Aldine in a week, so there's time for you to find your old glove ...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Major League Seals: Practice Tuesday 7pm Aldine, Team name, Parents stuff

Reminder to all HGRA Major Leagues Seals families: Tuesday practices moved to Aldine. Follow the link for directions and a map.

Also, there will be a test on our team name:
Seals: San Francisco Seals, 1903 - 1957 of the Pacific Coast League. The DiMaggio brothers all played there.
Lastly, some excerpts from our hgra parental guide to the majors
At least 5 adults are needed for a quality, stations-oriented practice. You don’t have to be an expert to throw grounders, toss pop-ups or catch pitchers.

Games: All Major League games are on Thursday evenings at various fields in the neighborhood. Game time is 6:30 pm... Please arrive at games 15-30 minutes early for proper warm-up.

League rules require an adult contact for each child at each game and practice.

Game Rules: Little League rules apply. However - no bunting, no balks and only 2 steals per inning (not home).

Everybody on the team is in the batting order but only 10 batters bat during an inning. If the 10th batter puts the ball in play, they run the bases until tagged out or until a “force” play is made at the plate.

If after a fair number of pitches the 10th batter is not out, the umpire may order the batting team’s coach to pitch.

Other thing you can do to help:
  • Supervise the players on the bench and announce the batting order for the kids during the games;
  • Coach first or third base;
  • Full uniforms - caps, shirt, pants and socks - are required for games. Players without proper attire may be asked not to participate in the game (we can let the socks go but they look so much better);
  • Bring a jug of water and paper cups on hot, humid days - those who forgot will appreciate you;
  • Sign up for one night of post-game treats. They are a tradition in HGRA. Your coach or a volunteer will usually set up a schedule. Juice boxes, soda pop, cookies, rice krispie treats or popsicles are a few suggestions. Bring enough so brothers and sisters can have some too.
  • Important baseball rules to remember: In real baseball, plays occur that require application of specific rules.
  • Here are some of the particular rules that frequently come up that you might not know:
  • Infield fly - runners on 1st and 2nd, or bases full, less than two outs - a fly ball to the infield is an automatic out for the batter. This removes all force outs and runners may advance at their peril.
  • Batted ball hits the plate - this is a fair ball if it bounces into fair territory
  • Pitched ball hits batter’s hands on the bat - if the player swung, it is a foul strike. If the player did not swing, the batter gets first base.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

HGRA Diamonds: Snack and email

Thanks to a helpful parent volunteer we have email for all but Charlie Pythian, Zachary Sain, and Joe Boyle. All but the last game have snacks.

I'll be helping with the snack schedule.

HGRA Baseball Schedules Online

HGRA Baseball Schedules are now online.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

HGRA Rookie League Diamonds 2007

Practices for the HGRA Rookie League Diamonds 2007 are at Groveland Park Field 3 every Saturday at 2pm starting May 5th. Games are Wed 6:30pm starting May 16th. Schedules are not yet online. Coach Randy Kachmarzinski is calling around.