April 3, 2016 |
As do many South Jersey high school baseball coaches, Holy Cross' Steve Paolini has mixed feelings about the value of analytics at the scholastic level. "Yes and no," Paolini says, in concise and seemingly contradictory explanation of his use of advanced statistics to evaluate players, analyze game situations and develop strategies. That answer sums up the state of analytics in high school baseball, although almost everyone associated with the sport agrees that the increased emphasis on gathering and interpreting detailed information in professional baseball has begun to trickle down to the collegiate, scholastic and youth levels.
May 15, 2015 |
CALL THIS THE week of flip-flops. First on Chip, and now this: I want the designated hitter in the National League. While doubling the potential trade partners for Ryan Howard seems motivation enough, I want it for the same reasons many of you don't. Uniformity. Collegiate baseball uses a designated hitter. High school baseball uses a designated hitter. Hell, American Legion even uses it. Congratulations to Little League for holding out, but then again, man, those pitchers can hit. More and more, the ones coming into the major leagues cannot.
April 3, 2014 |
CLINTON HICKSON had no idea where the car was headed; nor did he realize the direction the journey would ultimately guide his life. The Martin Luther King High senior was 10 back then, sitting shotgun in his grandfather's car, when they pulled up to the Mount Airy Playground on Germantown and Sedgwick. Linwood Vaughters, Hickson's grandfather, emerged from the car, baseball glove in hand and a simple explanation on his lips. "My granddad just drove me up and was, like,'You have practice today,' Hickson recalled yesterday on the field behind Simons Community Recreation Center.
August 1, 2013 |
DONALD HOOTEN is in a war against steroids. His son, Taylor, played high school baseball in Plano, Texas. In 2003, he was withdrawing from steroids when he hung himself. He was 17. In 2005, Hooten appeared before congressional hearings that featured the likes of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. He told his son's story. Congress, he said, listened attentively. And then? "They did nothing," Hooten told the Daily News last night. "We find ourselves 8 years later, and MLB is now No. 1 in youth education on performance-enhancing drugs and we can't get anything out of our federal government.
March 26, 2013 |
Major-league baseball historians refer to the first 20 years of the 20th century as the "Dead Ball Era. " South Jersey baseball has entered the "Live Arm Era. " Both time periods have stressed the same aspects of the sport: fielding, baserunning, situational hitting and, most of all, the performance of the guys on the pitching mound. "There are just so many good arms out there," Bishop Eustace coach Sam Tropiano said. "I'm not sure I've ever seen this many who are this good. " Combined with last season's rule change that reduced the "trampoline effect" of composite bats - an equipment switch that lessened the power of the rebound of the ball off the bat - the emergence of so many accomplished pitchers has transformed the sport.
June 20, 2012 |
Max Mason, 59, of Wynnewood, has a romantic view of baseball. His love extends far beyond players, and depends little on wins and losses. He is a painter, and sees baseball as a world of lines and planes, color and light, art and architecture. He can rhapsodize about the foul pole. His oil paintings hang in offices all through Citizens Bank Park, with three outdoor murals in Harry the K's restaurant. "One day I was painting during construction," he said. "There was this huge yellow thing that came in. They were putting in the foul pole.
June 15, 2012 |
For 27 years, the Carpenter Cup has been more than just an all-star high school baseball tournament. Since the tournament's inception in 1986 at Veterans Stadium, event not only provides top-notch competition, it also gives the athletes a chance to realize a major league dream. This year's semifinals and championship game will be played at Citizens Bank Park, the home of most of these players' big-league idols. Ultimately, this dream would not be realized for the Inter-Ac/Independents, who fell 5-3 to defending champion Lehigh Valley, at Ashburn Field on Friday morning.
April 1, 2012 |
Tylor Love looks like a shortstop and acts like a shortstop. He's rangy, sure-handed, a quiet leader with his teammates' complete trust. Nick Tierno looks like a second baseman and acts like a second baseman. He's quick, athletic, and a little louder than his buddy on the other side of the bag. Put the two of them together on a baseball field, and Eastern coach Rob Christ hears a symphony inspired by their synchronicity. "It's artistry," Christ said of his double-play combination.
March 31, 2012 |
Tylor Love looks like a shortstop and acts like a shortstop. He's rangy, sure-handed, a quiet leader with his teammates' complete trust. Nick Tierno looks like a second baseman and acts like a second baseman. He's quick, athletic, a little louder than his buddy on the other side of the bag. Put the two of them together on a baseball field, and Eastern coach Rob Christ hears a symphony inspired by their synchronicity. "It's artistry," Christ said of his double-play combination.
March 27, 2012 |
Brenden Delmonte has committed to attend the Naval Academy, but that might not even be his best water story. Delmonte is a star pitcher and outfielder for Cherry Hill West. He is a top student, a member of the National Honor Society, a two-time president of his class. He plans to study engineering. He is interested in Marine Corps aviation, with an eye toward becoming one of those Top Gun-type fighter pilots. But he's no swimmer. "From five years old, I was all baseball," Delmonte said of avoiding the pervasive swim-club scene in Cherry Hill.