September 2013

SCG renovation underway for 2014 MLB opener


20130930-185654.jpg

One end of the pitch is being graded to be more like a baseball infield in preparation for the 2014 MLB opener. They removed about 45000 sq ft of grass and slightly leveled the area where the infield will be placed in front of the new grandstand. The grandstand also had permanent dugouts installed as part of the total renovation. The SCG is not touching the cricket wicket so those hallowed grounds are safe. The SCG crew is awesome. What a great group to work with.image

MLBUYA 2013 field maintenance clinic, Compton CA.


imageCouldn’t  have asked for a better day for our final field clinic In Compton.   The weather was great and the turnout was also wonderful.   This year was our 3rd clinic in Compton since the first academy opened In 2006. Ironically out of the 70 attendees only a handful  raised there hands when I asked if they attended Previous  clinics.   we focused our talks on fall renovations and general maintenance.   It was great having Luke Yoder from the padres help out as well as Rene Garcia from the dodgers.   Also had chad Olsen handling a few talks.     We had Covermaster and diamond pro sponsor the clinics for this year.   A big thanks to each of them. There donation covered meals and expenses for the free event.   Also a big thanks to the local stma chapter for sharing resources to the group.

Next year looks like another busy clinic year And The academies keep growing.

Haarlemmermeer municipality new baseball field


imageThis  Natural grass baseball field construction  project in the suburbs  of Amsterdam is almost complete.   It was put to the test after a heavy rain storm Monday evening and throughout the entire night.   Overall, It rained several inches Monday and the field was totally dry as we walked across it Monday morning.    The warning track also didn’t have a single puddle.   This field was constructed on a parcel of land that is 5 meters below sea level.    Great job city , architect and contractor.

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL UP FOR OLYMPIC VOTE THIS WEEKEND!


BASEBALL/SOFTBALL UP FOR OLYMPIC VOTE THIS WEEKEND!.

BASEBALL/SOFTBALL UP FOR OLYMPIC VOTE THIS WEEKEND!


sydney 2000

This weekend the IOC will vote on 3 major items when they meet in Rio.   The host city for the 2020 Olympics, a new chief to replace  J. Rogge and which of 3 sports ( Squash, Wrestling or baseball/softball)  will be included in the 2020 games.

As for  which sport should be chosen as the  26th discipline  in my opinion, that decision should be made based on what the federations have accomplished towards improving the sports worldwide exposure both on the field and off.   The IOC members also  should consider what sport will be more appropriate at building relationships through teamwork at all ages and genders.  These values make our world a better place to live.

Beijing Olympic Recovery Mode

Wrestling was booted off the Olympic program just a few months ago and according to their federation have made huge changes to improve the sport.    From what I have read  they changed the scoring system and added two women competition classes.  I don’t see much change here even though I think the sport should be in the Olympics because of its tradition.   I could think of a few others that should have been considered for removal way before wrestling but that’s just me.

Squash is banking on the fact that they may not need a major sporting venue. I understand they’ve  also developed a new type of graphic scoring program.   I’m sure the sport has a large following  but  I travel quite a bit and I don’t see a lot of squash tournaments around nor do i hear people talking about the history of squash such as who their favorite team is, etc…  There is a World Squash Hall of fame and the current  top 10  players  are  from Egypt, England, Spain and France.   ( five from Egypt)

The Spirit of Olympic Baseball

Baseball and Softball have changed things drastically thanks to the leadership of  Don Porter and Riccardo Fricarri co-presidents of the World baseball softball confederation.    After being out of the Olympic program for 8 years,  they have retooled and made strides in growing the game around the world in both genders.      They have combined the baseball and softball organizations into one federation.  65 million participants play  the game around the world. They have  also developed a shorter competition format and the ability to host  both sports in the same venue instead of building separate facilities for both softball and baseball.  (That was a bit tricky but it will be cool!)

In the past  ( baseball and softball) was considered  an “American dominated sport”.  That tagline has really changed.

1.  During the past 3  World Baseball Classics you have seen teams such as Holland, Japan, Korea, Dominican Republic, Italy and Puerto Rico when top spots in the competition.

2.   Who won the 2012 Pan American Games?  Canada!

3.    Who won the last Softball Olympics? Japan!

4.    Who won the 2008 Beijing Baseball Olympics?   Korea!

5.    Who won the last 2011 Baseball World Cup featuring 16 top teams from around the world?    Holland 1st, Cuba 2nd Canada 3rd.

Bottom line the sport has emerged in the past 10 years as a true world sport with millions of kids and adults playing the game.   In my opinion (all though a bit biased as you can tell from the photos)  I’m pretty sure I would vote for baseball/softball.

Olympic Games are Underway...Rain an all!

I haven’t really followed who will be the next President of the IOC but most people are talking about Thomas Bach.  He’s from germany and supposedly made the suggestion to softball and baseball to combine federations back when they were trying to figure out what to do to get back in the games.

athens 2004

The 2020 site selection vote also makes for a nice dessert at this IOC function. Madrid, Istanbul and Japan will present to the group.   My take is  Spain has some economic issues to figure out however they already have most of the venues completed and they are a sports crazed nation but the summer games were just in Europe.    Istanbul is a 14 hour car ride to Syria which isn’t great timing for that group considering whats going on today,  however i understand its a beautiful country.    Then there is Japan … they are probably the safest country outside of the USA and feature baseball and softball as the top sport.     I think Japan has the inside track on this one but you never know.

It’s going to be an interesting weekend as the IOC members tend to vote based on protocols that no one has been able to figure out.   Stay tuned!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,586 other followers