Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hot Stove Awards Dinner Nearly Sold Out

About 40 tickets out of 600 remain for this Saturday's Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Awards Dinner at CBC. Our own Myers Park Trinity LL will play a prominent role this year, as both the late Zan Copeland and our 2010 11-12-Year-Old All-Star team will be honored. Purchase your tickets online today if you plan to attend.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seven Reasons Against Specialization and Travel Ball

This is an old article, but an informative one: Seven Reasons Against Specializing in a Single Sport and Travel Team Play at an Early Age by Brooke de Lench of the MomsTeam website.

This is actually a series of articles with some thought and research devoted to each of her arguments. The main point is that kids should participate in various activities (may I add, not necessarily at the same time) for several reasons. If you are a parent of a talented athlete, this is worth checking out.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MLB Network's Diamond Demo's

The best channel on TV has a gold mine of expert baseball information. It's MLB Network's Diamond Demo's, where former pro players like Harold Reynolds, Billy Ripken, my man Sean Casey and others head to Studio 42 for instructional segments on all aspects of the game.

Whether you're a coach, a player or a parent, you can learn a lot from these valuable five-minute demonstrations. The Network's website has a video library will all the clips - nearly 100 so far.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hot Stove Finalists Announced

Finalists have been announced for the Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Awards. As was previously posted here, the late Zan Copeland of MPTLL will be honored at this event, and our 11-12-Year-Old All Star team from 2010 is a finalist for Youth Team of the Year. The other two finalists for that award are the Southpark 10-Year-Old All Star team and the Cuthbertson Middle School softball team.

The dinner will take place at Carolina's Baseball Center (CBC) on February 5th. Doors open at 6:30. If you plan to attend, buy your tickets online today. They are about 80% sold out.

First Youth Composite Bat Waiver Granted

Little League, Inc. has announced the first youth composite bat to be tested and receive a waiver of the moratorium instituted on December 30th for its Majors Division and below. I don't know that anyone in our league has it, but it's a Mattingly Balistk. I have doubts that many more will get a waiver, but we'll have to wait and see over the coming weeks. Here is the page where Little League will list all waivers. And remember to check here for all approved non-composite barreled bats.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MPTLL Store is Open for Business

Myers Park Trinity now has its own online store. Thanks to Rex and Tammy Brietz, the league is currently offering an assortment of products on its website: t-shirts, sweatshirts, wind shirts, hats, car decals, etc.

The MPTLL Store has both league and team gear, so check it out and show your pride.

Challenge Program Updates for 2011

Myers Park Trinity has made some changes regarding its Challenge Program for 2011. The Challenge Program is an opportunity for those players and families desiring additional tournament baseball experience during the regular MPTLL season.

This year parents will be asked to sign up for Challenge Ball as part of the normal league registration process. Remember that the Challenge Program is in addition to the regular spring season (Major League, National League, American League, etc.), so you will need to sign up for both if your child wants to try out for Challenge. And keep in mind that while all players will be placed on a regular season team, not everyone will be selected for a Challenge team.

For more information, the league has established a set of Challenge Program guidelines and an informational page for those who are interested.

Youth Sports Psychology Blog

I recently came across a blog about the psychology of youth sports. Topics include such things as confidence, mental toughness, parenting, bullying, etc. There is also a link to a partner site specific to the mental aspects of baseball. Yes, they have products to offer, but also some good information. Might be worth checking out.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

MPTLL Spring Registration Begins Today

Online sign ups for spring baseball and softball begin today. Go to the league website to register or to get more information about the season.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MPTLL Yard Signs Go Up Soon

Online sign ups for spring baseball and softball begin January 15th. That means our annual registration drive is about to begin. If you live on a main road or primary cut through street and would like to help the league by hosting an MPTLL yard sign, please send me an email with your home address. Thanks... Brandon

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Umpires Are People Too

ESPN's Outside the Lines has run a good story about Jim Joyce, the MLB umpire whose incorrect call at 1st Base cost Detroit Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game with two out in the 9th last season. The call changed Joyce's life forever, and this was his first national interview since that fateful night of June 2nd.

This is a story about sportsmanship, and the fact that everyone is human and nobody's perfect. If this can happen at the highest level, you know it is bound to happen at the youth level, where the umps are even more "human." The video is below. The article is on ESPN.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Info From Little League on Composite Bats

Little League, Inc. has provided additional information on its composite-barreled bat moratorium, which was announced on December 30th for its 12-and-under divisions of play. Williamsport released an article today on its website with clarification on various aspects of the decision.

Little League points out that it has not created new bat standards, but is rather enforcing its existing safety guidelines (1.15 BPF). Through scientific testing, it was discovered that composite-barreled bats, once broken in, were exceeding those standards.

More helpful to coaches and parents, Little League included in today's information a short FAQ section at the bottom of its article, a link to its Facebook discussion on the subject, and most importantly, a detailed list of specific non-wood bats that are currently approved for play in 2011. I received my own new bat today and was relieved to see it on the list.

I will continue to post more information as I get it. At some point, they will publish a list of any composite bats receiving a waiver, if any. Click on the "Bats" label below for more info.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MPTLL To Be Recognized at Hot Stove Dinner

February 5th will be a big night for Myers Park Trinity. That's when the 4th Annual Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Awards Dinner will be held at Carolina's Baseball Center (CBC). Hosted by the South Charlotte Sports Report and CBC, the Hot Stove Dinner is a celebration of youth baseball and softball in the Charlotte area. Awards are presented each year to the finest high school and youth players and teams the city has to offer.

This year our own 2010 District 3 Champion 11-12-Year-Old All Star Team has been selected as a finalist for Youth Baseball Team of the Year. This is the only age group to go through our Little League program and win two district titles (2008 and 2010). The team became Myers Park's first 11-12-Year-Old Major League District Champ in 23 years.

Even more special, the Hot Stove Committee has also voted unanimously to recognize the late Zan Copeland with its Contributions to the Game of Baseball Award for his lifetime of service to youth baseball. Zan proudly represented Myers Park Trinity for most of his life. He was a player for the Hotpoint team; a manager for the Trinity team; an All-Star manager for dozens of teams including district champions; he was a longtime board member; he created our Fall Ball program and Baseball Fever summer camp; he was a passionate and tireless advocate for the children of the Grier Heights community.

Zan died tragically in a house fire in June. He will be missed tremendously by the people of our league for years to come. But it is nice to know that he will be remembered, not only by Myers Park Trinity, but by the entire youth baseball community of Charlotte.

For more information on the Hot Stove Dinner, visit their website. Tickets for the February 5th event are being sold online. Finalists for all the awards will be announced in the days to come, and I will post more information here as I get it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Science Behind Power Balance Bracelets

Somewhat related to my previous post on Titanium Necklaces...

...The makers of a similar product, Power Balance, have admitted that there is no scientific evidence behind their hologram-embedded bracelets and other products. The company still claims though, in about as vague a manner as possible, that the holograms interact with the human body's natural energy flow.  Who needs science when you've got $35 million in annual sales.