Here we go, the
winter workouts are in the book, and we are going outside. Our first practice is this
Wednesday, March 30th and we will be working on cutoffs, backups, positioning on every
kind of hit. We will also hit a little, and field a little.
The following is what we will learn Wednesday.
I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Defensive backups, and why we do them. You watch any major league game, and
when the ball is hit 9 defensive players move. They all have backup responsibilities, and
the reason why is they know any throw that gets away the runner will take an extra base.
By backing each other up they keep runners honest, and they keep the game close. Runs
will be scored, but you need to make the other team earn them, and not give them easy
runs. Backups are part of the game, we need to learn them, and then do them. To watch a
team move into their backup positions, spectators realize that’s a baseball team, and not
just nine young men playing baseball.
Remember: (there are no spectators on the baseball field when a ball is hit).
For the Bremen All-Stars the following backups are used, for the most part they will
remain the same at the next level of play.
When a ball is hit to the shortstop, or third baseman, the left fielder charges,
in case the ball gets through, the center fielder goes towards the ball, and the right
fielder goes behind first base for the backup, with no runners on base, the catcher runs
towards first base in foul territory as a backup.
A ball hit to either the first
baseman or second baseman, the left fielder goes towards the infield for a backup, the
center fielder goes towards the ball, and the right fielder charges, in case the ball gets
through, but if does not the right fielder goes behind first base as an backup, with no
runners on base, the catcher runs toward first as a backup.
A ball hit to left field,
the center fielder moves to left field as a backup, the right fielder moves behind second
as a backup, the shortstop goes towards left for a cutoff, the second baseman goes to
second base, the third baseman goes to third base, the first baseman goes towards the
infield as a backup, or cutoff, the pitcher goes behind third base as a backup, and the
catcher stays at the plate.
A ball hit to left center field, either the left fielder
makes the play, and the center fielder is the backup or the center fielder makes the play,
and the left fielder is the backup. Everyone else goes to their positions as in play #3.
A ball hit to center field, the left fielder, and right fielder communicate with each
other on who the center field backup is, and the other fielder heads for the infield into
his backup position. The shortstop and second baseman also have to communicate with each
other on who is the cutoff, and who covers second base. The first baseman, third baseman,
pitcher, and catcher move as in play #3.
A ball hit to right center field, either the
right fielder makes the play, and the center fielder is the backup, or the center fielder
makes the play, and the right fielder is the backup. The left fielder goes towards the
infield into a backup position. The second baseman goes towards right for a cutoff, the
shortstop goes to second base, and the rest of the infielders go to their positions as in
A ball hit to right field, the center fielder moves to right field as the
backup, left fielder moves as in play #6. The second baseman, and shortstop move as in
play #6, and the rest of the infielders move as in play #3. Sounds hard, it is, but once
it’s learned, we are on our way to being a competitive All-Star team.
Definition of Cutoffs This baseball term refers to a fielder who is positioned
to receive a ball thrown back towards the infield following a hit or fly ball into the
outfield. The designated cut-off man is determined by both how far and to which part of
the outfield the ball was hit. If the ball is hit in front of an outfielder, the cut-off
man will typically position himself at the outside edge of the infield. If the ball is hit
over the outfielder, the cut-off man generally moves into the shallow outfield to receive
the cut-off. The actual position player who becomes the cut-off man depends on which half
of the field the ball was hit. If the ball is hit to the left of second base, the
shortstop usually functions as the cut-off man, while the second and third basemen hold
their respective runners. On the other hand, if the ball is hit to the right of second
base, the second baseman usually will become the cut-off man and the shortstop will hold
the runner at second.
In addition to the above the Bremen All-stars position their first baseman in
line with home plate, in case we want the throw to go home. At the next level of play, and
on a bigger field, the first baseman will cutoff to home on the right side and the third
baseman will cutoff on the left side. But with the Bremen All-stars the coaches always
want third base covered that is why we use the first baseman.
Outfielders after catching the ball, do not hold onto the baseball (get
rid of it as soon as you catch it).
How do we execute this: the outfielder will
throw a line drive throw through the cutoff man, allowing the ball to be cutoff, or
continue onto the base. The cutoff man positions himself so the throw goes over his
shoulder that he has his baseball glove on, (-i.e. - left handed thrower over his right
shoulder, right handed thrower over his left shoulder). Why, so if the cutoff man catches
the ball (or cuts it off), he can pivot 180 degrees to continue the throw, or throw the
ball to another base, this is the fastest way to catch and turn and throw.
Where to throw the ball: The general rule with no one on base is to throw one base ahead
of the runner (i.e. a single hit then the throw goes to second). With runners on base it
becomes trickier, it depends on the score of the game, or how many outs there are, or
where the ball was hit, or the fielders arm strength. That is why with Bremen All-Stars we
tell our players to keep their ears open, for help in determining where to throw the ball.
March 20, 2016
Practice is a repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or
skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
Why We Practice We practice to
become more proficient in activities we already know. We
practice to learn new techniques, to advance our game, and
thus make the game easier. We practice to learn new
positions, and be able to play them comfortably in games.
We practice to understand different game situations, and
how to deal with them. We practice to become just not 12 kids
playing baseball, but to become 12 All-stars who know how to
play the GAME, and it shows to the fans, and the other
team. We do the winter workouts for the first part of why
we practice. We do the outside spring practices for the
rest of why we practice.
AND We practice to make the hard easy. Because if it was easy everyone
would do it, and do it well. It’s the hard that makes us great.
March 13, 2016
Two (yes 2) indoor practices to go.
The All-Stars have chosen their numbers, and I have sized and ordered uniforms.
Each All-star will receive 1 – Kelly green sweatshirt (with logo on front and number on
back). 1 – Kelly green uniform shirt (with logo & number on front and name & number on
back), two (2) - pairs of pants (white with Kelly green pinstripes), two (2) - pairs of
Kelly green socks (one size fits all), 1 – adjustable Kelly green belt, 1 – Kelly green
hat (with B on front & number on the side). Starting Wednesday March 30 we will practice
outside, we will not practice during spring break, unless there are enough All-Stars still
in town. I have changed the start and stop times for our practices, they are ½ half hour
later than in the past, (Coach Z works to 4:30 every night). Boys of Summer
update: New rule – To start a game each team must have at least nine (9)
players. Teams in the league: BREMEN – Nappanee - Triton – New Paris –
Mentone – Middlebury – Whitco. There is also a chance that Peru will be joining the
March 6, 2016
Saturday we worked on delayed steals, with quite good results. The following are 2 videos
on delayed steal, the first an explanation of what a delayed steal looks like. The second
an actual delayed steal by Chay Robinson of the University of Texas, why a softball
delayed steal, they have the same leadoff rules as our 12U team.
February 28, 2016
TIME for a winter workout update, 1 month in the books, and 1
month to go. We’ve been hitting, (pitching, and catching), and sliding, and I
am impressed. In the hitting side with Coach Z he’s working all the All-stars
on bat speed, and seeeeeeeeeeeing the ball. Z is having the hitters try
hitting from the other side to help keep their eye on the ball, and it’s
working. Pitching with Coach Town, and Coach Lopez, all the All-stars have
worked well on fundamentals, and I think they could all throw innings for
their Little League teams, with perhaps 6 or 7 throwing innings for the
All-Stars. We have worked 4 catchers with the gear on catching the All-star
pitchers, and they all show good fundamentals. We are practicing sliding, and
by the time we go outside all the All-stars should be first rate sliders.
have picked the All-Star uniform numbers, and starting next week (with the
6:00 to 7:00) we will size for uniforms. Boys of Summer League
update for the 12U league there are 5 teams signed up to play, with hopefully
more joining. The teams are BREMEN, Nappanee, Triton, New Paris, and
February 21, 2016
We have been working on our pitches; here are three videos on
what we will pitch this season.
February 14, 2016
The Art of Bunting
All-stars use the bunt as an aggressive offensive tool.
Why do we bunt, to move a base runner to the next base (sacrifice
To confuse, and make the defense nervous (bunting for
a base hit), they don’t know what the batter is doing, is he
bunting, or is he swinging away.
The following video is the
best I have seen on the art of bunting.
All-Stars Bunt Defense
When an opposing hitter
squares to bunt.
Outfielders start creeping in towards
Third baseman move towards home plate, to a
point even with the pitcher’s mound, (not any closer in case the
hitter is faking a bunt).
Shortstop move towards third to
cover that bag.
Second baseman move towards second to cover
First baseman cover first (DO NOT CHARGE THE PLATE).
Why? I want the first baseman covering first so there is not a
moving target at first.
Pitcher finish your pitch as normal
then move towards home plate.
Catcher catch the pitch as
normal, then watch where the bunted ball goes, and you decide who
fields the baseball (communicating this loudly). Why? You have the
entire infield in front of you.
February 7, 2016
The Art of
The above major league hitters are Jeff Bagwell, Joe Mauer, Julio Franco,
and Kevin Youkilis. The first row shows their stances, each one
is a little different, but what is the same is they are now starting the
process of focusing on the pitch (clearing the mechanismzoning
in). The second row is when they make contact with the ball,
look at their heads, and chins, both down seeeeeeeeeeeeeeing the
ball. Look at any major league hitter, and their stance, and
swing might vary, but when they make contact, they are all virtually the
same (eyes on the ball, chin down). This is what we will teach you, (the
contact), and if you learn it you will have success. We will teach the
basic fundamentals of swinging the bat, the proper stance, the proper arm
and bat position, the proper stride, the pivot of the back foot, and the
proper follow through. All of that learned, if you don’t see the ball you
will not hit the ball.
February 1, 2016
following along with learning, and advancing fundamental baseball skills,
is what the Bremen All-Stars is all about. We will have a great season,
and I am looking forward to it.
activity in which a group of individuals, on
the same team, work together to accomplish an
ultimate goal which is usually to win.
This can be done in a number of ways
such as outscoring the opposing team.
Team members set goals, make decisions,
communicate, manage conflict, and solve
problems in a supportive, trusting atmosphere
in order to accomplish their objectives.
Teams that often end up on the winning
end of the score in team sports are those that
work well together. Learning to
cooperate with others towards a common goal in
sports is what builds character, friendship
and important life skills for players and
coaches. The friendships built
within a team can last a lifetime for some
players, and the journey of a team throughout
a season is often memorable.
Micah Burkholder Caleb Cullers Grant
Devine Zach Schmucker
Trevor Devine Daniel
Gonzalez Dawson Hickman
Gabe Kerr Shay Kyser
Ethan Nunemaker Mason Porter Ashton Shively
BremenThe ballpark is located on
Woodies Lane between State Road 331 and 3rd Road.
NappaneeThe ballpark is located in Stauffer Park.
MiddleburyBallpark will be on the right.
ParisThe ballpark is located on Division Street (County Road 23).
MentoneThe ballpark is located on the corner of Jefferson, and Tucker, just
off State Road 19 south.
The ballpark is on right, parking south of diamond.
2013 MVP Evan Manges with Jeff Swank, Jeff Zellmer and Steve Zellmer
2013 MVP Evan Manges and Coach Jeff Swank
2013 Rookie of the Year Bryce Calentine, Nick Reese, Coaches Award Winner, MVP Evan
Manges and Jacob Wunder Highest Batting Average
Evan Manges and Reece Willis 2013 All County
2012 TRI-COUNTY TRAVEL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
2012 TRI-COUNTY TRAVEL LEAGUE TOURNEY 2ND PLACE TROPHY