American Legion baseball needs to consider some changes
Nobody wants baseball, and specifically in this case American Legion baseball, to win more than me.
Legion ball brings special groups together – read in here Merrimack Senior Legion Post 98 and Nashua Junior Legion Post 124 – for amazing summer runs.
Baseball, pure, with wooden bats and simple goals – improve your game and represent your city or town.
This is not some week in Cooperstown or Cobb County, Baseball City or wherever, not some glorified run to fill up somebody’s bank account.
It is baseball and 14 or 15 guys bonding in the heat.
So here’s the gripe. For a second, why can’t the American Legion baseball people help themselves?
In this case, I bring up this past weekend’s State Final 8 and the Legion folks scheduling it over five straight days.
Because of the organization’s antiquated pitching rules, it turns a spectacular event on Friday into a slo-pitch softball tournament come Monday night.
The pitching rules are certainly up for debate. These are 18-and-19-year-old boys being coached by adults.
I don’t believe there is a real need for pitch counts. Common sense, not mandates.
But the rules are the rules.
Merrimack, at 4-1 heading into Tuesday night’s potential final doubleheader with Rochester, had already burned through six starting pitchers.
Legion baseball teams, even the best of them, are not built to go 7-8 deep in the rotation.
So why jam it all into five days when your opening night starter, in this case Post 98’s Patrick
Harrington, who was so special in shutting out District A top seed Concord on Friday, is basically done?
This is no “homer” style commentary either.
District B top seed Rochester has done no wrong this summer. Post 7 rolled through the summer at 13-3 and has delivered three straight wins at Gill Stadium.
And on Tuesday night, the success of its season hung on its No. 4-and/or-5 starters.
Is that right? Is it smart? Is it a way to influence a quality 16-year-old ball-player who has to make a choice to play for some AAU program, grasping at some college scholarship dream, or represent his city or town for the betterment of his game?
It’s time for a little more thought here. Help yourself.
Odds and ends
In the paying their dues category, I have to give it up for the boys hoopsters over at Nashua South.
I caught the Panthers playing in the rugged Hoops for Hope Summer League in Andover, Mass., each of the last two weeks and I have to have to say this is a group dedicated on improving in the winter. Great to see the commitment and determination. …
Please folks, remember who made the call on this first, your Boston Red Sox will be the first team in big league history to go 120-42 in a season.
They are simply mauling teams right now. Heading into Tuesday night, we needed Boston to go 45-9 the rest of the way. It can happen. All these walk-offs and comebacks are infectious. For those of you active on Twitter, I have created “#120and42” as a hashtag to keep an eye on. …
Finally, I leave you with this thought. The 2018 New England Patriots look an awful lot like the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers. Tom Brady equals LeBron James in this case, and the supporting casts are quite similar.
LeBron made the Finals, and Brady can certainly carry this bunch of Patriots flotsam and jetsam to the Super Bowl.