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Thursday, November 22, 2012

More throwing

Well, happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

I had a great throwing session last week.  I met some teammates for some drills last Saturday at the covered batting cages at Newport High.  Good thing they were covered because the rain was pretty relentless.

It was great to actually throw with a little purpose.  It felt better to do something with purpose instead of just tossing the ball against the wall.

When I was recovering I kept goofing around with different grips for ideas I had for pitches.  One was a sort of "cut" fastball idea where I grip the single seam near the top of the horseshoe between my index and middle finger.  With the way I throw, I figured that the weight distribution would be uneven and cause the ball to move.  I threw about 10 of those on Sunday and 8 cut into a right handed batter.  Nice thing is, there's no additional torque on my arm and the grip is pretty solid.  I've got a few months to work it out and it could be pretty good.

I overdid it though.  I was pretty sore for a few days.  Lesson learned there.  I don't think it was just the throwing.  Batting takes a toll too.  On a strange note, I'm finally hitting this year.  Lots of positives are going on there including:
-Actually making contact with the ball
-Not popping every single pitch up
-Driving balls the other way.

Threw again today with Katy's sister.  It was pretty good.  I did the customary 60-70 throws at varying lengths.  I can already tell that it's going to take me a lot longer to warm up than it used to.  Maybe that will go away after a while, but right now I feel like I'm stopping just as soon as my arm actually gets loose.

It was fun.  I really forgot how much fun it is to play ball.  May can't come soon enough.

Oh, if you're interested, you can hit up www.sierramariners.org and see some video.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Practice

Saturday morning we had an impromptu practice.  We headed down to Rainier Beach High School which, let me just say this: Schools have plenty of money to have athletic facilities like that.  It's a ridiculously beautiful turfed field with nice dugouts and well manicured outfield.  Did I mention the brand new L screens and perfect batting cages? No? Well, they have them too.

It's a shame that the cages aren't properly covered and all of the leaves, branches, and other crap just get blown right in.  There was also garbage in and around the field. They should take a lesson from Lake Washington High School and not let a great field just get destroyed.  So, when you vote on education issues, just remember that there are some of these athletic fields and equipment that, once purchased, get ignored.

It's important that they let players and teams get on those fields to keep them up and get some use out of them. This field at RBHS is amazing and probably won't be used for another 5 or 6 months.  We'll likely be out there every few weeks and shake the water off of the tarps, rake the mound, pick up some branches, etc. We're hoping the PSSBL adds this to the rotation so another good field can get played on more than once a week for a few months a year.

Anyway that's enough of that.

Ivar, Chuck, and a few other people got together Saturday morning and knocked out some throwing and hitting.  I got my tosses in at a strong 90 feet.  It does take a while for me to start hitting targets though. I overthrew Chuck a few times, but finally dialed it in near the end. My mechanics have definitely changed and I can feel it now.  I think that's why I've been missing.  My release point is off.  I'm confident I'll dial it in within the next 5 months.  Yeah, I think I've got time.  The velocity was ok, but I'm not even worried about it yet nor should I be according to Ken.

I also hit for the first time in over a year.  The pain in my elbow was so bad that I couldn't swing worth much for the last few years.  Saturday I felt pretty good.  I hit a lot of stuff the opposite way and managed to drill a few. I think it's good to be away from that for a while.  You can kind of "reset" yourself and forget the bad habits you've learned.

The next day was no unusual soreness.  Everything felt great.  I did forget that after your take batting practice for the first time in a while, your hands and hips get pretty sore.  My forearms and shoulders felt good though.  Those are usually other spots that I get sore after throwing and hitting.

At any rate, it's great to be back on a field with my teammates.  Even if I'm limited.