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FREE College Seminar with Q & A: Recruiting, Admissions & Athletic Performance

For High School Ballplayers & Their Families

When: Monday, August 4 @ 7:00pm

Where: Matt Guiliano’s Play Like a Pro, 1745 Express Drive North, Hauppauge NY, 11788 www.playlikeaprobaseball.com

Presented By: DIAMOND COLLEGE ADVISORY TEAM www.diamondcollegeadvisory.com

If you play high school baseball and aspire to play in college, don’t miss this free information session at Play Like A Pro—the premiere baseball training facility in Long Island. This highly informative presentation on the college recruiting, admissions and selection process will be led by the Diamond College Advisory Team (DCAT), the nationally recognized advisory service for high achieving student-athletes who are both capable of, and serious about, playing baseball in college. The DCAT Question & Answer session will feature:

  • Justin Cronk— DCAT Founder & Executive Director—former Amherst College baseball & football player; former Head &Assistant College Baseball Coach (Amherst College, Boston College, UNC-Asheville, Shenandoah University); former Director of Headfirst Baseball & Headfirst College Advisory Team in Washington DC; Arbitration Assistant- Boston Red Sox; Head Coach Old World Baseball ( www.oldworldbaseball.com ) & USA DiamondCats

By attending this free seminar, student-athletes and parents will have the opportunity to:

  • Close the information gap that exists with respect to the college recruiting & admission processes
  • Obtain… Continue reading

The Best Single Person Baseball Drills: By Matthew T. Barrett

Welcome to Mid-March in the amateur baseball season. The days are longer, and the Sun is shining brighter. For many middle-school and high-school athletes across New Jersey, tryout season is over and it’s time to prepare for the regular season. The next few weeks until opening day can be the most important days of the season. It’s when players develop habits and tendencies that are difficult to break once they start playing games 3 or 4 days a week.

Therefore, the work that athletes put in now is crucial for their championship aspirations. At this point in the season, there is no such thing as working too hard. Your extra work, before and after practice, can help tone your batting fundamentals, fielding mechanics, and base running instinct.

So how do you make the most of your March days. We asked PremierSports coaches for their thoughts on the best single person baseball drills. These are drills that can be done early in the morning before school, after practice at home, or on weekends during off days. Best of all, they don’t require any fancy equipment or expensive resources.

Teeing it up! (Courtesy of PremierSports)

Here’s what our coaches said:

A) Advanced… Continue reading

Ask The Ump Special Feature Locked In: The Plate Mechanic Myth By Roland Wiederaenders

Publisher’s Note: CBP reprises this article, originally appearing in the Winter 2004 edition of “Officials’ Quarterly,” for it’s common sense approach to umpiring behind home plate, particularly working at the youth league level. The skills, mechanics and philosophy the author discusses are timeless and thus relevant to game applications today. At the time of its first publication, the article’s merits springs from the author’s extensive and impressive umpiring resume which included recreation, scholastic, and college level competition, including Texas Class 3A and 4A high school games for the Southwest Officials Association, national AAU Championship games in Florida, and successful completion of the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring in 1997. As explained in OQ, Mr. Wiederaenders’ seeks the truth while exposing the myths regarding the various plate mechanics that an umpire needs to master in order to effectively call a game. He handles with class and professionalism discrepancies between Jon Bible’s advice to college level umpires and his own maxims to novice umpires at lower levels. Likewise, CBP strives, through its Ask The Ump features, for common sense approaches to umpiring youth leagues games and tournaments in the 21st century’s growing obsession with travel team events and venues. Editorial… Continue reading

Bunting is alive and well in Dollywood

Those who believe the era of bunting in baseball is over haven’t met 90-year old Dorothy Juba of Park Ridge.

 

Dorothy Juba (Courtesy of the Orso Family)

Juba, an avid baseball fan and weekly bowler at Montvale Lanes, has no patience for those who say bunting will one day leave Major League Baseball.

 

“I can’t stand watching all these baseball people talk about getting rid of bunting,” stated Juba “Bunting is great and there is no need for such talk.”

 

Juba grew up in Fort Lee, often going across the George Washington bridge as a child to watch the Yankees play in the Bronx. She remembers the days of Phil Rizzuto and Mickey Mantle like they were yesterday and often tells her nephew about such stories.

 

To prove that bunting is still important to the game of baseball, Juba and her 20-year old nephew, Matthew Orso, went to the baseball fields in Upper Saddle River. Her nephew, comically referring to wheelchair bound Juba as Aunt Dolly, drove her to the fields on Saturday morning for an hour of bunting drills.

 

“Dolly always said her era of baseball was the best,” said Orso. I think that’s… Continue reading

WATCH ‘I’ll Knock a Homer for You: The Timeless Story of Johnny Sylvester and Babe Ruth’ on NJTV November 4th at 10 PM

From Producer/Director/Editor Andrew Lilley   The broadcast television premiere of my documentary film ‘I’ll Knock a Homer for You: The Timeless Story of Johnny Sylvester and Babe Ruth’ will air on NJTV this coming Monday November 4th at 10:00 pm. Following the 52-minute film there will be a brief interview with the Filmmaker Andrew Lilley by NJTV General Manager John Servidio. If you don’t know which channel NJTV is in your area, please check the link below to find out:   http://www.njtvonline.org/about/where-to-watch/   During the World Series of 1926, one of the most enduring legends occurred that has been shrouded in mystique for almost a century. Babe Ruth, at the height of his popularity, promised to hit a home run during Game 4 for an ailing boy in New Jersey named Johnny Sylvester. Ruth delivered on his promise, and one of the most famous human-interest stories was given life. To this day, the story of Babe and Johnny has reached mythic proportions in America’s popular culture. Johnny Sylvester was my great-uncle, and my documentary is the first one ever made on this special story. Through rare interviews with Johnny himself and people familiar with the events, this film… Continue reading

Diamondspikes Baseball Open Tryouts

Diamond Spikes Baseball Open Try-Outs for This Fall and Beyond

Open Try-Outs Dates for All Age Groups

Saturday 8/24 and Sunday 8/2512U and 13U – 9am – 11am (both days)14U and 15U–11:30am – 1:30pm (both days)16U and 17U 2:00pm – 4:00pm (both days)

All try-outs will be held at Abe Levitt Field, 50 Stewart Ave, Hicksville, NY 11801

Questions: email mcardino31@diamondspikesbaseball.com or call 631-241-6197. (no metal cleats)

Visit www.DiamondspikesBaseball.com for more information

 

Trade Deadline Rumors: Hunter Pence

     Hunter Pence is no stranger to the MLB trade deadline. In 2011, the Astros traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies, and last year, the Phillies traded Pence to the San Francisco Giants. For this years’ trade deadline, it looks like that Pence will actually stay with one team. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Giants will hold on to Pence and will not deal him at the trade deadline.

    Pence, 30, is eligible for free agency at the conclusion of the 2013 season. This season, Pence is batting .277 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. His average has gone up 24 points since last season, and is on pace to hit over 20 home runs.

    Pence broke into the big leagues in 2007 with the Houston Astros when he hit .322 with 17 home runs in his rookie year. Now in his seventh season in MLB, Pence is a career .284 hitter with 152 home runs and a .472 slugging percentage.  Hunter has shown power potential, as he slugged 25 home runs for three consecutive seasons. While he still averages over 20 home runs a year, he has not been… Continue reading

Trade Deadline Rumors: Matt Garza

       As reported on MLB Network, the Texas Rangers are willing to trade anybody on their roster, including the newly acquired Matt Garza. The Rangers have not ruled out the possibility of trading Matt Garza. 

      Earlier this month, the Rangers acquired Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs. In two starts with the Rangers so far, Garza has gone 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA. Combined with his time with the Cubs and Rangers, Garza is 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 starts.

     Garza has pitched for 8 seasons now in MLB, including stops with the Twins, Rays, Cubs, and Rangers. Known for his consistency, Garza has had an ERA under 4.00 every season except for his first year in 2006. Garza, pitching in his age 29 season, is a career 64-62 win-loss record, with an ERA of 3.77. Garza won the ALCS MVP award in 2008 while pitching for the Rays. Garza is currently under contract through the end of this season.

Editors’ Note: This article was written by LI Baseball Magazine contributor Sean Orso. 

Trade Deadline Rumors: Gordon Beckham

  Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Kansas City Royals have sent scouts to watch White Sox 2nd basemen Gordon Beckham. Beckham is currently under contract through the 2015 season.

   Beckham, 26, has only played in 51 games this season due to a wrist injury. With that said, in 51 games, Beckham is batting a respectful .306 this season. Beckham was originally used as a 3rd basemen his rookie year in 2009 but shifted to 2nd base in 2009.  The White Sox have even tried Beckham this year at shortstop, which could give the Royals some versatility for their infield.

 Through 5 seasons with the White Sox,  Beckham is a .250 career hitter with 51 home runs and 229 RBIs. Last season, Beckham had a career high 16 home runs, but also had a second straight season hitting under a .235 batting average. The most that Gordon Beckham can offer a team at the trade deadline is some versatility in the infield. Unless he can somehow sustain his .306 batting average, he does  not give a team much improvement at the plate.

Editors’ Note: This article was written by LI Baseball Magazine contributor Sean Orso.  

Trade Deadline Rumors: Chase Utley

        If there were any teams interested in picking up a decent 2nd basemen at the deadline, they can forget any aspirations of Chase Utley. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Philadelphia Phillies and Utley are working on a contract extension that would reportedly be for two to three years. Utley is currently under contract through the end of the season.

   Chase Utley, 34, is batting .277 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs.  While he is no longer the top tier second basemen that could hit .330 with over 30 home runs, Utley has been enjoying a modest, bounce back year. Utley stats, including home runs, RBIs, batting average, and slugging percentage, have all improved since last season. The last few years have been plagued with injury and trips to the DL for Utley. While Utley spent part of this season on the DL,  his stats have been able to improve.

 A five-time all star, Utley has spent his entire 11 year career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is a career .287 hitter with 212 home runs, 128 stolen bases, and boasts a .500 slugging percentage. As mentioned before,… Continue reading

MLB Trade Deadline Rumors: Michael Young (UPDATED #2)

1:58 pm: According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, two executives believe the Phillies and Red Sox are talking about a possible Michael Young trade.  He also believes the Yankees would be interested in Young should he waive his no-trade clause.  

11:41 am: Ken Rosenthal reports that Michael Young would also accept a trade to the Boston Red Sox.   

According to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network, Phillies’ infielder Michael Young will only waive his no-trade clause if the Phillies trade Young to the Texas Rangers. Young spent his first 13 major league seasons in Texas.

   Young, a 7-time all star, signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies last offseason. The Phillies have used Young primarily at 3rd base, but have also used him at 1st base. During his prime, Michael Young was known for accumulating over 200 hits a season and hitting .300. While the 36 year old is no longer putting up such statistics, Young  has been having an up year with the Phillies thus far, hitting .279 though 99 games thus far. However, Young could see diminished playing time, now that the Phillies have called… Continue reading

Young Baseball Author Chases his Dreams

(Nearly a year ago, our Media Manager Matthew Orso was featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show for his book; Bonded at the Seams: Baseball in our Lives.  We want to share interview with you, the LI Baseball Magazine viewers.  Congratulations to Mr. Orso for all of his hard work.  We wish him continued success in making Long Island Baseball Magazine the best magazine in the world.  The interview transcript is courtesy of rushlimbaugh.com.  We thank Mr. Limbaugh for taking time to interview Mr. Orso on his show last year.)

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

Bonded at the Seams: Baseball in our Lives (Courtesy of amazon.com)

RUSH: Here’s Matthew, Ramsey, New Jersey, you’re next, Open Line Friday.  Hello.

CALLER:  Rush, it’s an honor to be on with you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir. 

CALLER:  All right, I just wanted to let you know, I’m 18 years old, and everything that’s been going on with the economy, the examples that you’ve been giving, I just want to let you know that there are people in this country that continue every single day to work their you-know-what off.  I’m living… Continue reading

Babe Ruth: In Epic Poem Form

Baseball is a game meant to be seen. However there are greats of the past that have left us. Many young fans have never gotten to see these ballplayers in action. So in the first part of our Baseball Player Epic Poem series, Long Island Baseball Magazine looks back on the legend that was Babe Ruth.

 

Babe Ruth (Courtesy of SABR.org)

A swing of herculean descent

Whose power met no rival upon the battle field

Yet power alone does no justice

For the man who built baseball’s great cathedral

 

A southpaw up from the northern reaches of Maryland

Potential beyond that of legends prior

A man whose greatest asset to the native Bostonian sun

Was his arm and the feats along side it

 

Many a man scribed stories

Of Ruth the pitcher in Red Sox

Records were his to be broken

Though his greatest triumphs were defined as the World Series

 

Beloved in Boston by fans who fought to see

The man called Babe pitching into history

There was no way the Red Sox could lose the Babe

No no unless for Nanette

 

Funding for one tragic play

Lead to Boston’s greatest off field tragedy… Continue reading

2013 Massapequa Cyclones: By Paul DeGiovanni

The following is an article submitted to Long Island Baseball Magazine by Coach Paul DeGiovanni; chronicling the Cyclones 2013 season.   

 

The Massapequa Cyclones 12u baseball team, a town team made up of local Massapequa players, continues to have great success playing out of town tournaments.    Recently, they traveled to Florida to compete in an International tournament, the Disney Sun and Surf Baseball Bash.  

 

After beating teams from Illinois, Florida and Massachusetts, they came from behind to beat an Elite team from Kentucky which was actually a Regional All-star team made up of top players from Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky and other Mid-Western states.    

 

That set the stage for the Championship game against Puerto Rico who was heavily favored and ESPN’s highlighted team.   The Cyclones won 3-0 behind a wonderful pitching performance by Nick Collins who tossed a 1 hit shutout.   Many great defensive plays were made as well.    Over the course of the tournament, the Cyclones collectively hit over .419 and had an on base percentage of over .700.    In addition to over 30 base hits, they… Continue reading

Modern Baseball Equipment Trends: By Dan Shepler

With the 2013 baseball season in full swing, several equipment trends are emerging. Some vital information to help make purchasing the necessary gear easier to understand:

 

Bats are a hitters’ best friend! (Courtesy of Baseball Express)

Bats

 

Selecting a bat may seem intimidating given the wide range of options, but a few simple tips can assist the process. Ideally, a player wants the heaviest bat possible that still allows the fastest bat speed, generating the most power at impact. With the new BBCOR bats, players have opted for a shorter length to promote quicker velocity.

 

To retain optimal force throughout the season, some players purchase two bats – one perfectly-weighted at full strength and another slightly lighter model for use in latter months or deep into a game when fatigue may set in. When purchasing a new bat, be aware of the barrel size sanctioned by the league.

 

Easton remains the top-seller, followed by Louisville Slugger. The new DeMarini Vexxum and Voodoo have become widely-popular additions to the line-up. From $49.97 MSRP.

 

Footwear

 

Once it’s time to hit the field, finding proper and right-size cleats is essential. The majority of players lean toward low-top… Continue reading

Swing for the Fences (Rob Semple, Contest Winner)

(Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Rob Semple of Ronkonkoma, NY.  He is the winner of Long Island Baseball Magazine’s Spring 2013 writing contest.  Congrats to Rob and the other competitors on a job well done!) 

As a diehard Yankee fan, I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of exhilarating baseball, yet for me, no professional baseball memory compares to what happened in the summer of 1982, down at cozy Hallock Park in Patchogue, N.Y., when I was a twelve year-old little-leaguer. 

Rob Semple is a “diehard yankee fan!” (Courtesy of eyetheticker.com)

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a late-season game, a man on first, and the score tied at 12, I stepped into the batter’s box and the umpire, on account of darkness, promptly declared, “Last batter.” My father, also the coach, immediately waved me towards him, and thoroughly understanding the situation, whispered forcefully, “Swing for the fences,” before nudging me back to the plate.

To that point, I’d never hit a home-run in organized baseball (and would finish my career with two), but after the first pitch skidded in the dirt, I swung at the second with everything… Continue reading

Look Who’s Coming to Town! (By Kyle Lampasona)

 The Long Island Ducks, an Atlantic League team in Central Islip, are starting to build a star-studded lineup of players. Well, not ALL of them are stars. They have signed five former Major League players to their roster for the 2013 season. Those players are pitcher Ian Snell, second baseman Josh Barfield, catcher Ramon Castro, pitcher Dontrelle Willis and outfielder/designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero. Yeah, that Vladimir Guerrero. The Ducks have had big name players like 2-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez, former Mets All-Star Edgardo Alfonzo and 2-time All-Star José Offerman play for them (Offerman was let go after he charged at an opposing pitcher with a bat). They’ve also had famous former players in the organization such as Mets legends Gary Carter and Bud Harrelson, the latter who is still there. But this seems like something different. For those of you who don’t follow the Ducks, they finished 63-74, a .420 winning percentage, but won the Atlantic League title (yes, you read that right). Let’s take a look at these new players’ credentials. 

Vladimir Guerrero taking a mighty hack! (Courtesy of blog.pennlive.com)

 

Josh Barfield was a former top infield prospect who played four years for the… Continue reading

Mo Left His Stamp On Baseball

Enter Sandman.

No, not the classic Metallica rock hit that took airwaves by storm in the early 1990’s. I’m talking about the legendary, iconic New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. According to a press conference, Rivera had recently hinted that this upcoming season will ultimately be his last in pinstripes, but that was mere speculation and nothing was set in stone. This press conference on March 9th solidified his stance and confirmed every Yankee fans’ biggest nightmare-life without Mo. 

Mariano Rivera pitching (Courtesy of bleacherreport.com )

 

After the 2013 baseball season, Rivera announced that he will hang up his cleats and cede the 9th inning closer role to someone else. Now, Yankees Universe did happen to catch a glimpse of what it would be like without Rivera in the back end of games. Last year, setup man and now departed, Rafael Soriano, took over the reigns after Rivera was injured, and according to Baseball Almanac, impersonated Rivera the best he could, converting 42 saves in 45 chances. That was great and all, but fans deemed it as a detour and just a blip on the radar. They wanted to see Rivera, one of the last remaining “Core Four”… Continue reading

A Foggy Night in San Francisco (Emily Gordis, Contest Winner)

Publisher’s Note:  The following is an article from Emily Gordis from California.  Emily is the winner of the 2012 Long Island Baseball Magazine Thanksgiving writing contest! Congratulations to Emily and the other competitors! 

Pablo Sandoval is taking a mighty swing! (Courtesy of nj.com)

One of my favorite baseball memories has to be from May 12th, 2009 at AT&T Park.  It was the San Francisco Giants vs. the Washington Nationals and, as it happened, the second-lowest attended game ever at the stadium.  It was absolutely freezing and pretty miserable, up until the bottom of the ninth.  Two on, two out, down by one.  The intensity was palpable, even with such a small crowd.  I remember how every single person there was standing and we were all joking, “We just need a home run!” 

  And then there it was: a soaring shot, way out of here.  It was Pablo Sandoval, with the first walk-off home run of his career to win the game for San Francisco by a final of 9-7.   Looking back, I think that was a moment that really defined my transition from being… Continue reading
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