Back in the classroom this morning after a much needed day off, I was greeted with another 100% on Saturday’s test. They actually draw a smiley face on your answer sheet when you get a perfect score. It’s almost better than getting your name up on the board. But what is better, is having Bill have to pay you a dollar like he did today. I believe that’s two in a row I have won. But there is no gloating as we had another test today, and more to come. Today we studied batting out of turn and suspended games. They did a good job of explain BOOT and for some reason, it was explained to us in a certain way that makes it seem fairly easy to understand. I don’t know if it is because I’ve heard it so much before, but the rules instructor here made it out to be simpler than I have ever understand it before. A good tip is that you really only have to concern yourself with the last two batters. Suspended games was a different story, as there are certain rules specific to the pros and the minor leagues. There are all sorts of conditions that regulate when a game is suspended, what constitutes a regulation game, whether you start over or continue, and when a game is rescheduled to be made up as a double header, whether the second game is 7 or 9 innings. I’m going to have to brush up on this topic tonight.
Back on the field, we continued with situations and they also started adding in runners lane violation. Had some good reps, got some good feedback, but I was not happy with one rep on the plate. Had a base award situation and I was just not in sync with my partner. No fault of his, he was fine, but I just wasn’t assertive enough. Wish I had that one back. Finished up with a good “That run scores” situation on a time play. Nice to finish strong on that note, in fact, at dinner tonight one of the Venezuelan students made comment on that play. I didn’t understand fully what he said, but all of us at the table understood him to mean the play looked like I was in charge and had been there before like Joe West. We had a good laugh a that one, and I’ll take it. I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable on the bases in terms of where to go. This has by far been the hardest part for me to master and I’ve talked about it in previous posts. But slowly I’m getting it and the instructors have been great in explaining what I need to do and helping me out. Got a nice compliment from one of the base work evaluators, so I hope I’m headed in the right direction. I want to learn and do well and the staff here has certainly been helping me out.
In the cages, we worked on the catcher setting up in, out, and right in the middle. When the catcher is in the middle or out, you just work you normal slot position. But when he is in, obviously you want to work up to see the pitch better. A simple technique for staying up is start in you regular slot position, (picture “on the rubber in a heel/instep”), as the catcher moves in you just take a slight step with your non-slot foot towards your slot foot. In other words, narrow your stance a bit and that will increase your head height. A simple but very effective method. Good stuff. Had some more good reps and the instructors keep fine tuning my stance. Today, I got a good suggestion on my finger placement when I call time. As I said before, they really focus on all the details. You just don’t think the little things make a big difference, but they do. We’ll keep at it and hopefully keep improving over these last few days.