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Buzzsaws program updates

Any messages that are sent via e-mail that affect the entire program will be posted here also.  Subscribe to the posts to ensure that you receive all important communications.

Off-season workouts officially begin

posted Nov 11, 2013, 2:31 PM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Nov 11, 2013, 2:31 PM ]

Hi all,

I wanted to send a general update to everyone regarding the off-season schedule. You will be getting regular updates like this to keep everyone in the loop.

Reminder - you should have made your second installment by now if you are not on auto-debit. You won't receive a reminder or invoice or anything. Just send a check or login to your account and make a payment. I do not want to see anyone get behind on their installments because it puts both of us in a bind. Please communicate with me if there are any issues.

Open Workout coach Schedule - I have added the open workout coach schedule to the master calendar at www.playballohio.com/buzz-saws. This week, RJ will be there on Thursday and Friday from 3:00 - 5:00. I will update the master calendar each week with RJ's schedule. To read more about how it is designed to work, click here.

QuEST - Keith has said that attendance is good for QuEST but in my opinion it needs to be much better, especially for players who aren't playing another sport. It's for their own good and it WILL make them stronger whether they like it or not. Please tell them that we are keeping attendance and it will be one of the first things we look at when a player comes to us and wonders why the season isn't going as well as they would like.

Twitter - Remind your boys to follow us on Twitter @Buzzsawsball. I will be sending weekly messages and encouragement and I want it to go directly to them from me or one of the coaches.

Pitching Programs - The optional off-season programs will be announced soon via my newsletter. I am working on the schedule now for programs and clinics for every subject. The first one will be the velocity pitching program for high school aged players (14u included). Buzzsaws players get a discount on all programs and you will be notified first when they are scheduled and ready for sign-ups.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Coach Dante

Observations - bad news, good news, bad news, good news

posted May 21, 2013, 10:53 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated May 21, 2013, 10:53 AM ]

All,

I feel compelled to send an early season report for my observations about the season so far.  I timed it and it will take you 4 minutes to read this entire e-mail filled with important information. 

Observations - I don't want to get into an evaluation of each team or individual players.  I want to make this observations though.  It's hard to know how much progress first year players have made but the players who are in their second and third year in the Buzzsaws program have made significant improvement.  As an example, the 14u Varsity team is made up of four players who are in their third year with the Buzzsaws and five players in their second year.  Three of those five players had worked with me and coach Jimmy even before the Buzzsaws were formed.  There are only two new players on the team.  In our first year, we were under .500 and NEVER won a tournament game.  Last year, almost the same group of players had a record of about .500 and made it to the quarter finals of a couple of tournaments.  They started last season slow (probably 1-7) and finished strong.  Right now, the 14u Varsity team is 6-2 and we were the runner up in a very competitive tournament two weeks ago.  Here is my point - this team has been developed, not recruited.  The players have all worked hard on their own and they all have a passion for the game.  I am watching players blossom right in front of my eyes.  It would be easy to recruit players who are already good but the whole point of this program is to develop the players who want to be trained.

We are continuing to evaluate our own program from within and make adjustments that make sense.  You will continue to see adjustments as we try to refine the program to be the best it can be.  We know what to teach and how to teach it.  We are struggling with the logistics of continuing to train within the season.  There are so many moving parts that it becomes very difficult to schedule.  But we are constantly communicating and working on ways of putting the pieces together.   One of the moving pieces is access to fields (see below).  If I can solve the field issue, it will allow the coaches to call more practices and for me to schedule more workouts with Coach Jimmy.  In the meantime, you should see coach Jimmy attending some games in the near future to provide feedback to me, to develop a practice plan and even provide observations to the coaches.

Reminder - the academy has plenty of availability.  If your son has not been using this free resource, I would encourage you to make sure he knows it's there for him to get better.  The boys know how to work out on their own.  We've taught them plenty of drills and methods for working on their game.....they just have to do it.  Remember, they are allowed to bring a friend anytime they work out at the facility to throw BP, catch with or whatever.  Please use the facility, that's why it's there.

Fields - I am about to pull my hair out regarding the fields.  After all the work to get Lakeview ready, the Stow bureaucracy steps in and takes over.  Not only did they inform me that 13 and 14u players are not allowed to practice there (because of neighbor concerns of damage to their house) but now we have to go through a three person committee to schedule the field.  I will do my best to get some practice dates there but I can't say I am surprised at how it has turned out.  However, I have identified another private athletic complex that I am pursuing right now.  I will have to pay for the use of these fields but I have reached the conclusion that this is the only way to have access to enough fields to practice as often as I and the coaches would like to.   I should have something concrete in place by the end of this week.

New Facility - As I have shared with many of you, the State Rd. facility that I had agreed to purchase has been officially nixed.  There were some environmental concerns that I had and the owner and I could not come to an agreement about how to mitigate the legitimate concerns.  In the meantime, I had put an offer on another property on Seasons Rd. which had some potential.  But, the owners accepted a higher offer than mine and I declined to pursue it any further because I think I have identified a better situation (which is related to the athletic complex).  I will share more information about this complex as soon as I feel comfortable that it is a real possibility (at this point, I think it's better than 50/50).  If everything pans out, this athletic complex and the potential building that we will build would match my wildest dreams about the vision I have for facilities and for the future of the Buzzsaws.  Stay tuned. 

Account Balances - Please check your account balance and let me know if there are any discrepancies.  This is the time of year when cash flow planning is critical and I need to know that all balances are accurate and will be paid in the near future.  To check your balance, click here - http://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp?studioid=30852&stype=-2, login and click on the "account" link.  To pay your balance, go to "Payments and packages/Account Payments".  Please let me know if there are any discrepancies or errors. 

Uniform Maintenance - Some of you may have noticed some fraying of lettering for some uniforms from last year.  I found out that in order to preserve the jerseys, do not wash them with fabric softener and it's probably better not to dry them in the dryer. 

Dominican Trip - For those of you who are interested in the baseball mission trip to the Dominican Republic later this year, I will be sending a separate e-mail within the week with some of the details.  The boys who went last have said that it was an unbelievable experience as it was for me.  Ty and I are excited to take another team down there to play baseball in one of the great baseball hotspots of the world against players who they would never have the opportunity to play against otherwise. 

QuEST - I will be sending a separate e-mail about QuEST.  I beleive the boys should be continuing in QuEST even during the season.  QuEST is a necessary part of the development process and if the boys aren't enrolled, they are missing out and falling behind.  Keith and I will be making some minor changes to keep the program going strong and to encourage more players to be in it.  Look for an e-mail tomorrow about QuEST.

Dante

Buzzsaws Updates

posted May 6, 2013, 11:24 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated May 6, 2013, 11:24 AM ]

This is going out to all Buzzsaws parents.  I will try to keep it brief.

Great News!! - Lakeview field on Graham Rd is ready for us to use for practice.   I just got the word over the weekend that it has been completed and I have asked the coaches to give me a practice schedule that we can publish and communicate.  I want to give all of the credit for the use of this field to John Prusa.  Those of you who are from Stow know that he is a major driver behind some of the facilities improvements over the past few years.  John personally donated his time, equipment and money to completely renovate the infield at Lakeview for us to use.  I will be helping the school figure out the best use for this field moving forward but for this year we will have first priority and we will control the schedule or practice use.  Note:  I have instructed my coaches that it is imperative that we do not hit any baseballs into the yards of the adjacent homes.  It is a long hit (280+) so I don't expect it to happen but it is very important for the use of this field that we do not upset the neighbors.  Practices with team coaches and Coach Jimmy will be scheduled and published in the next 24 hours. 

Highpoint Lawn Service - I also want to give a plug to John's business which is Highpoint Lawn Service.  As I said, he has donated his time and money to fix this field and this is not the first time he has done this for Stow.   If you are considering getting a lawn service this summer, please give them a call at (330) 688-8500.  I have contracted for them to service my house this year and they even did the first application for free.  My lawn looks excellent right now after "struggling" last year.  This plug is completely unsolicited and he does not know that I am sending this message out.  But I feel that its important to support local business who support the community and Highpoint Lawn Service has certainly shown that support.

Player of the Week ballots - I am awaiting all of the nominations for player of the week voting to begin this week. Each Tuesday I will post a poll on the web-site.  You can find the link on the main Buzzsaws page.  There will be a nominee from each team and the winner will get some gift cards and recognition.  Also, all of the program sponsors will be promoted each week on the page so please take a moment to read about their business to see if it's a service you would be looking for.  The banners for the sponsorships should also be ready in the next day or two and will be displayed at each game.  One of the ways I plan to keep costs down in the future and maybe even reduce the player fees is through sponsors.  So please help me prove to the sponsors that the Buzzsaws can be a boost to their business by mentioning when decide to do business with them. 

QuEST - Look for an update in the next few days about QuEST.  I think it's important for the kids to continue in QuEST during the season and I am going to be sending an update about QuEST that will hopefully make it easier for the players to participate. 

Gamechanger - We are still looking for someone from a few of the teams (11u, 13u V and 14u JV) to become the official scorekeeper using gamechanger.  This app will help me and Coach Jimmy to keep up with what's going on and get a feel for the games.  Please get a hold of me if you'd like to do it and have reasonable understanding of scorekeeping.

Opening Day - Several of you have offered to help out for Opening Day this Saturday but those e-mail responses are buried so please let me know if you are one of them.  There isn't much to do but it would be helpful to have one volunteer from each team.   Basically, I will be asking people from each team to bring one item like hots dogs, buns, drinks, dessert etc. for all to share.  Also, I am looking for a few people who could provide a grill to be used on Saturday.  We will be cooking hot dogs all day long so I may need a few volunteers to man the grill for an hour at a time.  Other items that could be helpful are:  large cooler, large tables etc.  If you want to help in any way, please let me know.

Thanks,
Dante 

My annual pre-season reminders

posted Apr 11, 2013, 7:37 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Apr 11, 2013, 7:37 AM ]

All,

I will spare you the entire content of my annual pre-season reminders but I have provided the link below to the page with all of the wonderful reading content.  I have also listed the subjects that are covered and highlighted a few points that are very important.  Please take a few minutes to read the content and contact me with any questions.  Also, please re-read this information if you are feeling upset about something related to your son that you feel compelled to discuss with the coach.  Our ultimate goal is to help the players get better throughout the season to ultimately become as good as their God given abilities allow them over the next few years.  Remember, this is a multi-year process, especially for the younger players. 

Reminder about team tuition - Uniforms are done and will be passed out this weekend.  From the beginning I have said that uniforms will be withheld if I am concerned about your outstanding balance.  Last year we had thousands of dollars in unpaid team fees that were never collected and I do not want that to happen this year.  If you are unsure of your balance, click here, login and click on the "My Info" tab and the "account" link below it.   Please communicate with me if you need to work something out or if you think the balance is wrong.  Generally, I will pass out the uniform if we can agree to an "auto-payment" schedule that will have the balance paid in a reasonable amount of time.  Also, we do accept credit cards.  I am not concerned about those of you with a multi-year history who may be taking lessons and have a constantly fluctuating balance.  I do not mind a balance of a few hundred dollars, I am more concerned about anything over about $400.  If you are planning to pay the entire balance at once, just let me know.  Either way, please contact me to work something out.  I would hate to have to withhold uniforms and it would be very uncomfortable.

Roster decisions - For those with players on the 14u and 13u teams, the roster decisions will be made this weekend and communicated to the players.  We won't have time to communicate the entire expectations and/or areas of improvement with each player but they are free and welcome to follow up at a later time.  We are trying to develop independent, mature young men so we will be communicating to them directly without the parent present.  Naturally, the players will tell their parents what the coach said and then there will be questions.  I am asking parents to wait at least 24 hours before contacting the coach or me.  We already know that 50% of both age groups will have disappointed players but I want to remind everyone that we are putting them on the roster that we think will be best for their development too.  This means that some players who could play Varsity might be put on the JV roster so they can get playing time at their best position.  We are trying to prepare them for high school and life and we think overcoming adversity and disappointment is a part of the maturing process.  We hope that we are doing this as a teammate of the parents who want the same things for their kids.  Also, remember that kids can be invited to Varsity tournaments and/or promoted to Varsity during the seasons.  Players can also be send to JV if we think it's best for their development. 

Here are the subjects covered in my pre-season message by clicking this link.
Coaching from the stands
Food and family in the dugout
Missing games
Flexibility
Team politics
Coaches will make mistakes


Other notes:
  • We are planning a weekly outfielder clinic in addition to the infielders clinic we are working on
  • We have May 11th reserved as our "home opener" at Double Play when all team will play.  If you have a large grill that you could bring for the day, please let me know.  We would love to have the smell of hot dogs and burgers in the air.  If you would like to help plan this day, please let me know. 
  • We are planning a "player of the week" award to one player each week that you will all be able to vote online for.

I am really excited about this season.  I've seen a ton of progress, especially in players who are entering their second or third year with us.  We have a LONG ways to go to get to where we want to take them but we are on the right path.


Thanks,
Dante

Spring training, Schedule and Facebook

posted Apr 2, 2013, 9:36 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Apr 2, 2013, 9:36 AM ]

Originally sent on March 26th, 2013

Spring Training is finally upon us starting next week!!  It's time to get excited about the start of the season!!  
Spring training is the time to start learning to play together as a team and increase the intensity of the focus at practice.  It's also time to try and do everything in your power to have the boys at the practice that is designated for their age group.  To this point we have worked on individual skills but now we turn the page and work on playing as a team.  From this point forward, they are trying out for the positions/team where they want to play.  Let me state this again........From this point forward, they are trying out for the positions/team where they want to play.  The coaches are officially taking over their teams next week and they will start to form opinions from this point forward.  This includes hustle, executing simple tasks correctly and paying attention to what the coach is teaching them.  This also includes understanding the responsibilities of the position they want to play.  Please be sure to share this e-mail with them because I may not be able to communicate this directly to each player. 

Facebook
.....I would like to suggest that everyone "like" the Buzzsaws facebook page which is https://www.facebook.com/SummitCountyBuzzsaws.  I especially want the boys who are on facebook to like the page because it is a great way for coach Jimmy, Scott or Ty or any of the other coaches to post something directly to the boys.  There are so many times where I see something during a game that fits into something that I've been talking about and it would be great to communicate it with them.  Also, I run across video's that I have been posting which re-inforce some things that we are working on.  I think this can be a valuable tool for them to learn from. 

Schedules -  The 13u and 14u schedules have been posted online at the team pages respectively.   There is a calendar for each team in the age group.   Obviously, the players won't know which schedule applies to them until the teams are formed.  The 11u and 12u schedules are done, we just need to upload them. 

Reminders - this is the last week for our standard practice schedule.  Starting next week, we will do our best to put a practice schedule out as early as we can.  We will practice on Saturday's no matter what but the times may vary depending on the weather.  We will post the times to the web-site and probably send e-mail messages.  I will probably try to have some hitting practices throughout the week in the early evening as the schedule permits.  Birth Certificates - there are many who have not provided birth certificates and we will need them before the games start.  You can scan and e-mail them to me if you haven't turned it in yet. 

Final Programs - I decided to schedule a basic pitchers program for April from 8 - 9:30 (Tues/Thurs) to avoid conflicts with outdoor practices.  I know it's a little late in the evening but it was the only time I could fit it in.  I also pulled the trigger on a final "experienced" catchers program and a basic catchers program.  Each catching class can fit four students and starts early next week.  I also added a hitting program for Saturday mornings.   Here is the link to all programs for April - click here.  The season does not get into full swing until May so I felt that this would be a perfect way to get extra work for those who want to participate. 

Catchers:  Special note - Catchers need to be working on their blocking skills every day starting NOW.  Blocking is the most important job of the catcher and they cannot get adept at it if they are not practicing it every day.  They have to take pride in their blocking skills.  NOW IS THE TIME TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT IT.  DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE SEASON STARTS.  THERE WERE WAY TOO MANY PASSED BALLS LAST YEAR AND THE ONLY WAY FOR A CATCHER TO EARN PLAYING TIME IS BY CATCHING THE BALL AND BLOCKING, PERIOD.  Please pass this message along to the boys.  There will be very minimal patience by the coaches for catchers who cannot perform these most basic functions of the position......sort of like a point guard who can't dribble very well!! 

I am really excited about this season and I know the boys are tired of being in doors.  Please be patient in April as the weather dictates almost 100% of what we do and when.

Thanks,
Dante

April Schedule

posted Mar 19, 2013, 3:32 PM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Apr 2, 2013, 9:35 AM ]

As previously communicated, April is intended to be like "Spring Training" where we will get as much work in as the weather allows.  This means group workouts, practices and scrimmages.  If someone suggests a scrimmage, we will take advantage of it.  We will also have the opportunity to play some intra-squad scrimmages which we will do.  Here is the schedule as we know it right now.

April Spring Training schedule (please read, very important) - The schedule in April will be modified to try and take advantage of the weather when it is good but still keep somewhat of a regular schedule when it isn't.  Starting the first week of April, there will no longer be a Sunday practice for 12u.  The 12u practice will be moved to Saturday at 10:00 - 11:30.  All other practices will be moved back 30 minutes (10/11u 11:30 - 1:00 etc.).  However if the weather is good, we will be outside or scrimmaging somewhere.   I will send individual team e-mails about your practice schedule and plan within the next 24 hours.  I would like for the boys to be with their team and age group as soon as April starts because we will start working on team and age specific items such as defensive situations, bunt coverages, first and third situations, cutoff from the outfield, pickoff plays offensive plays etc..  It is VERY important that the boys know these plays for the positions that they want to play.  Read my comments (rant) about position play here.  The coaches will be officially taking over their teams in April and you should expect that all communications will come from them.  Here are some dates to put on your calendar.

April 6th - Field maintenance day from 9-12
April 6th - Outdoor practice at different times (see your age group)
April 13th - Outdoor practice (weather permitting).  Indoor practice if weather is bad (see your age group)
April 15th approximately - Announcement of Varsity/JV rosters - Click here for more details about Varsity/JV decisions
April 22nd - Official first day of possible games
May 11th - Home opener at Double Play (Baseball, Hot dogs and apple pie)

Other rough dates
March 29th +/- = schedules completed
April 15th  - Uniforms delivered (see below)
May 1st - Team fee completely paid (or other arrangements made.  No uniforms if agreeable arrangements aren't made beforehand).  If you have been paying installments and have a small balance (< $400) I am not as concerned as those who who have larger balances.  I personally paid over $3,000 last year from unpaid team fees for players who are not in the program any more.

What travel ball parents need to know about position play

posted Mar 19, 2013, 9:15 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 12:31 PM ]

This post is an attempt to educate travel parents on what goes into defensive position play so that you may understand that in travel baseball and every level beyond, each position has its own unique responsibilities that most parents are not aware of unless they played or coached travel baseball or softball or above in the past. 

Responsibilities - When we say that each position has a responsibility, it is important to understand that these responsibilities grow as the kids grow.  It is our job to teach the players their responsibilities and it is the players job to learn their responsibilities IF they want to play a certain position.  From the untrained parents perspective, the role of the second baseman and the shortstop is the exact same except the shortstop has a longer throw.  In reality, the shortstop and second baseman positions are almost the exact opposite.  It's not that they are doing different things, but more specifically their positions are mirror images of one another.  For example, when the second baseman (2B) is responsible for covering the base on a steal, the shortstop (SS) in NOT and should stay "home".  Or if the 2B is the cutoff for a play from right field, the SS has to cover the base.  Can you see that if the 2B tries to do everything the same as the SS, he will be in the WRONG position on every play?  So when a player tell us that he wants to play a certain position, our first question is going to be something like "do you know the responsibilities of the position?"  If he says yes, then we may ask something like "what is your responsibility on a bunt coverage when we are in blue coverage?" or "what is your responsibility for bag coverage when the ball is hit to left field?"  In general, our philosophy is that each player needs to master at least one position before they can branch out to other positions although there will be times (because of pitching and catching rotations) that we will need various players to play various positions.  Their job is to take responsibility to learn the positions they want to play. 

Skills - Their are different skills that are required for each position.  For instance, the 2B needs to cover more ground than a 3B.  But the 3B needs to make a longer throw than the 2B.  So as you can see, 2B tend to have more lateral quickness than 3B and 3B tends to have a stronger arm.  As coaches, we know which skills the player possesses so we are able to project where that player may have a future.  Each position has its own uniqueness and the coaches job is to put the best total defense on the field.  Typically the shortstop is the prototype athlete with quickness, good flexibility and mobility, a strong arm and leadership skills which is why it is a prestigious position to play.   But not every player has skill necessary to play that position so it is up to the coach to put the player he feels will be best for the team at that position.  Naturally, it is a great problem for a coach to have if he has several players who are the prototype shortstop and it is a luxury that he may be able to put one of those players in another position which may enhance the team overall.  The fact that our rosters are relatively small means that when you consider the pitching rotation, it is important to have at least three players who can play each position so it will be important for the players to learn multiple positions.  The coach will decide which positions each player projects based on their skills compared to the other players.  Even though shortstop is the prestigious position, each coach understands how important it is to have someone good at EVERY positions.  At the very least, they need someone capable of making the routine plays and knowing their responsibilities at each position.  I could go though each position and explain how EACH position will probably affect the outcome of almost every game which is why from a coaches perspective each position is equally important.

Coach's Confidence - As a coach, I base my decisions about the starting position players based on my level of confidence that the player will make the NEXT play or the BIG (pressure) play.  In other words, if there is a player who consistently has good footwork (which we have worked on all off season), fields the ball cleanly and makes accurate throws, I will choose that player over one who has all of the "tools" but is lazy with his footwork and inconsistent with his throws and does not know his responsibilities.  When parents tell me that so and so (their son) is better than the player who I have as the starter, it is difficult to explain tactfully that I have more confidence in the other other player.  In my mind I want to tell them that when we are practicing, their son does not do things correctly and when I try to show him the proper technique, he does it once and then goes back to his old ways.  I try to teach the boys that when they are practicing, think of each repetition as though it is the 7th game of the world series rather than a boring practice in March.  The ones who take my advice INVARIABLY become better over time regardless of talent than the ones who don't.  To me, this is what is meant by "working hard"......it's the quality of the work, not the quantity.  As coaches, we cannot implant the desire for the player to become better or understand what we are trying to teach them any more than a teacher can implant the desire for a student to learn a particular subject and get into Harvard some day.  Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the player to understand this.  Our job as coaches is to patiently and honestly try to teach the players these truth's in as many different ways as possible.  We understand that it may be the 1,000th time we've told a player a certain thing that he finally gets it.  That is what is rewarding as a coach.  Some players never get it unfortunately, no matter how hard we try.  If they can understand that if they work hard by this definition, they will continue to pass their peers and earn playing time as the years go by until ultimately they will go as far that their God given ability can take them.   From a coaches perspective, we will take those players over the ones with all of the talent and no understanding of work ethic which ultimately leads to instilling confidence in the coach. 

In summary, the only right way to talk to a coach about playing time is to ask the following question "Coach, please be honest with me and tell me what I need to work on to EARN more playing time at _______________."  Hopefully, the coach will be honest with him but that does not guarantee that if they player works on those things that they are owed playing time at that position.  What it does mean is that the player will be ready when the opportunity presents itself....which it will at some point.  It is also important for the parents to understand that a non-Dad coach is unbiased in general.  So if you approach the coach with the perspective that the coach is seeing something that you may not be seeing, you more likely get an honest answer.  Try to understand what the coach is saying before arguing or debating  with him.  If the coach is missing something, just by having an honest adult conversation, the coaches eyes may be opened to something he did not see before....or at the very least the coach may give him an opportunity at that position when the opportunity presents itself.  Finally, it is best to approach a coach about playing time or position play during an UNEMOTIONAL time for both of you.  After a game is NOT a good time to talk to a coach about it.   Maybe the next day or before a game or practice.  We all want the best for the players and the Buzzsaws program is designed to teach them what they need to know and create situations where they have to struggle to get better.  We all get stronger and sharper in any area of our life by struggling and competing rather than having something handed to us.   The purpose of the Buzzsaws program is that we want team up with parents to teach these young men about baseball but also to learn some life lessons.  I believe that's what God invented baseball!! 

Varsity/JV Announcements

posted Mar 14, 2013, 2:50 PM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 12:52 PM ]

As everyone knows, we decided to go with the Varsity/JV monikers over other options (Blue/Gold or A and B) to prepare them for high school baseball.  When I was with Nordonia, we expected our Junior Varsity team to win on the field and we also expected them to try to push for a promotion to Varsity.  We also wanted the Varsity players to not become complacent and to keep working hard with a great attitude.  We will try to keep the same concept with the Buzzsaws.  The league has agreed to allow us three roster changes during the season.  We don't know if we will use them but we do have the option.

The game plan in summary - The players will be divided into two squads.   We'd like to allow the players to play in a few scrimmages before making our decisions by about mid-April.  I have not decided if the rosters will be posted online or if there will be an e-mail sent to each group and the coach.  I'm sure there will be some very tough decisions but our goal is to divide them in a way that is best for everyone.  Therefore, we won't just be taking the so called 11 or 12 best players and putting them on Varsity, leaving the JV team with the remaining players.  If we did that, we might end up with too many players at one position and not enough at another.  We will consider positions, team needs and the process of putting a TEAM together in our decisions.  For instance, if your son is the 5th best pitcher in our opinions, would you want him on the Varsity where he would get minimal pitching time or on the JV where he would be the ace?  There are several factors that go into that decision such as the players' other positions, non-pitching factors such as hitting ability, speed etc.  There is a chance that a player in a player heavy position could end up on JV even though he may be one of the top players in the age group simply because there is another player at his position who we decide to keep on Varsity.  We want the best for every player and we want both teams to be competitive so we will take all of these factors into consideration. 

Opportunities - Keep in mind that the league roster has nothing to do with tournaments so a player may get more playing time overall by being on the JV team because he may be invited to participate in a few Varsity tournaments.  The same may be true of a Varsity player helping out with JV tournaments.

I made the statement at the parent meeting that there is nobody who can earn their way onto a team except the player himself.  As parents and coaches, we cannot do anything but support the player as he goes through the struggle of becoming a better player based on HIS own work ethic, attention to details, ability etc.  In other words, a parent cannot buy their son a position on the varsity team, as much as they might like to.  Everyone in the program pays for the training and we believe the LIFE LESSON is that at some point, your own abilities are what you are judged on.  This is the principle that we hope to teach the boys and we HOPE that the parents will work with us to re-enforce this principle.

I will be happy to talk with any parent about what the player can work on to get better after a 24 hour waiting period after the rosters are posted.  We will give you as much detail as possible about where the players skill level is and what they need to work on.  We will NOT discuss your son in relation to any other player (ie "why did Willie Smith make it over my son"?)  Again, Willie Smith  may not be better than your son, there may be other reasons that we place the players where we do.  Overall, I expect this process to be pretty smooth and I do not expect too many angry parents.  All of our coaches only want the best for each player and the team and we are unbiased because we don't have a son on the team.  Please remember that another LIFE LESSON that we want to teach the boys is that there WILL BE obstacles in life to overcome.  As the old saying goes, "it's not what happens to you, its how you respond to what happens to you that matters".   Sports are a great way to teach this principle even though we may not like it at the time. 

Weather related communications

posted Mar 14, 2013, 2:16 PM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 12:40 PM ]

Rule of thumb - always assume the game or practice is ON until you hear otherwise. 

As everyone knows, the weather can change from minute to minute in the springtime.  As a baseball parent, it is important to stay flexible.  As coaches, we pledge to also remain flexible as we understand that the weather uncertainty and the fact that some families are driving up to 30 minutes to practices and home games.  We will not punish a player for being late to an event when we know that the parent may be driving other siblings around. 

If there is a rainout or a weather related change of schedule, it will be communicated by the appropriate coach via text messaging.   Due to the fact that not everyone always has access to their e-mail we feel that this is the most efficient way to get the word out quickly.   The reason for this is that sometimes the weather is different in different areas.  Also, some fields are better at holding water than others.  Some teams have better capacity to work on the field than others.  There are many reasons for the variation from day to day but the NORM in baseball is that IT WILL BE FRUSTRATING AND THERE WILL BE LAST MINUTE CHANGES.  Please stay flexible.

Games - For home games, the coaches are instructed to try and make a preliminary determination by about 3:00 and send an update.  If they are at work, the update may be delayed until the field maintenance manager is able to send an update.

Practices - We will always do our best to get practices in.  The location could be moved to a different field or indoors if the academy is available. 

Team Update (Uniforms, Hockey, Lessons and GRIP)

posted Feb 15, 2013, 7:39 AM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Feb 15, 2013, 7:42 AM ]

Team,

GRIP - (Read Matthew 28:19).  GRIP is this Saturday night from 6:00 - 7:00.  I would like to challenge any of your kids who have not been able to make it in the past to come this Saturday.  The kids will have a great time guaranteed!!  You do not need to register, just show up.  HAVE THEM BRING A FRIEND.  I would love to see some kids who I've never met before.   I would love to see some kids who do not regularly attend church.  This is an outreach program as part of our affiliation with Meeting God in Baseball that is fun for the kids with a brief message directly from the Bible.

Uniforms (Buzzsaws team players) - Please make sure you have your uniform sizing done by this weekend.  I will be turning in the forms to the apparel company on Monday so they can begin to work on them.  If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.  If the adult helmets were too small for your son, please let me know so that we can order a different brand if necessary.

Hockey - As I previously mentioned, Ty Moorhead has organized a team trip to a Lake Erie Monsters game on Friday, February 22nd.   This is meant to be a fun family night out.  The tickets are discounted to $13 (from $19) and it is $1 dog and soda night.  The game is played at Quicken Loans Arena and the puck drops at 7:30.  If you wish to go, please contact Ty Moorhead at tymoorhead@gmail.com or by text at (330) 466-4748 so he can keep a count.  See the ticket order form which I have attached.  

Lessons - All of our high school players will be leaving after next week so this is a great time to get into some decent times for lessons with Jimmy (pitching, hitting), Randy (pitching), Scott (hitting), Ty (hitting) or Rob (catching).  Please contact on my cell phone by text or call at (330) 714-0252 if you want me to get you on the calendar.  Times are still limited but this is a good time to try and get on the schedule.

Installments (Buzzsaws team players) - Please make sure you are up to date on your installments. It's time to start sending paying for tournaments, uniforms and field time.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Dante


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