Around The Horn…3/8/21

When I played high school baseball, March 8th was the date we always started and looked forward to all winter, so March 8th is like the unofficial start of spring for me.  Unfortunately high school this year gets pushed back to 4/1.  While that is a bit sad, I am happy we get them a bit longer, ecstatic that they will have a season and lastly, it will be a lot warmer.

Here are a few bullet points to share:

  1. Thank you all for the work you do and are doing, and for your commitment to the Vipers.  I cannot ever thank you enough or show enough appreciation.
    • I/We try and pro-actively communicate in as many ways as possible.  We cannot ever cover all of the things at the local team levels, and we rely on our coaches to do that…and thank you coaches for doing the job you do.
    • Please stay close to the website and our social media pages…we are always pushing out content we believe you will enjoy.  From birthday posts, drills/ tutorials, club information, industry/regional happenings, etc….  We try to push out a lot of content.
  2. Westrock: 14U is there this week on 3/10…it is reserved for ALL HS level players the next two weeks of 3/17 & 3/24 to ensure they can get throwing in, fly balls, etc…. from 6-8pm.  I will invite Steve/Scott girls early each week at 6pm so they can hit & run their practices at 7:30
  3. I will be moving practice schedules around on 3/30-31.  10U & 12U, we will need to move you guys that week from your T/W slots and reschedule you at a different time.  High School starts 4/1 and I want to open up HS open Gym for Tues & Wed from 6-9.
  4. Practices: Indoor protocols can be seen here.
    • Indoor schedules are seen here
    • Coaches…as weather gets better and ground dries out…use the green space in front of the building for throwing, fly balls, etc….  When the field space opens, use that as desired.  Not ideal, but a great resource…more on fields below.  Daylight Savings begins this weekend, so there is more time to incorporate.
  5. Outdoors: I have field permit requests in at six venues.  If anyone has an “in” and can gain access to a field for us, please contact me.  I always say this is all based on relationships and it takes a village…so whatever you can do to assist, it will be greatly appreciated.
  6. As the snow melts away this week we will know more on field availability through month end.  A few things to remember on outdoor fields in the Spring:
    • Rec sports take priority so rec sports will always get top billing.
    • Towns must “open” their fields with their DPW’s.  That usually happens the first week of April, although I am trying for some March access
    • We will have to pay for usage in all locations.  I cannot just randomly reserve if not being used.   This number can get very big if not managed properly.  These fees have escalated astronomically even from the fall.

7.  Please ensure you ordered Red/White & Blue jerseys

8. Re-familiarize with our representations regarding playing time.

    • Traditional tournament…each kid gets two full games on Saturday.  Play to win Sunday and play more games.  We always encourage and direct our coaches to find ways to get each kid in the game to contribute on Sundays.
    • Two full games can include a game in the lineup and sporadic field position presence.
    • Any questions on playing time need to be addressed with the coaching staff
    • Showcase games should bat all players where possible (except a pitcher if you want) and rotate positions like a scrimmage.  Showcase games need to allow all players to play a good amount.  No player should ever not play in a showcase game.
    • We suggest friendly/ scrimmage events as evaluations and opportunities to allow coaches to try kids in positions they want to see them at, and/ or to experiment.  We do not care about scores or game results in friendly/scrimmage situations.  We want to be competitive but the scores are secondary and even tertiary.  All team selected pitchers (not those who did not make the team as a pitcher) should throw in friendlies/ scrimmages if possible.
    • We recommend that coaches continue the order in friendly and scrimmage situations.  If you stop at batter 7 in G1, allow B8 to lead off G2.  This is a suggestion not a mandate.

9. 3/20 &21: Jerry Merc is scheduling an organizational scrimmage with NJ Fire.  He will communicate on that directly

10. I am trying to get our HS kids outdoors for an intrasquad event Sunday 3/14.  If we are falling short I will ask the 14’s to backfill us.

11.  We have started to hang banners in The Den to highlight where our alumni have chosen to extend &  pursue their softball careers.  There is an amazing story behind each and every banner there.  A lot of Viper history.  We look forward to the current generations adding to the display

Yours in softball,

Bob Germano


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