August 2018

Manatee League Baseball Article – Re-Posted from 2013

This Post was found on David Montgomery’s Father’s Baseball League in Tampa, FL.  Please read and think about the parts that apply to the HDL.

Our Perspective:

 

We believe that there are at least 2 types of baseball programs.  One is a CLUB program (which we MOST DEFINITELY aspire to be). The other is a COMPETITION programs; which we are NOT and do not pretend to be.

 

As a baseball program, we are MOST IMPORTANTLY “friends” who love the game and want to take the field with friends who love that game as we play the game. We do NOT have false expectations about how good we are, or how good we can become or anywhere that baseball will take us. For almost all of us, those days are long gone forever and the game exists to serve our friendships. 

There are those who say that this is not “real” baseball, but as any serious student of the game can tell you, the adult game originated among friends to enjoy their friendships and get exercise.  “Blood and Guts” baseball only evolved from big egos and greed.  For us, the biggest “error” we can make on the field is to do something that insults our friends, or demeans our friends, or impairs their enjoyment of the game.

 

That is not to say that there is not a place for COMPETITION baseball where the quality of play is the highest priority (which is not the same as “blood and guts” baseball which should be reserved, if at all, for professional baseball). It is just that “that“ place is NOT “our” place!

 

Our players should not “goof off” on the baseball field.  They should have enough respect for the game and their fellow club members to take it “seriously, although not TOO seriously”. Those players with “keener” competitive instinct” need to respect the fact that not all players play for the same reason.  We ask that OUR/HDL players not only respect those differences, but also REVELLE IN THOSE DIFFERENCES and learn from those differences.

 

If any of our (Manatee) players find that they cannot enjoy these differences, then if, before our next game (and before we start games that effect league standings for which rosters should be as “final” as we can make them), we receive an e-mail (or text message) requesting a refund of their registration deposit, then we will refund their deposit less any outstanding charges. If this is you, then please do yourself AND the rest of us a favor and withdraw from the league. There are other local leagues which have the “Competitive Perspective”. Do not let it reach the point where we have to take disciplinary action which requires a lot of “soul-searching” and is NO FUN for any of us.

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I hope everyone takes this article to heart and thinks about your own personal perspective on your intentions to be a part of HDL Baseball. Players should look at the long-term benefits of being part of a great organization that has everyone’s best interests as our top priority.

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The HDL Code of Conduct:

1. I SHALL TREAT ALL PLAYERS, MANAGERS AND UMPIRES WITH COURTESY AND RESPECT, AND I SHALL EXPECT THE SAME TREATMENT TO MYSELF.

2. I WILL NOT BEHAVE IN A FASHION THAT WOULD BRING DISCREDIT TO MYSELF, MY TEAMMATES OR THE HERNANDO DeSOTO BASEBALL LEAGUE.

3. DURING THE GAME I WILL BE MIND-FULL OF THE PHYSICAL SAFETY OF MY OPPONENTS AND TEAMMATES.

Larry Rutledge

Larry Rutledge – Where have you been?

After 6 months of baseball regular season games, I finally am sitting down to attempt to write a blog to cover a much overdue explanation of my unusual HDL season. Many of our veterans who have enjoyed HDL weekly game updates and informative articles in the past about the season remember how engaged I was in the HDL. (for new players, “I” = Larry Rutledge,  I am the guy you see at the park taking photos and doing things to help the weekly games run smooth.)

First of all I want to explain why this year I slowly stopped participating as an active team member. This is hard for me to explain, because it’s complicated.  The main reason is my age. While I don’t feel 70 years old, in my mind that number (70) has had a dramatic impact on my psychological attitude about actually being that old and still thinking I can be on the same field with players who are 10, 20 or 30 years younger.

I have played this game for so long that I continue to expect my reflexes to do what they have always done, automatically, and at the same speed and quickness that I have (or thought I) possessed in the past. But after a few early season ground balls or pop-ups during the start of the season, I realized I either needed a lot of practice, or “take 2 weeks off and quit.”

Through all of these life changing signs I discounted the fact that in December (2017) I had: a minor stroke; I was taking pills for blood pressure and seeing a heart doctors about 2-3 times a month.  So I physically started ratcheting down my baseball activities.

Another early spring distraction from the HDL was following my grandson during his high school baseball season.  Watching him perform became my number one priority, for which I have no regrets.  Add in a high demand from my professional responsibilities at Christian Brothers University, TSSAA and NCAA umpiring assignments, I found very little time to participate actively in the HDL.

During this limited time to be involved in the HDL, it caused me to become depressed.  I was mainly depressed with my lack of ability to contribute to the HDL, other than managing the Blog to post important schedule updates. So, that is what I wanted everyone to know and understand.

So where am I now and what can HDL members expect from me in the future? I am not sure.  Sitting down and sharing this is a big step to re-connecting to everyone who encourages me to be a part of the HDL. Time permitting, I will try to do more Blog articles and posts that help everyone know what is going on during the post season play-offs and award nominations and Officer elections.

I want to thank everyone for their support and continued friendship. The HDL is a great venue for building long lasting relationships.

Yours Truly, Larry Rutledge, HDL President Emeritus

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