PRESIDENTS REPORT - March

President’s Report to the March Delegates’ Meeting

Recently I was invited to assist in the selection of the 2020 Sydney East Secondary Schools Baseball Team to attend this year’s CHS tournament, a 4 day event from the 23rd to the 26th of March. This year it is being held at Berkeley on the South Coast. You may recognise some of the names from this team list. Everyone is or was a CSJBA junior. The coach has taken a larger than usual squad this year with an eye to the future but as is always the case with rep teams some players will have limited diamond time. 7 games in 4 days means the pitchers will almost all get a turn. Good luck to them.

Sydney North , drawing players from Manly, Ryde and the Central Coast associations are always strong and Sydney West which includes Hills and Greater Western are also a tough opponent. Other regions include Newcastle, South Coast, Sydney South West, North Coast and a Convener’s team of boys from Western and  North Western NSW.

 

NAME

SCHOOL

1

BURNS Jye

Woolooware High School

2

BRODIE Oliver

Endeavour Sports High School

3

CHABI Chaise

Kirrawee High School

4

CHABI Myles

Kirrawee High School

5

CHARLES Jesse

Cronulla High School

6

DEAN McKenzie

Kirrawee High School

7

GREEN Steven

Heathcote High School

8

GRIFFEN Brad

Endeavour Sports High School

9

KRKOVSKI Luke

Lucas Heights Community School

10

NAPIER James

Gymea Technology High School

11

PALMER Matthew

Endeavour Sports High School

12

PAYNTER Kobi

Heathcote High School

13

PEETERS Joel

Port Hacking High School

14

ROBERTS Koby

Menai High School

15

REGAN Brendan

Caringbah High School

 

CSJBA Finals Series

The semis went well with no dramas (of which I’m aware) and there were some surprise results with several Minor Premiers being defeated – LL Minors AA, LL Minors AAA, LL Majors and SL Div 1. Lots of close games but good sportsmanship prevailed despite coaches greying and receding hairlines.

Our finals were in jeopardy with the wet weather and 3 of the 4 scheduled host grounds closed due to the rain during the week. However the Eastern Suburbs Dolphins came to the rescue with President Henry Twaddell and an industrious band of workers from the club toiling to get their new ground up to speed to accommodate the 6 affected matches. All got played with only the LL Minor AA’s losing 15 or so minutes due to a rain delay. The sun came out in the afternoon and it became quite warm and humid if you were wearing protective umpiring gear. I was there all day and quite enjoyed the large crowd of supporters, spectators, players, umpires and officials all congregating, chatting and mixing in pleasant surroundings. It was great to get so many of our baseball community together. It was only fitting for an exceptional day that the final match (SL2) was also exceptional and went to extra innings to resolve a game that was a draw when time elapsed. Equally appropriate that the game finished with an absolutely outstanding play when a St Pats right fielder stuck to the catch of his life to end a Marlins challenge.

The Grand Final program is now set (home teams listed first):

LL Minor A: East Hills v Marlins

LL Minor AA: Vikings v Bonnet Bay/St Pats

LL Minor AAA: Marlins v Yarrawarrah

LL Majors: Scots v Giants

JL Div 3: Cronulla v Scots

JL Div 2: Comets Gold v Marlins

JL Div 1: Giants v Cronulla Black

SL Div 2: Comets v St Pats

SL Div 1: St Pats v Scots

Secretary Mel Green will have the GF day draw in the hands of club secretaries before they are harassed by anxious coaches. That means very soon.

Winter Development:

We have entered into an arrangement with the Grade Club and they will be largely conducting the winter development program. The Ty’rell Harris option has not been successful however they have secured the services of Blue Sox player Alex Howe. Alex is a school teacher from the Illawarra and I observed him at last year’s CHS Carnival where he coached the South Coast Region team. Alex came up from Illawarra to play junior reps with the CSJBA in the 14’s and 16’s and he was one of the hardest working young men I have seen go through. His application certainly has paid off as last summer in the ABL he had both the best Batting and On Base averages in the Blue Sox team and that included all the American import players. Personally I consider this outcome is far superior to the Ty’rell option and I welcome him to our program. Registration for winter development will be available via the CSJBA website shortly.

Rep Scene

We will have no Senior League teams at the Easter State Championships as there were insufficient players to form the required two teams.

However we do have sufficient players to from 3 Junior League teams and trials are almost completed to resolve who will be selected (they would have been completed last Sunday but it rained). The coaches who have offered to take the teams are Matt Grant with Frank Fingelson and EO to be sourced; Darren Cummings with Steve Gallagher and EO Mel Green, Jason Howarth with Julie Southwell and Mel Is doubling up as EO.

The LL teams have been selected and are in training. The officials for our LL Majors team are Matt Gardner with Jaedan Cavill and Andrew Tillett. Rebecca Cavill is the EO.

We have two LL Minors teams (officially known as 10/11 Division for political reasons). Team 1 is coached by Jamie Roche, Phil Hutt and Jesse Donkin with James Donkin the EO. Paul Muir is their pitching coach. Team 2 is coached by Jamie Williams and Francis Morneau and the EO is Michelle Schafer. Paul is also assisting the team 2 pitchers.

May I thank all the volunteer officials for offering themselves for these roles. It’s easy to be an armchair expert sitting behind the fence and having the benefit of 20/20 hindsight but to actually accept responsibility for decisions, to put yourself out to plan, attend and run training sessions is an onerous and often thankless task. Working with and teaching young children is an invaluable community service and these role model adults are to be respected and admired.

Rookie Reps has been run and done. On Sunday 1st March our teams participated at a huge Machine Pitch tournament at Rofe Park which, although  part of the Ryde Association it is their most northern club and we travelled all the way to Hornsby Heights to participate. It was a long way but none the less a great day. All the teams, 3 from the CSJBA and a scratch team of unsuccessful minor league triallists playing in Scots uniforms that Jamie Williams rapidly put together at the 11th hour, had 4 games in the one day. We won some and lost some but the players and rookie coaches gained experience and insight into what could be in their future if they pursue a representative career. Much as I whinged about travelling so far to participate it was extremely well run by the local club Rangers with the Ryde Association head honcho Geordie Mc Rae was responsible for putting the program together. There were 8 diamonds going all day over 5 timeslots. It reached 33 degrees on the day (with no rain!) so both the players and the mature aged umpires were well and truly done by the conclusion.

I have spoken a number of times in my President’s reports about “dumbing down the game”. It doesn’t serve us well when we compete with other associations who play more aggressively. In interdistrict competition our children are disadvantaged if they haven’t experienced the conditions under which competitions are played. Coaches who agree at plate meetings to, for example, not run when the ball gets away from the catcher in Minor League produce players who are not hungry to steal and catchers who feel no pressure to actually glove the ball. Under these playing conditions there is no need to develop catchers who can throw accurately to second and third should a runner take off. This becomes apparent in interdistrict competition when our players stand like statues on first base while the ball is at the back net. This has occurred in the Minor Division semis and finals. We have club catchers at season’s end who can’t throw the ball to second base. They don’t even try at the conclusion of a pitcher’s warm up.

With runners on first and third base it is almost a given that the runner from first will run on the first pitch when we play against other Associations. Our children have not been schooled in this form of aggression and consequently they aren’t taking the opportunities that occur.

In tee ball we had complaints that teams requested at the plate meeting that all batters stop at first irrespective of how far they have hit the ball. My team can’t hit so I’ll restrict yours with a rule that doesn’t exist. We’ve had complaints that some tee ball coaches don’t move their players every innings to a new position. They don’t have to. It isn’t a rule although some coaches consider it desirable. Others don’t and can’t be compelled to comply.

Interdistrict tournaments teach us that to compete in the outside world we have to be skilled, aggressive and alert to opportunities.

Competition sport, while only children’s games in the end, teach the children that excellence is preferable to mediocrity if they wish to succeed; that pressure can be handled without distress; that we need to take ownership for our actions and that we have a responsibility and loyalty to colleagues. One of the most vital aspects for success is adequate preparation and this occurs at training not on game day.

This month’s delegates’ meeting is at the Marlin’s clubhouse at Barden Ridge. 7.30 kick off.

Yours in sport,

Peter Barrington