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10U house ball update

The hardo travel ball readers will be interested to hear my team is 2-0 after another offensive explosion and a 16-2 run rule. The less hardo dads amongst us will be more interested to hear we got the game in when there was rain in the area and there WILL NOT be a makeup game necessary on Friday night when I hope to be posted up on the patio suckin’ down a Kirkland margarita.

That’s the real WIN here, folks.

Going into Game 2, I wanted to get my No. 2 pitcher and No. 3 pitcher plenty of work because both of them have big arms, but they haven’t seen much action. No. 2 just goes about his business. Last night, I learned he’s also a flag football quarterback. The kid has a great future in sports.

As for my No. 3, he was trying to throw the ball too hard in a previous scrimmage and just needed to be reeled in a little bit. By now, the kids understand I don’t want walks. Their parents don’t want walks. Their teammates don’t want walks. The opponent wants to hit. I want pitches right over the plate and I want the defense on their toes. My right fielder better be getting work and he did last night.

The catchers continue to perform. I don’t know if 10 pitches went to the fence. It’s really becoming something to watch.

The offense just keeps chugging along. If other teams walk our weaker bats, they’re going to pay the price because with the staggered batting order we’r throwing out there, the ball is going to be put into play and if you can’t play defense very well, it’s going to be a long night.

That’s what happened last night. Walks and defense killed the A’s. They have a couple of boys who can crush a ball, but our pitchers and defense were just better last night.

Odds & ends:

Daddy Ball report –– My son led off based on the constantly rotating batting order. Wednesday night he’ll bat 2nd. Last night he was 1-for-1 with a legitimate liner double to right, 1 RBI, a HBP and a walk. On defense, he was in left-center or right-center the entire game.

• Kids playing new positions –– Last night was a humbling lesson for a couple of kids who are playing baseball at this level for the first time. The ball was finding our third baseman and he had a rough night. Our replacement first baseman found out he has some practicing to do to get better and it starts with catching the ball during warmups when we’re practicing throwing and catching. We’re also learning how hard it is to catch a ball with a brand new leather glove — with one hand — that isn’t broken in.

• Lost & found –– There’s a dad out there who’s going to be wondering where his son’s very, very expensive bat went. It’s at the concession stand lost & found office. Our kids say it was left from a practice prior to our game.

I didn’t expect to have stuff left after every game, but it’s happening. Right now, I have a bat and helmet that were left by someone on our team. Neither have been claimed yet. I think the helmet might belong to the kid who hasn’t shown up for two weeks. I’ll have a sporting goods store by the end of the season at this pace.

• Umpires –– We’re two for two in solid umpiring. These kids are doing a great job — I believe they’re 14 & 15 year olds. The home plate umpires are being fair. If it’s in the zone, you better be swinging. It’s a fair zone compared to some I’ve seen in the past.

Last night’s home plate ump took a screaming foul ball off his chest protector and took it like a champ. He just kept going. He also gave out audible balls and strikes. They have control of the game and keep things moving. It’s appreciated.

• Next game –– We get the Mariners, again, tomorrow night for our third game in five days. Last night, I put out a feeler to see if we have other kids who’d like to pitch. It’s going to be imperative we have at least five pitchers going into vacation season. The top three of the pitching staff are excellent, but it’s time to find and develop the depth for when these parents take the kids to Florida. That’s the next mission for the coaches.

Looping batting order

• Derek S. from New Hampshire writes:

Good evening!  Great job with everything that you do in the Screencaps community. 

My Little League team just had our first game and it’s going to be a long season. Not giving up and am actively creating some better upcoming practice plans.  In your post today, you mentioned tips about creating a looping lineup so your positions are set for the next few games. I’ve been looking for the past 1/2 hour, where is this?  Could you send the method or link?  


All I did was create a batting order where whoever bats last gets moved up to lead-off in the next game. If you don’t show, you don’t bat lead-off in that game.

Take my son for example.

In Game 1, he batted last. Then, last night, he moved to lead-off. Next game, he’ll bat second. This guarantees every kid will bat lead-off at some point in the season unless they’re on vacation at the beach and then it’s tough luck. All of my kids know the batting order before they even show up.

On defense, I sit down and create my defensive alignment for all six innings. If a game doesn’t go six innings, I’m carrying over the sixth-inning defensive positions into the next game.

Then I need to build a defense for the 2nd through 6th innings.

If you’re looking for a true defensive formula, Brandon C. in Pinckney, MI has a system I’ll forward your way.

At this point, I don’t trust certain kids to catch a ball at first base so I’m using a modified version of his defensive formula.

Aggressive reaction during Golden Knights-Oilers game

• Ricky A. had his head on a swivel last night:

I, like many others in our virtual patio forum tend to take the path of seeing & not be seen/hearing & not being heard. Annnnnnd then there’s times take make me chuckle & just can’t help myself. Do I know much about hockey?

Nope. Is there any better sport live, especially during playoff time? Nope. Is NHL ‘95 on the Super Nintendo 90% of the reason I love the sport as much as I do? Dang straight. What I do know? Young Canadian gals tend to be quite aggressive & salty.

Happened to catch this during the game tonight. Just wait for the end. Thanks for all you do & all those who make this community what it is.

Seattle advice needed

• Nick C. in Miami, FL writes:

It’s been a while since my last email and it’s great to see Screencaps rolling along like a well-oiled machine. This tiny corner of the internet feels like home to so many of us who seek respite from the garbage on the internet. 

First, congratulations to the team on a successful house ball opening weekend. Though it’s only one game, by the time the season ends those kids will have created memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the ride!

Second, I am reaching out to this amazing community for some assistance on an upcoming trip.  My family is going on a cruise to Alaska and plan on spending a few days in Seattle upon our return. Research on the Internet is all over the place and at this point, I’m feeling a little jittery about this phase of our trip. 

Any assistance from the ‘Caps community regarding areas to visit (and avoid), places to eat, must-see tourism sites, etc, are greatly appreciated. 

If it makes it easier for you, please feel free to pass along my email address to anyone willing and able to help and they can contact me directly. 

Thanks again for the work you do in bringing so many of us in this great country together. 


Nick is in luck because we have quite a few readers in the PNW who are active and can guide him and the family around via some email advice. Let me know which one of you is willing to help Nick.

The last time I was in Seattle, I believe, was the night Ichiro broke George Sisler’s single-season hit record. That was October 1, 2004. I couldn’t have had better timing. I was in the 200 level that night. The next day I drove to Mt. St. Helens and watched it vent steam for a couple of hours before heading to Portland.


• Chris from VA writes:

Recently messaged you about reminiscing on SW Ohio youth and the glory days of the Big Red Machine. The season is young but let’s change the subject.

I’m trying to get up to speed on the TNML. I’ve been out of the game the past year building a house and haven’t had the chance to get a proper yard going again. So, until then, I’m curious if the TNML is just for those who have made it to the turf “Show” or does it include those like me who are still in the A/AA/AAA minors. As you can see from the first couple pics, I run with the guys who have never considered how to layout the lines. Even if I tried it would probably look like Carl Spackler chasing down a gopher after a 6-pack.

We have never laid hands on a 60” zero turn and wouldn’t dare throw down any weed & feed out of fear what we do have would disappear in days. I guess you could say we’re the turf management equivalent of Kevin “Crash Davis” Costner grinding every day to maybe get a shot at the bigs but trying to appreciate the journey more than the destination. You know, those guys who hone their skills by dealing with unpredictable ground balls on “grass” that could never be confused with reel-cut Bermuda.

I’m not looking for an empathic commissioner ruling. Goodness knows we’ve got too much “everyone gets an award” these days. Just curious if my class is part of the TNML. And by the way, sometimes we shouldn’t be so quick to discount the destination. After all, it’s hard to beat washing off the grass clippings by throwing a line in the water or just sitting and enjoying the view (no Bud Light allowed)! Thanks


TNML is for everyone who takes great pride in property and community. The league has yards of all styles, all conditions. Some yards are covered in clover. Some yards look like golf courses.

One of our Mower of the Year contenders admitted to me late last week that his yard is currently a mess, but at least he’s in the process of giving effort to make it better. What are we doing if we’re not trying to get better every day of life?

From the look of things, Chris in VA would fit in just right with this community.

New shirt alert!

Penis alert from Heywood

• Heywood J. writes:

Watching Joe Kidd on Tubi right now and the best part so far is the monument erected to honor tiny penises. 

Elmore Leonard wrote this and his stuff is always great.He wrote Justified and many more great works btw.

That’s it for this morning. I was running into computer issues while writing this one which put me behind.

The sun is back out. The 10U house ball team is 2-0 and it’s going to be sunny and 81 on Thursday. Now let’s go have a great day.

Take care.


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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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