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All-star game analysis

As expected, the game was extremely boring outside of the first inning when the A.L. outfielders were making circus catches and then the play where the catcher threw a bullet to second and the shortstop put leather into the baserunner’s face.

That’s about all I remember from last night’s game. By the sixth inning, both teams were running out guys I’d never heard of.

Special request: Could we possibly bring back the individual team jerseys so we can correlate names with teams? These A.L. & N.L. jerseys suck. The colors suck. The designs suck. It all sucks bad. The league official who thought the jerseys were a good idea should be fired.

Outside of that, I have nothing else on the ASG. What used to be appointment TV is not even close to being that these days.

• Bill L. writes:

Had to get this off my chest. Saw a Bud Light commercial during the All Star Game and I’m sure some of it was meant as tongue-in-cheek, but I got the impression that Bud Light drinkers are a bunch of dumbass people. Overstuffing a fridge, not knowing how to properly tap a keg. If they’re trying to reach the people with these images it isn’t working. 

That’s all I have to say about that. BL 

Pretty sure this is what Bill’s talking about:

How should we celebrate the end of the 10U season this Friday during the league tournament championship? And my 9-year-old ball players who are suddenly either not swinging or diving out of the batter’s box

• W.C.H. writes:

Cooler of root beer and spray everyone! Kids love it!


Wait, what? I have to get in the car to get home. Is this seriously something teams do at the end of seasons? Water balloons make more sense.

• Joe H. in Ohio writes:

Notwithstanding all of the wonderful things you present to us each day, my favorites recently have dealt with your experiences coaching baseball. If they give a Coach of the Year award in your league, you should get it. 

Re: celebrating the end of the season…I immediately thought of this commercial. It’s not the same thing — the coach is trying to boost the team’s spirits after losing a game — but what an idea. I send this in jest. In these times, you’d probably get drummed out of the league: 

• Travel Ball Hardo Chris B. in Houston writes:

Regardless of the outcome of your champ game Friday, congrats on what sounds like a great first season managing youth baseball.  As for celebrations after the last game, we never did anything over the top at the ballpark but it was customary for many teams to have a team party right after the last game.  Sometimes at a restaurant.  Sometimes at a player’s house / backyard / pool.

As for the kids that won’t swing, there probably isn’t much you can do at this point.  But ugh… 4 players that won’t swing is painful.  Those should be the boys that play the least and bat at the bottom of the order so they get as few plate appearances as possible.

That may sound mean, but you’re in the champ game and you need to play your best players to win.  I am not suggesting that those boys don’t play at all, they probably all need to see the field, but without being too cut-throat in my opinion you should play to win. 

Certainly follow all participation rules that your league may have, but play to win.


We’re officially playing TO WIN the championship. No doubt. The pitching staff is set. The order will be shuffled. The kids came this far. They deserve the best chance possible to win and end their 10U season with a title.

As for the diving off the plate, it’s so strange how some of the kids who would swing and were active the first 9-10 games of the season suddenly are terrified.

Yes, the one 9-year-old boy took a 90 mph pitch off the elbow that resulted in a helluva scream out of him, and then he took a ball off his helmet in the next AB, but the others don’t make sense to me.

I received numerous emails about how I should throw tennis balls at them. It’s too late for that. I might not have any choice but to have a heart-to-heart where I tell these boys they have to stand in there because this is for the world championship and we need them. I NEED them to swing.

I have to raise my mental coach game going into the championship game.

• Joey in IL writes:

Another great column today; thanks for bringing this community together.

I’ve enjoyed following and reading about your 10U team.  Back in the old days (ok, maybe just 10 or so years back), I would dangle the pitching carrot in front of the kids who for whatever reason wouldn’t swing the bat. 

Every kid always wanted to pitch so I told them they had to swing and I’d put them on the mound.  They might start swinging at everything but that was ok with me.  I’d much rather see a kid strike out swinging rather than stand there looking for a walk.  I always tried to line up the new pitcher with the part of the opposing lineup that matched their skill level so we didn’t get a kid hurt. 

I did this right off the bat in the 1st half of the season so the championship game might be too late for this year.  Coaching decision.  While we didn’t always end up winning the fall rec league ‘National Championship’ and earn million-dollar coaching contracts, we were way more competitive with all the guys invested. 

And we always had a full roster at the end of the league as opposed to the teams that could only get 7 kids to show up because they had permanent OF positions for their less experienced 10-year-olds.   


Trust me, I wish dangling a carrot would help. The mental game dealing with 9-year-old house ball kids could go down as one of the biggest challenges of my life.

Come on, travel ball hardos

• Brandon C. in Pinckney, MI writes:

As an update for my softball team, we played in a “House” tournament this past weekend.

Unfortunately, there was one travel team that was let in because they had a losing record, and one of the “House” teams had two girls that double rostered on a house and travel team (including one pitcher who didn’t allow a run an entire tournament).

I’m not going to stop a kid from playing, but some of these coaches and parents– come on. Proud of my girls for hanging 6 runs on the travel team in the semifinal, but we still lost 18-6. One more week left…


SMH, travel ball hardos. Brandon C. wrote to me a couple of weeks ago telling me how he was just trying to get his kids some tournament experience and just wanted to play in a house ball tournament. Then this happens. Leave a little something for those of us who just want to play for the love of the game.

An ice cream app that would make the patio life even better

• Mike in New Jersey has a million-dollar idea:

As someone who is all in on the patio life, I have come to find we have a major issue that needs to be resolved.  My number one goal when indulging in the patio life is to not have to leave.  The problem is with our Mister Softee truck which seems to only come early in the day when no one is around.  As a result, I either have to leave and take the kids for ice cream or give them the freezer-burned ice cream sandwiches and deal with the consequences of that fallout. 

The solution is obviously in the app. 

The Mister Softee app needs to run like Uber where you can see a truck and request it.  This is beneficial for both parties, we get a reasonable estimate on when and if the truck will come and the driver can now use their precious gas to go where there will be actual paying customers. 

That has to improve their profit margins in this economy.  Its a win-win for everybody, especially me who doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of having to drive to ice cream stand after I sit down to have a few cold ones, and to be able to tell the kids that the truck will be here in 45 minutes all while we avoid a line of 15 tee ball players and coaches down at the local store. 

You know how big the tips will be when the patio dads give the moms the debit card and send them out front with the neighborhood kids, and we will be thrilled to do it.  During these dog days of summer where we may need a cause to rally around I nominate this for our community in the name of the patio life.  There has to be someone in the Mister Softee franchise world in this community who can get the ball rolling on this for us.


Mike might be onto something here, even if it’s a micro industry. Not only are ice cream trucks not dead, the industry is expected to grow and as Mike points out, neighborhoods requesting a truck is a win-win for everyone involved.

How do I know ice cream trucks are booming? The tiny town I grew up in, Brookville, OH (pop. 5,500 or so), now has a local ice cream truck and she’s cleaning up with business. She’s the only truck in town. No competition.

I fully expect Mike to find an investor amongst this group and the two of them will go on to be the Uber of the mobile ice cream world. I just want royalties on Pation Life® or Patio SZN®.

Holiday World sure has generated emails

• Matthew R. in Whitestown, IN writes:

As someone who has been going to Holiday World for 30 years now (my wife grew up 40 miles from Santa Claus) I would say that you definitely need to make Holiday World a stop on a trip to somewhere else. Is it Cedar Point? No. Is it fun for a day? Yes. The nearest city is Evansville, and while not the most interesting city in the world, the Science Museum isn’t too bad and the zoo is surprisingly good for a small city. Just watch out for the peacocks that roam around.

Holidome memories

• Bones writes:

Your Holidome story brought back epic memories for me of a crazy night in Suffern, NY.  In January a million years ago, my West Point class celebrated a class formal.  As you can imagine, it was all full dress uniforms, dinner with a VIP speaker, military ball (or “hop”, as they are known at West Point).  It was our first celebration as a class, as we had recently finished our Plebe year, where personalities and celebrations are highly discouraged.

We borrowed the cars of upperclassmen, brought in our beautiful dates from back home, commandeered enough beer to make us happy, and invaded the Holidome.  To say we blew off 18 months of steam in a raucous manner would be a great understatement.  I’m quite sure our civilian dates were shocked at our enthusiasm and embrace of the many activities of which we were deprived – wearing civilian clothes, talking to civilian girls, not studying, etc.

I walked out into the dome late Saturday night to find well over a hundred classmates and guests in the pool, the hot tub, the vacant tiki bar, throwing the mother of all parties. I showed up just in time for a guy who would one day be called “the finest Infantry officer the Army has produced in the last 50 years” to take a flying leap from the top of the tiki bar into the hot tub.  He stuck the landing.

Fast forward a decade or so and these were the men and women who ran the GWOT, commanding companies, battalions, and, later, divisions.  If there was a significant action over that 20-year period, one or more of these people was heavily involved. The number of future generals in that hot tub is mind-blowing. I will take these names to my grave, as these men and women have important battles left to fight. 

My favorite part of the story was the aftermath or lack thereof.  The next morning as we left, my classmates and I cleaned up the entire dome perfectly, without a chair or barstool out of position.  Pretty sure the future generals sat back and watched the rest of us police the place up.

Good times, man.  And BEAT THE HELL OUT OF NAVY!

That’s it for this random Wednesday in the heart of the dog days. The weather bros are calling for “tropical rain” at different points of the day along a frontal boundary. In other words, it will be a good day to sit inside and work.

Have an incredible day. Go give 100%. Dominate that sales meeting.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

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Now that’s a smoker!

• Greg in OH writes:

Like many of my SC brethren, I have an affinity for smoked meats. Also like many of my SC brethren, I can’t fathom spending big money on a smoker. Back in 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic was in full effect/hype, my daughter’s spring soccer season was canceled and I was suddenly left with a lot of free time (think about how much extra time you would have if you weren’t coaching your son’s baseball team). To fill this void, I decided to build my own smoker but gave myself one stipulation – it must be built completely out of scrap. 

I could buy any tool that I needed, but all the components had to be from scrap.I sourced the barrel and cart from the scrap bin at work.  I picked the firebox out of my neighbor’s trash. Angle steel was secured from a local recycling center. Admittedly, I cheated a little (hinges, handle, grate material)  but I have less than $50 in materials in my ‘Rona Smoker 1.0 excluding the smoker blanket ($79 via Amazon) and my Flame Boss 500 PID controller ($379 via Amazon). In the building process, I learned how to fabricate and weld. While my welds are a bit janky, they are structurally sound. 

Sure, the ‘Rona 1.0 is uglier than hell, but that is part of the charm! Paying huge money for some sexy smoker doesn’t make meat taste better, and smokers just get covered in soot and sauce. I never clean my smoker – just fire her up and let her rip. Three years later, and I still use this gem regularly and get huge satisfaction every time I do knowing I built it with my imagination and two hands. Ribs, chicken, tri-tip, tenderloin, wings, bologna, salmon, brisket – my ‘Rona Smoker 1.0 delivers them all. 

I am working on ‘Rona Smoker 2.0, which is being built out of an air tank with a manufactured date of 1953. A smoker can be built out of just about anything that is non-flammable and heat-resistant. Facebook marketplace is great source for cheap vessels and components. 


Great job, Greg. Now this is why this column continues to be hammered by the readers. They have no choice but to keep coming back to see this stuff. This is the America I love! Readers eat this stuff up, literally.

You know why newspapers and websites die? They treated the readers like they were idiots and the newspaper/website employees were superior. They never allowed, or to this day won’t allow, readers to share what they’re up to in the world.

That’s why Screencaps is winning the race. It’s moments like Greg showing off his scrap smoker that make a legit column or website.

Stuff You Guys Sent In & Stuff I Like:

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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