Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In the Swing of Things

On March 9th, we are less than one week into the high school baseball preseason but we are already in the groove.

Despite the 40-something degree, cloudy weather - the hitting Indians of Toms River South put together a great work out involving all facets of baseball. We worked on hitting, baserunning, bunting, defense and just a little bit of pitching. 

We are scheduled to begin our preseason on Friday but Mother Nature might have something to say about that as we are due to get hit by a major rainstorm Thursday and Thursday night. 

I think by the team we see an opponent across the field from us, we will be itching to get a game in.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Return of Spring

Just like night becomes day; winter soon is replaced by spring and that can only mean one thing: BASEBALL SEASON.

I am plotting my return as a baseball blogger for the 2011 season and you will be able to find my thoughts and ideas right here at

So make sure you come back to check us out over the next few weeks and months.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Go Ahead, See if You Can Hit It!

"I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it," - Sandy Koufax, Hall of Fame pitcher from the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers

   This week, as we started baseball practice at Toms River High School South, I made sure to take some time to go over some important ideas and concepts with our pitchers. At practice as they began throwing bullpen sessions and preparing for our upcoming preseason schedule, we took some time handle the mental side of the pitching. I typed-up a handout with about a dozen quotes about pitching and made sure to put this one on the end, in bold, like and exclamation point.

  Even though we had our first three scrimmages rained out, it gave us some time to focus on these important concepts.  I made sure to a few moments to read to them the quote above from Brooklyn bred Sandy Koufax - one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game. 

The gist is - challenge the hitter! Throw them your best and see if they can handle it.  Don't worry about trying to dance around their talents, make them worry about your talent. 

Then end result of this idea should be every single pitcher's goal - strike one.  The sooner you get there as a pitcher, the sooner that batter is on the bench worrying about his next at bat against you.

 I happened to catch a minute or two of the Mets preseason broadcast of game from March 13th feature left-hander Oliver Perez who threw four no-hit innings. He was the lucky recipient of some personal coaching by Koufax who is connected to the Mets through owner Fred Wilpon who was Sandy's high school teammate in Brooklyn at Lafayette HS. The broadcasters let us in on the coaching and the proverbial "secret-sauce" - as many have tried to help Perez who has been struggling the past few seasons. Sandy said, you know what, just relax and throw the ball. 

And I'd bet he told Perez to make the hitters try to hit it.

Any comments or questions or topics you'd like me to cover, feel free to email me at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baseball Offense - Made Simple


   Hopefully most of you are failiar with the strategy of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!). I think this acronym is perfect for figuring out baseball strategy and technique and works best in almost every situation.

  So I will break down for you the only three strategies a batter can be thinking about when he (or she) steps into a batters box and faces live pitching. In a game with endless possibilites, there are ONLY THREE THINGS A BATTER SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT!!!!!

1. - GET ON BASE - This would be a hitting situation when you need baserunners against a pitcher. Get the hot pitcher into the stretch. Make them worry about too many baserunners. You could be ahead big in the game. You could be behind big in the game. You could be in a tie game. It could be the first inning. It could be the last inning. Find a way to GET ON BASE.

2 - MOVE A RUNNER OVER - This second situation calls for the batter to put the ball somewhere in the field to move a runner to the next base. A sacrifice bunt. A ground ball to the right side of the infield. Get hit by the pitch. Draw a walk. Get a hit. All of those do the trick. Remember the goal is to move runners.

3 - DRIVE A RUNNER IN - This is probably the most imporant hitting situation because runs will be produced in the situation and the strategy in baseball is obviously to get more runs than your opponent. A sacrifice fly, a squeeze bunt, a ground out up the middle with the infield playing back - those all would work. Obviously home runs could do this too.

So in any offensive scenario for a batter in a baseball (or softball) game, there are only three potential things that he or she could be concentrating on!! Keep it simple and keep winning!!

Mitch Powitz

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Keeping Hitting Simple

"My theory on hitting is, attack the ball before it attacks you," Hank Aaron

  I think Henry "Hank" Aaron might have been onto something here. 

  I think he may have a little bit of success with that idea.

  Of course, up until a few years ago when a steroid-induced Barry Bonds passed him by, Hank Aaron was the career "Home Run King."

  Now we as players, former players, coaches and fans get caught up with records and statistics there is really one main objective when competing - and that is SUCCESS. This quote gives us a good starting point for any baseball player that will be facing live pitching this season - BE AGGRESSIVE. ATTACK THE BALL. TAKE THE FIGHT TO THE PITCHER.

  There is a certain simplicity that really works toward a baseball player's (or any athlete's) advantage. I believe that is often under-stated. If, as athletes, we do the most simple and basic techniques in an outstanding way - we will be extremely success and in the process, contribute to our team winning. 

  So as all of those involved in baseball get ready to shovel the snow and then take the field, remember "Hammerin" Hank Aaron and attack the baseball.  In my next post, I will give all you hitters a hitting game plan which is based on three simple rules. As you stride into the batters box, stay aggressive out there!

By the way, Aaron is wearing the uniform of the Milwaukee Braves - which is where the team was prior to their current location in Atlanta.  The Braves originally shared the Beantown audience of Boston prior to its move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pitching Wins! Here are the tips to get you going

Toms River High School South - 2010


1. Give me the ball! (want the ball, want to pitch)

2. Set the tempo; work quickly; throw strikes.

3. Help yourself – know our plays (pickoffs); field your position; backup.

4. Take advantage of your strengths and the opponents’ weaknesses.

5. Project confidence – believe in yourself.

6. Work ahead in the count - throw 2 different pitches for strikes; 3 would be a plus.

7. Keep your pitches down; especially the fastball. Change speeds, arm angle & looks.

8. Always a 0-0 game.

9. Shutouts win!!

10. Don’t be a nice guy! Get the hitters down (in the count) and BURY THEM!

(pictured above, St. Louis Cardinal ace Dizzy Dean. It would be interesting to bring back those old pitching motions!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"When I think of a stadium, it's like a temple. It's religious." -Jim LeFebvre, major league outfielder and coach

It is the time of year!  If you aren't yearning for it right about now, you might want to double-check your affinity for baseball! Major leaguers; potential major leaguers; college players they are getting ready and prepped for Opening Day! 

In the photo above of Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium) - the former home of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia A's - it makes you feel the summertime,  even by just looking at the picture.

Soon enough pitchers will be throwing strikes and balls. Batters will be hoping for a good one to hit. The tying run, the winning run, just another run will all be in play once the field is taken by the players. The defense will be gunning for outs. Voices will be heard. Dirt will fly. 

This makes all the snow and cold leave my mind. It makes me visualize the spring and summer of 2010!

So make sure you make a mental note to check in with the ballplayers as soon as you are able.