Post your Rec League Softball gripes here.

I’m about halfway thru my season of rec softball and have built up a fair list of gripes. I’m sure others have similiar ones to mine so post them here so we can feed off each others anger!

  1. You AREN’T Barry Bonds so stop swinging for the fences! I swear, every person, EVERY person, feels the need to try to hit it out of the fucking park on my team. Then, since there are 4 outfielders, it’s fly out after fly out after fly out. Just get on base dude!!!

  2. Don’t swing at the first pitch!!! No matter now big of a meatball it may be. Let it go by. In our league the count starts at 1-1 so make the pitcher pitch to you instead of swinging at the first pitch and flying out to LF. If it’s a strike then so be it, it will be easy enough to hit the next pitch. It’s slow pitch softball dude. I see other teams get 6-7 walks off our pitcher almost every game but our team NEEDS to swing at the first hittable pitch because THEY ARE GOING TO HIT A HOMER!!!

  3. Umpire, I know you are just doing this part time and are not a paid professional but what is your strike zone? Do YOU even know? And can you please keep track of the # of outs. Thank you.

  4. The field is SO hard. Like concrete. But concrete with little potholes in it so the ball jumps up at the worst times.

  5. I’ve got 2-3 guys on my team that think they are coaches. Always criticising and “advising”. Just STFU and let us play ball. If the grounder got thru my legs I know why it did, I don’t need you to groan and yell GET YOUR GLOVE DOWN!!

  6. Base coaches don’t take any risks. Our guy holds up the runner coming into 3rd when the ball is just being thrown from Center. The catcher (normally the worst player on the team on most teams) only catches the ball 1-9 times so the odds are in your favor. RUN!!!

  7. Coach, stop playing people at critical positions (3rd, 2nd and LF) just because they SAY they are good. Let the guys who ARE good play those spots and rotate the rest around.

Anyone else have any gripes or beefs with their softball league. My team is .400 and we lost 21-16 last night.

Well?

People who criticize others on their team, but get mad if anyone criticizes them. :wink:

Hey! I played catcher. Asswipe. :stuck_out_tongue:

My all-encompassing gripe with slowpitch softball is the people who take the game WAY too seriously. (That’s not directed at the OP.)

It’s funny, but in my experience church leagues are the worst offenders at being overly competitive and not having any fun.

I don’t take the game super seriously. My gripes are mostly general and I enjoy playing with me team. That doesn’t mean they don’t PISS ME OFF plenty though.

I don’t know if it’s a gripe per se, but I know I go :smack: as soon as I see a guy in what are obviously his old baseball uniform pants from high school days. It means, about 80% of the time, that you’re going to get a guy who (a) is a junior coach on the field - to both teams; (b) throws way too hard on routine putouts, thus making his less experienced teammates even less useful; and © isn’t actually as good as he thinks he is.

We’ve got 2 guys that play in old baseball uniforms. The pants are several sizes too small and you can see junk thru them. Not pretty.

Nice topic and list, I agree with much of it. A few things I take issue with too though.

Definitely agree with the guys swinging for homers, especially the ones who can’t hit them. I see way too many guys who will homer in 1 in 10 at bats, and balance it out with 8 lazy fly outs and maybe 1 single. Give me a line drive singles hitter any day of the week. Considering its softball, just getting on base should give you a good chance of scoring, assuming the rest of your team is equally team orientated and disiplined. No reason to have to go for it all on one swing, especially if there’s less than 2 outs.

Disagree with taking a pitch however (unless the pitcher is already wild). Softball is a hitter’s game, and I think going for walks is pretty bush. Plus, if the first pitch is a strike, a decent pitcher will be able to throw a shit pitch and you’ll proably have to swing just to avoid the K. The guys who go up there with the bat on their shoulder and no intention of swinging look like douches as far as I’m concerned. Now, if the pitcher is already wild (or rattled), maybe this goes out the window.

Also agree about field conditions and umpire points. I know most leagues have substantial entry and player fees, they should be putting this money to better use. Having someone drag the field and keep the grass reasonable shouldn’t be too much to ask. Also finding an ump who will be in position most of the time, and fairly consistent should also not be too much to ask.

As far as my own input: GET RID OF THE JUICED UP BATS!. I’m sick of scrub players buying $200 - $400 bats and being able to hit homers and think they’re good. Not to mention the fact that if a player who is actually a decent hitter gets a hold of these bats, the pitcher’s life is in danger from line drives up the middle. The worst part is when leagues do have banned bat lists and players/teams still try to sneak in their cheater bats. I’d have no problem at all with softball leagues going back to wood bats, or at least regular aluminum bats.

Wow, sounds like you’re not having much fun out there, Stinkpalm. If your rec league is causing you such heartache, might be time to think about a less stressful activity.

Most of the people on our team are pretty well aware of their capabilities, and think about that in their hitting. I’m not a very strong hitter, and i know there’s no way i can get it over the outfielders, let alone over the fence, so most of my swings are at about 3/4 power, dropping the ball between the infield and the outfield. I’m also pretty good at pulling it down the left field line.

We have a couple of guys who have real power, and they often swing really hard. While they do fly out on occasion, they also often drive very hard shots to the gaps, leading to a lot of doubles and triples. Sometimes they do get it over the fence. One of them is also very good at going the opposite way, which can be a great advantage in a rec league where many teams put their weakest fielder in right field.

I’m only partly on board with you here. One reason might be because i tend to swing at some pitches that i shouldn’t, although i have gotten better at leaving the bad ones alone. I actually walked twice this season, which is probably a record for me.

But, even though i appreciate the logic behind letting the bad pitches go, i also think (and most people in my league are of the same opinion) that the idea of a slow-pitch rec league is to put the ball in play, not win with walks. I’m not saying that people should swing just for the sake of swinging, especially if the ball is well outside the strike zone; but if the ball is somewhere around the zone then i think it’s more fun for everyone if the batter tries to put it in play.

My biggest fault has been swinging at very low pitches, even ones that are going to hit the ground in front of the plate. Part of the reason, i think, is that i grew up playing cricket, where a ball that bounces just in front of you is often perfect for smashing. Getting used to hitting softball-style rather than cricket-style took some time.

I know walks and OBP are important in the majors, but i think a bit of free-swinging is fine in a rec league.

Our umps vary from OK to pretty damn good. We had one last Fall who was fucking hopeless. Had no clue about the infield fly rule, and fucked up a bunch of obvious calls. I don’t mind if it’s a close call and the umpire makes a decision i disagree with; they’re only human. But when they fuck things up because they don’t know the rules, then i get pissed.

Our infield gets pretty hard in summer, but this year it was reasonably smooth. There were a few bad hops, but not many.

One thing i love about the team i’m on is that everyone is very supportive and no-one gets down on people for making mistakes. The only thing that people get criticized for is lack of hustle, especially getting to first base. If you just jog to first and fail to beat out a double play when you might have been safe if you sprinted, you’ll get some shit.

Yeah, you definitely need to be aggressive when coaching third, unless you’re behind late in the game and base runners are better than risking outs. Although, in our league, a couple of teams have very good pitchers who cover home plate and always catch the ball, so you have to be careful.

We’ve pretty much fallen into a routine as far as positioning goes, although we all have more than one position. I throw left, so i often play first, but i also play left field and sometimes even third base.

We just finished our regular season, and we topped the league with a record of 17-3 (.850). Our one-day playoff tournament is in a couple of weeks.

The funny thing is, we had almost exactly the same team in our last Fall league, and came near the bottom, with a record of about .400. And the opposition wasn’t really any better. We seem to play much better in the daytime (summer league) than under lights (fall league).

I’m quite sure we play in different quality leagues here. I play in a base league which doesn’t cost anything to play in, which is why I don’t bitch alot about it. I only started this thread for yucks to see if others had simliar beefs. On base the Fire Dept and Maintainers dominate the league every year because they are full of civilians who don’t move around like the military guys so they play together every year so the league is pretty lopsided.

Some Pit threads just aint that serious and this is one of them so don’t start dropping the "you don’t HAVE to play you know"s on me. I can bitch about something and still enjoy it at the same time.

I’m not sure if you’re saying that your league is better quality, or worse, than mine.

If the latter, i doubt it. Ours is a very casual league, and the quality of play is by no means always great. If my previous post made us sound like a bunch of semi-pros, that certainly wasn’t the intention.

If your league is better than ours in terms of quality, i guess i can understand why swinging at pitches might be annoying. We tend to emphasize hitting because it’s more fun.

Sure. I was just saying that some of the things you complained about would sort of ruin the fun for me, especially number 5.

I love softball. It’s probably the single thing i look forward to most every week during the summer and fall. But part of the reason i love it is that i do it for fun, and i’m not interested in being criticized or yelled at if i make an error. If i was on a team where a bunch of people were hyper-serious and hyper-critical, i’d probably lose my enjoyment of the game.

Are you in a men-only league? Because i’m in a co-ed league, and i find that co-ed leagues tend to attract fewer over-serious testosterone freaks who complain about other people’s play.

There’s a summer league going on and I have no complaints about the other people I play with. We’re all out just to have some fun and get out of the lab for a couple hours. And the people we play against are all pretty cool as well. What pisses me off is the school’s activities department. I wasn’t happy with checking in but I could live with it, though I’m not sure what purpose it can possibly serve (covering their asses against a possible lawsuit?) But now they’ve started this thing with wristbands. You MUST wear the orange wristband or the opposing team can declare an instant win. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t think the AD is going completely overboard.

I tried managing my team for one season.

One season.

I love love love love love love love everything to do with baseball and/or softball but I won’t manage another team again as long as I live. There is some natural law of the universe that every team will have four whining idiots on it. I was stuck with this one chick who would sit on the bench and bitch and complain about the skills of every other player on the team, openly criticizing their play as the game went on, despite the fact that she was herself an absolutely brutal player. She was #1. I had a couple where the girl really couldn’t play ball, so for the first few games I hit her low in the order. Then her boyfriend complained so I said, no problem, and put her at the top; then he complained they were too far apart in the order and liked to hit close together. Christ Jesus. (I ended up creating an alphabetically based order and just starting every subsequent game with the name that came up after the last batter of the previous game. People then bitched that it wasn’t strategically sound.) There’s always one person who insists on playing one particular position they’re not any good at and who bitches and whines when asked to play anywhere else. And there’s always one person who says they’re going to show up and never fucking does.

There’ll be 8-10 other people who are fantastic and cooperative and it’s ruined for them by the assholes. And you never know who the assholes will be, because some people are nice until they put their jersey and glove on and then they turn into Fuckstick Q. Cockblaster.

Players who don’t show up for the game. Especially irksome are wimmins who don’t show in enough numbers so we have to forfeit. Makes the 2 dedicated women on the team think of better things to do than to show up at the field for 10 minutes on a Sunday and then go home.

Managing my team would be really easy. Luckily, we have none of the problems you describe, although i’ve seen them on plenty of other teams.

I’ve taken on the role of Commissioner for our Fall league. Despite the hifalutin title, the job mainly involves trying to put together six teams, working out what day/s the games will be held, and acting as liaison with the city, which maintains the fields and sends the umpires.

But one of the reasons i have the job is that the guy who did it last Fall (who is also the manager of my team) got sick of dealing with the captains of a few of the other teams. Apparently, they whine about the schedule and they whine about the fields and they whine about the rules etc., etc., etc. and he just got tired of dealing with it. I’m not really looking forward to it, but it was getting to the stage where either i did it, or there would be no Fall league. And that’s just not acceptable! :slight_smile:

I saw him play Triple-A in Charlotte, once. He was in the Show for, like, ten minutes, and you could tell he never let his team-mates forget it.

How many women do you need on your team? Our league requires 3, but you can play with 2 as long as you:

a) take an automatic out at the bottom of the order

b) play nine fielders (three outfielders instead of four)

Of course, the combination of the automatic out and the huge gaps in the outfield make it very hard to win the game, but at least you get to play.

We have a pretty big roster to deal with the issue. This season, we had 10 guys and 6 women on the team. There were nearly always at least 3 or 4 people who couldn’t make it, so we generally ended up with a team of 12, with 10 in the field and 12 in the batting lineup (2 DHs). Also, because we play doubleheaders each Sunday, everyone got at least one full game in the field.

Ideally, of course, it would be great to have a roster of about 10-12, and play with exactly the same people every week. But this isn’t pro ball, and i think it’s worth having a few extra some weeks just to ensure that you never have to forfeit or play shorthanded. I do agree, though, that people who join the team and then hardly ever show up are a pain in the ass. If you know that the games are at 1 p.m. every Sunday, and you know that you go away nearly every weekend, why the hell would you join the team?

Yeah, the people who take it as seriously as you.

a. at least one gal for each guy
b. no fewer than 8 players

So we need 4 ladies just to play, and 5 if we want to field a full team and stand any chance of winning.

Preach it, man. I don’t play softball, but I go through exactly the same thing at my curling club every season. People sign up for every event on the calendar and then announce on the first day that they’re going to be out of town for six out of the seven games. Then the same fuckwits rag on me for not signing up for enough events. Like yeah, I know that I have to work and study, and I only sign up for events that I can actually play, and when I sign the fuck up I show the fuck up. Fucking Fuckstick Q. Cockblasters.

I’m with you, Stinkpalm, (except, like Blunt on the taking pitches in softball thing). My last two experiences with rec league softball were horrible. Oddly, in two different townships, I had very similar experiences. In both cases, the manager was a fat guy with no talent who thought he nevertheless had impressive managerial skills, but ultimately did not.

The worst incident in the first league: We were chronically short on players (usually we had three across the outfield), and you had to have a minimum of 7 players (or was it 8) or you had to forfeit. Our manager was there, but didn’t want to play because of some problem with his legs - he didn’t want to get them dirty because he was worried about infections. He wouldn’t even agree to just go out into right field and stand just inside the foul line and not move. How he would have been more prone to infection doing that than sitting or standing around the bench area, I don’t know, but I was exceptionally pissed off to forfeit because of that.

The other league - our primary problem was like you describe - everyone swinging for the fences. We’d play good teams in our league who would just routinely hit nice singles, but no amount of patient observation of their strategy versus ours would suffice. It was particularly bad because in that league, one of the ground rules was that a foul ball in certain areas was an out, so these muscle-up pull hitters would routinely foul out, let alone routinely flying out.

The other problem was the gouging. We not only had to pay to enter the league, and pay for balls when we were the home team, and pay for the umps, but halfway through the season, we had to sell lottery tickets. I haven’t had to sell anything since I was a kid, and never for rec league softball.