June 14, 2019


IN ATTENDANCE: S. Baranick (SB); J. Hansell (JH); T. Jadwin (TJ); G. Stevenson (GS); R. Schemp (RS)
GUESTS: R. Barnhart (RB); A. Bullington (AB); J. Roach (JR)

1. 2019 Spring Season
a. Assignments
(1) Rocks vs. Microcells? – An issue was raised, a while back, as to whether the Monday league should consider changing the league ball from the Rock to the Microcell. Some rationale for considering this change is that the Microcell is now used in the greater majority of tournament play; the Microcell doesn’t “wobble/move” in the manner of the Rock; and the Microcell is cheaper.  The cost for the Rock softball is $56/dozen and we use about 5 dozen/season.  The Microcell is about $9/dozen cheaper, which would result in a savings of $45/season, $90/year.

A recent “survey” of league teams yielded the following results:
Rocks – Teams A, B, C, NC
Microcells – Teams D, E
??? – Team F
Don’t care – SC
After discussion, JH motioned and GS seconded that the league change from Rock to Microcell softballs.  
Motion failed 1 (SB) – 4.

(2) The league is still in need of identifying a third “permanent” umpire.  RB indicates that he may have two possible candidates who umpire at BLD.  He will follow up with those two individuals.

(3) At prior Board meetings, the possibility of providing T-shirts for the BKMT4 five division champions was discussed, and TJ was to pursue.  It’s been determined that Marv Ruddell’s source can provide a 4-color T-shirt at a cost of $8 – $10, with a 144 order minimum.
That would not be a realistic cost for the tournament to absorb.  TJ will continue to research to see if there is another vendor source, with a similar price, but with a more realistic minimum.  
This remains an open item.

b. Discussion Items/Announcements
(1) Rescheduling games pre-empted by USSSA International Baseball World Series (June 14 – 25) at BLD
This impacts Monday league games scheduled for June 17 and June 24.  The Board had not been advised of this when the Spring 2019 schedule was set.

6/17 – There will be no games.
Two options for playing the remainder of the Spring 2019 season were presented as follows:
Option 1 – No games will be played on 6/24, play the last 4 Spring season games on 7/1 at BLD, and the single-elimination tournament on 7/8 at BLD.  SB has checked with Adrian Williams/BLD, and BLD can accommodate start times of 8 am on both dates, with gates open at approximately 7:00 am for BP, etc.
Option 2 – Play the last 4 Spring season games on 6/24 at Wheatfield Park with the start time TBD and the single-elimination tournament on 7/1 at BLD with a start time of 8:00 am.
Without vote, but by unanimous agreement of the Board, Option 1 was approved.

SB to update league website schedule and inform managers, players, umpires, and BLD of this change.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB updated the schedule and notified the managers, et. al.)

(2) Lou Bratcher and other league players have commented that games are turning into HR derbies and that Rule 16 should be returned to the previous rule.  For discussion purposes, SB marked up Rule 16 to its prior wording.
16. Over-the-Fence Home Run Rule: 5 4 HRs/team.  After both teams hit 5 4 HRs, the 1-up rule will be invoked.  The home team may go 1 up in the open inning(s). Each HR over the limit is an out a single with runners advancing only if forced.

Much discussion took place on this issue, including input from the two guests.  The overwhelming consensus is that, practically, this is not an issue.  It has occurred, only rarely, where one team has hit 5 HRs in a game and no one was aware where both teams hit 5 HRs in a game. There was some discussion about whether to leave the HR maximum at 5, but go back to making it an out beyond 5 (other than on a 1-up situation).  Some commented that once a team reaches 5 HRs, that the “bigger hitters” might put defensive players, such as pitcher/3B man in greater jeopardy because they are now concentrating on hitting something other than a HR.  However, in counter to this, it was mentioned that the “big hitters” can and have gone up the middle and to 3B even when the HR limit is not an issue.  It was also expressed that the same thing can occur when the maximum HR limit has been reached and the next HR is an out.  In such a case, the “big hitters” might also end up going up the middle or down to 3B.
Without vote, the general consensus of the Board (SB dissenting) was to make no change to the existing HR rule.

(3) Update Rule 9
SB brought up the subject of our Rule 9 (formerly Rule 6), in which the following was added in 2012:
9. “…If the score is tied after the open inning and time has expired, one extra inning will be played.”

SB stated that when this rule was added in 2012, part of the rationale for making this rule change was that we, at times, played 3 games on one field at Wheatfield and we didn’t want to impact the start times of later games if the extra inning game occurred in the first time-slot.
He stated we play fewer three time-slot games now, and it’s not as likely to occur.  His feeling is that games shouldn’t end in ties.
He was suggesting to remove this portion of the rule, and either have no extra inning limit or change one extra inning to two.
Counter comments were that there have been very few ties in the ensuing six years and that we do play, from time to time, in three time-slots on the same field.
Without vote, but by general consensus of the Board (SB dissenting), it was agreed to leave the extra inning rule as is.

(4) Doubleheaders
JR and others are recommending that not all teams play every Monday but play more scheduled doubleheaders with some byes.
JR stated that his reasoning is:

a. To make it more feasible for some out-of-area players (using example of Jim Ziemer) to not have to drive in every week for potentially only one game;

b. To give some players the opportunity to play more doubleheaders.  In anticipation of this recommendation, SB analyzed a rough schedule depicting this, which would have all teams play 5 doubleheaders with 3 byes.  The result of this would be to complete a 14-game schedule in 12 weeks compared to our current 14-game schedule which is completed in 13 weeks (scheduling 1 doubleheader).
Of course, any of these schedules will be impacted by rainouts or other potential cancellations.

After a great deal of discussion, it was agreed that SB would send a notification to league managers to poll their players as to whether the player favors the current schedule of games or the suggested 5 doubleheader format.  This topic remains an open agenda item.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB sent a notification to league managers. Also, per the request of some of the managers, SB generated a 12-week schedule but with 3 doubleheaders and 1 bye.)

(5) Decrease Pool Player List
SB suggested that non-tournament and unavailable players be removed from the player pool.
By unanimous agreement of the Board, Nicholls, Vincent, Camou, Escobedo, Haines, and Hutchison were removed from the pool.
TJ to contact Cooley Smith to determine if he is still available to play.

(6) Reno Tournament
A significant number of Monday league players played in the Reno tournament, presenting very serious replacement player issues for managers of Monday teams.  The league has typically not gone “dark” for the Reno tournament, and there was discussion as to whether to take such action.  It was agreed that teams/players be “polled” next year with sufficient time to make scheduling adjustments if the league does shut down for this tournament.
This remains an open agenda item.

(7) League Ladder
SB purchased a 6-foot ladder for $20 to help retrieve “lost” balls from most of the major league replica fields.  He was reimbursed out of league funds.

2. League Players
The following actions took place on the following dates:
4/1, Lyle Wood, rated 1 or 2 by North County (NC) manager Don Chandler, replaced Scott Guthrie, rated a “1” on North County.
SB rates Wood as a “2”.  None of the other Board members have seen him to rate.  Remaining Board members have to rate him.
This is not an immediate issue in that he has replaced a “1”.

4/1, Umberto Cornejo, rated a “4”, was not showing up for games, not returning calls/texts, and subsequently, dropped from Blue Bolts and replaced by Doug MacRae, rated a “4”.  Doug’s league fee was pro-rated.

4/8,  Rob Hellman, rated a “5”, quit Blue Bolts due to health issues.  He is not expected to return.

4/9,  Rick Kurianski, rated a “3”, was removed from the pool.  His foot fracture is not quite healed.
He may return for the Fall 2019 season; initially in the pool.

5/13, Gio Venittelli, rated a “3”, was injured while substituting on 5/13 and was removed from the pool.
He plans on entering the Fall 2019 draft.

5/17, Mike Moller, rated a “1”, was moved from the pool/waiting list to Royal PITA, replacing Hank Alonzo, who is rated a “1” is now on the DL. Alonzo will go into the pool for the Fall 2019 season.

5/17, John Birtcher, rated a “2”, was placed in the pool.  He plans on entering the Fall 2019 draft.

5/27, John Leavitt (SS, Tue/Thu) has been to BPs.  He needs to be rated for Fall 2019/Spring 2020 draft.
The consensus of those who have seen him at BP, tournament play, or Tues/Thurs, is that he is a “2”.

3. 2019 Fall Season – Draft
The draft is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 19 and Wednesday, August 21.  Opening day is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August, 26.  Like last year, we are hopeful of playing on Labor Day, which will be Monday, September 2.  BLD was available for our use last year, but RB believes it will not be available this year.  This needs to be verified.  All of this is predicated on 8 teams, no rainouts, and 1 doubleheader per local team.

SB is in process of generating a draft list.  He is waiting on responses from Pat McDowell and Bill Bennett.

Barry Woltz and Jim Ganley will not be playing for the 2019-2020 season.

4. League Players – Al Underwood/John Gullatta
Both players were new replacement players to the Monday league for the Spring 2019 season.  They were both placed on Whitey Fjords, managed by JH.  JH recently contacted both players about whether they will be playing in the league for 2019-2020.  They both indicated, strongly, that they enjoy the league and want to play in 2019-2020.  Both, however, requested, if possible, to be placed on the same team as they carpool together.  Al lives approximately 1 1/2 hours from BLD and John lives 1 hour from BLD.
  JH made no promise to them other than he would bring their request to the Board.
After discussion, the Board unanimously agreed, without vote, to accommodate their desire/need to be placed on the same team.

During the draft, it will be explained to the drafting managers that in selecting one of the players, he will be “required” to select the other.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting JH informed both players.)

5. Managers for 2019 Fall Season
As of this date, Andy Bullington, Ed Rushing, and Jack Buss have agreed to manage for the 2019 season.
RS is questionable at this point in time.  Managers are needed.

6. Monday League – Advertising for Players
TJ asked whether the Monday league advertises for new players.  SB indicated that we place a notice on the SSUSA Message Board about our league, but other than that, no.  We have, in the past, placed articles in local newspapers (Valley News/Californian) about our league, but nothing recent.  SB will look into placing articles in some local papers.
(Subsequent to the Board meeting, SB submitted an article to the Valley News regarding information about the Monday league, including the 2019 Fall Season draft and contact information.)

TJ will contact Adrian Williams/BLD regarding having at “banner” placed at BLD about our league.

7. New Board Member
SB raised this topic, indicating that he has been giving a great deal of thought to adding another Board member to help shoulder some of the Board assignments and responsibilities.  He indicated some reluctance to do this earlier because he understands the potential difficulties related to having an even number of Board members plus not wanting to increase the Board to seven members.  He stated he also came around to this thinking because there were some players, currently not members of the Board, who have consistently shown interest in the league and who, in his estimation, would make a valuable and viable Board member.  He stated that if the Board was to consider increasing the Board representation to six members, he would offer a recommendation that in those few cases where there might be a 3-3 tie, that the President be given the tie-breaking vote.  He further stated that he would be OK with such a stipulation, even if it was someone other than he who was the President.  The Board had considerable discussion on the desirability and practicality of this consideration.

SB motioned and GS seconded that the Board increase its Board membership from five (5) to six (6) Board members.  Motion passed 5-0.

SB motioned and GS seconded that Ron Barnhart (RB) be appointed to the newly-approved new Board position.  Motion passed 5-0.
RB accepted the appointment.

JH motioned and GS seconded that on a 3-3 tie vote of the Board, that the President will hold the tie-breaking vote.  Motion passed 6-0. This was RB’s first vote as a new Board member.

The Board thanks Ron for taking on this role and looks forward to working with him on the various matters facing the Board and league.