Last night the Fort Lauderdale Little League Brewers carried their momentum from the end of the last game right into this one. Playing at an unfamiliar field with some pretty good rain coming down during the first inning, the boys did an amazing job staying focused and ready to play. Everyone out there had a great attitude and gave their best effort throughout the night.

We had some definite highlights that deserve mention. The bats were swinging with a couple of back-to-back home runs! Way to go guys! And certainly a highlight for the night was the incredible pitching performance where our pitchers combined for 12 strikeout game.

The game on Saturday will be against a tough team, but the work the Brewers have been putting in these past few weeks, with near perfect attendance for games/practices/clinics, should make this a great game you won't want to miss.

Keep up the good work guys!
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That's right. The first game for the Federal Park Little League Brewers is in the books. By all accounts, it was a total success even though the scoreboard said it ended in a tie. After a slow offensive start, the Brewers all started hitting the ball and made up the runs they had given up early on.

The effort of the boys was incredible, as well as the amount of improvement each player has made in just a few weeks of practice. For many of the guys, it was their first time hitting with another kid pitching to them. No doubt it can be a little scary, but the boys found a groove and everyone did a great job.

I would be remiss to mention how proud I am of my website co-creators, Austin and T Matsoff. Austin was given the role of starting pitcher in his debut and took the mound with pride and confidence. He had three key strikeouts to go along with a huge triple (which was actually his first hit ever!). His little brother T got called in as his relief pitcher. T was also making his pitching debut and he made the most of the opportunity. When you talk to him he may seem a little quiet, but hand him the ball and his arm can do some serious talking for him! He managed to strike out the side his first inning, and K'd two more in his second. The other team had the winning run on second base and T managed to strike the next batter out to end the game. He also helped the team out with a single and a double in his first game going against a kid-pitcher.

We are hoping that as the games continue we will have some photos of all the Brewers in action. If you have any, please send them to us at strikezonemag@yahoo.com.

Game 2 on Tuesday night. Go Brewers!

 
 
Sometimes that could be a good thing to hear. Sometimes things are going so well, it seems like everything is working in your favor. Well if you are a Marlins fan, seeing the rash of injuries that has plagued the team this season, that rain seems like a typical South Florida hurricane.

The latest storm came through with Josh Johnson shutting down his season early with a sore back and shoulder. At times throughout the season, J.J. was on the fast track to Cy Young accolades. He was rolling along with the lowest ERA in the business. He tweaked his back in early August and that was the beginning of the end for him (along with the playoff hopes of the Marlins organization).

Here is a quick run-down of the other players that have had their seasons cut short: (Some injured. Some traded. Some just stupid)

Ricky Nolasco - Knee injury
Jorge Cantu - Traded
Cody Ross - Traded
John Baker - Elbow injury
Ronnie Paulino - Stupidity (suspended 50 games for violating leagues performance enhancing drug policy by taking a "diet Pill")
Brett Hayes - Separated shoulder

That is a serious list of players down for the count. Time to take a deep breath and just wait for the season to be over. Things have got to get better next year!

 
 
Depending on what part of the country you live in, summer has probably ended and school is just getting started. When you live down here in Fort Lauderdale that means a few things: 1. We may just start seeing temperatures in the '80s again soon. 2. Traffic is about to get really bad with all of the snow-birds getting back into town and 3. Fall Ball is just around the corner!

Fall Ball is a little different than playing in the Spring. At least that's what I'm hearing from some of the other parents that have been through this season before. Supposedly it is a little more relaxed, which I'm glad about. My oldest son's first season was a great learning experience, but as he came in at 9 years old, he was playing against a lot of kids that had been playing baseball for years already. He never complained, and during the season (and every day for the rest of the summer) he worked hard with his younger brother to get better. So I'm excited that he is going to get to play again soon, now that his confidence is up. I'm also excited because with my boys 18 months apart, they were going to be playing in different leagues until they get to high school. But with Fall Ball, it's a little different. Because there aren't as many kids playing, the age divisions get changed around and that means that they are going to get to play on the same team.

It's great for my wife and I  because now we only need to worry about one team's practices and games. I think what is even better than that is the fact that when I told the boys they were going to have a chance to play on the same team they were both really excited. After all, they have been playing catch together just about everyday, rain or shine. When they aren't playing catch, they are studying baseball cards together, or watching baseball games, or playing  baseball on the Wii. To have the opportunity to play together this season is a huge treat. For them and for us.
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If you've been a fan of baseball for awhile, or sports for that matter, you come to figure that there are clearly some rules that are unwritten but are usually very well understood by both the fans and the players.  Early in the summer, my boys and I read "The Baseball Codes," that goes into great detail about some of these sorts of things, among them retaliation.

I bring this up today because during last night's game between the Marlins and the Nationals, this code came into play not once, but twice. For a little background, on Tuesday night, the National's freak-of-the-week and all around trouble maker, Nyjer Morgan, took out Marlin's catcher Brett Hayes in what could've been described as just a good, hard-nosed play. That is if it were just about anyone else. In the past week, Morgan had taken out another catcher in a dirty play, threw a ball at a fan's face and was seen on video yelling at a Marlin's fan.

So last night, in what is clearly part of the "baseball code," Marlin's pitcher Chris Volstad defended his catcher by placing a pitch right onto Morgan's hip. Morgan took his base and went on to steal both second and third bases, even though his team was down by 11 runs. Evidently, Volstad wasn't too happy about it, so when Morgan came back up in the sixth he threw another pitch at him except this one didn't connect - it went BEHIND Morgan's back. Well that was enough to throw Morgan into a tizzy and charge the mound in what became a bench-clearing brawl with Marlin's first baseman, Gaby Sanchez getting in one of the best "clotheslines" on Morgan I've seen since watching Hulk Hogan back in the 80's.

My thought on this, though, is that it shouldn't have happened at all. Volstad was "justified" in hitting Morgan once. But that is where I think it should've stopped. You just don't get to go for two in that scenario. Given Morgan's already ugly week, he will be getting most of the press for what transpired, but I don't think Volstad should be let off the hook completely. An eye for an eye. One for one. No double-dipping allowed.
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