Today’s Lineup 2.0 Now Available

Today’s Lineup 2.0 is now available for both iOS and Android. Now, you can create any position you need, giving both baseball and softball coaches the flexibility you’ve been asking for when setting your defense.

Today’s Lineup 2.0 is optimized for iOS 7 and Android. The app has the ability to “edit available PositionsEditpositions” which lets you add extra players. Now, you can add the extra outfielder you need or make up any position and name it accordingly. We’ve inserted a list of pre-loaded players such as Designated Player, Flex, Right Center Fielder, Left Center Fielder, for use in either baseball or softball.

Today’s Lineup 2.0 is also cross platform compatible. You can enter all your data on an Android phone and then manipulate that same data on an iPad. Just make sure you log out of one device before logging in with another device.

The app is available on both iTunes store and Google Play. Check it out.

Regards
Joe Bond
Today’s Lineup

Baseball Practice Indoors? It’s Spring 2014.

The calendar says March, the clocks have jumped ahead, but for many, it still feels like February outside, and looks like January. My son’s high school summed up my thoughts on indoor baseball practice in a recent e-mail.

“Spring sports are underway and our athletes are supposed to be outside in fierce competition in just a few days, but have you looked outdoors lately? Logic says there will be several postponements…”

Little league teams are being evaluated, drafted and assigned right now – and right now up North, indoor practice is where teams are going to need to start. There’s nothing wrong with indoor baseball practice. In fact, indoor practice is a great place to discuss, demonstrate, clarify and practice the skills of baseball. Learn, practice, refine and repeat over and over again.

So where can you go for indoor practice?

High School Gym / Fieldhouse – Just ask. Yes, schools are busy with their own schedules, but the gym isn’t being used 24/7. A good high school is immersed in helping the community at large, and should be there when you need it.

Middle School or Elementary Gym – These schools may be more accessible, the only issue is room size. The gyms are built for younger smaller kids, so plan accordingly. I’ve seen throwing drills work ok in small “multi-purpose rooms.”

Indoor Soccer or Lacrosse Practice Facilities. These facilities are used to juggling schedules. They get teams on and off in a timely manner, and are generally big enough to handle multiple activities at once. I’m sure they have a rate to get a team in for a short period of time. Indoor turf helps with the grounders.

Youth Baseball Training Facilities – Ok this is obvious, places like these have batting cages, instructors and the facilities needed for training. They usually have packaged rates or hourly rates and will work with teams. It’s a numbers game to get in, but worth it for your team.

That’s just the start of a quick list. If you have other places you’ve practiced in, please let me know and we can keep the list growing.

 

Today’s Lineup: baseball lineup Android app now available

We’re happy to announce that Today’s Lineup, the baseball lineup Android app for youth league coaches and managers is now available for all Android devices. Now anyone with a Samsung S4, Nexus 7 or any other Android phone or tablet device can use the this time saving baseball lineup app to set your batting lineups or position players for youth baseball. The Android version includes the same features as the iOS version.

With Today’s Lineup Baseball app you can:

  • Create your team
  • Set your lineups
  • Add, drop, move your lineup around with ease
  • Set games, locations, dates and times
  • Set your player positions for every inning
  • Export to PDF or compatible Excel file
  • Print the lineup for your dugout and other team
  • Sync data across other Android devices every time you log out

Today’s Lineup will save you time and let you focus on game strategy. The app is available on Google Play. Check it out, while it’s free.

October baseball. Precision amplified in the World Series.

In October my television hums between baseball playoffs, hockey, football, and basketball. Fall brings more than change in the air, but a major change in the sports season. Inevitably, there will be stories about how baseball is falling behind other sports in TV ratings, and general interest.

To the casual viewer, baseball looks boring compared to the energy of college football. Baseball looks slow compared to the speed of hockey and baseball looks overly simple compared to the constant movement in basketball or the schemes in professional football.

Baseball and especially October Baseball is not boring, slow or simple. Baseball is precision. October baseball is precision amplified.  A 3-2 count becomes the equivalent to going for it on 4th down and inches. Every pitch is elevated to a new level, crowds stand and scream during every pitch. Cheers for strikes, ooooohs for balls. The difference between a pitch count of 1-2 and 2-1 is huge, yet the situation becomes magnified because it’s playoff baseball.

I don’t have a favorite team to follow in the playoffs this year, yet I still try to see as many games as possible. What to enjoy in October baseball? I watch pitch sequence and the count — follow what the catcher is calling. Watch the pressure build on the pitcher and see how he handles it. Watch the pressure build on the batters and see who’s bat gets hot. Leaving men on base in the playoffs is like being turned away from the goal line, fourth and inches, again.

Baseball naturally gives you lots of starts and stops. Plenty of time for the drama of the moment to be discussed, the pressure to build and the managerial second guessing to begin. I always hope for a classic pitcher’s duel, pitch for pitch, inning by inning. Every pitch, every at bat, every play. Amplified.

I can live with October baseball.

Pete Rose is waiting for you in Las Vegas.

“Woah, lets go in here.” I said and gestured my family to follow me inside a small store. “Dad, who is this? Why are we in here? What are we doing?” Too many questions being thrown at me, then I realized a child born in 1999 would have no idea who the man wearing a Fedora, blue shirt and glasses was, sitting behind a black folding table. He just sat patiently waiting, arms on the table – pen in hand. “Here, read this,” I said, handing my phone to my son with the Wikipedia entry opened. My son’s eyes started to widen.”Keep reading, it just gets better” I told him.

Mandalay Bay was our hotel for two days during the summer of 2012, and I had no idea the man under the hat was working around the corner. He has a job in Las Vegas, and his job is to autograph pictures, chat with you and let you take his picture, all for the price of buying one of his 8 x 10 glossy’s when he really was a younger Charlie Hustle. There’s an ugly irony that he sits in the biggest gambllng town in North America, while being banished from baseball for gambling. So goes the world that Pete Rose lives in everyday.

“Seriously, he had that many hits, 3 WS rings?”
“Yes, he was an incredible player. Just read his stats.”

By now we were standing in front of the signing table waiting for him to finish talking to someone. Then he gestured for us to sit with him, my thirteen year old pitcher sat right next to him.

He was very nice, and easy to talk to. He wanted to know what all the kids did, what their hobbies were. He didn’t talk about himself unless you asked him a specific question. And he seemed very open to answer anything you asked. He obviously has grandkids because he adjusted the conversation differently to each child.

I introduced my oldest son, the one who loves and plays baseball. I’m sure he’s met a million kids who play baseball and my son was no different. What he said to him surprised me.

What position do you play?
“I pitch and play infield. Second base.”
“Do you like baseball? Really like playing the game?”
“Yes”
“I’ll tell you, if you want to play baseball, give up the pitch. You’ll only play every five days, you won’t play.”
“You play second base right?”
My son nodded.
“Well if you play second, you can play some short, third and even some first. You’ll play everyday. You want to play as much baseball as possible.”

This was Pete Rose the manager, telling a young player not specialize and focus on one position, but help the team by playing multiple positions. You could see it in his face, learn the game playing multiple positions – don’t just pitch. Learn more. Do more. Sound advice. He signed the picture we gave him and he continued the conversation.photo

“Who’s your favorite baseball team?”
“White Sox.”
“White Sox? My son (Pete Rose Jr) is in the Sox organization. I follow them everyday.”

It was true, he did follow the White Sox closely. I mentioned the Sox game the night before, it was an big win over the Yankees and he knew all the details. In a few sentences he was able to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, and be dismissive of bad play. On that afternoon they were about to lose 4-0, and he talked like a manager who grasped it all.

He won’t be able to share any advice with any major league player at any level — but he’s good for the kids to chat with. And he seems ok with that.

Joe Bond
Today’s Lineup

 

The hidden baseball trick…

The hidden baseball trick got Juan Uribe, of the Dodgers, out recently. Usually this is successful when one player is simply looking away and not following the ball. In this case, the ball was thrown behind Uribe standing on third base. At that point, the third base coach should have given him a heads up– “watch out, the ball is behind you OR hey third baseman has the ball.” That’s what coaches are on the field for — to be an extra set of eyes on the field.

In little league, this trick tends to happen more often at first or second base. Usually initiated by the position player keeping the ball and faking a throw to the pitcher, while the baserunner is casually looking away. Again, a good base coach will point out what’s going on and let the player know who has the ball.

I’ve always told players to follow the ball everywhere, it’s always live, unless the umpire awards or calls timeout. You can’t teach this to the younger kids enough. It’s embarrassing for this to happen to a major leaguer — but not unexpected. Players are constantly adjusting their uniform, and can look away for a second. That’s all it takes to lose the little white ball.

Personally, I never liked resorting to tricks for outs, because you put everyone on heightened notice for the rest of the game – including your OWN team. In my book, if you have to resort to tricks for outs… you’ve got bigger problems.

 

Copy Previous Inning with Today’s Lineup App

One tip that makes setting the positions easier is the ability to “copy previous innings” from inning to inning. This is a big time saver and gets you thinking about how many positions a player really plays.

Just touch the top of the inning number, and the indicator will come up. Touch “copy previous inning” and the entire column will fill with the same positions. If you have players sitting out, it’s real easy to identify the x marks and make substituions quickly.

Once your decisions are complete, touch the share button to save out as a PDf or a CSV file.

Today’s Lineup. A baseball lineup app iOS

No matter how much time I set aside to plan, there’s always a scramble to set the lineup and position players before a game. The lineup comes easier throughout the season, because you know where your run production is going to come from. However, setting positions in youth leagues, making sure everyone plays a fair amount, and keeping up with local rules of infield and out field play becomes “baseball suduko” by default.

Do the math; if your youth league plays 7 inning games and there’s 11 players on the team… that’s 77 decisions that have to be made, and made with a fair assessment of talent, and team strength. You can either come to the game prepared or you can wing it inning by inning. I’ve done both, and don’t recommend winging it. Ever.

With Today’s Lineup Baseball Lineup app iOS you can:

  • Create your team
  • Set your lineups
  • Add, drop, move your lineup around with ease
  • Set games, locations, dates and times
  • Set your player positions for every inning
  • Export to PDF or compatible Excel file
  • Print the lineup for your dugout and other team

We created this app to make the process easier for youth league coaches. It’s all about pre-game preparation, the prep time no one sees. It’s been a long time in development, and a long time coming. Believe me, just two years ago there were really no apps around to solve this problem, and now there’s more to choose from. It’s good to know I wasn’t the only coach thinking there had to be a better way.

Best,
Joe Bond
Creator Today’s Lineup