Leading off today:
Today is mostly a catching-up-on-some-stuff-I-should-have-already-posted day and then I'm out the door for a work-related road trip. I hope to tack on a few notes in another blog late tonight.
So away we go:
Going batty: For high school sports reporters who haven't already done so, you probably really do need to help readers explain the new rules pertaining to non-wood bats in high school baseball this spring. As the Timers Herald-Record phrased it over the weekend, players coaches are preparing for a brand-new ballgame.
High school hitters are now being required to use bats that are certified BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution), which act much more like a wood bat than their metal and composite predecessors, the BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio) bats.
The ball leaves the bat at a slower rate of speed, which should keep the pitcher and corner infielders safer by giving them more time to react to line drives.
"So far we have noticed a big difference in the ball exit speed," Marlboro coach Dave Onusko said. "There seems to be a smaller sweet spot on the new bats. Balls hit off the handle will either be weak ground balls or short pop-ups. I believe we will see a faster-paced game with much less scoring."
Said Minisink Valley coach Dave Benedetto: "It is now more important than ever that the hitter's swing be fundamentally sound so that good contact can be made. I think that you will see better hitters being developed."
Up in Section 5, coaches have also noticed a difference already. Honeoye coach Mark Storm told The Canandaigua Messenger balls travel noticeably shorter distances and his outfielders aren’t playing as deep. He said his hitters “hate” the new bats.
“To me personally, it’s good for baseball,” Canandaigua coach Dale Werth said. “Games will be quicker and there will be more bunting and 'small ball' stuff.”
New BBCOR bats cost between $200 and $400.
Cortland investigation: Police are investigating an incident last week that led to the dismissal of four Cortland High varsity lacrosse players, The Post-Standard reported.
A March 26 incident allegedly victimized two other players, Superintendent Larry Spring told the paper. Another incident the following day was less serious. Spring would not elaborate on the incidents because the investigation is ongoing, the paper reported.
One of the victims reported the incidents to first-year coach Matt Blaich, who notified AD Jeff Johnson. Spring and Principal Gregory Santoro then investigated, Spring said, and that subsequently led to police being called in.
“I would put it in a category of things that we want to make sure in no way, shape or form ... are thought of as acceptable,” Spring said. “I don’t think anybody would ever want their child to be subjected to these kinds of things.”
The four players thrown off the team did not play in Saturday’s season-opener win over Chittenango. At that game, police broke up an argument between two small groups of adults near the Cortland sidelines. No arrests were made.
Greece follow-up: The family of a 14-year-old Greece Athena/Odyssey hockey player who authorities say suffered a concussion in a confrontation with a teammate claims the coach and school district administration ignored earlier violent acts by the accused teenager, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.
Tyler Grimshaw, who has been charged with third-degree assault, “demonstrated a pattern of aggression toward his hockey teammates” that school officials and coaches ignored, alleges a notice of an intent to sue the district and coaches.
The notice alleges that school officials had been notified that Grimshaw's actions in practice caused other concussions and that he once fired an “Airsoft” gun at a teammate in the shower. That player quit the team, the papers said, further alleging Grimshaw also once aimed the gun at a coach and also once “opened fire" on several young players.
Greece Central District spokeswoman Laurel Heiden said she could not comment on the filing. The school