White Sox, The Cubs, College and high school baseball. Nothing is off limits with long time baseball coaches Jack Perconte, former big league second baseman and Sam Zagorac, owner of Diamond Edge Academy, Willowbrook IL. This episode was taped in the spring of 2016 when it looked like both the Chicago White Sox, one of Jack’s former teams, and the Chicago Cubs were going to contend for the World Series. We all know how that ended up. Anyway…
We welcome all questions baseball or softball. Please email them to Jack at email@example.com or to Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org
In this episode, Jack and Sam answer and discuss these questions:
- The benefits of long toss?
- Whether kids need to throw more or less?
- What are the things you like to point out to young ballplayers when watching a major league ball game?
- What parent actions drive you nuts?
5. Do you teach softball hitting differently than baseball hitting?6. What are the 3 most important tips for youth baseball coaches for having effective practices?7. For the 8, 9, 10, 11 year old levels, besides pitching, what positions are most important to the team defense?
Full Transcript Of Podcast Below
JP: We want to welcome everyone to our baseball podcast entitle: Something Worth Catching, like a Baseball. Your hosts are me, former major leaguer and long-time baseball instructor, Jack Perconte, and another long-time professional and youth coach, Sam Zagorac, the owner and head instructor at the beatiful new baseball and softball academy, The Diamond Head Academy. Sam and I came up with our title to our show after tossing another idea. Originally, we were gonna call it Jack and Sam Talking Baseball Show, but the more I thought about it, it just didn’t have a ring to it. The Sam and Jack Talking Baseball title sounded pretty good, but Jack and Sam didn’t so I had to scrap that idea Sam, because I just didn’t want your name first, sorry to admit that! Sam, I know when I owned my own academy I was kind of a scrooge when it came to the weather. The worse the weather, the better I felt because I knew that meant more indoor business. So, with that in mind, how are things going here and what’s new at the academy?
SZ: Things are going really well, this is the first year I asked for rain or snow, but things are going really well. I think what’s happening is your getting parents and teens coming into the facility prior to games to get loosed up and get their batting practice in here. Even an opportunity during the day, you know how school’s out and so on and so forth, in terms of coming in in the morning and getting their work in, so the sunshine is certainly welcome, the warmer temperatures are welcome and everything works out. So, things are really good here.
JP: Awe that’s great to hear. You know I tell everybody times have changed. When we grew up, when I grew up anyway, we were outside all day, we were playing ball a lot of the days, so you got a ton of swings, your throwing and fielding the ball all day, and you’ve got your repetition working and you learn the game. Nowadays, kids just don’t do it, there’s just no neighborhood play anymore and for good or bad, without facilities like yours, you’re just not going to get the reputation and learn the game like they need to, from just their time with their coaches, it’s just not enough time.
SZ: It’s funny we were just talking about this the other day. Growing up we didn’t have baseball bags, you know your shoes were tied together by the lace, your glove was on the handle of your bat, and everything was on your bike and you were riding to the park, and we would go from a whiffle ball game in the morning, to lob game in the afternoon, to practice in a little league game at night. Things certainly have changed, whether they’re for the better or worse I’m not sure, I think I’m certainly biased to thing that growing up the way we did was a little bit easier and better. The freedom of getting on a bike and going to the park, and when the lights came on you knew you had to go home, and parents didn’t worry about you, you learned how to survive and street smarts. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, that’s really not an option.
JP: You hit it on the head. If you don’t see your kids for 1/2 hour nowadays, you panic and start to worry where they are, so times have changed. I think I mentioned in the first podcast, how I believe facilities like yours and the one I used to have, are so in the dividends with the major-leaguers of today though that their coming up a lot more polished hitters and things, because of academies where they’re getting their work and they’re learning the finer details. Like you said, the technology today allows them to learn more, analyze things better, and so there’s a place for facilities like this for sure.
SZ: Yes, athletes are definitely bigger and stronger today than they were 15-20 years ago.
JP: Speaking of rainy, ugly weather, if people are looking for a good read or two, I invite them to check out one of my books. One is a hitting book: The Making of a Hitter, and then one is more of a parenting book in a sense called: Raising an Athlete. I have another book coming out this year mainly for coaches called: Creating a Season to Remember, so if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy night, look into it, people can buy the books at Amazon or at my website also. As always, if people like what the hear here, we sure appreciate when you pass on the word of the podcast to friends and teens. Our goal is to help players and coaches and parents have the best baseball and softball experience possible, so we encourage your questions, and you can send them on to me at baseballcoachingtips.net, or to Sam at sam@diamondedgeacademy. And once again there are no questions we feel are off-base, no pun intended and we’d like you to send them on. At the end of every podcast we offer a little story, and that is something you can pass on also to your teens and friends. So, we’re going to start our question series that we always do in our podcast, and I believe Sam has the first one today.
SZ: I do, first time I’ve had the first one so, here we go: Do you teach softball hitting different than baseball hitting?
JP: Well yes. The last thing a softball person wants to hear is that it’s the same so I definitely always say yes. There are some things I believe have to be taught differently. The one thing we do know, is what produces a line drive, and power and good solid contact? That position doesn’t change whether it’s a baseball or a softball, so in that regard, hitters have to be able to get to a certain position at contact. But softball does have a rise ball that does come up, where baseball doesn’t theoretically have a ball that rises, so in that regard, I believe you have to teach a little different. The other factors that come into play, is the softball is heavier, it doesn’t go as far so kids need to be stronger, and in a sense technically very, very good to be able to power the ball. A lot of girls are not that strong at the younger ages, and to be able to get a ball to the outfield is not that easy, so mechanics are crucial for them too. The other thing is if you can really run in softball, then that adds an advantage of being able to just slap balls, run like crazy and still have a future. It is a different game, I believe softball hitters maybe have to be a little more compact in a sense they can’t get away with a long swing that a power baseball player would have, they usually can’t get away with that because of the movement, pretty much on every pitch. There’s no such thing as a straight ball in softball for the most part, so there are difference and like I say, technically I think softball players have to be very good to proceed in the game.
SZ: That’s a tough answer for me to give, because I don’t work with as many softball hitters as I do with baseball. Luckily here at the facility, we have Emily Allard who plays for the Chicago Bandits and is probably viewed as the best slap hitter around, and her theory of speed kills and watching her, and her biggest thing is if she can get a ball to bounce twice in the dirt twice, she’s safe. Which is a completely different thought process than what you do in baseball, in baseball you’re trying to plan with the pitch, and trying to get behind balls and talking about launch angles, and I just haven’t done enough study of the softball side. I do think from a mechanic standpoint, you know working from the ground up, and trying to being efficient, is the same, so from that aspect if I would teach hitting positions, and timing, and gather and load separation and all that, very similar in both sports.
JP: Right, I would agree, you know most things are similar and yet there’s a few differences. I guess the main point like I say is try not telling a softball person it’s the same as baseball, cuz they usually get upset. Alright Sam I’ve got a question for you here, real simple: Are you a fan of long toss, and if you are, what ages would you recommend it for baseball players?
SZ: I am a fan of long toss. I think that long toss, if done properly and taught the proper way to do that, is a very, very good way of building arm strength. You know when I was young and coming up, we had the old sand cans for arm exercise, and weights, and trying to do circle motions and trying to get your shoulder stronger, but I still think it’s hard to beat the old fashioned, getting out there and letting the ball go and playing long toss. And try and maintain that not only pre-season but also doing it during the season as part of a maintenance, and be able to maintain your games and your arm strength. So, for me, I don’t think that putting any restriction on age wise for long toss is there or needed. I think getting out and playing catch and trying to build up arm strength, you know the old days of picking up a rock and trying to throw a rock as far as you could in the water is very, very similar in terms of what you’re trying to do in baseball, and building arm strength. So ya, I think there is no age restriction for long toss and I’m a big fan of it.
JP: I would agree completely and I think you hit it on the head with a couple words there, done properly, I think that’s important. Most younger kids, the minute they want to throw a ball a country-mile, they fly open with that front side and think that’s gonna deliver the ball further, and so right away they’re putting a lot of strain on their body and their arm. So, it really needs to be done correctly, but once it is, then I’m a big fan too. It’s the best way I think to see speed increased over a period of time. The one thing I try and tell parents and kids is that if you do a real long toss program, or a day of long toss, it’s like pitching a whole game though, because the strain is like pitching on the mound, so you’ve got to be careful of doing it when you’re pitching also. To where you’re not throwing so much then, then you come back and have to pitch at maximum speed again, and that can create problems. So, I really recommend to series players that want to increase their speed, is to start a program after their summer season, maybe August until Halloween and start then. I think it’s the best time of year to do a lot of throwing, don’t just throw the glove aside too early, wait ‘til Halloween when the weather changes. You can get a lot of long toss done and really see big effects come the following season, and not have to worry about over throwing and hurting your arm.
SZ: Right, that and then also I think rest is important too. As much as throwing long toss, I still think there should be a month or two months of just giving your body a break in terms of throwing, and give yourself that opportunity to step away a little bit.
JP: Exactly. And I think that’s where we’re at an advantage and a disadvantage in the North country in a sense, is the weather kinda takes away the ability for the most part, the long toss, too much in the off season and it’s kind of a built-in rest period. Whereas in other states, the warmer states, they theoretically can throw year-round, and that may not be the best thing for them either.
SZ: Moving on to our next question Jack: What are the three most important tips for youth baseball coaches to have an effective practice?
JP: Well to limit that to three is not gonna be easy, but I would say the 1st thing I like to tell coaches is to coach during warm up time. I don’t like to see kids out there warming up on their own when that might be the most times they throw a ball the whole day, and yet they’re doing it wrong in warm ups because no one’s really watching. So, I really think warm-up time is for coaches as much as for players getting loose. Whether it’s base running, running warm ups, or throwing warm ups or swinging a bat, I really emphasize, use your warming time to coach. Don’t just let kids go and do it wrong while you’re sitting to the side talking to the other coaches, so I would say that’s one thing. Another thing is that it’s important that coaches talk a little bit and communicate with each other on what they’re exactly teaching. Because so often you get one coach teaching one thing, and then they go to a different station and coaches another coach is seeing something different. And kids are just shaking their heads after a while like, they’re so confused so I think it’s important coaches get together, kinda talk, keep things simple as they can, but teach the same things, so that would be the second thing. Then maybe the third thing is, I like to start practice out with something relatively exciting, so even if its warm ups they can turn that into a little competition time to make it fun for kids immediately, and they’re enjoying that first 10, 15 minutes of time. There’s a lot of things that are a little tedious in practices that you have to get to, and you don’t want our kids bored right at the beginning and asking hey, when are we gonna do this and that. I like to save the hitting part, which is usually the thing kids like the most, I try to save that to the end of practice so kids always have that one thing they like that they know is coming later. So those are maybe some tips that can help coaches.
SZ: Ya I agree with you. Having an organized plan, you know, getting out to the park and not knowing what, when, or how you’re going to do it, you end up wasting time with trying to figure out how you’re going to put them in groups, where are we going to rotate, so on and so forth. So, having a practice plan and having it written down and giving a copy of that to all your assistant coaches, so you know when and where, and how you’re going to rotate, at least is more effective practices just because you’re utilizing your time. Especially if you look at it now, our Spring here weather-wise wasn’t very good, so if you do get an opportunity to get outside that maybe the only time you’re out for two weeks, so you better take full advantage of that hour or hour and 1/2 that you have outside, so be organized. I think the second thing is try to limit the standing around. Having nine guys at short stop and taking ground balls leads to other issues, you get kids that are at a younger level and the maturity isn’t there. You have playing, tapping each other on the shoulder, knocking hats of someone’s head, so if you have them all to coaches and putting them at multiple stations where you’re getting multiple ground balls, even to the point where you break them up and you partner up with each other, and they’re rolling balls back and forth to each other, it limits the standing around and you keep them engaged a little bit longer. It makes it a little bit easier for them to understand what you’re trying to do in that specific drill. The last part I think is something that I always try to do is whether it’s practice as a team, as a small group, or even individuals, is trying to finish the practice at some point at a competitive level. You know get them to throw to a target, get them to work on an outfield play, and working behind a ball and trying to hit the cut-off man, per the perfect throw and if you don’t, well then, you’re out. All the sudden you’ll see how more intense and how more productive the practice is because they don’t want to be the one that’s out. They start making good throws to 1st base where previously they were throwing balls away, so trying to make things competitive is a very important key. All three of these things are skills and ideas that can be learned through coaching clinics too. I’ve been very, very fortunate to speak at clinics throughout the country on a yearly basis, and I always try and learn something new. If I’m speaking at a clinic, I make sure that I attend it to make sure I hear other people talk too, because they may something that, a: I’ve never thought of, or b: put in a different perspective than I’ve thought of, and I think that always helps. Here at Diamond Edge we’ll offer a couple different coaches clinics during the year that are free of charge. You come in for youth coaches and get a better idea and understanding not only drill wise, but more importantly, a practice organization.
JP: Those are great suggestions. I think the competition thing is key. I remember baseball camps in the past I’d run and we would warm up throwing for 35 minutes, and kids never got bored because we were having different competitive contests with throwing. So, I’m happy because they’re working on the things I want them to work on, and they’re into it because it’s competitive. I think the key is just making sure everybody has a chance to win, so sometimes you might have to handicap things a little bit so the best ball players don’t always win every time. But with competition, the coaches know ways of keeping things competitive and can make all the difference. And I think practice is where the biggest issue with baseball is, kids just get bored with practicing in baseball because coaches really don’t know how to make it exciting. In games, you get enjoyment out of games because it’s competition, but practices that are boring can turn kids off to baseball really quick, whereas other sports there’s so much more activity so they gravitate to those. If coaches could do a little better job of making practices exciting, it can keep kids in the game longer.
SZ: Absolutely, I agree. Next question: Do you think kids need to throw more or less?
JP: I think it kind of gets to the long toss question I guess, but I would say more in general, especially the younger kids. Unless it’s maximum throwing where you’re pitching a ton, I think the kids just need to throw more, they don’t get enough repetitions for the most part. Working and developing the arm strength, we’re kind of at an age where everybody feels we’ve got to avoid the arm injury and all that, but part of that is kids just don’t throw enough, so I would say in general, throw more. Now, the one or two players you have to be careful of is the guys with the really good arms that are throwing a lot of innings in games. They’re the ones we have to be more careful about obviously because they tend to maybe throw too much, coaches use them too much, they end up extending them longer in games, and they’re the ones that are most vulnerable maybe to the arm injuries. But for 80-95% of kids, I think they need to throw a lot more and to build up the strength needed.
SZ: I agree. It gets back again to the old days where you didn’t see many of these arm injuries, and we were playing catch every day, or we were playing running bases, or there was something going on to the extent that you were throwing the baseball. I think people need to understand the difference between throwing and pitching. Pitching adds a tremendous amount of additional stress on your body because of the downward movement of pitching off the mound, and the stressful innings in terms of the inning count. I’ve had this discussion recently with some coaches and other youth coaches, that these tournaments, if you’re on a team that has 10 or 12 pitchers, well these tournaments are good, but if you’re on a team that only has 3-4 pitchers, now you add a tournament and you’re playing 4 or 5 games in two days. It’s not that the kid only threw five innings, it’s that the kid may have thrown 25 pitches per inning, and trying to protect him from that. So, from a pitching standpoint I think it needs to be less, from a throwing standpoint I think it needs to be more. I also believe there’s some truth in trying to stay off the mound earlier in your off-season work outs, doing more flat-ground work where you can work on your mechanics and certain things throwing off flat-ground which takes some stress of the shoulder and the body as well. But in terms of throwing, getting back to the old days and we threw every day, we were playing running bases, lob, playing catch, we were doing all kinds of different stuff on a daily basis, and with very few arm injuries in comparison to today.
JP: Right. Quick story, a personal story, you know I had my academy for 19 years, so I basically threw every day for 19 years even as I ages. I got out of the business for a while, didn’t throw a ball for maybe 6 months, and when I went back to throw, I had an enormous pain in my arm that I thought, I need surgery, I mean it’s that painful. I couldn’t throw a ball three feet without major pain, so I’m thinking I need surgery. So, I go see a doctor and he just starts laughing and says well you’ve got tendonitis, you just have to stretch it. So, I stretch it and it goes away in a heartbeat, I start throwing again and I’ve been throwing ever since. You know I can still at my age, go out and throw all day long without any problem, whereas the minute I stop using it, well I lost it. So, it’s kind of a use it or lose it thing also for kids also. Alright Sam, I’ve got another question for you here: What are the things you like to point out to young ball players when watching a major-league baseball game, either live or on TV?
SZ: Well I think that’s a great question, but I think the question is based on the players age. I try and tell my kids that I work with at all levels, to try and get to the park early, watch bag practice and try and see them do the work on the field, and ground balls and what they’re working on. Understand there’s a lot more to the game to just hitting, and then also understand the game when they’re taking batting practice and see what their approach is. Is that whole round trying to hit the ball the other way? Is that round trying to get the ball near, trying to score a guy from 3rd base, so I think try and watch their actions and how they go about their business every day? I think also, you know you get to that age where your better pitchers from the ages of 8-12 never give up base hits, or never give up hard hits, or they finally give up a home run and they think they’re world is coming to an end. Well I always tell those guys listen, go to watch a game and you have 27 outs, of those 27, there’s a large number of those balls that are hit right on the screws that are right at somebody, so understanding that pitching to contact, and as much as you’re working on your game pitching, there’s guys working on their game hitting, and it becomes a battle of one-on-one. Even though it’s a team game, it’s really a one-on-one game from the time the pitcher has the ball and he’s delivering it to the hitter. I think the other one too is understanding that it’s hard, it’s a hard game. You can go to the game and watch the Angels play and want to go see Mike Trout, and he may go 0 for 3, hit the ball hard twice and strike out once. Well he was 0 for 3, and understanding that the game is set to fail, but trying to fail with confidence, and understand how difficult the game is.
JP: Right, you know there’s a big difference obviously when you’re there live and when you’re on TV and what you can see on TV. So, at a live game where you can see players pre-pitch routine in the field, those are things I like to tell kids, watch how each player gets ready before each pitch, watch what they do when they’re on the on-deck circle, those are important things. The preparation, watch a pitcher in-between innings how gets in a routine, he does the same thing in between innings and does the same thing. Once again, live, you can really see a lot of things that you can’t see on TV that are helpful for kids, before the ball is even put in play, and I think those are real important things. Watching games on TV, you’re limited pretty much to watching the pitcher and hitter in a sense, but once again I like to show kids, or tell them to watch the hitter’s routine and set-up and how they do things the same every at-bat and just get consistency there, and pitchers fall into the same delivery time after time, and how important balance is in everything they do. Like you said it’s such a hard game, and just being able to make things look so easy as the major-league players are usually able to do. Things look so easy and yet it is so hard, and it looks like they’re barely swinging the bat and yet its 90 miles an hour, you just don’t see it, so I think those things are fun to watch and point out for kids.
SZ: Well I think they make things look easy because they’re so efficient, there’s an extreme confidence level there. I think too, there’s some guys that you have to watch to see that they really have fun playing the game, you know let’s not lose track of that. You know it’s their living, it’s their business, but if there’s guys you watch during the game and you know that are having fun, that’s another thing too to understand. They may make an out and they’ll hand the helmet to the first base coach and have a smile on their face, it’s just one of those days.
JP: I think that’s a great point. I remember back when I played and I always tell people this, it just was so amazing to me because every game I ever played all-nervous and just really into it an intense, and I’d get a single or something and get to first base, and there’s Eddie Murray standing there and he’s the loosest guy, just talking to you like you’re sitting on a park bench. Then I’ll run to third base sometimes, and there’s George Brett, one of the greatest players also, same thing, all smiling just happy to see you, having the time of his life, and I’m just so intense and nervous. The great ones just have a way of really being able to relax and they’re just in their element I guess.
SZ: Alright here’s my last question for you today and I’m glad you got this one: What parent actions drive you nuts?
JP: Oh I was hoping you’d get this one too Sam. You know parents all mean well and they want their sons and daughters to be good, so I never blame them for that. I mean that’s what we do as parents, we’re involved now a days and we want our kids to do well, but a lot of the things they do are just not helpful. Just yesterday I’m in the batting catch teaching a lesson and there’s a parent working with his son next to me, and the words coming out of his mouth were just so ridiculous to me, it was like: terrible, you can’t that, why are you doing that, that’s just bad. You know words like that, and I just wanted to say something to him but it’s not my place. But I did say to the parent of the child I was working with, you know I’ll bet you $1,000 right now that kid, when he’s 13 years old, he does not want to play baseball anymore. At this age, kids are going to take it from mom and dad, ok, ok, ok, but if you are hearing you’re terrible, why are you doing that, over and over again, that’s just not the right way to go and there’s a lot of parents out there that do that. The other thing that drives my kind of nutty even though it’s my business, is they pay me pretty money to work with their kid, I’ll tell them something, the minute I walk away, boom they’re in their ear talking, talking, talking about do this, do this, do this. I’m like, well why did you pay me money if you have all the answers for them? So that kind of drives me a little nuts too I guess.
SZ: It’s a fine line because I think we touched on this before, is I always welcome the parents to be engaged in the lessons. I want them to know what we’re talking about and teaching their son or daughter because they see them more than we do. On the flip-side I’ve got several clients whose dads are not allowed in the facility when they give lessons, it’s the way that it is. It’s unfortunate, but if you want me to work with your son to be productive, go pick up a coffee or sit in the car and read a book. But overall, I always tell parents to expect less and encourage more. At the end of the day it’s hard, whether you son is 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, whatever the level is, at the end of the day most of those players know what they did well and what they didn’t do well that day, so the last thing you want to do is be piled on in the car on the ride home. I think the more that maybe they can just get away, or at least have an open conversation with them about what they did well, and did wrong or not well, is important. So, I think from the parent aspect, if you encourage more try and expect a little bit less from your son. No one’s going to be perfect, nobody’s going to bat 1,000, nobody’s ERA is going to be under 1 unless you’re Arrieta. So, there’s certain things from a parent standpoint that you need to be able to expect, and I think both of us had have the opportunity to be in both seats, we have the hat on as being a coach and instructor, and then we also have the hat of being dad to a player. It’s hard but you have to be able to step back.
JP: Right, I would agree. I like parents involved in the lessons because I’m hoping they’ll catch up on what I’m teaching, and so the kid hears the same thing.
JP: Ya, because like I say, if they’re saying something different than what I’m saying, the kid just gets so confused that he can’t function. I hope that parents will listen in, and a lot of them are good about it and they’ll follow what I say and then they’re going to reinforce that. I mean kids are willing to listen to mom and dad a little bit once they think it’s the same as the coach is saying, but otherwise you kind of have a mesh. Ok the last question of the day Sam, and good luck with this one here. This is good for you because you have the young team, but: For the 8, 9, 10, 11-year-old levels, besides the pitching position, what positions are the most important on your defense for you to feel like your team has the best chance of getting out?
SZ: Well you always like to be strong up the middle. You always like to be strong up the middle, you have to have middle in-fielders who can handle ground balls and work their way around the base at second base. You know center-fielders who obviously can run a little bit and cover some ground, and without the doing the old Kelly Leak from The Bad News Bears and calling the players off. One of the positions that is very difficult to fill is the catching position for a couple things. The game for whatever reason parents and leagues are trying to speed off with the lead off and the steals, so throwing guys out at second base is becoming more and more difficult at that level, so walking-ins are becoming a triple, and it eliminates middle in-field development. You can go a whole year at the 10-year level and maybe have three or four force-outs at second base all year, because as soon as somebody gets on first, they’re stealing second. So, I think the catching position is very, very important, at least to be able to minimize the running game a little bit and control it. There’s so much pressure on them to throw strikes, and trying to get them to put the ball in play. I think too, obviously trying to get multiple kids to play multiple positions is important, yet trying to also maintain that fine line of putting players in a position to be successful, and not putting them in a position where under no circumstance will they be able to do the job, and now they look down upon themselves in a negative way because they felt they let the team down. So, I think being strong up the middle is, at whatever level you’re playing, is important, but being able to control the running game is important.
JP: I think the problem with catching is it takes a special mentality to really want to catch, and if you can find that kid its really going to help. I think that’s the tough part, you have a try-out and you eight short-stops and maybe one or two catchers so it kind of makes it tough. But if you can find one that really enjoys catching and not afraid to get injured and dirty, I think that’s huge. I guess the one position I’d be a little surprised you didn’t mention would be first base, you know they tend to handle a ball as much as anybody in a game beside the pitcher and the catcher, so I always thought first base was crucial for at least the younger level.
SZ: No I agree that’s a very good point, in fact one of my clients had mentioned that the other day. They’ve got a very young player, you know an in-fielder makes a good player and throws it to first, and they’re not even quite sure if the first baseman has the glove on his right hand, let alone putting a glove on the ball. So that’s a great point, I certainly missed that point, but at the younger level, ya.
JP: Ya, first base you know even at the major-league level they don’t get the credit they deserve. I think first base is a much tougher position than people think, they just feel like if you can catch a ball you can feel first base, and there’s just so much more to it. As you know, you talk about catchers being in danger with balls, well first baseman, that ball is coming in the dirt, and bouncing up on them too.
SZ: And you’re expected to do everything.
JP: Exactly so it’s a tough position too. Well Sam, it’s been a pleasure once again, and looking forward to many more here. Keep on doing the great work here at the academy, and we’ll look forward to the next podcast. Once again, we encourage people to listen for our story, and also to send us your questions, there may come a time where we run out of our own questions, and we’d love to hear from everybody, and tell your friends, and we’ll see you next time.
SZ: Sounds good, thanks Jack.
JP: Thanks Sam.