Little League Softball rule 7.08 – Circle Violation

DSC08646I’ve been attending a lot of our Little League post season all star games.  I’m a softball umpire so I understand the game pretty well.  A common question I get asked a lot is about why, in softball, with a runner on 3rd base, a walked batter runs to first and then immediately runs to second base.  People think that because the pitcher is “in the circle” she can’t do that.  I thought it would be useful if I wrote a quite blurb on Little League Softball rule # 7.08 which covers this unique situation in softball.  The team that masters this rule can have a distinct advantage during a game.

This rule defines the conditions under which a runner is out.  I’m going to quote the specific sections of the rule that are applicable here and then I’ll explain how this works.

7.08 – Any runner is out when -

(a) (5) (a) the runner fails to keep contact with the base to which that runner is entitled until the ball has been released by the pitcher on the delivery.

NOTE 2: If the pitcher has possession of the ball within the pitcher’s circle, and is not making a play (a fake throw is considered a play), runners not in contact with their bases must immediately attempt to advance or return to base.

PENALTY: The ball is dead.  “No Pitch” is declared, and the runner is out.  Eight (8) foot radius circle must be properly marked.

So, what does this mean in English?  Note 2 is the specific part of the rule that is referred to as a “circle violation.”  To understand this rule, you need to understand the two main conditions under which this rule is most confusing.  Let’s take them one at a time.

Ball 4 walk – Runner not yet in contact with first base

This is the one that everyone gets confused by.  According to the rule, the runner is not in contact with their base yet and is therefore allowed to immediately attempt to advance.  This is typically done with a runner on third base because the offensive team knows that if the catcher throws down to second, the runner on third will score.  Therefore, this is a legal strategy.

Runner on base - Pitcher in circle

This is one that is often the most frustrating because it’s the most subjective.  Pitch is thrown.  Runner leads off.  Ball is received and returned to the pitcher.  Pitcher is in the circle and turns their back on the runner.  The runner decides to advance.  This is a perfectly legal since the runner is not in contact with the base, the pitcher is in the circle, and the runner decides to advance.  Where it gets “subjective” is with the word “immediately.”  If the umpire feels the runner “hesitated” before advancing, they can call the runner out.

Another situation which is NOT subjective is the same as above. The runner decides to advance and then changes her mind and return to base. This is an unarguable circle violation because the rule says you must advance OR return to base. You are not allowed to do both.

Hopefully this clears up some of the confusion regarding this unique softball rule.  Teams are encouraged to learn this rule and make sure your umpires know the rule and learn what they consider “immediately” to mean.  This is one of the easiest rules to exploit if you are not properly educated.

Jim Carrey’s Life Changing Speech – The Most Important Minute You’ll Spend Today

Maharishi University of Management’s class of 2014 asked Jim Carrey to give their commencement speech this year. In his speech, he really brings home a message I’ve been trying to deliver for a long time. Don’t be content with where you are and what you have. Dare to go after your dreams. You can absolutely fail at something you hate so why not try reaching for something you love.

Rise to the greatness that is in you. God doesn’t make mistakes. You are here for a reason. You have a genius inside you that only you have. It is your purpose in this life to find out what that is and share it freely with the world.

SendOutCards is a scam!

There…. I said it… I now know what it feels like to say something completely ridiculous. See, if you google “SendOutCards” the first many hits you will get will tell you how horrible this company is, how people get ripped off, how it’s better to just avoid this company like the plague and stick to your comfortable lives.  They scare people away with fear tactics and opinions not based in reality.  I want to change that.  I want to make a difference.  I want people to search for SendOutCards and see my headline and read it and get the cold hard facts — not opinion.  See, I’ve been with SendOutCards since 2010 and I’m doing pretty well with the company.  I just left our 2014 international convention and on the first day, there was a lovely woman who was attending as a guest of a friend of mine.  After the first day, she was so excited — excited about the company, excited about our mission, excited about the possibility of real and significant change in her life.  She couldn’t wait to get back the next day and learn more!  Then she went home and started doing her due diligence and research.  We never saw her back the next day.  When we called her, she said she read all over the Internet how SendOutCards is a scam and didn’t want to be a part of it.  Because of the collective negative energy of all those people, she will never be a part of our crusade.  She may never be able to live her dreams.  She will probably get by in life, but just barely.  All because a few negative people either posted a bunch of opinions based on their own negative experiences or just because people don’t want you to succeed.  Because if you succeed, you make them look like failures.

send-out-cardsSo I’m going to spend the next few minutes debunking some of the more popular myths, objections and downright wrong things that people are saying and posting about network marketing and SendOutCards.  If you are with SendOutCards, you should post links to this article on your personal blog, on every forum you can find and everywhere you have an opportunity.  See, Google likes it when hundreds or thousands of places on the Internet link to an article.  It gives that article credibility and moves it up the search rankings.  I want to be the number one article people find when they type “sendoutcards scam” into the search engines so people can get real, factual information when they’re doing their due diligence.

Ready?  Here we go!!

MYTH: SendOutCards is one of those fly by night things. It’s not going to be around for the long term.

FACT: SendOutCards started in 2003.  This our 11th year in business.  And we’ve been operating in the black almost the entire time.

MYTH: No one makes money at those things.  They’re just a ripoff.

FACT: I assume that by “those things” you mean multilevel marketing or network marketing.  If that’s the case, you would be interested to know that SendOutCards has paid it’s distributors over $104,000,000 in commissions in the past 11 years.  Yeah, you read that right — MILLION.

MYTH: No one sends cards anymore. Texting or emailing someone a “Happy Birthday” is the way it is today.

FACT: To date, SendOutCards has sent out over 107,000,000 cards and over 3,000,000 gifts.  Also, let me ask you a question and please be perfectly honest.  If it was YOUR birthday, what would mean more to you?  A text from your mother/best friend/kids/etc. saying “Happy b-day” or going to your mailbox, opening it, finding tons of junk mail and bills and a real greeting card with a real personal, heartfelt message inside and a box of brownies?  Oh, and by the way, your mother/best friend/kids/etc. send that card and gift to you from their computer without having to go to the store.

I could go on and on but these are the facts and they are irrefutable.  Before you turn your back on us, I encourage you to visit my website, watch my video and send a free card to someone you love.  You won’t “get it” until you “use it.”

We are on a mission to change the world one card and one gift at a time.  We are on a crusade to enable people to achieve financial freedom through kindness and gratitude and we won’t stop until the world listens!


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Confessions of a rookie umpire

10320893_10202235912075539_2507373794294340676_oTonight I learned exactly how thankless of a job being a Little League umpire is.  I got hit by the ball in virtually every spot on my body (except the most important part, thank goodness).  I got yelled at and called blind by both sets of parents in the stands.  I spent 3 hours wearing protective gear in moderately hot temperatures (hey, I’m fat and anything over 70 makes me sweat, let alone when I wear all that extra gear).  I didn’t get paid.  And I would (and will) do it all over again. I had the distinct privilege of umpiring a fantastic major league softball game tonight.  The game ended in a tie which, in my opinion, truly reflects how hard both sides battled.  The lead changed hands multiple times and the girls seemed to have a great time.  All of this despite the fact the coaches felt my strike zone changed all night, the fans seemed to forget the game was about girls having fun and playing competitively.  I’m not singling out anyone but I’m going to speak my mind about my observations.

  • This is my first year as a Little League umpire.  I don’t know all the rules yet.  I do my best to play by the rules I know and guess my way through the ones I don’t.  Yelling at me telling me I’m wrong isn’t going to win you any points in my book.  Call time out, approach me in a calm voice, ask me why I made the call, allow me to explain myself and walk away.  No one has to hear our conversation but us.
  • My strike zone may change throughout the game.  There, I said it.  I just broke the cardinal rule of being an umpire.  I’m human.  I get fatigued.  If a pitcher is battling, I’m widening the strike zone to help both sides.  After 4-5 innings in that gear, my vision may change or I may get tired and the strike zone might change.  I’m not doing it to spite your team.  I’m not playing favorites.  I’m human.  I make mistakes.  However, the one thing you are never allowed to question, is a ball or a strike.  Those are not subject to discussion and will not do much to win you points in my book.  Accept the fact I am making the best call I can with all the best intentions and adapt.
  • Fans in the stand.  Your child doesn’t play for the USSSA Pride softball team.  They are kids and they are having fun.  The game I umpired last night had players from one team cheering for players on the other team — now that was something I was so honored to experience.  However, when fans are in the stands trying to psyche out the pitcher or the batter, that’s where I need to draw the line.  Also, when your kids are on the inside of that fence, they’re not your kids anymore.  They belong to the coach.  You are not their coach.  Talk to them all you want before the game or after the game but during the game, sit there and cheer for them and encourage them.  Don’t tell them how to stand in the box, don’t tell them what they’re doing wrong.  This is only going to lead to them feeling like they’re disappointing you which is going to make a less than memorable night for them.  Finally, unless you are willing to put on the blue uniform and stand behind that plate with a 60 MPH fastball coming directly at your head, do not question the calls of the umpire.

My father, God rest his soul, was one of the most active men in Little League you would have ever met.  He told me a long time ago something I’ll never forget.  Steve, unless you’re willing to provide a solution, don’t complain about a problem.  I was disappointed with the quality of the umpires last year and the girls suffered through parents who didn’t really know what they were doing or games where the coach had to umpire.  I decided to take action and do something to make Little League as important to the girls today as it was to me when I was a kid.  I would encourage all of you reading this to take a class and learn to umpire like I did.  When you put the uniform on, you might get a new respect for how hard our job is.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

CommunionI had an interesting day today.  I’ve never been a big believer in going to church every Sunday. Although I believe in Jesus Christ, I was raised in the mindset that as long as Christ was in your heart, you didn’t have to go to church every Sunday.  However, I’ve come to love our church and our pastor.  He is probably only the second pastor I’ve ever had a deep admiration and respect for in all my years.

Today he approached me and asked me for a favor. [Read more...]

Richard Brooke – The 4 Year Career explained

Not only is it possible to build a substantial residual income in just a few years, it’s actually easier than you think. My good friend, Richard Brooke, does an excellent job of explaining the power of network marketing and why every person on the planet who wants to make a better life for themselves and their families needs to have a network marketing business.

Linear Income vs. Residual Income

Recently on my Facebook profile I posted a quote from Art Jonak that said “If you really understood residual income, you would walk through a brick wall to get it.”  However, I realized that 90% of the country is working a full time job for a company somewhere and probably doesn’t know what residual income is.  It’s not anyone’s fault — it’s a combination of the fact that’s what their parents did and what their friends do so that must be the only solution because if there was a better one, they’d do it — Right?  It takes courage to step out from the pack and try something new (no matter how smart it may be).  Ridicule, peer pressure, and fear of failure and rejection are some motivating powers to keep everyone going to their day to day 9-5 grind.  Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll see the power of residual income and will look for the nearest brick wall.

Linear Income

Linear income is nothing more than a fancy term for trading your time for money.  If you have a 9-5 job, you are getting linear income.  If you work an hour, you get paid for that hour.  If you work 2 hours, you get paid for 2 hours.  If you call out sick (and don’t have a job that pays sick time) you don’t get paid.  When you’re sleeping, you’re not getting paid.  When you take a trip somewhere on vacation, you’re not getting paid.  And it’s not just 9-5′ers either.  Doctors and Lawyers also have linear incomes.  If a doctor isn’t seeing patients, they don’t get paid.

Residual Income

Now let’s talk about the more powerful subject of residual income.  Residual income is when you get paid over and over again for something you do once.  Let’s look at some of the easiest to understand examples.  Elvis Presley died in 1977.  However, according to Forbes magazine, in 2011, Elvis Presley generated $55 million dollars in revenue — 34 years after he died.  The same goes for movie and television stars.  Every time a movie plays in theaters or on television, the actors get paid “royalties.”

But I’m not a rock star or movie star

That’s ok… Just because you’re not the “King of Rock & Roll” or you haven’t gotten your big break in Hollywood yet?  Does that mean residual income is out of your reach?  Absolutely not!  In fact, I’m going to let you in on something that’s even better than movie or music royalties.  In fact, what if I told you there was a way you could not only get paid over and over again for what you do one time, but what a whole lot of people do one time.  Let’s talk about network marketing.

The king of all residual income generators: Network Marketing

A network marketing business is a home based business that will let you do an activity once (like getting a customer to buy your product or service) and as long as that customer remains active, you will get paid every time that customer makes a purchase.  Furthermore, if you can find like minded people like yourself who want to start a home based business, they can join your team, start gathering their own customers and then you can get paid when your customers make purchases and your teammates customers make purchases.  Where this gets powerful is when you start building a large organization.  Let’s do some quick math from the compensation plan of my network marketing company.  Let’s say you gather 3 customers and each customer is worth $10 a month to you.  That’s $30 every month for getting just 3 customers one time.  Now let’s say you found 3 other people who each gathered 3 customers.  You would still get $30 from your 3 customers (and each of them would get $30 from their 3 customers) but you also make $20 on the 9 customers your 3 team members have.  So you’ve made $50 this month (and you only found 3 customers and 3 customer gatherers).  Take this out a few more levels and this is what it looks like:

Level # Team Members # Customers Residual Income
You 0 3 $30
1 3 9 $20
2 9 27 $59
3 27 81 $176
4 81 243 $527
5 243 729 $1582
6 729 2,187 $4,746
7 2,187 6,561 $20,339

That means if you got 3 customers and 3 people to start their own network marketing business and then they went out and got 3 customers and 3 people to start their own network marketing business, and so on, after 7 generations, there would be over 6,000 customers and you’d be making $27,449 per month (all from getting 3 customers and 3 team members).  Now, this is a mathematically perfect model and no network marketing company can generate a mathematically perfect model but even if you were only 10% successful at this, you would still be generating $2,745 per month.

And the beauty part is, once your organization gets this big, you never have to do anything again and your checks will continue to get bigger and bigger.  That’s the power of residual income.

Now are you ready to find that brick wall?

Working from Home Jobs — My #1 pick

Many people today are opting to look into different kinds of working from home jobs.  Sometimes it’s because they’ve lost their job due to the economic recession.  In some cases, stay at home moms are trying to find a way to help support the family while still being available for their kids when they need them.  After all, what good is a mom returning to the work force only to find all the money she’s making goes to pay for baby sitting services or day care.  Whatever the reason, working from home jobs are becoming increasingly popular.  However, with popularity comes an increase in the number of potential “scams” that you could fall victim to.

In my opinion, one of the best working from home jobs you can have is to start your own home based business.  When you have a “job” you are working to make someone else a lot of money.  In return, they give you a little bit of money for your time.  When you have your own home based business, the money you are making is yours.  You are working to make yourself money.  And with that you can trade more of your time for more money, right?  But wait!  Are you suggesting that the more time you work, the more money you can make for yourself?  Yes!  But that’s not that much better than a job, is it?

So what you need is a home based business that let’s you trade your time for money but not in a 1 to 1 relationship.  What you need is a network marketing business.  Lets say you start a network marketing business selling widgets.  You work 10 hours a week selling widgets — that’s it — 10 hours.  Over the course of a month (working 10 hours a day) you make $500 but you also get 3 other people so excited about the widgets you are selling that they want to sell them as well.  At the end of the month, you’ve spent 300 hours, made $500 and got 3 other people to join you in the wonderful world of selling widgets.  At the end of month 2, you’ve spent another 300 hours, made another $500 but now you have 3 other people who each spent 300 hours (and made $500 themselves) but now you’ve made an extra $75 from their effort.  At the end of month 1, you traded 300 hours of your time for $500.  At the end of month 2, you traded 300 hours of your time and made $575.  Now if each of those 3 got 3 more every month, at the end of 7 months, you’d have a team of over 2,000 people.  Your 300 hours of time would generate you over $50,000.  That’s leverage!

So the trick is, finding a working from home job that has a widget you would like to sell.  For me, the best network marketing company, bar none, is SendOutCards.  Most network marketing companies sell products that can be overpriced or that only cater to a small handbag using, makeup wearing, liking to cook market segment.  What attracted me to SendOutCards is that (a) it’s a product that costs less than it’s competition and (b) it’s a product that everyone (regardless of race, age, gender) could use.  Professionals could use it to grow their businesses.  Regular people could use it to send birthday cards, anniversary cards, thank you cards, get well cards, etc. to people they know and love (and it would mean a lot more than a Facebook status or a text message.  Plus you can send gifts along with the card.  SendOutCards is a product of giving, not of receiving.  That’s why it has my pick as the best out of all the working from home jobs available.

If you want to see what SendOutCards is all about, you can just jump to my website and check it out for yourself (and even send someone a free card on me).

Click Here to check out SendOutCards

Scarcity mentality vs. abundance mentality

Many times, I meet people who claim they don’t have enough money.  It comes in many forms.  Some say they can’t afford to buy the new toy they want.  Some are more extreme and say they can’t afford to pay their bills.  I’d like to talk about the difference between a scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality and how one is healthy and one is not.

[Read more...]