Minutes of the June 25, 2022 Great Neck Weekend Softball Board Meeting Location: Kings Point Park on Redbrook Road, Picnic Area
Time: 10:10am – 11:30am
Board Members in Attendance: Bruce Blattberg, Barry Schneider, Dan Hegarty, Bobby Widawsky, Scott Smith, Jack Schonhaut, Mike Spiel (Remotely by phone), Gary Weinstock, Gary Leventhal ( Commissioner)
Audience: Gary Zwetchkenbaum, John Hunt, Gordon Charlop, Roger Kass, Doug Beck, Mark Leder, Lee Tannenbaum, Jon Silver, Steve Hershon, Marc Kono, Alan Zamchick, Luis Avila
Because of the desire of many players to pitch, it was felt that a system should be worked out to handle the matter in a fair and equitable manner, with consideration given to factors like seniority, ability to play other positions, pitcher safety, and field compatibility.
Players who’ve pitched regularly, occassionlly, or who’ve expressed an interest in pitching, were identified by the Commissioner: (see below)
Gary Zwetchkenbaum Ira Levine
Lee Tannenbaum Luis Avila
Mike Levine Roger Kass
Scott Smith Steve Feinstein
Varying opinions were expressed. Scott Smith felt pitcher and catchers should be rotated. Roger felt that new players should be given a chance to pitch. Gary Z said he’d be amenable to whatever system was devised.
It was mentioned that some pitchers can’t or won’t play other positions and therefore they would not play at all, if not as a pitcher, which would mean we would lose players. This would be a detriment because we often need players and sometimes we would not be able to have a viable game without these players on the field.
The Commissioner pointed out that there were safety concerns expressed by players on the “A” field for older pitchers. He gave the example of Gary Z getting drilled very hard in his groin area, on 2 separate occasions. John Hunt said that no one needed to worry about his own health other than he, himself.
In the discussion about rotating pitchers, it was pointed out that other positions don’t get rotated and that didn’t seem fair. Scott Smith said that no player should own a position. The Commissioner agreed and pointed out that its always been the GNSB philosophy, but over the years the message had gotten lost.
The Commissioner also explained that in the 1st decade of GNSB, no balls or strikes were called. Balls and strikes were incorporated into the game only because it was found that some pitchers would purposely never give a batter a decent pitch to hit and conversely some batters would only swing at a perfect pitch. The result was long drawn out at bats. When the change was made, the job of the pitcher was to throw hittable strikes to the batter, not to try to get him out. It was thought of as a defensive position, like any other position on the field. In practice this evolved into a much more competitive setting for pitchers, but it was never really the intent of the change over to balls and strikes.
John Hunt said, “In my view, a pitcher's job is not to help hitters on the
other team hit -- it is to compete within the rules on behalf of his own
team. I believe that view is shared by most members. Great Neck games
have always been competitive -- pitching is part of that competition --
otherwise, we should either play tee-ball or let the batter hit the ball
himself. We don't need a pitcher.”
Mike Spiel made the point that some of the really good players rarely have a strike thrown to them. They are forced to swing at bad pitches because they
don’t want to walk and the counts on batters are consistently high, slowing down the pace of the game making it less enjoyable.
Barry said the umpiring strike zone has been expanded.
The commissioner reiterated the longstanding GNSB standard strike zone as nipples to knees and that intentional walks are not allowed under any circumstance.
A discussion ensued about whether we want to codify conditions in which a pitcher should automatically be removed from the mound, for example for walking 3 batters in an inning or for issuing 2 consecutive 4 pitch walks.
Gary Weinstock said that having a hard rule for things like this might make things more complicated. Bobby and Dan tended to agree.
Juan Plata suggested that we leave pitcher removals up to the team captains, which is pretty much the way it is now.
A vote was called. The Board voted against having a hard code for the removal of pitchers, in favor of letting the team captains decide.
Bobby inquired about whether there’d be a way to know which guys wanted or were available to pitch in advance of the game. He indicated how difficult it is to try to accommodate 15 guys who want to pitch, especially since the average game is about 11-12 innings.
A motion was proposed that on 3 - 4 day holiday weekends, if there are other pitchers available who desire to pitch, a pitcher cannot pitch 3 full games in a row. This motion was passed. Note: A pitcher may pitch part of a third game in this situation.
John Hunt and Gary Zwetchkenbaum volunteered to be on the GNSB Board.
The current Board Consists of: Commissioner Gary Leventhal
Members: Barry Schneider, Dave Seidman, Mike Speil, Bruce Blattberg, Bobby Widawsky, Dan Hegarty, John Hunt, Gary Zwetchkenbaum, Gary Weinstock, Scott Smith, Jack Schonhaut
Notes for the Minutes were compiled by Matt Reiss and “transcribed” by the Commisioner.
Thank you Matt.