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NCexile

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Reply with quote  #91 
SEC Dad from above>

How many of the players you cite were cut from the national team?  Oh, that's right, they chose to chase the $$ rather than play for the "honor" of wearing the red, white and blue.  This was the "honor" that M Smith kept invoking during the telecasts however, I'm betting Ms Smith would have made the same choice as the NPF'ers if the Olympic option had not been available to her.  So, I guess you should really blame the loss on NPF'ers you mentioned. After all, they made the choice, $$ over country.  

The national team coaching staff played the hand they were dealt.  One may question some of the player choices but those differences were only on the margins.
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #92 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucs2010
To quote Jerry Maquire: "Show me the money" The best players (in any sport) have always and will always play wherever they get paid(salary, bonus, endorsement and commercial opportunities) the most. For US women's fastpitch between 1996 and 2008, the best gig was Team USA, because of the money the team received from the US Olympic Committee and the commercial endorsement opportunities (most from fast pitch equipment manufacturers, who target young girls many who aspire to play college softball) Today, the best (gaijin) players are playing in the Japanese pro league. Some of these players also play NPF, which conveniently schedules its season between the end of the first and second halves of the Japanese season.


Spot on comments.





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DietCoke

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Reply with quote  #93 
I'll admit I'm not educated about how these teams work and I have a lot of questions.  I have asked some of them before and no one seems to want to answer the ones about Team USA.

How much does a Team USA player get paid?  Can players still in college get paid for being on Team USA?  What are the rules about being paid and still being eligible to play college ball?  Do they get a stipend plus their expenses covered?  Expenses only?  Do the college grads get more money?

I heard Michelle Smith talk alot about the Japanese players and how they work for their company in the morning and practice softball all afternoon with the company team.  Ueno (whose birthday was yesterday, BTW) has product endorsements.  If it's OK for Team Japan, why not let the Team USA athletes do the same?

I thought I read on this board that each NPF team had a $150,000 salary cap.  Has this been increased?  If not, how is Ricketts being paid in the $100K neighborhood (which I think I also read here).  Does this include product endorsements?

Sorry for all the questions - I'm just trying to make sense out of this situation.

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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #94 

...and NPF is going more global. it is about making a successful league ad making money and expanding.
Always had a dozen or so Canadians and a few from Australia, Netherlands, etc. but now they are adding Japanese players too.
USA players like Abbott, Ricketts and Whatley play in Japan as did michelle smith and many others so why would American league not let Japanese players in?
No NPF team is all americans (and remember...just because they played college softball in America doesn't mean they aren't dutch, Canadian, Australian, etc. and played for that national team at one time.

USSSA Pride Sign Teams First Japanese Player

Haruna Sakamoto high fives a teammate after hitting a home run in the Japanese Pro League

Kissimmee, FL- The USSSA Pride signed Japanese infielder Haruna Sakamoto last week. She joins the Akron Racers and Chicago Bandits as the third NPF Franchise to add talent from the Japanese Pro League. Earlier this month, the Akron Racers signed Ayumi Karino and the Chicago Bandits signed Eri Yamada and Kazuki Watanabe.

In February, USSSA Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis got a first hand look at Sakamoto in two exhbition games against the Pride in Palm Springs, CA and came away extremely impressed. In the two games against Team Toyota of the Japanese Pro League, Sakamoto batted clean up and homered in both contests. Shortly thereafter, the decision was made after the two parties met that there was mutual interest in making Haruna part of the USSSA Pride. Sakamoto brings a different international dimension to the Pride and a power bat to go along with another solid infield glove. Sakamoto joins Danielle Lawrie and Jenn Salling (Both from Canada) on the Pride as three athletes with international ties.

Sakamoto has competed with the Japanese National Team since 2008, and also plays in the Japanese Softball League. She joins an already loaded Pride roster for the 2013 season and will be competing for a starting job come spring training. Sakamoto will continue wearing her #6 jersey with the Pride, just as she wore playing for Japanese National Team.


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #95 
Monica Abbott played in 1 Olympics and has a silver medal. 1 wcws championship and has a runner up (that extra inning loss was a punch in the gut to me). She was on the mound for championships in NPF with Chicago AND Toyota in the Japanese league. She is Huge in Japan. More endorsements and popularity than here in USA (of course a 6'3 white woman in japan stands out and it is easy to know who she is since you see her on tv all the time and in endorsements from Toyota). On her blog she mentioned she knows why michelle smith spent 16 years in japan league--it is wonderful.
After having the NPF championship rained out and no champion for 2012 she was off to japan (which in part is why they could not play the NPF championship game another day with several players leaving for japan league). She was winning pitcher in 2012 japanese league championship. It was a 10 inning duel dominated by 2 pitchers and Toyota squeezed out a run in 10th to win 1-0. The losing pitcher was Ueno.






Two of the truly nicest people out there...wonderful in person....awesome on the field...and great role models Worldwide for the sport.
Monica Abbott and Natasha Whatley. Their 2012 ended on a happy championship note.
Barring an upset they will compete against each other for NPF championship since monica is a bandit and whatley is with pride but they will join forces in Japan to try and win Toyota it's 4th japan pro league softball championship in a row. Their pro careers have been golden. Pun intended.

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outofthezone

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Reply with quote  #96 
Candrea sure was smart and knew when to get out of the USA coaching business!  Eriksson is using the "Young players" excuse way to much.  Japan is younger and better than us!  Australia is now a toss-up for us!  Thank goodness Lawrie is pitching in the NPF and not with Canada or we could be the 4th best out of 5 teams in the international game! 
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #97 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCexile
SEC Dad from above>

How many of the players you cite were cut from the national team?  Oh, that's right, they chose to chase the $$ rather than play for the "honor" of wearing the red, white and blue.  This was the "honor" that M Smith kept invoking during the telecasts however, I'm betting Ms Smith would have made the same choice as the NPF'ers if the Olympic option had not been available to her.  So, I guess you should really blame the loss on NPF'ers you mentioned. After all, they made the choice, $$ over country.  


Let's be clear, they didn't choose NPF over country.  They chose NPF over an ASA team.  Without the Olympics the USA team is pretty much a travel ball team.




JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #98 
LMUFan - In 2004 Sports Illustrated had a really great cover picture of the USA Olympic Softball team.  It was entitled "The Real Dream Team". That was a title usually reserved for the USA men's Olympic Basketball Team.  Certainly one could not say the same for this year's Team USA.  This year the talent was good but certainly not in that category.  Some of those Dream players are still playing professional Fastpitch along with arguably the best talent that has emerged from university since 2004.  

In "coachspeak" the word "young" does not necessarily mean in years on the planet.  Rather, it can be used as an euphemism for "inexperienced at this level" or "less talented than usual".  Japan's 18 or 19 year olds are not "young" to top level softball.  I am too lazy to look up the number of years of top level international softball experience on the Team USA roster this year (I'm guessing 3 players with one off the top of my head), but it can't be many. No pitchers.  There is no industrial pro league in the USA which provides a top level feeder system to the national team.  Without the Olympics, it appears that Japan also wins the battle of emphasis. Their national Team is very important to them, and Ueno is a national hero. Take that, and the dead horse issue of ASA, Japan, and Pro Fastpitch, and put them together with a good game played by Australia, and that sounds an awful lot like USA Bronze.      Frank 

PS - In athletics there are lazy losses and learning losses.  I do hope that this Canadian Open has been a "learning loss" for those who direct ASA and the USA Professional League.  If not, I certainly don't see any "Dream Teams" in the future of USA International play.  Two super people, Monica Abbott and Natasha Whatley, look very happy in Japan.  As for Smitty and the red, white, and blue, she played on Team USA in the Olympics of 1996 (I attended that one and helped give a clinic in the Stadium) and 2000, but opted to stay and pitch in Japan instead of being on the 2004 squad.  She was being compensated very well financially and culturally.  She owns two gold medals and represented USA well, especially in Sydney.  I think she paid her nationalistic dues, and after that I don't blame her for listening to Japan's answer to Jerry McGuire.  The loss of the Olympics for the USA has left national softball in disarray and scattered and competing for talent.  This national team was a result, not a cause.  Their effort should be applauded and their disappointing losses recognized for what they were.  




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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #99 

yes.....they chose a pro career over being a travel ball team wearing the red, white and blue. They did not chose it over their country. It was a career move. Leaving college early to play football or basketball doesn't mean a player is not loyal to his school and love it...it just means they chose a career where they play the game they love AND get a paycheck for it over doing basically exhibition tourneys---what college kids should only be doing anyways. The world caught up to USA in basketball so USA didn't like not being top dawg so they got pros involved and the dream team was born. Crushing teams with ease. Opponents after the game gathering for their autographs and photo ops. But something happened years down the road. The foreign players were attending usa colleges in droves and playing hoops. The factory for making ball players was cranking them out for all the world. 20% of foreign teams now had us college ball experience and the NBA started drafting more international players. Team USa endd up losing games to teams in international play. When they lost world championships years ago the fans were bitter...they were mad that all the best American NBA players did not participate for team usa. True. Some said let the younger guys get a chance--I already have gold medal. Others didn't want the added wear and tear when they were getting ready for NBA season. You field a team of the best "available" players who want to participate. The world caught up. In past USA could use college kids vs pros in Russia and win and now their NBA players cannot beat international teams with maybe 1 or 2 nba players on them. In 2012 there were 84 players on NBA rosters..10 from france, 7 Canada, 5 from brazil and spain. 1/3 of the all-stars were international players. San Antonio was in NBA finals and they had 6 international players on their 12 man roster. In last Olympics the USa barely beat Spain in final. Spain had 5 NBA players on the roster. The world has caught up in pro basketball. Individually they are not better but as a team they are 90% of what USA is and can stay within 4 points (when it used to be stay within 30).

Simular in softball. The world did not stand still.
It wasn't Ueno beating team usa in finals in OKC....it was 18 and 19 years old on team japan. Their teens beat our college kids (week before they won the junior championships in Canada).
American fans are used to team usa dominating...not watching a team that can be beat and is beaten at times is ok for team Canada fans but not us to the south.
During round robin of canda cup it was all smiles for usa and it's fans as usa went 5-0. Japan went 1-4 yet was confident going into medal round.
It isn't just Canadians in NPF with americans...Japanese players are in NPF too. Some of the best players in the world we didn't see play in college and follow for years. 7 years from now half the current NPF will be out of softball. Look at players who already retired much younger like Kaitlin Cochran and others who have moved on to marriage, kids, coaching, etc.

If Softball is in Olympics in 2020 or 2024 there will be no osterman, abbott, whatley, ueno, porter, or others from the glory days of 2004 and/or 2008 Olympics.
Osterman & Whatley have  Olympic gold, world cup gold, world championships gold, Canada open gold....same with Ueno.....Abbott doesn't have Olympic gold but has accomplished all the rest.
These new kids around the world will be the ones on the stage. They are the ones sharing the stage now. The kids don't have a family to support and most are still playing college ball. This is perfect for them and harkens back to the original Olympic spirit...the spirit that lasted til countries that dominated sports got mad when other teams youth could beat their youth so they allowed pros in (basketball, soccer, hockey, etc). I like seeing the college players out there....and cat is gone after this year, finch already left, ueno and abbott will retire.......so a new crop of players better show up that can dominate like those 4 did from the mound. We have good ones but they are still in shadows of the others while they are playing. 7 years from now will it be rickets and some pitcher from china or Netherlands?


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #100 
Danielle Lawrie is not on a NPF lineup. HSe was sitting in stands at Pride game on Saturday and announcer said she was there to cheer on her former teammates.

Japan pro league players can play for team japan and japan pro league because they are not happening at the same time. They can get paid.
Team USA players out of college can get paid and have endorsements. NCAA rules forbid college players from being paid. That makes them ineligible for amateur sports participation. Once you get paid you are a pro.
The Japan, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, and other players that play pro leagues (in usa, japan, Netherlands, Australia, etc) are already professionals so they can get paid. The Team USA college players are amateur status.
Like Missy Franklin who turned down tons of cash and endorsement money so she could compete in high school still and then college. Or tennis players who go pro at age 16 so they can get paid to play and get endorsements and shoe deals etc.....but they lose amateur status.

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NCexile

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Reply with quote  #101 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMUfan
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCexile
SEC Dad from above>

How many of the players you cite were cut from the national team?  Oh, that's right, they chose to chase the $$ rather than play for the "honor" of wearing the red, white and blue.  This was the "honor" that M Smith kept invoking during the telecasts however, I'm betting Ms Smith would have made the same choice as the NPF'ers if the Olympic option had not been available to her.  So, I guess you should really blame the loss on NPF'ers you mentioned. After all, they made the choice, $$ over country.  


Let's be clear, they didn't choose NPF over country.  They chose NPF over an ASA team.  Without the Olympics the USA team is pretty much a travel ball team.






Understood. Just pointing out that the coaches weren't primarily responsible for that team makeup. Other factors dictated its composition.
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #102 
Also remember....the golden girls of USA softball (former Olympians) have not played for Team USA since 2010 and until 2012 USA juggled a lineup of former and current college stars and still won The world cup in okc, the pan am qualifiers , the japan cup, the world championships, the Canada open, and gold in the Pan Am games (the only event of the bunch that involves an entire USA Olympic team and many sports).

Here is the 2011 Team USA softball Squad

Chelsea Thomas
Kelly Grieve
Rhea Taylor
Stacy Johnson
Jordan Taylor
Kaitlin Cochran
Keilani Ricketts
Whitney Canion
Michelle Moultrie
Christine Orgeron
Molly Johnson
Valerie Arioto
Ashley Holcombe
Lauren Gibson
Amelia Leles
Meagan May
Taylor Hoagland

Notice that Lauren Gibson is in her 3rd year in a row for Team USA as is Michelle Moultrie, Valerie Arioto, and Rhea Taylor.
Those 4 plus Manda CHidester are the only returnees from 2012.
Pitching would have had Ricketts as the Ace in her 3rd year on the team if they could have worked it out with her pro career.

Last year pitching was same except you had the J-Train as a pitcher and Langenfield was gone.
This year no Thomas, Ricketts, nor Jordan Taylor and Traina is still tweaked.

Team USa has been fine without the golden girls for 3 years and before this year lost to the same person on the mound that beat the golden girls--Ueno.
This year they lost to teenagers on mound, gave up most points by a usa team in forever, didn't make the finals of a tourney, and got shut out too. But the boot-to-the-head for fans was the loss to Australia.
Pan Am games is a time to get confidence back (or for Canada to get in a punch while USA is finding it's groove). I started a pan Am games thread. With 15 teams in that tourney there will be a lot of bad teams but a great time to make a last pitch to committee to let softball in....so I hope teams make a good showing against usa...blowouts weeks before vote will take away the competitive balance we saw the last 2 weeks (the only silver lining in usa losing both tourneys---helps get softball back to Olympics)


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DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #103 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
11 hits and 1 run for Team USA against Australia.  USA eliminated 2-1 in 8 innings. USA left runners on base at second and third in bottom 8.   Too many LOB throughout the game.  
I did not see the game (I don't even know if it was televised), so I read the box score.  http://fastpitch.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=159852

There are a three things that seemed odd to me, so if anybody was actually there, please reply

1) Bottom 7,  no outs, Chavanne singles.   Salvarola enters game to pinch run for Chavanne.   My question is... was Chavanne injured?    Otherwise how to you explain replacing the fastest runner on either team for base running purposes with a slower runner?

2) still Bottom 7, one out from sacrificing Salvarola to 2nd, Chamberlain on first after bringing home Salvarola with a single.  Chamberlain attempts a steal of 2nd base, and is thrown out.   What?   Did I misread that?  Why do you steal Chamberlain, who is not slow, but not fast?   Did she a) go on her own, b) misread a sign, or c) was she sent.   IF sent, was it a run-and-hit called, and the batter didn't connect?   OK, so Chamberlain is erased, So now 2 outs.   Arioto walks, and then Hudson singles.  Freeman then flies out to F4.   If Chamberlain had not been sent and was still on 1st, then Arioto's walk puts her on 2nd, then you put your fastest runner in for Chamberlain at second, and then Hudson's single scores the pinch runner from 2nd (half the time anyway) and the game imight then be over.

3) Bottom 8, runners on 2nd and 3rd.  1 out.  Down 2-1.  You have a slap hitter at the plate that is unlikely to get the ball through the infield, even if she does get an infield hit, she fails to score the runner from third due to her hitting style.  Why do you not suicide squeeze the runner in from third?  Did anybody watch how successful UCLA baseball was with that in this past CWS?  When you're down in extras you first play to tie, then after that you play to win.   The next two batters were put out on a ground ball, then a pop-up, to the shortstop.

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evenflow

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Reply with quote  #104 
#9 Amber Freeman9 Amber Freeman advances to 2nd (ITB)
Offensive Substitution17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt runs for Amber Freeman at 2nd base.
#11 Taylor Thom11 Taylor Thom putout (fly out to center field) for out number 1
#30 Destinee Martinez30 Destinee Martinez advances to 1st (single), 17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt advances to 3rd (30)
#16 Michelle MoultrieCalled Strike, Foul, 30 Destinee Martinez advances to 2nd (16), 16 Michelle Moultrie putout (6-3) for out number 2
Offensive Substitution88 Raven Chavanne subs for Kourtney Salvarola.
#88 Raven ChavanneCalled Strike, Ball, Ball, Foul, 88 Raven Chavanne putout (fly out to the shortstop) for out number 3
just re-watched the last two innings...
LZ was still on 2nd when DM was batting..didn't move to 3rd until DM single.  2nd and 3rd with one out and top of the lineup coming to bat. should have been able to get one home.

Another poster mentioned that RC looked like she came up limping after her single in the 7th..and was pinch run for. KS played 3B the next half inning before RC subbed back in to bat in the bottom of the 8th.

As to LC's attempted steal in the 7th.. the pitch was in the dirt and was actually by the catcher enough to hit the umpire's shoe and stop dead..allowing the catcher to pick it up and make a great throw to barely get her at 2nd.




DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #105 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evenflow
#9 Amber Freeman9 Amber Freeman advances to 2nd (ITB)
Offensive Substitution17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt runs for Amber Freeman at 2nd base.
#11 Taylor Thom11 Taylor Thom putout (fly out to center field) for out number 1
#30 Destinee Martinez30 Destinee Martinez advances to 1st (single), 17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt advances to 3rd (30)
#16 Michelle MoultrieCalled Strike, Foul, 30 Destinee Martinez advances to 2nd (16), 16 Michelle Moultrie putout (6-3) for out number 2
Offensive Substitution88 Raven Chavanne subs for Kourtney Salvarola.
#88 Raven ChavanneCalled Strike, Ball, Ball, Foul, 88 Raven Chavanne putout (fly out to the shortstop) for out number 3
just re-watched the last two innings...
LZ was still on 2nd when DM was batting..didn't move to 3rd until DM single.  2nd and 3rd with one out and top of the lineup coming to bat. should have been able to get one home.
thanks evenflow, that answers two of my three quesions.  However, I have bolded the issue I have with not suiciding in that situation.   Top of the lineup hitters are usually, and were in this case, small ball hitters.   Small ball 1) doesn't get the ball onto the grass that often, and 2) doesn't fly out deep into the grass, so the runner from 3rd cannot score even on an infield bang/bang hit or a sac fly.  Precisely because the next two batters were top of the lineup, hitting away was not as high a chance of tying the game as a suicide would have been (my odds, nothing published).

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evenflow

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Reply with quote  #106 
what kind of speed would you like for the runner at 3rd for a squeeze?
Zeigenhirt speed?
Personally, i think Moultrie is more of a hitter and usually able to get something
thru the infield, but is certainly capable of laying down a bunt.
Erickson had tried the suicide in an earlier game and it did not 
go well.  perhaps he that in the back of his mind.
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #107 
I followed all the games and saw the ones available thru streaming or on live update.....I agree with what evenflow said. Team USa had already been nailed trying a suicide squeeze before in the tourney and the infield was looking for it with a slap hitter at the plate. They pitch high and outside or low and inside on the squeeze and you are meat. USa had also got caught on a run and hit where th pitch was unhittable and runner was easily thrown out.
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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #108 
What type speed does Zeigenhirt have?  A suicide I think is the call if there is good speed on third.
What other personnel with great speed  were available to run?    
Frank

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"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
evenflow

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Reply with quote  #109 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
What type speed does Zeigenhirt have?  A suicide I think is the call if there is good speed on third.
What other personnel with great speed  were available to run?    
Frank


i think just Hoagland.. but LZ was PR for Freeman
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