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Laffy

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Reply with quote  #91 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhoenix
In defense of Michelle smith (who I have also knocked for her announcing).

It is much much more difficult to learn the team rosters, names, tidbit, stats, and other information and pass it along via tv and radio in an infomative and entertaining way than doing an interview.  We are reminded of this everyday when we watch Monday night football, wnba broadcasts, espn broadcast of a sporting event, and all other sports events broadcast like world cup soccer, etc.

You have a person who is great at an interview. They are carefree, in the moment, and answer questions, give thanks, say "take it one day at a time" and other cliches, etc. Then they are an commentator/analyst for their sport and it is a job. They have script, stat pages, bios to learn, pronunciation of names to remember, and they must continue to talk for the entire game. Analyze and commentate on the game for around 2 hours non-stop and keep it entertaining. She has played since age 5, she was in a car accident where she lost part of her elbow bone and had the tricep torn from her pitching arm then went on to star as a pitcher for oklahoma state university. She played before there was olympic softball. She played in the first olympic softball event and got gold in it and the following olympics. She played in japan and was an mvp and has over 7 titles. She is in the softball hall of fame. She has international flair , experience and knowledge as a player, coach and playing with international players. NBC, abc, cbs and espn have used her as an analyst so she is doing something right even if she grates my nerves at times.

Being a great player doesn't mean they'll be a great coach or commentator. No one denies her accomplishments on the field, we only smash our heads against the wall at her glaring short comings as a commentator.


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #92 

For those fans and players that turn their back on the usa national team because there is no olympics............................

The USA has had a team compete internationally since 1965.
In the early days it was just like the little league world series--the national champion would represnt their country in international play. Imagine them still doing that in softball and you would have Arizona state university representing america and same for other countries. Then the usa allowed the winning team to add players to it's roster for international play. They went from silver to a 13-0 record in the tourney capturing gold with this all-star tweak. The world was using it's all-star teams and usa was using it's national champion + 3 or 4 all-star additions. Competitive. Then USa went to total all-star format, team selection, best of the best, in time for first olympics in 1996 and supreme domination began.

WOmen's softball is bigger than the olympics. SOftball was only an olympic event 4 times (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and the USA dominated all of them yet lost to japan in finals of 2008 (and usa was perfect 8-0 going into final game with 57 runs scored and only 3 runs scored against them). In 2004 they were perfect 7-0 and gave up only 1 run the whole tourney. They had a 112 game win streak in 2000. Won every olympics and 7 world championships. Not competitive. No drama. You knew usa was going to win you were just seeing by how much.

Our college girls are better than international teams. Sure they will drop a game or 2 but that is what makes it exciting. They can lose. They aren't a team of the best softball players in the world inviting other countries to play them in softball and get crushed. They are young, exciting, athletes whom most would never even see the bench for team usa if the pros still competed.

And remember...the world cup of softball only exists because it was made when softball olympics were doomed. MAde to keep softball alive on the international scene. So support our girls regardless of olympics. Go team USA!!

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LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #93 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhoenix
In defense of Michelle smith (who I have also knocked for her announcing).

It is much much more difficult to learn the team rosters, names, tidbit, stats, and other information and pass it along via tv and radio in an infomative and entertaining way than doing an interview.  We are reminded of this everyday when we watch Monday night football, wnba broadcasts, espn broadcast of a sporting event, and all other sports events broadcast like world cup soccer, etc.

You have a person who is great at an interview. They are carefree, in the moment, and answer questions, give thanks, say "take it one day at a time" and other cliches, etc. Then they are an commentator/analyst for their sport and it is a job. They have script, stat pages, bios to learn, pronunciation of names to remember, and they must continue to talk for the entire game. Analyze and commentate on the game for around 2 hours non-stop and keep it entertaining. She has played since age 5, she was in a car accident where she lost part of her elbow bone and had the tricep torn from her pitching arm then went on to star as a pitcher for oklahoma state university. She played before there was olympic softball. She played in the first olympic softball event and got gold in it and the following olympics. She played in japan and was an mvp and has over 7 titles. She is in the softball hall of fame. She has international flair , experience and knowledge as a player, coach and playing with international players. NBC, abc, cbs and espn have used her as an analyst so she is doing something right even if she grates my nerves at times.


Announcing is a profession like any other.  Most professions are hard work.  If it were easy anybody could do it.  So, stating it's hard work to be a commentator is just stating the obvious.

When I was a student at UCLA I sat in Pauley Pavilion directly across the aisle from Dick Enberg who was the UCLA play by play announcer.  Those days the play by play announcers sat half way up the arena, not on the floor level like they do now.  I used to get into the arena about 2.5 hours before game time.  But that was after Enberg who was already busy at work creating his hand written charts on the players by that time.  (Those days there were no such things as PCs.)  His charts were very elaborate with a different sized writing for player numbers and names.  It included many different colors each one representing a type of stat.  He also had each team's media guide and knew a lot about each player.

Before the game he would go down to the floor and talk to the SIDs or, if the coach permitted, players.  He was very thorough in his preparation and it showed when he broadcast the game.  There were no stutters or stammering he knew everything about players and had instant information at his fingertips because he put it there.

Later when Dick Enberg left UCLA play by play to do network broadcasting he was followed by Al Michaels (who later left and eventually went on to Monday Night Football).  He had just as an elaborate system of notes and information about the players.  I talked to him about it on several occasions -- he was one of the nicest guys you could get to know -- and I mentioned that Dick Enberg used to do the same thing.  He said, yeah, that's where he learned it from.

The thing that both Enberg and Michaels had in common is that they never, ever talked about themselves or their skills.  You would never know if they ever stepped on the field or court.  It was always about the player.  And, that's why they both did many different sports in their career, they weren't labeled as a single sport person.

So, the moral of the story is that to be good at something requires hard work.  You can't just chat periodically with players, show up and talk to be considered a good announcer.  From what I get when watching Michelle Smith it would appear that she doesn't have the work ethic that Dick Enberg or Al Michaels did.  And her career path as an announcer will suffer as a result.
Floyd

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Reply with quote  #94 
fhoenix:

It was the ASA Women's National Champion that represented the USA in International play before they went with the "all star" tweak.  So I doubt that in today's world they would send ASU if they went back to the old system.  Most likely it would go back to the ASA National Champion, which would in turn be a huge boom to the women's program.

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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #95 
Yes it was the ASA champion in 1965 because women's college world series didn't begin until 1982 so that was the only women's softball national champion. Since title IX usa women collegiate sports saw a boon and club/asociation champions became collegiate national champions.

Still...the point is softball existed long before olympics and will exist long afterwards. It will only return if it is competitive on an international level. The women's college world series is more competitive than olympic softball. The most competive games last year at the world cup of softball were between usa and usa futures. The world has to care about and compete in softball like we do. Otherwise USA will dominate softball worldwide but have no one to compete agaisnt and all the women go play pro fast pitch. The same direction women hockey is headed in olympics. USA and canada are so far above the competiton it is sad to watch 12-0 hockey wins.



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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #96 
fhoenix - Many moons ago - I have known Smitty since she was about 15 years old - I watched on television as Michele Smith pitched to Karen (Sanchelli) Johns on Regis Philben's morning show in New York, as hapless Regis and others waved at Smitty's pitches out  on the street near the studio.  In the studio there were interviews, and the star by far, both in looks and poise, and in grace and personality was Michele Smith.  At that time I said to myself, "She should be doing television".  I'm sure that she has worked hard at her announcing as she has at her pitching and hitting.  In my opinion she has a few annoying habits to get rid of and she'll be terrific.  She's a terrific person.  As for that accident, I never thought she would pitch again, but she certainly has and her career is legend.    

PS - A couple of weeks ago in Tampa, Florida, Michele, Karen, and I hugged and remembered 1984 when both of them as high schoolers won their state championships (they both hit home runs in their games), and the team that I coached won its state title also.  It was a good year for us in New Jersey.  Fond memories, and two great softball players and even better people.  

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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
stillearnin

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Reply with quote  #97 

I can never get over how a bunch of men run down the women of this game. Some of you guys won't be happy until every coach, every assistant, every announcer, every newspaper writer, every single person except the actual players are all men. I like Michele Smith! I'm sorry she's not one of your good ol boys, but she's good at what she does. Not every viewer is an expert in softball and they appreciate her style of explaining. Anyway, I came on this board to read a few updates and it just chapped my azz to see more Michele Smith bashing...yet again. If you really can't stand her, push your mute button. Peace out and have a nice evening.

Laffy

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Reply with quote  #98 
Um, stillearnin, I don't know what crawled up your butt and died, but Michele Smith has a lot of flaws as a broadcaster and anytime there is a game and she is broadcasting this will always come up until she is either off the air or fixes her flaws. The biggest things she does that turns so many people off is her negativity towards the players and always making comments about her. The first and most important rule of commentating on sports is to NEVER make it about you but to keep the focus always on the game and the players on the field. When you look at the most legendary broadcasters whether it was radio or tv, they always shared one common denominator: they never made it about themselves. Despite your delusions, we are not a bunch of retarded sexist people, we do however want softball broadcasts to be conducted with the same level of professionalism we see in every other sport on television. Simply put whether you like it or not, Michele Smith does not bring a quality level of professionalism to her broadcasts and it shows.

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MadDogsDad

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Reply with quote  #99 

Somebody please tell the Michelle and her counterpart, the dead ball call and the foul ball call will look the same.  The continued to say, both umpires called foul ball.  Good grief.


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Fpitch9

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Reply with quote  #100 
Who in the world are these umpires? This has been, by far, the worst umpired game I've ever seen at this level. This is appalling. Safe calls blown. runners clearly out, called safe. Mystery foul balls that don't go off a foot. Not to mention the runner being hit in foul/fair territory. Too hard to tell. The other calls are just pathetic. Abysmal and it's a joke at this level to have so many blatantly missed calls. Runners at 1st who are safe, called out. Runners clearly out, called safe. What the heck?
Laffy

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Reply with quote  #101 
These umpires make me just say this:

WHAT THE WHAT THE WHAT?

Somewhere the WCWS umps are sitting on their sofas chuckling about not being the worst crew we've ever seen at OKC.

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CalRoxMySox44

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Reply with quote  #102 
I've only seen Moultrie play in the WCWS and World Cup but seriously... 5 errors in between the two? That's atrocious! For anyone, let alone a outfielder
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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #103 
said in comic book guy voice--- "worst umpires ever"



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Laffy

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Reply with quote  #104 
Sloppy umpiring...

Sloppy game by both teams...

However Team USA's future is so bright. Could you imagine having players like Langenfeld, Orgeron, and Grieve on your bench to call up at any moment? Good Lord that is just ridiculous. As this team continues to grow, they are just gonna get better and better.

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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #105 

USA does not need the superstars to win on the international stage. Our superstars are overkill. Difference between winning and winning esily while embarrassing your opposition.

Our college kids brought home the gold...and against more teams than USA faced in past world cups=6 (unlike last year with japan, usa, canada, and usa junior varisty so they could have 4 teams in tourney).
Congrats to the eagles. Look forward to seeing them later this year and when most of them play college ball next year. And I will support the women's pro league as well. But today the shout outs go to the young guns of team usa.
Well done.!

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ProudDad

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Reply with quote  #106 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
USA pulls it out but the Aussies played an amazing game and in my opinion a better game then USA did. One error and a dumb pitching change was the difference in my opinion! Team USA fought hard those last couple of innings but that kind of half effort for half the game won't get them past Japan and I wouldn't even bet it would get them past Canada.




Well I guess they managed to get past Japan......twice!

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FormerHater

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Reply with quote  #107 
Well, if Arioto plays at Cal next season like she did in this world cup, then I might just be picking them to win it all. Stellar performances by Katie Cochran and Stacy May-Johnson as well.


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Boldcall

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Reply with quote  #108 
Props to Team USA!  The Eagles landed right on target, even if there were too many errors and bizarre events in the championship game.  This bunch is good, and they will continue to get better.  Can't wait to see them in action again (Pan Am, right?)...

As to Ms. Smith (yawn)...  I won't repeat what has been posted, but every sports broadcaster has a game now and then that just doesn't come up to standards. That said, when Michelle continually makes the same annoying errors with no indication of an awareness or willingness to correct them, then it certainly is fair game for critics.  The production is for the audience, not the producer.  If the audience's needs are not met, then there will be consequences and (sometimes) snarky comments.  I do not subscribe to the notion that critics must be able to perform the job in order to fairly criticize it.  Besides, sometimes my critics give me ideas I can use to advantage for the next production.  My worst experiences in a 45+ year broadcasting career have often been those times that I refused to even listen to someone else's thoughts about my work.  It doesn't mean the critic is automatically right, just that people in the industry risk much by becoming insulated. So, here's my free advice:        

...in no particular order:

1) Don't start more than one sentence per hour with the words "I" or "my."

2) It isn't necessary to beat every mistake by every player into a "teaching moment."  It's a sports broadcast, not a coaching clinic.  Color commentary tells why something happened, not what one thinks should have happened instead.

3) Practice listening skills as much as speaking skills.
 
4) Keep it brief, keep it simple, and above all PREPARE.

Just my views anyway.  Over and out.  

 

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What do the five Olympic rings stand for? Well, one is for softball fans, one is for all the softball players around the world, and the rest are for the Three Stooges, who would have known better than to steal the game from us all.
Laffy

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Reply with quote  #109 
In an effort to keep this thread on topic...

If someone hooks me up with a USA jersey signed by the team I will supply orange sodas for life. You know who you are 

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Boldcall

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Reply with quote  #110 
BTW, I knew Val Arioto was a good player.  I never knew she was THAT kind of good.  She had quite a tourney.  And Katie Cochran sets a new batting average benchmark for the WWC at better than 650.  Wow!  
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What do the five Olympic rings stand for? Well, one is for softball fans, one is for all the softball players around the world, and the rest are for the Three Stooges, who would have known better than to steal the game from us all.
mindajane

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Reply with quote  #111 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
USA pulls it out but the Aussies played an amazing game and in my opinion a better game then USA did. One error and a dumb pitching change was the difference in my opinion! Team USA fought hard those last couple of innings but that kind of half effort for half the game won't get them past Japan and I wouldn't even bet it would get them past Canada.




Well I guess they managed to get past Japan......twice!


Because they played better! They looked better in that first Japan game then they did any of the games before. It took getting beat by Canada to wake them up I think. Congrats to them! My wording was wrong but I knew there was more talent there then what we were seeing! I knew there was so much potential there! To see them come to alive and come together during that first Japan game was awesome! Again congrats to them!


Laffy

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Reply with quote  #112 
Arioto laughs at the idea of 2 outs.

And Cochran in my opinion is one of the best hitters in the world... every time I see her she is smacking the crap out of the ball.

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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #113 
Congratulations and thank you to Coach Ken Eriksen, his staff, and their band of merry softballers.  I enjoyed watching them play and was delighted that they won the championship.   Their eagle flew proudly.  Well done !!!      
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"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
ProudDad

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Reply with quote  #114 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindajane

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
USA pulls it out but the Aussies played an amazing game and in my opinion a better game then USA did. One error and a dumb pitching change was the difference in my opinion! Team USA fought hard those last couple of innings but that kind of half effort for half the game won't get them past Japan and I wouldn't even bet it would get them past Canada.




Well I guess they managed to get past Japan......twice!


Because they played better! They looked better in that first Japan game then they did any of the games before. It took getting beat by Canada to wake them up I think. Congrats to them! My wording was wrong but I knew there was more talent there then what we were seeing! I knew there was so much potential there! To see them come to alive and come together during that first Japan game was awesome! Again congrats to them!


No they didn't. Way too many errors. They played with heart and with the two out base hit. A lot of walks in the first inning helped them the way a wide strike zone helped Japan in the Canada Cup Championship game. They learned how to win in a big game and that was huge.

There were umpire mistakes(first base and third base), there were fielding errors by a third baseman playing second, fielding errors by an injured third baseman still recovering in field and at the plate. There was a dominant pitcher in the circle and still to many wild pitch/passed balls(for the tournament). Still with all of this they hit when they needed to(no small task) and played with heart, desire and emotion! That's why they won.


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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #115 
Just addressing the walks and the number of 3-2 counts:   It appeared to me that the team had been coached to realize that the Japanese pitcher made a living four inches off the plate east and west (what Michele Smith astutely referred to as "expanding the zone").  Thus, every hitter was patient at the plate, and I think  that had a lot to do with the game.  Good coaching and game preparation plus good at bats most often result in game victories.  The eagle gimmick helped maintain enthusiasm and created lots of smiles.  Gotta love clever !!  

I will not address the umpiring because I'm in a good mood.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"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
mindajane

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Reply with quote  #116 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindajane

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudDad
USA pulls it out but the Aussies played an amazing game and in my opinion a better game then USA did. One error and a dumb pitching change was the difference in my opinion! Team USA fought hard those last couple of innings but that kind of half effort for half the game won't get them past Japan and I wouldn't even bet it would get them past Canada.




Well I guess they managed to get past Japan......twice!


Because they played better! They looked better in that first Japan game then they did any of the games before. It took getting beat by Canada to wake them up I think. Congrats to them! My wording was wrong but I knew there was more talent there then what we were seeing! I knew there was so much potential there! To see them come to alive and come together during that first Japan game was awesome! Again congrats to them!


No they didn't. Way too many errors. They played with heart and with the two out base hit. A lot of walks in the first inning helped them the way a wide strike zone helped Japan in the Canada Cup Championship game. They learned how to win in a big game and that was huge.

There were umpire mistakes(first base and third base), there were fielding errors by a third baseman playing second, fielding errors by an injured third baseman still recovering in field and at the plate. There was a dominant pitcher in the circle and still to many wild pitch/passed balls(for the tournament). Still with all of this they hit when they needed to(no small task) and played with heart, desire and emotion! That's why they won.

I can't say they played bad and I can't say they played good...interesting. First off I was talking about that the first game agaisnt Japan as I didn't see the game last night. I don't know what  happened last night other than they won. I felt that first game agaisnt Japan they played with more passion and determination than they did the other games.

JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #117 
mindajane - Your statements remind me of the guy who asked "How's your wife?" and the other guys answered, "Compared to whom?".  Is this team as good as the former "Olympic" team?  Probably not.   Is the pitching as good as Osterman and Abbot?  Probably not.  Was the defense as good?  Sometimes !  Were they good enough to beat Japan and win the Okie City championship - you bet your sweet bippie they were.  And they are soooooo young and talented.  Look at the bright side.  
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"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
mindajane

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Reply with quote  #118 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
mindajane - Your statements remind me of the guy who asked "How's your wife?" and the other guys answered, "Compared to whom?".  Is this team as good as the former "Olympic" team?  Probably not.   Is the pitching as good as Osterman and Abbot?  Probably not.  Was the defense as good?  Sometimes !  Were they good enough to beat Japan and win the Okie City championship - you bet your sweet bippie they were.  And they are soooooo young and talented.  Look at the bright side.  

It's funny I give my honest evaulation instead blowing rainbows up somebodies butt and I get attacked. I say positive things about them and give them props and I say congrats and I still get attacked. I even deleted my first comment out of respect for the girls and admitted I used the wrong words. I'm not really sure at this point what I am supposed to say. As I said my problem is not with these ladies who fought hard and won! They are amazing athletes and softball players. They played so hard and with so much heart! They played great softball and they deserved their win. A big congrats to them!

fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #119 
Young teams can overcome mistakes when playing at home.

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ProudDad

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Reply with quote  #120 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindajane

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
mindajane - Your statements remind me of the guy who asked "How's your wife?" and the other guys answered, "Compared to whom?".  Is this team as good as the former "Olympic" team?  Probably not.   Is the pitching as good as Osterman and Abbot?  Probably not.  Was the defense as good?  Sometimes !  Were they good enough to beat Japan and win the Okie City championship - you bet your sweet bippie they were.  And they are soooooo young and talented.  Look at the bright side.  

It's funny I give my honest evaulation instead blowing rainbows up somebodies butt and I get attacked. I say positive things about them and give them props and I say congrats and I still get attacked. I even deleted my first comment out of respect for the girls and admitted I used the wrong words. I'm not really sure at this point what I am supposed to say. As I said my problem is not with these ladies who fought hard and won! They are amazing athletes and softball players. They played so hard and with so much heart! They played great softball and they deserved their win. A big congrats to them!

I must have missed the honest evaluation, only to read your adoption of the announcers opinion. No need for rainbow blowing, just admitting you were wrong for saying they gave half an effort was enough.

Post whatever you'd like to write. You've been around the site long enough to know that you're going to get a response if someone disagrees with you.

The team played hard and made mistakes. The team didn't wake up after Canada beat them, Canada played better and won. When faced with a can't lose situation Team USA won. They beat Japan's number two pitcher and then in the championship Japan threw one of their younger pitchers and played some of their younger players. Wow, just like team USA did, even in Canada!!!

I didn't see team USA saying they were pitching their 2, 3 or 4 pitchers. They pitched them all against Japan here and in Canada. Why? To see how they would react and perform.

Again, speak you mind. If I or anyone else has a problem with it we will post a repsonse. The response is not an attack. It is disputing or disagreeing with your opinion.

A lot of work still to do for Team USA. They showed they can compete with the best international teams. I'm proud of their efforts and look forward to seeing them play in October.

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Go Team USA!
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