Originally posted on The Outfield:

Move over New York. Excuse me Boston. Sorry Tampa Bay. The 2012 season is still relatively new, but let’s face the truth. The American League East Division, once the dominant, most exciting division in the Major Leagues is, well, stale. High payrolls no longer buy what they apparently used to. New York currently sits at .500. The most significant news out of Boston is the hangover from last season, (sorry, no pun intended).

Tampa Bay is a puzzling club at this point. Most expect more from the Rays considering the rotation they field. Yet, Tampa Bay can’t seem to squeeze past .500. With players like BJ Upton on the DL, manager Joe Maddon has work to do.

The dominance of clubs like the Yankees and Boston is beginning to fade. The season is still young, however the troubles in the Boston clubhouse won’t disappear overnight. The aging Yankees need to establish consistency. The addition of pitcher…

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Mattingly Saber Fastpitch Softball Bat Review and Photo Gallery

Another new video from our friend Adam over at eSoftballBatReviews.com.  They are  doing a great job with all their videos so you should swing by and check them out!  This video is for our Mattingly round handle Saber.

Adam also has a page for baseball bats:  eBaseballBatReviews.com

Mattingly Saber Fastpitch Softball Bat Review and Photo Gallery | esoftballbatreviews.com.

- Mike from Mattingly

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Mattingly Sports:

Thought everyone might find this interesting!

Originally posted on Baseball 4 All:

Eddie Gaedel (Edward Carl Gaedel) was an American with dwarfism that became famous in the 50´s for being the shortest person to participate in the major leagues, he was 3 feet and 7 inches tall (a bit more than a meter tall), and 65 pounds. He played ONE game with the St. Louis Browns the 19th of august of 1951 against the Detroit Tigers in the 50th aniversary of the American League. His jersey had the number “1/8″ and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Breaking In Your New Glove

So, you just bought a new baseball or softball glove and it’s a little stiff, what do you do?  Well, there are a million different schools of thought on this issue and we truly believe that there isn’t just ONE right way to do it. Today we’ll talk about a few of the more common ideas about glove conditioning and provide you with some links to other resources.

Softening the Leather:

No matter how you choose to break in your glove at some point you’re going to have to soften the leather so that the pocket is able to form and you get a good “hinge” effect when you open and close the glove.  There are several ideas about leather softening, including mink oil, linseed oil, neatsfoot oil, shaving cream, saddle soap, and petroleum-based substances like Vasoline.

A can of neatsfoot oil and a small dollop of t...

Image via Wikipedia

We like lanolin for leather softening because it lubricates the leather without clogging the natural breathability of the glove.  Since lanolin is derived from sheep skin and not petroleum it won’t lead to the eventual  drying and cracking that can occur with other products.  Another good option is mink oil, which is similar to lanolin.

In addition to these oils just about every glove manufacturer has there own blend of glove oil or conditioner.  Just remember, whatever you choose DO NOT overdo it, a little goes a long way and you don’t want to end up with a sticky, oily mess.

Forming the Pocket:

Now that you’ve got the leather nice and soft you’re going to need to mold the pocket.  Depending on which position you play you may want to consider different shapes or sizes of pocket formation.  Overall though you want to acheive a deep pocket in order to hold onto the ball but not one that is so deep that it becomes hard to get a handle on the ball when you need to make a throw.  There is nothing worse than having to dig around for an extra second before you fire to first.

With pocket formation there are again several ideas about how best to achieve the desired effect.  Obviously, the best way to form a custom-fit pocket that is molded to your hand is to go out and toss the ball around; there is simply no substitute to actually working with the glove.

English: Nokona Baseball Glove

Image via Wikipedia

However, there are things you can do when you aren’t using it to help the pocket form faster.  We like to take a softball or grapefruit and place it deep in the pocket near the bottom of the webbing and then tie a heavy rubber band around the whole thing, making sure to center the pressure around the object that is forming the pocket.  Using an object that is slightly larger than the ball you are catching will allow a bigger, deeper pocket to form.

You can apply even more pressure by placing the glove under your mattress and sleeping on it, though this can sometimes be uncomfortable.  We don’t recommend this unless you are truly committed to the idea.

Once you have softened the leather and formed the pocket you should be good to go.  You can repeat this process if you need to.  However, we reccommend that you actually play with the glove a few times before repeating since you won’t know how the process worked until you use it.

Other Considerations:

Heat – Some people swear by the heat-treatment method.  This technique  requires you to put your glove in a 300 degree oven for 3-4 minutes.  When doing this you must turn the oven off once it has reached temperature, you don’t need constant heat.  You can also use a microwave as some Major League players do.

We DO NOT recommend this method as it can very easily damage your glove beyond repair.  A better idea for heating your glove is to leave it out on a rock in the sun for a while.  This should give you enough heat to allow the oil or conditioner to penetrate deeper into the leather.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24:  Mark Teixeira #25 of t...

Shaving Cream?Image by Getty

Shaving Cream – Some people swear by this method of leather softening.  We’ve never really seen it work any better than the natural oils you could use and since there are a lot of chemicals in shaving cream it might not be the best for your glove over the long term.  Those who do use this method say that it is quick and effective.  You are on your own with this one.

Steaming – There is a realitively new process offered by some sporting goods stores where by you steam your glove in their steam chamber machine.  This works on the concept of heat, pressure, and moisture and will soften a glove very quickly.  However, some people claim that the glove becomes heavier because of the water that is forced into the grain of the leather.  Eventually this moisture will evaporate but the long term effects of steaming are still somewhat unknown.  If you have a place near you that offers this service it might be worth having a conversation with them, it might be the route you decide to go.  Whatever you decide, though, make sure to let the professionals handle this one, not something you want to attempt on your own.

- Mike from Mattingly

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Originally posted on Bombers Beat:

Adam Berry here, once again pinch-hitting for Bryan Hoch in Tampa, Fla.

Of all the days for Terry Francona could have shown up at Yankees camp, Wednesday certainly seemed to be the most fitting.

Most of the talk in the clubhouse here was, of course, centered around a few of new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s comments about Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, that famous flip play in 2001 and that bench-clearing brawl in 2004. So it was almost a little too fitting that the former Boston skipper was in the house in his new role as an ESPN analyst, taking time to share his thoughts with reporters.

Before we get into all the comments from Tampa, however, consider this from Fort Myers: Valentine told MLB.com colleague Ian Browne he wasn’t trying to malign Jeter because, “I love Jeter.”

Moving on, here’s Rodriguez’s brief statement when asked what he thought…

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Mattingly Sports “Four BBCOR” Giveaway!

For the next three weeks we’ll be giving away one of each of our BBCOR models to a lucky winner online.  You can swing over to our Facebook page to enter NOW!  And if you are a coach you can send an email to marketing@mattinglybaseball.com to request info about our BBCOR team deal program.

https://www.facebook.com/MattinglySports?sk=app_121121694568521

Four BBCOR Contest

- Mike from Mattingly

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Mattingly Ripped V-Grip Fastpitch Softball Bat Review and Photo Gallery

Another big thanks to our friend Adam over at esoftballbatreviews.com for this great video of our V-Grip Ripped Softball bat!  Grab one today, you won’t be disappointed.

 

- Mike from Mattingly

 

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