Inside Pitch Magazine, March/April 2021

From the Publisher: It's a Simple Game

By Keith Madison, Publisher of Inside Pitch Magazine and Chairman of the ABCA Board of Directors

Keith MadisonDepending on which Google-dug rabbit hole you decide to hop down, you have Lorne Michaels, Marissa Meyer, Jack Welch, or maybe even Confucious to thank for “If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.”

However I'm sure we can unequivocally agree to give Bull Durham's “Skip” Riggins a hat tip for: "This is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. You got it?!" Yeah, Skip, we’ve got it. Baseball at its core can be painfully simple for players. But coaching? That's much more complex.

So if you're anything like me, you'll really enjoy being in the same “room” as the folks in this issue, who span far and wide regarding where they've been and who they work with: Eric Cressey and Kirk Saarloos are household names within our industry. Both have been elite level performers in their own right, and they shared – in extreme detail – the ways they've developed their truly elite coaching processes – the results of which speak for themselves.

Sam Piraro currently works for Sirous Baseball in Campbell, California. He's coached some high school ball and for 25 years skippered San Jose State, where he took the Spartans to their first-ever College World Series. In nearby Foster City, California, Joe Kaiser is an ESPN Fantasy Sports writer and editor that moonlights as a youth baseball and basketball coach.

John Cissik is has been coaching youth baseball, basketball, track and field and strength conditioning for the past 25 years, and is an accomplished author. Ernis Arias was born in Venezuela, played college ball in Illinois, and has been instrumental in developing our game in Peru.

And if you haven't already flipped straight to Darren Fenster's article or Chris Burke's Frame by Frame breakdown, you're probably in the minority.

So yeah, Skip, baseball is a simple game, and that was a great postgame rant. But how about when and how to address your team after games on a regular basis? How can we make the youth game more fun? What’s the most productive way to warmup? What about developing coaches on a psychological level? Or growing a game in a country where baseball is an afterthought and you have to compete against national teams from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic?

"It's a miracle."

Inside Pitch Magazine is published six times per year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt association founded in 1945. Copyright American Baseball Coaches Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is impossible to make such a guarantee. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers.