OCTOBER 5 2010 UPDATE
Volumes 20 and 21 are now online: www.spysoftballthemagazine.com.
Volume 20, which had to be restructured after an error eliminated all of the feature pages, has been republished. The Volume contains photos: USA XII World Championship Team; USA KFC Championship Team; Junior Women’s National Team; ESPN Rise Premier Championship team – So Cal Athletics; ASA Gold Nationals championship team – East Cobb Bullets; and NCAA World Series champion – UCLA Bruins. Plus, a tribute to the American soldier.
Volume 21 contains guidance from coaching authorities like Cindi Bristow and Canadian Coach Marc, an analysis of the Women’s Majors controversy; and articles on aerobic exercises and proper care of equipment.
Interesting (and divided) answers are coming in via Facebook and SPY updates on the two questions we posed relative to early verbals and contributions to USA national teams.
Lauren Ainsley (2011 Pitcher) from La Vernia,Texas who is currently playing with the Wichita Mustangs committed to Texas A&M University. College Station.
Haley Hansel 2012 OF Ball State University/Blue Valley Southwest High School
Bears 18 Gold player commitments:
Cassie Waggy (2011) East Union High, Manteca, CA committed to Lehigh University
Tori Kobold (2011) Clayton Valley High, Concord, CA has committed to San Diego State University
BLAKE MILLER TO OREGON
EUGENE – University of Oregon softball head coach Mike White announced Monday that the program is excited to add Blake Miller as an assistant coach for the 2010-11 season.
The 10-year college coaching veteran joins the Ducks after serving as head coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville the past three seasons. In prior stints, he served as the head coach at Darton College (2006-07) and an assistant coach at East Tennessee State (2005), Missouri Western State (2004) and Mesa State (2001-03).
“We‘re thrilled to add someone of Blake’s caliber to our coaching staff,” White said. “As a U.S. National Team member he was known for his competitiveness and was a leader by example. His versatility on the field and at the plate were impressive, as was his intelligence on the field – he looked for the little things which are big in our game. Adding in his experience as a head coach at two successful Division II programs, he will help our players, particularly our young ones, continually increase their softball knowledge.”
Altogether during his coaching career, he coached two All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans, and guided four teams to regional bids and one Junior College World Series trip.
His Texas A&M-Kingsville squad went 32-22 in 2009 and climbed as high as 23rd in the national rankings after it won five games against teams ranked top five nationally. In 2010, the Javelinas staked school records in batting (.306), slugging (.470), home runs (34) and on-base percentage (.385), while the ’08 squad paced the Lone Star Conference in stolen bases (88).
Fastpitch softball fans are also familiar with Miller as a seven-time member of the USA Men’s National Team. In his 15 years at the professional level, he was a four-time, first-team All-American, and helped the U.S. capture a gold medal in the 2002 Pan American Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and a silver medal in the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
A TWIT TWEETS ON TWITTER
After past elections, Venezuelan strong man Caesar Chavez would appear on a balcony of the presidential palace and declare the voting to be an affirmation of his leadership. This past week, at the conclusion of an election in which Chavez sought a two-thirds majority in the parliament which would have given him absolute control to continue nationalizing industries, rewarding his friends, and punishing his enemies, opposition forces had denied him such an absolute majority and he must now consult with the legislators. The beginning of the end? Hopefully. Chavez did not appear on the balcony with a proclamation; he confirmed the results on Twitter.
A BAD BARGAIN
There is no such universal as a secret in Washington. Indeed, we used to say that Top Secret meant that the government had at least 24 hours to act on a decision before it was published in the New York Times and Washington Post. There are simply too many people – in the White House, various departments like State, Defense, Justice and Treasury, not to mention the greatest sieve of them all – the United States Congress – who weigh every secret for its potential value to them personally or to the causes they espouse.
Now, an agreement has apparently been reached to share “findings” supporting covert action decisions with every member of the Senate and House intelligence committees. At present, such findings are shared with just the “gang of eight” – the leadership in both houses and the two leaders of each intelligence committee.
There is a saving grace, in that the Congress need not be informed prior to an action, and can be informed as needed days even weeks after the fact. But, they must be told eventually. However, as deemed needed, detailed briefings can still be restricted to the “gang” but other members would have to be told they’ve been excluded, and given a “general description.”
One of the kinds of “to die for” secrets concerns covert operatives in foreign countries. I was a witness at a Congressional inquiry into activity in an Asian country. A Congressman who had just visited that country had unfortunately been told the name of a cover operative. In a room full of government officials and Congressional staffers, whose security clearances were probably minimal or non-existent, this Congressman challenged me, naming the operative, and declaring we should give him greater support! I asked the chairman of the Committee to delete the name from the record. Two other Congressmen then asked Justice about a covert operative in Central America, and finally persuaded the government to identify him. True, he was not a candidate for the priesthood, and had an unsavory past, but he was a reliable informant. When the hearing concluded, the two Congressmen approached the press assembled in the hall, and began deriding the government for its liaison with such criminals. There is a notable film clip from NBC news, showing me walked down the hall, the reporter saying, “There goes Rayburn Hesse, whom we are told locked his briefcase in the session, and refused to answer further questions.”
Washington is like Cairo’s El Khalid bazaar, full of buyers and traders, each seeking his own enrichment. Somewhat foolishly, a CIA official, seeking to improve his agency’s stature on the Hill, told the Senate intelligence committee of a very covert intelligence collection involving microwave transmissions between European banks. Unfortunately, he also named some of the people like me who received that intelligence. Not to be outdone, a Senator or staffer decided to tell a national news magazine, and I walked into my office one morning to find the story on my desk. I told the Under Secretary we could expect a visit from a particular country’s ambassador before noon, and he came on like a bull at Pamplona. In fact, the intelligence agency in his country knew of the intelligence collection but we could not tell that to Mr. Ambassador – so we endured his bombast. I know of many such examples of government officials and members of Congress who were congenitally incapable of keeping a secret, and some who used secrets to line their pockets and those of their friends. On the other hand, there are some like me who will carry certain secrets to the grave.
HEED TOM GLAVINE’S ADVICE
ESPN recently aired an interview with former Atlanta Braves ace Tom Glavine, after filming him giving pitching instruction to his pre-teen son. Glavine is very critical of the training given many young pitchers; their arms are not ready for the breaking pitches they are attempting. He said he did not throw a curve until his final year in high school. Moreover, Glavine thinks young ballplayers should not only have at least a month off during the year, but should play another sport as well to develop their bodies to the fullest.
How is it that the ladies’ Lingerie Football League is attracting 2,500 people per game, expanding the number of franchises, and succeeding with both television broadcasters and advertisers? SPY will provide some answers tomorrow, drawing from a Post story which makes one wonder why fastpitch softball has trouble finding a stable footing.
Just today, the Post carried yet another story detailing how a USA team competed in and won the Women’s Basketball World Championship, competing in the Czech Republic. The Post carried at most an agate line or two about XII world softball championship.
We simply do not do enough at any level to market our product.