Littleton Heads to Mass. Central Div. 4 Tourney

The Littleton Tigers are the leading seed in the 2014 MIAA Central Div. 4 Tournament! Planning to build on their undefeated 20-0 regular season, the Tigers will be reckoned with by teams from across Central Massachusetts after a First Round bye. Littleton’s first game is at home on 5/30/14. Here are the tourney brackets:

2014 MIAA Baseball Central Division 4 Playoff Brackets

Go Tigers!

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Littleton Repeats as Mid-Wachusett League Champions

 

Littleton High School varsity baseball clinched the Mid-Wachusett League Championship (Massachusetts) for a second consecutive year with a perfect 20-0 undefeated record. Matt Landers as one of Littleton’s starting pitchers also earned honors as a Mid-Wachusett League All-Star pitcher with a 0.31 ERA, 3-0 Wins and 2 Saves despite missing part of the season with a sprained ankle. Returning to active play, Landers threw a complete game no-hitter vs. Clinton High to help wrap up the regular season. Now it is on to the MIAA State Tournament. The Littleton baseball team was also deservedly voted the region’s best high school baseball team for 2016 in a survey by the Lowell Sun newspaper on 5/25/14. Go Tigers!

LowellSunPoll_52514

From the Lowell Sun, 5/22/14

 

Fear: Your Secret Weapon To A Great Life

Followers of this blog know the relationship Matt has had with pro baseball player Chad Rodgers who has been a mentor, strength coach and pitching coach to Matt  over the past few years. Chad is part of the Show Me Strength staff and is a regular contributor, putting up some awesome articles like those that can be found here.

Now, a new free e-book is available from Chad Rodgers and Andrew Ferreira on the site called Fear: Your Secret Weapon to a Great Life. Visit the link to grab your copy today!

Old Ballgame in the Old World

LITTLETON INDEPENDENT

July 18, 2013

Section: MA Sports, Page 1: Baseball

Old Ballgame in the Old World

Littleton-based Wolfpac plays in the Netherlands

Author: Stephen Tobey Section: stobey@wickedlocal.com

Wolfpac

Baseball gave Steve Donovan a chance to see different parts of the world and this summer some of the players he coaches had that opportunity. Earlier this month, 13 members of the Littleton-based AAU baseball team the New England Wolfpac that Donovan coaches, traveled to the Netherlands to play some games against select teams, as well as the country’s under-18 national team. “It was my opportunity to see the world,” said Donovan, who played in the Netherlands for five years and also played in Italy and Australia. “I’m hoping to bring one of their teams over here.” The Wolfpac stayed in Haarlem, a suburb of Amsterdam. The host team was a club known as Kinheim, a team that Donovan played with in the late 70’s after graduating from Springfield College. “When I was with Kinheim, I also coached little kids,” Donovan said. “One of them was a boy who was 11 at the time, named Jorgen Balk. In 1986, when they came here, he was 17. Now he’s an adult and he was my contact for the trip.” Donovan is currently the JV coach at Westford Academy. He has also been the head coach at Acton-Boxborough and Littleton High School and has coached at Merrimack College.

The players stayed with host families, played games and ran a clinic for younger players. As is the case with most European countries, soccer is by far the most popular sport, but in the Netherlands, there are many people who are knowledgeable and passionate about baseball. “Baseball is pretty competitive there,” said the Wolfpac’s Nate Brinkerhoff, who will be a junior at Westford Academy this fall. “It’s pretty popular. A lot of people go to the games.” Said the Wolfpac’s Ryan Donovan, who will be a junior at Acton-Boxborough, “The people who play take it seriously.” Over the years, the level of play has also improved. “It has naturally grown,” Steve Donovan said. “The talent is better now because of the way it’s set up with the select teams. More of them are getting drafted [by Major League Baseball]. It’s really well-organized. They do serious training and have winter workouts.”

While the Wolfpac was in the Netherlands, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst was in the country, representing Major League Baseball. They held tryouts and signed two players. There were a few differences in the way the game is played in the Netherlands as opposed to the United States. “One time there was a first-and-third situation,” Ryan said. “In America, you can’t fake a pickoff to third, then throw to first. That’s a balk. There, they haven’t changed the rule yet.” The equipment is also different. “We have the nice two-piece bats,” Ryan said. “Theirs are just one piece of metal. When they played us, they used wood bats. There is also a different attitude toward umpires. “They don’t blame the umpires for bad calls,” Brinkerhoff said. “They just deal with it. They don’t get upset.” The fields were well-maintained, albeit a bit rough. Brinkerhoff had some scrapes on his left arm from sliding on one of the fields. The outfield dimensions didn’t vary as they do in the U.S, They’re all 100 meters down the lines and 122 meters to center.

The sportsmanship the host teams showed was also memorable. “Every single member of the other teams came up and introduced themselves to us,” Ryan said. Away from the field, everyone had plenty of time to see the sights and get used to the culture, in which bicycles are the at the top of the food chain transportation-wise. “When we were driving, we had to look out for bicycles,” Steve Donovan said. The food was a little different. “McDonald’s was better,” Ryan said. “The rolls were real rolls. It was more expensive and the portions were smaller.” The Dunes and the Tilted Houses were among the sights they saw.

Copyright, 2013, CP Media Inc. d.b.a. Community Newspaper Company.

Manny Being Manny Redux

MannyPhone

(Getty Images, BLS Illustration)

The boy is back in town again. Manny Ramirez has signed another deal in American pro baseball, this time with the Texas Rangers where he will be assigned to AAA Round Rock. Manny set the world of international baseball on fire in Taiwan this season, driving up attendance to historic highs while hitting .352 with 8 home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games. Now he’s “reinvigorated” and wants to get back into MLB.

Never mind the past substance and behavior issues, nothing to see here folks, please move along. Arlington must have amnesia if they forget how he wore out his welcome first in Boston and then again in LA. God help us all.

At least he is familiar with the term, “Cowboy Up.”