Cause I Play Indy Ball – The New Hit Single By Tycen PoVey?

Indy ball life can be rough for players.  It is not only physically exhausting, but it can be mentally exhausting and frustrating as well.

Sometimes, all a player can do is look back on that part of his career and laugh about the experiences that he had. That’s exactly what former indy ball player, Tycen PoVey, is doing with the help of some funny, but truthful lyrics and his old guitar.

PoVey put together a nice college career that led him to be signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in 2007, but he was released after the season ended.

“Baseball has always been good to me. I was fortunate enough to play it for a long time. I followed my dream out of high school into college and was able to play well enough to get to the professional level. After some injuries, I soon found myself trying to get into indy ball.”

PoVey spent four up and down seasons in indy ball with the Evansville Otters and Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League) and the Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association.)

“Even when I got another shot in indy ball, I was injured again and again. I was forced to change positions: from catching, to the outfield and back. Then, I finally found myself on the mound and ended up pitching for a couple seasons. That was soon ended by, you guessed it, another injury and my 8th surgery overall.

“During that time I found out a lot about myself and made a ton of friends in the process, most of whom I still stay in touch with today. We all like to joke about indy ball, but the fact is, I wouldn’t have traded anything I went through.  With a mix of a lot of traveling, amazing fans, and having different cultures and personalities all together in a small clubhouse, I was bound to come out with some stories.”

He has been out of baseball for over two years now and wanted to create a humorous way to remember his time there while helping current independent players laugh a little about their situation.

Used to racking up hits on the field, PoVey is now trying to create some musically on his YouTube page as well.The first song he posted, “Indy Ball”, was a general view on living the indy ball lifestyle.

“I like to goof around on the guitar. I’m not great, but I’ve always liked to write songs to make people laugh.

“When I wrote ‘Indy Ball’, I just tried to take experiences from each place I played that every player could relate to – from peanut butter spreads to bad clubbies and wondering what we are doing here.  We have all had similar experiences. After playing both songs to some close friends and family, they begged me to put it online to show their friends.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

His second song features a well known (and often joked about) topic in the indy ball world, Slumpbusters – the “larger” girls who help players out of their slumps.

“When I wrote ‘The Slumpbuster Song’ it was actually after an amazing weekend I had. The details of that weekend are locked away in a vault, but I will just say that one day I was 0-8 in a double header. Then the rest of the weekend, I went 10-12 with 3 home runs and 6 doubles (laughs). She deserved a ballad.”

*Warning* lyrics and content may not be suitable for children.

“After hearing the song and my stories, some people thought I was crazy.  Getting paid 800 dollars a month, living out of a suitcase and traveling the country in a bus that seemed to only break down in the most remote places… They wondered why I did it.

“But honestly, I’m very thankful for having coaches that believed in me enough to let me play as long as I did. I’m also very thankful for my experiences and the friends that I made.  Indy ball is amazing. A lot of talent is found in indy ball, and I got to see future big league talent and even play against former big league players. It was a great experience that I’ll always cherish.

“I hope my songs make those who have been there or are there smile. And for those who haven’t played, I hope it gives them a little insight of the funny things that we have to deal with.

“I hope everyone enjoys it! There should be more to come. And I’m sorry if those from Sioux City take my words to heart. Hey, at least you’re not Amarillo (laughs).”

You can subscribe to Tycen’s YouTube channel to hear more songs as they are released: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrW_PBNJwJwbC2Ks5vC6Bsw

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The Atlantic League – Leading the Way in Pace of Play or Publicity Stunt?

The independent Atlantic League is no stranger to the Pace of Play initiative to speed up the game of baseball.  In June of 2014, the league formed a Pace of Play Committee.  The committee is “tasked with reviewing ways to reduce the average time and enliven the pace of baseball games in order to enhance overall fan experience.”

After reviewing extensive data collected throughout the 2013 season and soliciting ideas from the fans, media, and baseball personnel, the committee worked on implementing different pace of play rules during the 2014 season.

As of August 1, 2014, five pace of play rules were put in place for all Atlantic League  games.

  1. The Time-Out Rule – “The defensive team, including any manager, coach or player, shall be limited during a game to a total of three (3) “time-outs” in which mound visits or on-the-field conferences are conducted with a pitcher.” Each “time-out” is also limited to 45 seconds.
  2. Directing umpires to apply and enforce Rule 6.02 and Rule 8.04 – “The Atlantic League office shall intensify its directives to the umpires and direct them to be more diligent applying and enforcing Rule 6.02 (restricting batters ‘stepping out’ of the box) and Rule 8.04 (requiring the pitcher to deliver the ball within 12 seconds when the bases are unoccupied).”
  3. Directing umpires to control the pace of play – “ALPB umpires shall be reminded that they control the pace of play and that they need to exercise that control and move the game on in a timely manner.
    The umpires shall adhere to the strike zone as defined in Rule 2.00 and to observe that definition when calling pitches ‘balls’ or ‘strikes.”’
  4. Reducing the number of warm-up pitches – “Reduce the limit for preparatory ‘warm-up’ pitches at the beginning of an inning, or when a relief pitcher enters the game, from 8 to 6 (as provided for in Rule 8.03).”
  5. Automatic awarding of an intentional walk – “When a manager or catcher of the defensive team indicates to the home plate umpire they wish to issue an intentional base on balls, the batter is to be automatically awarded first base without the need for the pitcher to deliver four balls.”

You can read the rationale for the decisions HERE.

In addition to the rules already in place, they are also reviewing six other potential pace of play initiatives.

  1. “At the start of each half inning, require that the leadoff batter take his position in the batter’s box and the pitcher take his position on the rubber and be prepared to deliver his first pitch within 120 seconds from the time of the last out in the preceding half inning.”
  2. “Install stadium “shot clocks” to time and count down (a) the delivery of the pitch to the batter, (b) timeouts, (c) pitching changes, and (d) the interval from the last out of one half inning to the first pitch of the next half inning.”
  3. “Amend Rule 3.05 (b) so as to require a relief pitcher to pitch to more than one batter during the inning in which he enters the game.”
  4. “Develop an on-going program to educate players, managers, coaches, umpires and administrators about the need to be attentive to the pace of play.”
  5. “Initiate an electronic system that would provide for communication and relaying of signs from the dugout to the catcher and/or the pitcher.”
  6. “Modify or eliminate the DH rule.”

Even more initiatives have been tabled for future review. The rules listed for future review can be found HERE.

The Pace of Play committee has already rejected five rules that were found to be completely irrelevant or impractical to put into place during a game.

  1. “Limit the number of pitching changes a team may make.”
  2. “Raise the height of the pitching mound.”
  3. “Limit the number of foul balls allowed a batter once he has two strikes.” *Take note of this rule*
  4. “Disallow batters who have become base runners from discarding their elbow sleeves and other protective armor.”
  5. “Outlaw Velcro batting gloves.”

The Atlantic League is looking to take things one step further to speed up the game, but only for one exhibition game. The league announced that they will try two more pace of play rules when the Bridgeport Bluefish visit the Long Island Ducks on April 18th.  These two rules were proposed by a 68-year old baseball fan and author, Paul Auster.

The batter will:

  • be given a walk for three balls rather than four and
  • be called out for a two-strike foul ball. (Which is a lot like the rule completely dismissed by the committee.)

The Atlantic League president, Rick White, claimed that these rules were not being considered for the long term, but that they are going to continue as an “experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games.”

But why even put these rules, which greatly change the dynamic (not just the pace) of the game, into place for one exhibition game? Why use different rules for an exhibition game where there will be players who are trying to get noticed and land a spot on the team?

If the league isn’t seriously considering these drastic changes, is it just a way to get fans in the seats and the Atlantic League in the news?

Let’s stop trying to be a publicity stunt and just play the game as it was meant to be played, balls and strikes included.

Writing and sharing stories about Independent Baseball.

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