One topic of discussion during the PIAA Class AAAA baseball championship between Canon-McMillan and Spring-Ford concerned the contents of the folder carried everywhere by Big Macs pitching coach Tim Miller.
Well, Miller, who called some excellent games during the playoff run, was happy to fill me in.
Miller wrote in an e-mail:
"It is a standard three-ring binder. On the right side I keep a pitching
chart of the current game. I record every pitch to every batter there, if
they swung at the pitch or took it, and ultimately the result of each
batter. I also make many notes there throughout the game. Typically these
notes include: mechanical "issues" that a pitcher may need to address (for
example, Chris Dittmar dropping his elbow well below shoulder height while
trying to throw an off-speed pitch), future ideas I may get about attacking
a certain hitter, swing flaws that I notice in a hitter that may open up the
door for a certain pitch in a particular situation, and a record of
"borderline" pitches that went both in our favor and against us.
On the left side, I have my preparation notes for the current opponent.
Obviously I have a lot more information when we play a team like Peters Twp
than I do when we play a team like Spring-Ford. Yesterday, I was fortunate
enough to have printed out a few articles on Spring-Ford from the internet
with different paragraphs containing pertinent information. I also had the
batting averages for their starting lineup and a copy of their season
schedule with results. Additionally, I keep a copy of the pitching
eligibility rules (we all remember North Hills), a spare pitching chart, and
our current pitching and defense "game plan" on that side of the folder.
I take the folder out to the mound with me during my visits because I never
know when our pitchers are going to ask what a certain hitter did in a
certain situation or have another question along similar lines."
So, there you have it. Some of the inner working of a state champion.