ball departures recently -- Mark Finegan after 20 seasons at Pelham, Mike Vecchione at Yonkers Gorton and Chris Welsh at Pleasantville.
Finegan intends to serve as an assistant at Pelham to Mark Courtien. Welsh is leaving to become an assistant principal at Scarsdale.
Balancing mercy and maulings: Jeff DiVeronica in Rochester wrote a thorough story on the merits of so-called mercy rules, reaching out to players and coaches in Section 5 to gather the pros and cons.
A decision by the NYS- PHSAA Executive Committee gave the sections and their leagues the option to end baseball games this season with 10-run margins as part of a two-year experiment, similar to a long-standing rule that can end softball games with 15-run leads after five innings.
Seven of Section 5's 10 baseball leagues adopted the rule this spring. In non-league games, the home team's league rules are followed.
"I'm a little divided by it," said Josh Phillips, the parent of an Irondequoit baseball player. "Say you are the pitcher or the goalie, some kids can take it kind of rough, if they've been the focal point (of a lopsided game). There's life lessons inside of that, but that can be an extreme.
"To a point, I don't know how much more it makes sense to carry on past a certain inning, especially with pitch-count limits. It's changed a lot of dynamics of the game, as far as how the game could have got to that point in the first place."
Said Section 5 baseball coordinator and Greece Athena coach Jason Bunting: "We have 20 games, each seven innings. That's 140 innings. You want to take away innings, at bats and innings from the kids? I don't. I want to play all 140 innings."
There are numerous other interesting viewpoints in the story, which can be found here.
More reading: I made mention above of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's Executive Committee meeting in Troy, which I attended Friday.
My weekly column for PressConnects.com summarizes a few of the day's developments, but I put my emphasis on the presentation of a recommendation by the organization's safety committee that all high schools have a full-time athletic trainer at their disposal.
Obviously that's a significant expense, particularly for small schools that might have fewer than 75 in-season athletes at any given time. But Bob O'Malley, president of the New York State Athletic Trainers' Association made some great points about the value of trainers when I spoke to him this week.
The NYSPHSAA hasn't adopted the recommendation yet and there is no indication that the policy would ever become mandatory, but it's likely the subject will arise in the next year in many school districts that have a part-time trainer or none at all.
Power surge: Spotswood (N.J.) High catcher Mike Izzo tied a national record Thursday by hitting three home runs in one inning Thursday as his team thrashed New Brunswick 30-2.
The National Federation of High School Associations' record book shows the feat being accomplished five previous times.
His three fifth-inning homers came on a pair of first-pitch fastballs and a 1-2 curveball. Spotswood sent 20 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring 17 runs.
Izzo is batting .463 with five homers and 20 RBIs in just 54 at-bats this spring.