November 18, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 3 Midland Park New proposal solves baseball field conundrum The Midland Park Baseball Association has come up with a way to accommodate the high school varsity softball team’s new field requirements without compromising its own teams’ needs: shift the entire diamond. Baseball association representative Dana Weisbrot presented his last-minute solution at last week’s meeting of the mayor and council, and everyone seemed pleased with the proposal. About 20 association members attended the meeting in hopes of reaching a decision so that work could be done on the field before the onset of winter. The problem arose because new state regulations effective next spring require a 43-ft distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate for high school girls varsity softball games. The team shares the field with the junior baseball division, which needs a distance of 50 feet for its U12 Cooperstown team and 46 feet for its 11-12-year-old rec teams and 9-12 travel team. The fenced-in field, adjacent to the refreshment stand/field house, is owned by the town and is the pride and joy of the baseball association. Weisbrot said that moving home plate back three feet would provide the 43 feet needed by the girls’ team while preserving the integrity of the baseball field. The new configuration would require a new baseball mound at the proper slope three feet back from the flat softball mound and allow for a 6-foot distance between each of the mounds, making for safer movement, according to Weisbrot. He added that though the back fence would be closer, it is still 15 feet back and in conformance with all regulations. Weisbrot said that no confusion should develop among the teams because the lines are repainted after each game and the markers should be clear. He said some adjustment would have to be made to the backstop and the fences, but those improvements were scheduled for the near future in any case. Home plate will be left in place, and a portable plate will be added 3 feet in front of the old one. New foul posts will be installed for the boys; the existing foul poles will remain in place for the girls’ games – 10 home games during the season. The shifting bases should present no problem either, said baseball association president John Mulligan, because they are not fixed but rather pounded in for each game. The cost for these alterations would be minimal, perhaps just a few hundred dollars, Weisbrot said, indicating that the baseball association would do the work with volunteers and absorb the costs. The previous proposal, which included relocating home plate and using removable pitching rubbers to accommodate the new distances, would have cost upwards of $5,000. Mayor Joseph Monahan said the board of recreation should pick up some of the costs “instead of putting it all on baseball.” When the new softball requirements came down, the baseball association was in jeopardy of making its own field inoperable for its baseball programs. The organization has invested heavily in the field over the years, including $70,000 recently for lights. specializing in Solution Focused Brief Therapy • • THE CENTER FOR COUPLES AND FAMILY SOLUTIONS couples & marriage issues family transitions & conflict • separation and divorce • women’s issues • anxiety • depression • child behavior problems Debra D. Castaldo, Ph.D. Over 25 years experience; faculty at Columbia & Rutgers Universities; former Director Pediatric Social Work at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; Author of “Divorced without Children: Solution Focused Therapy with Women at Midlife”; Host of “Solution Talk” on Rockland World Radio 666 Godwin Avenue, Midland Park, NJ 07432 • 201-569-3137