The impact of removing the batting cages

Yajari Popoca

The remodeled weight room has been a fantastic addition to Phoenix this school year. However, with all the extra equipment there is no more room for the batting cages, that the boys baseball and girls fastpitch softball team use and require to practice basic fundamentals.

“I feel like not having the batting cages as accessible as they used to be is taking practice that we need away from us, before we were able to come in at six thirty in the morning to practice our batting,” said senior Stephon Jackson.

Being able to bat is essential in baseball and softball. If a player can not bat, then they will not get on base, and if they do not get on base then the team cannot score runs and winning becomes out of reach.

“I appreciate that Mr. Wip is giving us eight sessions at the B.I.G Baseball batting cages, but it’s not enough, it limits our practices,” said senior Rickie Ghoston.  

People may be wondering why they do not practice batting outside, but the unstable weather conditions and poor quality fields do not always allow that. The field can also be a safety hazard because there’s a lot of broken glass and bird feces on there.

“Not having the batting cages in the school anymore is affecting us in our games, because a lot of the underclassmen don’t know how to hit the ball or the basic fundamentals of how to make contact with the ball, which is costing us easy scored runs and wins,” said senior Jimmy Bellido.

This may not seem like a big deal to the administration, but with batting being such a huge factor when it comes to playing and winning in baseball and softball it’s tarnishing Phoenix’s reputation as a school, when we’re not winning games for something as essential as batting. The reality is, many incoming freshmen base their high school decision on not only the school’s academics, but their athletic program as well.

“It’s a disadvantage because most of our girls haven’t played softball before so they’ve never batted before. Not having somewhere they can learn the correct stance and how to swing and hit a ball affects them the most which affects us as a whole,” said senior Lakya Foster.

A lot of the players that are on the baseball and softball team are underclassmen that have never even picked up a ball before, which means they have to learn every fundamental there is, especially batting.

“Batting cages are a tool to help the team with coordination, and building confidence in batting skills,” said softball Coach Roland Paris.