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Re: Re: Swing down to the ball

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Aug 11 13:14:14 2008

Hi again Eugene

It is not surprising that you and many other coaches and players believe the bat should be on a downward path at contact. The downward concept has been taught for decades. As the excerpt below from a prior discussion points out, even many MLB hitters bought into it. This and many other old batting truisms have been proven to be fallacies by video analysis and the laws of physics.

>> It has been my experience that although video analysis clearly shows the best MLB hitters exhibit rotational transfer mechanics, most will still define their swings with old linear principles and cues. As the following experience of Don Slaught had with Bonds reveals, Bonds actually believed his bat should be angling downward at contact (as mentioned in Melvin’s post).
> >
> > "Always, when this conversation arises, I remember a story Don Slaught told me about talking w/ Barry Bonds about his swing. Bonds said he "was hitting all right, but didn't think he was swinging down sharply enough to contact." Slaught told him that in fact, like all MLB hitters, he swung UP to contact. Bonds vehemently denied the possibility of this. Slaught used RVP {Right View Pro} to convince Bonds, and later heard him walk up to ARod at the All Star Game batting practice and say, "Alex, you know you don't swing down to the ball, right?"
> >
> > I have had similar experiences with MLB players and coaches. When I met with Reggie Smith (Dodgers batting coach) to discuss Strawberry’s batting problems, VCRs with frame-by-frame capabilities were just becoming available. It quickly become evident that Reggie had not had the opportunity to study the swing frame-by-frame. He was so locked into linear principles that he could not accept what saw.
> >
> > Regardless of what the frame-by-frame revealed, he would not accept that Strawberry’s axis did not move linear forward during the swing nor would he accept that his hands followed a circular path (over-head view). He insinuated that I must have “doctored” the tape. At that point, I lost my temper and called our meeting to a close.
> >

Jack Mankin


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