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Re: Re: Bat Lag

Posted by: Jack Mankin (MrBatspeed@aol.com) on Mon Dec 4 12:51:13 2006

Hi Jim

I think we are in much more agreement than you may think. As an example you stated:

“I think you may be overlooking what happens as the curved hand path interacts with the arcing sweet spot. If the hands are following a curved or hooked path (connected to rotation) the bat head WILL stay on the line of the pitch longer WITHOUT slowing! If the hands are following the proper curve at the same time the sweet spot is moving in its arc toward the ball, the sweet spot will be shifting in space in such a way as to remain in alignment with the pitch. Angular acceleration is NOT being diminished as this is occurring.

Let me illustrate this another way. Let us imagine a swinging pendulum. The free end of the pendulum swings in a smooth arc around an axis. If we were to move the axis as the pendulum is swinging, the apparent path of the free end would no longer be a smooth arc. If we were to coordinate the movement of the axis in the proper manner we could cause the apparent path of the free end to become a straight line. Angular acceleration is maintained because although apparent rotation stops, actual rotation does not. The free end is still rotating around its axis. In this example the axis of the pendulum would compare to the axis of the bat, that is, the point between the top hand and bottom hand as they apply opposing torque.”

I agree with you that the curved (or hooking) hand-path will keep the plane of the sweet spot in the plane of the pitch “WITHOUT slowing.” In fact, the torque being applied and the pendulum effect of the “hook” in the hand-path will cause the sweet spot to accelerate through the contact zone.

And that was my point. The acceleration of the sweet spot through the contact zone means its time in the zone will be shorted rather than longer than a slower moving sweet spot. However, that does not mean that generating greater bat speed through the zone produces less contact. Hitters whose mechanics generate great bat speed through the zone are at the top of the charts for batting average as well as slugging percentage.

You state:
“The bat should never approach being "static" in the lag position. The term "release of the bat head" simply refers to the final 90 degrees of bat movement ending at contact. At some point in time the batter must make an adjustment in timing in order to make the bat to arrive at the ball with the proper angle to propel it toward a specific area of the field. This adjustment in timing cannot occur until the need for it is recognized. The ball is typically within 10' of the plate when the batter's brain computes the adjustment. Bat lag is the point during the swing when the adjustment can be effected by controlling the bat's rate of acceleration through its "release" or final 90 degrees of movement. The bat never really physically "lags". The term "Bat Lag" is simply a name that identifies a specific point during the swing.”

Here is an area where we may have some disagreement. – By the time the bat has rotated 90 degrees to the “lag” position, the swing has more than been fully initiated. There is a bio-mechanical principle that states; "A ballistic motion, once initiated, produces trajectories that can only be efficiently changed at its margins."

In other words, once the swing has been initiated, the swing is basically on auto-pilot. Therefore, adjustments for timing or pitch location must be made prior to initiating the swing (initiation of shoulder rotation). By the time the bat has been accelerated to the lag position, it is too late to make efficient changes.

Jack Mankin


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