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Re: Williams-Last man standing thus far

Posted by: Jeff (kidd@islc.net) on Thu Dec 30 15:36:48 1999

Hi all,

You know the old addage -- those who can do, those who can't teach. The ability to do something doesn't necessarily come coupled with the ability to explain it to others, or even to rationalize it to yourself. By the same token, the inability to perform an act does not preclude you from understanding the task. Of course, neither does that imply the ability to impart your knowledge to others.

So to me what makes Williams a credible teacher is not his on-field ability but his work as the manager of the Senators. Virtually all of his hitters made substantial strides during his tenure, and while he might not be able to take credit for all the improvement, it certainly suggests he knows a thing or two about baseball and that he also knew something about how to explain it. His book also is testament to his analytical approach to hitting, though I'm sure a ghost writer (I forget the co-author) probably should get more credit for his skills of communication.

In principle, I agree with Dawg that Williams has proven his mettle as an instructor. He has his detractors, and rightly so. It's intellecutal arrogance to believe you have nailed down every single aspect of hitting or anything else. Knowledge can be both empowering and humbling. You cannot be right about everything.

But there is something to be said for guys like Williams, Ferroli, Jack, the guys over at SetPro, who attempt to make hitting more science than witchcraft. Even if you draw an incorrect conclusion once in a while, ultimately, examination, study and research lead to higher understanding. Williams, in my mind, was one of the first to really popularize such an approach.

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to thank Jack once again for his efforts here. This site and this board have been a great learning tool for me, and I'm sure they have been for others, too.



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