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Re: Re: Re: Re: The swing finish

Posted by: Thorpe Facer (tfacer@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 6 08:25:24 2002

> > > > although this article has been out for a while,
> http://www.baseballtips.com/lost_secrets_of_hitting.htmnd and
> there has been some discussion on it, I would like to resurrect
> it. The older players did have flatter swings and if these stats are
> correct how can one refute the benefits of a low finish. Can we
> rule out today's pitching as be a factor for the high finish? Do you
> have to be so far back on the axis and lift to have home run
> power? Looking at clips of today's sluggers I find there are still
> some who consistently finish low, even on pitches down in the
> zone. Juan Gonzales and Gary Sheffield are two.
> > > > as a baseball coach this is one issue that still plagues me.
> > > > your thoughts ?
> > > > regards, bob
> > >
> > > The Hitman
> > >
> > > Well I guess the hitting instructors have a totally new way of
> teaching the swing, i guess ever since Charley Lau and Walt
> Hriniak players have been taught to finish high with a one
> handed follow through. Home Runs werent as popular as they
> are now, but their is no one set swing. So i think of it as more of
> a style thing than technique . Most people with a two handed
> swing will naturally finishe lower.
> > >
> >
> > I agree that Ellis is confusing style with technique. Some
> players finish lower because they hold on to the bat with both
> hands and to do that, the lead arm has to fold into the body. If you
> let go of the bat with the top hand then the lead arm doesn't have
> to fold and the finish can be higher. In addition, high or low finish
> is partially dependent upon pitch location. I have clips of Cobb,
> Ruth, Hornsby Gehrig, Dimaggio, Williams, Schmidt, etc., and
> they do the same fundamental things that the great hitters of
> today do. There are no lost secrets of hitting except in Ellis' mind.
> >
> > I have attended a presentation by Rob Ellis. He advocated
> swinging so that the bat was always level as if on a tabletop.
> Absurd of course. He totally dismisses the fact that the ball is on
> a downward angle when it arrives at the plate by saying that the
> ball has flattened out by then so it's no longer going down. That's
> wrong too as anyone who watches clips frame by frame can
> verify for himself. I thought his presentation was a recipe for
> hitting disaster for anyone who followed it.
> mabe ellis' termanology is wrong but i have seen "old-timers"
> swings and they are consistanly more "level" than many of
> todays hitters, and ELLIS has alot of valid point as to how that
> came about IE "metal bats" and the change of mind-set in
> hitters, even MANAGERS!!! i am an A's fan and ART HOWE boldly
> says "we arent a hit-and-run team....we walk and wait for the 3
> run homer" the homerun as become SEXY and STYLISH, it the
> kind of thing that makes SPORTSCENTER, you can knock on
> ELLIS but he has valid points that need to be addressed...

I agree that many old timers swung more level but that's because of pitch location. Look at the chart in Williams' book about his personal strike zone. Baseball emphasized the high strike this past year but even so, Williams' personal strike zone is higher than anything currently called. The higher the pitch the more likely that the bat will be swung level. But what are pitchers taught? Keep the ball down. What do pitching coaches want to know after games? How many grounds balls their pitcher threw. Good hitting mechanics in any era allow the hitter to hit in all areas of the strike zone. Look at old timers swinging at the knee-high strike and you will see a swing that looks like a current player's swing at a knee-high strike.

I agree that metal bats have had a huge effect on hitting mechanics. But mind sets about how to best score runs have always varied. Whitey Herzog played hit and run ball. Earl Weaver played for the big inning. A lot of this has to do with personnel. Art Howe, at least until Giambi left, had the big guns to play for the big inning. Maybe that will change this year.

There's no question that baseball is in love with the homerun. But the pendulum will swing back; it always does. Ichiro proved that the contact hitter has a place in baseball. My point about Ellis is that he is confusing style and technique. He is not alone.

One last point. Don't get agitated if someone disagrees with something you believe in. Jump into the fray and argue your points. If you think Ellis is right, go with what he says. The fun is when there are differing points of view.


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