Monthly Archives: December 2013

Outfield Play:

Outfield Play

What type of player plays in the outfield? What are the qualifications for being a good outfielder? First of all, if a player is left-handed, and a fast runner, he/she is probably a good prospect for outfield! Fast, right-handed people are also good prospects for outfield positions; but they can also play infield. You don’t usually want to “waste” a speedy person at First Base, unless he has extraordinary skill there, or limited throwing capacity. An outfielder must be able to catch balls that are hit high in the air; and he must also catch them while he is running at full speed. So, if a player is a fast runner, and can catch fly-balls and “line-drives” while running full speed, and has a “good-arm,” he has a chance to become a very good outfielder, maybe a great one.

K. Griffey 3willie-mays 4clemente_fielding 2JOsh Hamilton fielding 1ichiro fielding 3Yankees v MarinersKEN GRIFFEY JR.Josh H.4


Everyone who is a professional ball-player, and is designated as an outfielder, has good speed, a “good arm,” and can catch balls that are hit in the air (as well as potential to hit for average or power). The subtle differences, that distinguish the great outfielders from the good ones, have a lot to do with certain physical attributes, such as arm strength and accuracy, as well as running speed, and a highly productive offensive capability. But, the most subtle characteristic that distinguishes the “greatest” from the “pack” is an intangible element resident in individual “temperament.”

The Outfield can be a lonely, boring place for a mind that lacks a special creativity. A player who always needs to be closer to the “action,” whose sense of alertness can be stimulated only by the prospect of imminent responsibility, would be better suited for “infield,” where fielding opportunities are more profuse.

An outfielder doesn’t get that many chances during the course of a nine inning game, so he can’t afford to miss “any” opportunity to help his team. Selflessness is a key component to defining the ideal “outfielder-temperament.” He cannot hesitate to expend his energy, in any situation, even when the play is obviously not within his immediate vicinity. It is naturally expected of infielders to be under constant anticipation, when a ball is played, because of the close proximity to both the ball and the base runners. But the expenditure of energy by infielders is minimal because of the close proximity, as well as the highly motivating “imminent responsibility.”

When a ball is hit to right field, most people would think that there wouldn’t be anything for the left-fielder to do in that situation. Even in a “Big-League” game, a spectator will very seldom see the left-fielder do anything, unless that fielder happens to be one of a small percentage of players classified as “a-great-one.” Then the observer will have the opportunity to witness the creative response that characterizes the unique attitude of a great outfielder.

In anticipation of the slightest chance that a mishap could occur, the left-fielder races toward the infield and positions himself in line with the throw coming to second base from the right fielder. Maybe once in 200 chances will he be involved in an errant play, but he still responds in the same manner. It would be unconscionable that a mishap should occur and he didn’t back-up the play.

On every ground ball to third base or short-stop, the “great” right-fielder is always racing toward the first base dugout hoping to recover any errant throw that might get by the first base-man, to prevent an extra base for the runner. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does the “great one” is always ready. To the mind of every “great” outfielder there is something important to do on every play.

It has been witnessed that, on a drag bunt toward third base with a fast runner on first, while the first and third basemen were charging, and shortstop covering second, that an ever-hustling left-fielder sprinted to third base and received credit for a put-out on the runner racing around second to third base, thinking no one was covering the bag. Anything can happen in Baseball, and the ever-thinking, creative mind of the “great” outfielder is always on the alert that “it” doesn’t happen “on his watch.”

The baseball theatre is overflowing with dramatic possibilities for every situation. The “great” impresario of the outfield relishes in new and unrehearsed circumstances while the non-energetic “daisy-picker” wallows in the mental miasma of tacit mediocrity. Thus the outfield is only a dull place for the dull mind.

To reiterate, selflessness, high energy, and ingenuity characterize the excellent outfielder. Many are called, but few are chosen, or rather willing, to become supreme in that domain. Most would presume that all “that” work would have a detrimental effect on their hitting, so they opt to merely get the job done “well-enough” so as not to embarrass themselves.

Every good team has at least one great outfielder. A great team usually has more.

How and where does someone become a great outfielder? The only place to prepare to be “great” is on the practice field, both before the season begins and in pre-game batting practice during the season. Ideally the “Great One” had the good fortune of being trained properly from his youth by a knowledgeable coach. Rare!

Although the primary tool to outfield greatness is one’s mental attitude, he still has to apply himself physically to accomplish the tasks for which he is acclaimed. Two specific and crucial tasks that every outfielder tries to accomplish and for which the “great one” is most consistent in performing are: throwing out runners trying to advance to another base, and making the great running catch that everyone in the ball-park thought was a sure hit.

Both situations have a common element that all outfielders aspire to develop, but only the great ones seem to have perfected, that of getting the “jump on the ball.” Some of the fastest runners in Baseball could hardly be classified as “great ones” even though their speed certainly would have qualified them as eligible prospects.

“The man who gets to the ball the fastest is not always the fastest runner.” Getting the “jump” is a skill that takes practice. The only way to perfect this sensitive skill is through patient and “perfect” practice. (You can’t do it only by having someone hit “fungoes” to you.) The prospective “great one” plays his position and fields balls off the bat that have been pitched, either in batting practice or in games.

Batting practice allows for more chances in shorter time. Simulated games allow for a truer sense of reaction to the pitch thrown and batter’s response. The most astute learner will apply himself with the same intensity in batting practice as in the game, until this procedure becomes more than a continuous learning situation, but an established insight and infallible instinct.

What exactly is “getting the jump on the ball”? The answer is, “. . . the quickest-possible physical response by the fielder to the ball hit off the bat.” Such response is heightened by the fielder’s pre-disposed ability to “read” the type and direction of the pitch as well as the disposition of the batter to hit such pitch.

The greatest of the “great” have the uncanny knack for “taking off” seemingly before the ball is hit. To catch the ball after having gotten the great jump is a marvelous feat to behold. But the added dimension of running, catching, and then throwing a runner out at second, third, or home-plate livens any arena with gasps and exhilarating chants from awestruck fans and colleagues alike.Ichiro fielding 1Ichiro fielding 2Ichiro 4

When a runner is safe or out “by a hair,” there is usually one reason, the outfielder did or did not get to the ball as fast as he could have. All things being equal (all outfielders having the same speed, strength and accuracy of arm), there is no doubt that the time in which the fielder got to the ball and scooped, positioned himself, and threw within the same continuous motion determined the outcome of the play.

An outfielder is not born with this type of talent. He can only acquire it through hard work. In batting practice and game-situations, he must vigorously approach every ball hit to him through the infield as one in which he “must” throw the runner out at the “plate.” He cannot practice starting fast then slowing down as he approaches the ball.

Only “Perfect” practice makes “Perfect.” He must strive to attain the most proficient “knack” for “scooping” at full speed, then manipulate his body to be able to throw powerfully and accurately (he doesn’t have to throw the ball each time—just get the body in position to throw). Half-hearted efforts will never help to attain the full status of “the great one.” It had been witnessed that a “once great” outfielder who, for all extensive purposes, had lost a major portion of his arm strength but was a master at charging ground balls hit through the infield with a runner at second base, was so adept at this facet of his trade that, since he was so close to the infield when he picked up the ball, no third base coach felt confident to send the runner, even though “they” all knew he couldn’t throw. The beauty of Baseball is that anyone can develop any of the specific skills of the game through hard work. And mental adroitness can enhance the sense of greatness even in those individuals without the best of natural ability.

Next: Infield Play



Human bodies are not stick figures, animated without rhythm and reason. They are characters whose minds think and move them in more than one dimension to incorporate and facilitate function. Things contrived are never really simple; but knowledge of the intricate, and the understanding of elements that sustain a natural order, make it possible to simplify/clarify that which appears complex/difficult.

The Principle of Fielding is intended to awaken in every advocate of the game an easy and simple means to facilitate the proper mechanics necessary to improve his/her play. Simplicity is the integration and coordination of life’s infinite array of variables within the realm of understanding. By observing, studying, and gaining an understanding of the minute details of the specific movements involved in the specialized aspects of “fielding,” an amateur athlete can gain a greater appreciation for what it takes to possibly emulate the performances of an out –  Rafael+Furcal+Los+Angeles 2Yadier 5Yankees v MarinersIchiro fielding 1standing player.

The only way to describe the best of ball-players at his position is that “he makes it look simple.” Although it is not really simple, abiding by a strict discipline of simple mechanics, the best players have perfected the techniques for their particular positions through arduous, repetitive labor, from which the human physical endeavor eventually appears effortless and instinctive.

Next: Outfield Play

Throwing a Baseball, with Mechanical Correctness

Throwing a Baseball


Nothing happens in a baseball game until after the first pitch is thrown. Throwing a baseball, then, seems to be a very important part of the game. In fact, Pitchers (and Power-Hitters) are considered the most prominent characters in the game. The ability to throw the ball hard and far evokes a mythical aggrandizement from which legends are made. What is it that enables one individual to throw harder and farther than another? Are some people blessed with natural ability to throw better than others? It’s hard to say when and how an individual developed certain physical characteristics associated with strength, or whether he acquired some unusual pre-natal condition that facilitated an accentuated leverage point, to produce a greater aptitude for throwing! But two things are certain: it has been observed countless times, that the seemingly “gifted” athlete cannot reach his/her full potential unless the proper body-mechanics are employed; and the “not-so-gifted” sometimes attains a higher level of success with intellectual astuteness and the utilization of proper body-mechanics.

It is common to evaluate a player’s throwing ability by saying, “. . . he/she has a strong or weak arm.” It is incorrect, though, to assume that the power of the throw is determined by the strength of the arm. The main power source for throwing is the “Body.”cliff_lee 5NolanRyan 13Billy W.16 kimbrel 3Tanaka 4Tananka 10The arm provides only a fraction of the power. From the coordinated precision of the movement from the feet to legs, to hips, to torso, to shoulders, to arm(s), wrist, hand, Cliff+Lee 10nolan-ryan 15Billy W.13and fingers is the ultimate power registered in the “perfect throw.” Obviously, the player with the stronger body and arm, who applies the mechanics perfectly, will be more effective than the weaker player.

The stronger the body the greater the possibility for a strong throw, as long as the application of the proper mechanics for movement of shoulder(s) and arm come into play. Unfortunately, the stronger the body the greater is the vulnerability to injury of the shoulder and elbow if the application of proper mechanics is not enforced. If the power generated by the body is complete, the torque action of the twisting hips and torso could be too great for a shoulder and arm ill-prepared to deliver the final dimension of the throw. If the shoulder is not locked into a position of stability, to launch the (bent) arm and that (5-ounce) ball forward at the precise time, the strain of having transported the spherical object from the point of origin to destination could have a deleterious effect on the accompanying extremities.

The weight of a 5-ounce object doesn’t seem like it should have any major affect on the throwing apparatus of a strong, well-conditioned athlete. But if you think about the strain one feels in his shoulders, while merely extending the arms outwardly, away from the body, and sustaining that position for a period of time, you could see how any additional weight would accentuate the strain. Even more stress would be added if you realize the extra force exerted on “those joints” by the weight of the moving arm and ball. “The farther the ball moves away from the body, as the arm is preparing to throw it, the heavier the weight will be to the strain of the shoulder (and elbow).”

As the ball is being prepared for its launch from the thrower’s hand it should remain as close as possible to the “Body-Proper,” while a bent arm is “whipping” itself into the forward thrusting position. (Nolan Ryan was the best exponent of this “principle” as a pitcher, as was Darren Dreifort one of the best examples of poor proficiency.Nolan-Ryan 1darren driefort 1d.dreifort 8d.dreifort 7 Now Masahiro Tanaka is the best example of perfect pitching mechanics. Tanaka 20Tanaka 4MLB: Spring Training-Japan at San Francisco GiantsTanaka 2 Ichiro Suzuki is the best example as an outfielder. Raphael Furcal, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano as infielders! And Yadier Molina, from the catching position!)

Nolan Ryan 2Tanaka 15Ichiro 1San Diego Padres v St. Louis CardinalsYadier 2

The coordinated action of the entire body (right and left sides) provides the power for the correct arm movements to occur rapidly (and safely), and thus sustain a whip-like action to move through the “throw” like a wave of tremendous force.

Is throwing a baseball composed of a generic component to which all prospective players could and should strictly adhere in order to properly promote the development of the correct mechanics? The most productive “throwers” of the ball, from each outfield and infield position are they whose technique is almost identical in their respective positions (at least in the “Big-Leagues”). When an infielder is making his toughest play (one that entails his longest possible throw), he will instinctively position his body and administer his arm action in a manner similar to all Big-leaguers under similar circumstances. The most conclusive example of perfect proficiency in throwing from the outfield is that illustrated by Ichiro Suzuki in his “rookie-season” as the Mariners were playing the Oakland “A”s. On a base hit to Right Field, a speedy runner from first was racing his way to what he thought was going to be an “easy safe at third.” Instead, because of the magnificent display of body-control and mechanical throwing efficiency, Ichiro “gunned-down” the exasperated runner with a perfectly straight, accurate, and powerful throw—the recounting of which has been displayed on T.V. Sports Stations and Videos ever since.

Ichiro 5

Speed of “range,” competency to receive, quickness to release, strength to deliver, and accuracy to direct the ball (to the intended base) are integral in determining the optimum effectiveness of the fielder – the latter three relative to the precise dynamics of throwing mechanics. For a short-stop to make “that” throw from “deep-in-the-hole,” or an outfielder from right-field to third base, absolute, correct technique is mandatory. IF he doesn’t come up “throwing over the top,” but rather side-armed, the ball will likely not be Fielding 6San Diego Padres v St. Louis CardinalsIchiro 4there on time (unless for an extremely slow runner). The “closest distance between two points is a straight line.” Therefore, “over-the-top” will facilitate a straight line, while “side-armed” will produce a horizontal/vertical arc that will likely allow the runner to be safe! From a close distance, a short arc is acceptable only if the infielder has no other recourse when he’s charging a slow hit ball, but to throw immediately from below as his hand touches the ball.

In Baseball, “Size” is not the determining factor for the success of an individual, whether for throwing or hitting a baseball. It is not a freak accident that Pitchers like 5 foot 8 and 9 inch Billy Wagner and Craig Kimbrel throw the ball as hard as 6 foot 3 inch and 6 foot 10inch Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson !

Wagner delivers pitch Kimbrel 4NolanRyan 13Randy J 15(And 5 foot 8 inch Joe Morgan and Jimmy Wynn could hit balls as far as guys almost twice their size.) Size does not determine strength, but “correct mechanics” and reinforced thought and muscular integration with the synergistic movement of body-parts does produce the most energy for rapid motion as it is converted to power. (A similar analogy would be that of a Karate master applying the “focus” to his punch or strike.)

Aside from the apparent size differential, the four pitchers mentioned above have one   thing in common: When they begin their power thrust with the turning upper body (including the shoulder and arm) after the bent legs have initiated the power drive of the twisting hips, the throwing arm has already been locked into place at a position of at least 90 degrees in order to assure the fastest possible forward rotation of the shoulder to allow a quick moving arm to assist the wrist, hand, and fingers to propel the ball at maximum speed. Therefore, the principle throwing criterion mentioned earlier comes into play, namely: “The farther the ball moves away from the body, as the arm is preparing to throw it, the heavier the weight will be to the strain of the shoulder (and elbow).” As the ball is being prepared for its launch from the thrower’s hand it should remain as close as possible to the “Body-Proper,” while the bent arm is “whipping” itself into the forward thrusting position. It is only reasonable to presume that a bent arm throughout the entire action prior to the throw would be the most efficient means of facilitating a rapid, powerful, and “safe” shoulder thrust, since there would be less weight to transport to the “launch.”

It is widely accepted, from the “Big-Leagues” to “Sandlots,” that on the Infield, the Third Base-men and Short-stops have to have the stronger arms because of the longer distance they most often throw the ball. Second Base-men and First Base-men don’t usually have to make as long a throw. But, obviously, it is to a Team’s best interest to have good – arms at all infield positions because of the few (and sometimes critical) times when a strong throw could mean the difference in a safe or out, win or loss.

In the Outfield, the Center-fielder and Right-fielder usually have more long throws than the Left-fielder, but the best possible outfield would be comprised of equal arm-strength for the same obvious reasons as well as to be able to inter-change positions at any time.

All mental facility and “character” being equal, the “Unified Field Theory-Experience” as applied to Baseball-Throwing would essentially mean that all players in all 9 defensive positions would have the “same” ultimate power and accuracy in their throws no matter what their respective sizes are, based primarily on equal understanding and application of the principle of the “infallibly scientific art” of correct throwing mechanics. This phenomenon, if feasible, would be a comforting delight for any manager or team, for the prospect of interchangeable parts could be practically beneficial.

However, the arena in which more differentiation of skill is noticeable is in the “designation” of “Fielding.” If all the players on a team could throw equally well, that condition may not necessarily transfer over to the “Art of Fielding,” either in the infield or the outfield. There have been infielders who began their Big-Leagues careers playing Short-stop (like Robin Yount), then moved to Center-field. And Center-fielders (like Bill Russell) who moved to Short-stop! Catchers (like Troy Percival and Jason Mott) who became Pitchers, while a catcher (like Craig Biggio) became an All-Star Outfielder and Second Base-man. Correct throwing mechanics (as well as batting skills in some cases) kept them “in the game” until they found the position best suited for them. Now, is there a “generic” component that would foster the development of all prospective team players to be equally adept in “fielding” all positions with the “same” proficiency?

Next: The “Art” of Fielding a Baseball

A “Unified Field Experience” for Successful Baseball

A “Unified Field Experience” for Successful Baseball


John F. Paciorek

In Physics, a unified field theory is a type of “field”(an imagined “ideal”) that would allow all that is usually thought of as separate fundamental forces and elementary particles to be written or applied in terms of a single field and to ultimate into a “unified-equal- experience.” There is currently neither an accepted unified field theory nor its ultimate practical counterpart, and thus it remains an open line of research. The term “unified field theory” was coined by Einstein, who attempted to unify the General Theory of Relativity with Electromagnetism which in turn would proceed to the incorporation of four seemingly distinct forces into One: “strong interaction, weak interaction, electromagnetic interaction, and gravitational interaction,” and eventually provide a practical application . A more “spiritualized” slant would not be dissimilar to the relationship of Adhesion, Cohesion, and the Law of Attraction and their practical application to enhanced needs. The Ultimate metaphysical example is “Atonement” or the underlying, substantive unity of all things animate and inanimate, seen and unseen, of and from which casual worldly perception falls short of discernment.Unified-field-theory-picture

Physical Science would denote that “the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” But the essence of metaphysically inspired thought would more than imply that “the Whole (Oneness) is greater than the sum of individual parts.”

From a “material-basis” it is impossible to form a cogent, unified theory from which to incorporate a singular harmonious effect because it appears that innumerable causes are influencing each other in contradictory ways to effect conflicting purposes. Most notable in our “common” sense of universal acceptance is the stoic indifference to a seemingly inherent Competitive nature, whose only glory comes from someone winning while another loses – in Athletics as well as in War! If it were up Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Mystic-Poet, “there can be no winner unless everyone wins.” Rumi implies that, in all of life’s “competitive” (contrasting) encounters, there is a viable alternative to the traditional conclusion that someone wins while another loses. His conclusion was that no one really wins unless everyone wins. A Course in Miracles would enhance that idea with, “No-one goes to Heaven alone – everyone goes together.” ( I cannot see myself in Heaven unless I can see everyone There together.) Enhanced even farther through “Abraham – Hicks and the Law of Attraction,” “Everyone’s ‘inner-being’ is Now and Always already in the non-competitive environment of Heaven’s Vortex, but most are unaware of it.” So it would behoove everyone in our present “relative” state of existence to provide for the winning environment from and in which each and all can experience the inherent fairness acceptable to the all-encompassing Game of Life. “You create your own Reality” – Abraham

All the seemingly conflicting forces predicate their individual successes on separate and independent interests. Is there any “single” entity, whose ultimate and universal pursuit of “excellence,” could/would incorporate all the separate and distinct facets of “Being” into a legitimate and recognizable configuration of “sameness,” and ameliorate all sense of contradiction and conflict?  Only the unadulterated essence of “Spirit” and Its own universal application of “goodness” has the inherent capacity for lawful exercise of Truth in a world seeking solutions of/with/for peace.

In the seemingly unified “Field” of Baseball there are a multitude of “field-oriented” designations that comprise the scope of the ultimate baseball experience. These designations are aspects integral to the development of an individual baseball player as well as defining the quality of the team on which each player performs. The designations for which all prospects to baseball success must apply themselves are the following:

  1. Throwing
  2. Fielding
  3. Batting
  4. Running

For each of the preceding “field-designations” there can be listed specific categories about which certain techniques for applying skills are incorporated relative to the “position” at which the particular player is performing his primary function. When a casual spectator wanders onto, or near, a “sandlot” field or park, and witnesses the action of a group of “ball-players” throwing a baseball, he doesn’t usually think too intensely on the proficiency level of those “throwers” of the ball. But an astute aficionado of the game of Baseball would surely recognize even the mechanical facilitation of a good throwing arm from a poor one, and the relative impact it would have at the fielding position of the 400px-Baseball Field 2baseball-fieldBaseball field 4Baseball-Field 3


Each of the nine defensive positions on the baseball field has its own criterion for a range of competency to determine the proficiency of throwing effectiveness by those aspiring to maximum fielding prowess.  A player must be capable of throwing at least at the “minimum” range of competency, in order to marginally succeed at his given position. But what determines “full-competency” in throwing a baseball?

Beyond strength and natural ability, “mechanics” is the most crucial aspect for all the “field-designations” within the singular Field of Baseball ( It is mechanical correctness that determines maximum proficiency for throwing (including Pitching), batting, fielding, as well as running – to attain one’s own best level).

Nolan Ryan 8San Diego Padres v St. Louis CardinalsIchiro 1Fielding 2

Barry Bonds 11AlbertPujolsLOWER_HALF_DRIVE_HIPSRicky 6rickey-henderson 6

Mechanical understanding of how one’s  body can be manipulated to exact the maximum force necessary to control the throwing, batting, and fielding of the baseball with optimum efficiency and power should be foremost in the mind of any player desiring to achieve his own best effort. And there are aspects of running that take into account the mechanical advantage that understanding and application foster for those who would improve speed and agility. For the purpose of initiating discussion on implementation of a practical “rationale” for playing, coaching, and building a successful baseball team, let’s begin with the mechanical correctness in throwing a baseball.

Next: Throwing a Baseball with mechanical correctness…

Form Perfect Models in Thought

Form Perfect Models in Thought…

Here are some fundamental questions to ponder when embarking on a true evaluation of proper hitting technique:

What is the relationship of the direction and flight-angle of the ball thrown by the pitcher with respect to the angle of the swinging bat and the force it exerts in the opposite direction?baseball_flight

1.  Unless a pitcher bends over, and down below a critical horizontal plane, and tosses the ball on a deliberately upward trajectory, every thrown pitch (100% of the time) is travelling in a descending line (or arc). It has been proven that even a Nolan Ryan fastball moves in a downward trajectory. Gravity and the fact that the pitcher is standing about a foot above the plane of the batter and Home Plate are the two primary reasons.

2. Is it logical to develop, and/or teach-learn, the body – mechanics that facilitate a swinging bat to move downward to strike at a downward-moving ball? This would seem, at the least, counter-productive for effective “Bats-man-ship.” “Back-spin,” will be more effectively produced by a bat whose solid and direct contact is at a point just below the center of the ball.Barry Bonds 2Barry Bonds 4

3. Does not every “Speed-Gun” register the fastest speed of a pitch at the point closest to the pitcher’s release of the ball? Hitting a baseball most effectively is determined by fractions of inches. Lunging forward to hit a ball 2 or 3 feet in front of home plate places the batter closer to the ball’s faster speed.

4. Does not the better hitter benefit significantly by keeping his head stationary as the Barry Bonds 11Barry Bonds 12Barry Bonds 8Barry Bonds 9

body rotates through the swing?

Lunging out at the ball in front of the plate has a tendency to distort the batter’s perception of the ball because the lunge creates excessive movement of the head, which houses the visual mechanism.

5. Does the strength of the swing come from the stride, forward lunge of the body, and extension of the arms? Or does it come from the rapid and controlled rotary transfer of weight that occurs after the front foot plants and the front knee begins straightening to help force the front hip backwards to allow the back hip to move quickly forward, with a DSC_0119DSC_0120DSC_0121DSC_0122DSC_0123DSC_0128DSC_0129DSC_0130                     bent back knee?

These actions lead the upper body into an orderly series of movements that precipitate a power surge directing the bat into the ball. The front knee straightens, and the back bent-knee rotates forward and downward on a pivoting back foot (specifically the outside of Big toe). The front shoulder shrugs upward and back, and accentuates the downward and forward action of the back shoulder. The lowered back shoulder facilitates a natural flattening of the bat, as it begins its approach to the striking area. Both arms await their duties in a semi-relaxed manner.

Before the body-weight transfer begins, as the ball is leaving the pitcher’s hand, the body starts to “gather”(brace itself). The front shoulder turns inwardly (just under the side of the chin), the knees stabilize, and the hands move slightly beyond the breadth of the back shoulder as the front arm begins to straighten. The entire body anxiously awaits the precise instant to “attack” the ball as it enters the “Zone.”

The “gathering” occurs at a slow, steady pace, to facilitate momentum for the quickest possible response at the moment of “weight-transfer.” At that moment, when the shoulder shrugs, the hands and bat are slanting in order to quickly level the bat to the plane of the ball and provide substantial range for making contact. The turning body provides a centrifugal force to allow the front arm enough momentum to easily snap to extension, as the bent back arm is starting its drive to fully extend itself and its “palmated” hand (palm up) through the contact-point.

At the “snap” of the front elbow, the medial side of its upper arm is flush against its corresponding breast, as contact is made with the ball. This assures that the power transfer from bat to ball is occurring within the confines of the main power source, the body. If the contact is made with front arm separated from the body, the power will be diffused. It should be obvious that the arm(s), acting independently from the body, has a diminished capacity for supplying power.

Barry Bonds 4Hanley Ramirez105Kemp Front AnkleAlbertPujolsLOWER_HALF_DRIVE_HIPS

After contact is made, and both arms have extended with the bat’s impact through the ball on a slightly ascending plane, the proper follow-through is facilitated by the hands “rolling over” as the arms pull back to the body by the continued flow of the shoulders. Ted Williams - swingTed Williams' follow throughBarry Bonds 6

The back shoulder’s gradual, forward ascent reaches a parallel level to the front, and the arms  settle in a bent position with hands slightly above the shoulders (ala Tiger Woods). The batter could release his top hand from the bat after the follow-through, like a Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, or Albert Puljos (bat high).

Mark McGwire 2Barry Bonds Follow throughAlbert Pujols 15

If a batter’s follow-through ends with his 2 arms and hands below his shoulders, at his waist, this could mean that he is rolling his back shoulder over too quickly, as sometimes results in solidly hit grounders, bouncing balls, or looping line-drives. The “follow-through” does not create the flight pattern of the ball, but merely accentuates the trajectory, if the ball has been correctly contacted by the swing of the bat.

…And Look at Them Continually…

Consistency of batting effectiveness (efficiency in striking a baseball) has never been more highly demonstrated than by Barry Bonds, in the 2001season, as well as in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Throughout his Major League career, accolades were heaped upon him for what seemed like a remarkable consistency for slugging the ball better than anyone else, at least in the 1990s. No one besides Mark McGwire (in 1998) positioned himself more majestically at the plate than Barry Bonds in 2001 (almost as well in 2002, 2003, and 2004). Except for an extra 25-30 pounds of muscle weight, Barry looked as he always had, confident and supremely equipped to handle any type of ball the pitcher could throw.

Barry Bonds Pirates 1992 (2)barry_bonds_1992_piratesBarry Bonds 3th

The “Art” of hitting a baseball certainly could be defined in the context of describing the ideal hitter– “He is one whose bat most consistently contacts the ball in a manner that facilitates a straight and ascending “line-drive.”(To hit the ball in any other manner would be to miss-hit it.)Barry Bonds 11Barry Bonds 17

…Or you’ll never carve them out in Grand and Noble Accomplishments!

No one in Baseball had a more scientifically correct style for hitting a baseball than Barry Bonds. His extra power, during his last 7 years, catapulted him to a higher level than had been previously thought possible. When he wasn’t quite so strong, the balls he hit were careening off the walls instead of sailing over the fences. Is there anyone else smart enough to figure out how to duplicate his technique? (And, if Baseball wanted to retain optimal fan interest, it would have behooved the Commissioner’s office to enact a rule that would have prevented any pitcher from intentionally “walking” a batter on 4 straight pitches. If they did, Barry Bonds would most likely have hit 100 Home Runs in a single season.)