Monthly Archives: April 2015

Anatomy of Reaction: Timeline to Disaster!

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Anatomy of Reaction: Timeline to Disaster


John F. Paciorek

There is a runner on first base. The batter hits a hot shot that bounces off the heel of the pitcher. The ball ricochets toward the short-stop position. Since the short-stop instinctively moved toward 2nd base on the initial batter contact, an alert 3rd base-man fields the ball and attempts a quick but forceless, reverse under-hand toss to the short-stop who is standing for an inordinate amount of time on 2nd base, waiting apprehensively for the arrival of the ball.

As the play is transpiring, a hustling, aggressive runner is speedily running from first to second base. Upon seeing the ball eventually being fielded, his training and athletic instincts demands of him an attempt to break up what could be a double-play. However, the only aspect difficult to immediately calculate is a time-differential not customarily applied to the now given situation.

Because a runner usually decides to take out the fielder after or as the ball is being caught in preparation to be thrown, this particular runner doesn’t calculate correctly the precise time in which to slide. KCvsAs7The consequence of his ill-timing  is disastrous to the fielder, potentially hazardous to the runner/slider, and enormously disastrous to the sequence of events that follow during this game, and the games that follow.

After the slide, and the effect it has on the now injured short-stop, the runner initially exhibits genuine concern for the fielder. But the over-zealous attention, brought on by the obviously injured fielder’s teammates and the umpire, presents a futility to his plea for reconciliation, which no one is willing to take to heart.

As the umpire somewhat forcefully escorts the “defendant” off the field, all non-essential players continue a verbal barrage of condemnation and justification  toward each other, a solution harmonious to ultimate reconciliation being far removed from present status. K.C. vs A's 1Baseball, at its Finest!? NO!

Nothing more belligerent occurred during that game, but “Karma” seemed to have interceded on behalf of the team suffering the “fallen player”. Last moment heroics portended a “come-from-behind” victory KCvsAs4 . You would have thought that the  baseball “gods” would have been appeased by the fortuitous outcome for those beleaguered warriors. But NOOOO! The worst was yet to come.

The pitcher of revenge-seeking team was either instructed, or took it upon himself, to rectify his teammate’s misfortune, and struck the “culprit” KCvsAs 5of the opposing team with a 95 MPH fast-ball, for which he was immediately ejected (without warning)KCvsAS6. Then the “Bean-ball” war began, and carried onto the next day’s ballgame. What a blatant display of unsportsmanship, combined with lack of respect, human dignity, and an unimaginable demonstration of bestial ferocity! All because of a simple misappropriation of logistical intent! And, of course, the team that started that day’s fracas lost the game (when will “idiots” learn – “Karma don’t do dat”). (And the following game ended the same way  KC vs A's 2KCvsAs 8 Karma again prevailing.)

If the runner initially had more reasonably assessed the timing of sequential action, he would have discerned that his own speed would have garnered a “safe” response from the umpire had he merely extended his leg and foot to the basesliding 7, instead of ramming the shortstop with his entire body. As it was, he still beat the throw with his incorrect and inappropriate slide, the fact of which went unnoticed by the umpire because of his hyper- concern for what transpired in the aftermath. Everyone involved was at-fault, therefore everyone was to blame, and there-after everyone should have been “forgiven”. They were all trying to do their jobs to extreme heights.

At the most passionate of moments, the runner was thinking, “what do I do to help my team the most?” The short-stop, out of position, but closer to the bag than the second baseman alertly thinks, “the time-frames are cutting it close to impending doom, but I need to help my team”. The 3rd baseman’s lunge with extended glove gave no mechanical advantage to his effort to relay the ball with adequate force and speed, but “it’s my last ditch effort; what the hell”. And the umpire, no doubt appalled by the ferocity of the slide, and it’s immediate effect, made no call on the play, but hastily attended to the victim while incorrectly removing the runner (who was actually safe) from the field of play, intuitively recognizing the ramifications that were sure to follow.

Who was at fault? No one! Who is to blame? Everyone who participated in the action of that specific play! But all of them was/is entitled the right of forgiveness! But the debacle that followed is inexcusable, especially when you think of the motive behind the actions of all those players who participated in that inexplicable play – to WIN, with honest effort! The behavior that followed can never be forgiven, because it should not,  and would not, ever present itself if M.L.B. would enact a new rule that would make it virtually impossible for a pitcher, manager, team, or Organization to seek retaliation for anything that occurs during the course of the game. The Rule would state that: “If any pitched ball that could be assessed at optimum, or near optimum, speed should hit a batter, that batter would be allotted 2 bases (not one)”.

This simple rule would satisfy those teams and managers, as well as players themselves who suffer the pain and indignity of their opponents’ justification that they were merely pitching inside, and the ball got away. KCvsAs3That would’ve been fine if the victim and his team didn’t suffer the consequence of the disabled list and rehabilitation, especially to a “star” player. Nor would pitchers feel the obligation to “protect” their own players! The ultimate consequence to that pitcher or team whose propensity to throw recklessly “inside” is the uncompromising prospect of putting a runner immediately into scoring position, not to mention the beneficence to those runners already on base. Only the most selfish, arrogant, and probably non-contending teams would consider such flagrant dis-concern for winning. ( See a previous article, on my blog, dated March 19, 2015.)

Does Major-League Baseball truly want to stop the violent behavior that occurs almost always after a batter has been hit by a speedily pitched ball, or is IT merely giving “lip-service” to attempt to placate those fans who are repulsed by that barbaric tendency of most pitchers to stoically disregard the “well-being” and possible “livelihoods” of players whose healthy bodies are a requirement to continue in the game they (also) love to play (effectively)? There never was a good excuse to tolerate the abuse, and now there is absolutely no excuse for not obliterating its use in Major League Baseball.mean baseball face

Open Letter to Josh Hamilton – Somewhere in Houston

To Josh Hamilton, “Your success as a man supersedes your success as a ball-player, but the wholeness you expect of yourself is incorporated in the “balance” you establish in these two important areas of your life.” John Paciorek


“A good hitter is not merely one who makes solid contact with the ball. But rather, he is a batter whose body mechanics facilitate the action of the swinging bat to contact and continue through the ball at an angle that provides for a straight (non-hooking or slicing) and ascending line-drive. The ‘Art’ of hitting a baseball could certainly be defined in the context of describing the ideal hitter—‘He is one whose bat most consistently contacts and drives through 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.)”

The preceding paragraph is an excerpt from my Book, The Principle of Baseball, and All There is to Know about Hitting. My frustration (as well as that of all ardent fans) with the apparent lack of competence that has infiltrated the mind and batting technique of one of the most talented “Baseball-Players” in the Baseball community has prompted me to write this letter in hopes of somehow reaching the eyes of either this player, his agent (or familyJosh Hamilton 1), or the highest echelons of the organization whom this player represents.

No one seems to be able to help him out of his current and on-going “funk”. He seems to think that by just continuing as he is doing will work out his particular problem naturally without any “scientific-help” from a knowledgeable “expert” on the subjects (both physical and meta-physical). I have written many essays on the “Art” and “Science” of hitting a baseball, many of which are included in my book, previously mentioned. The following is an excerpt from my essay, “The Scientific-Artistry of Hitting a Baseball:


“Is the act of hitting a baseball efficiently an “Art’ or a ‘Science’, neither, or both? Those who demonstrate a high degree of talent in any of the various art forms could easily be described as ‘artists’. There is adequate evidence to indicate that many or most good artists (of which Batters are included) have a ‘natural’ propensity toward the artisanship in which they are engaged. But their optimal level of proficiency is most often derived from the degree to which they accumulate enhanced understanding by means of scientific examination of all aspects of their chosen profession. Therefore, hitting a baseball most effectively would have to be construed as both an ‘Art and a Science’.

In professional Baseball, to be the best hitter you can be, you must apply science to your natural artistry or you will never achieve mastery over the elements (mental and physical) that have superimposed a phenomenal limitation upon your highest expectations. Those outstanding physical athletes who make it to the ‘Show’, but eventually find themselves languishing  in mediocrity, are typically the very prospects who could become stellar bats-men if they would engage a scientific-examination conducive to complementing their artistic predisposition. And they, who are performing at the prevailing ‘high’ standard of Major-League batting proficiency, could be setting new and higher criteria, if a more pronounced attentiveness to scientific inquiry were investigated for their optimal development.”

Josh Hamilton has reached a point in his illustrious career where intelligent pitchers have seen him enough to know his “margins for error” and can successfully circumvent his “natural-artistic” strong-points to wreak havoc on his phenomenal exhibition. Although he is each still physically capable of demonstrating his former prowess (with the correct mental regimine), he must now make certain adaptations of which neither he nor his “instructional-gurus” seem to be aware or willing to apply.

At the completion of his current shoulder and drug rehabilitation program, I would like to offer my service in the form of a simple consultation. He can contact me personally, or simply refer to my Book and website, Being a former professional ball-player I am aware of the singular reluctance of a “transforming super-star” to heed the advice of anyone outside his own sphere of influence. However, a meeting “of the minds” might have the effect of reaffirming a sense of confidence that seems momentarily lost to him who would regain his former high status, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and professionally.

When scientific principles are universally understood, every true sports enthusiast will be his own diagnostician, and Truth will be the universal panacea. Principles are not rigid, oppressive rules designed to limit or restrict individual creativity or expression, but rather to enhance them. They are foundational cornerstones on which to construct exemplary forms and visible expressions of excellence. To do the best you can do is not only determined by the enthusiasm and natural ability you seem to have been afforded, but also by taking advantage of the natural laws which govern the dynamics involved in the activities with which you find yourself engaged.


To “believe assuredly” is to have absolute faith in a proven principle. On the human level it’s hard to find an “Absolute” belief for which to have absolute-faith. The True consciousness, in all of us, can discern the correct path to take, the right doctrine to espouse, and the most plausibly scientific way to hit a baseball. The scientific principle of hitting a baseball is not going to secure a successful hitting application. But a ball player with faith in the “perfect principle”, and the patience and courage to live by, and practice it unflinchingly, has the best chance to accomplish his goal of being a “Prime Major-League Hitter” and a positive contributor to himself, his family, and society.J. hamilton2

The rules are simple and orderly. To abide by them and commit them to proper interpretation are what seem to be difficult, especially to those who prefer to act on their own fallible human instincts instead of a sound basic principle. A prominent, innovative 19th century pragmatist made this statement for our consideration, “The higher false knowledge builds on the basis of evidence obtained from the physical senses, the more confusion ensues and the more certain is the downfall of its structure”.

There are many ball players who could benefit from this practical instruction, but hopefully this chosen one would reap his just rewards as soon as he makes my acquaintance. Here’s hoping for a quick return to normalcy for one of my favorite players and one of my favorite Teams.

Sincerely submitted,

John F. Paciorek – Former M.L.B. player with Houston Colt 45s – Holder of Highest Lifetime B.A (1.000), Highest O.B.P. (1.000), Highest Sl.P., Highest Fielding % in M.L.B. History – And the subject of a new Book by Steven Wagner, entitled, Perfect…