Baseball Basics

Reyes was Wrong

Jose Reyes‘ baserunning gaffe from Friday night’s game was exactly that: a gaffe. Meaning, a blunder, or a foolish mistake. It doesn’t matter that Bob Ojeda was a former MLBer and he supported this blunder, because there are former MLBers who, if you asked them, would say it was a dumb move. And it doesn’t […]

Baseball Basics

Davey Lopes On Head-First Sliding

With all the ballyhoo about Jose Reyes’ headfirst slide into third last night and the ensuing discussion about whether it’s safer / smarter / faster to slide head- or feet-first, here are some interesting points. First, a mechanical engineer came to the conclusion that sliding head-first was faster. Though, other researchers — including a physicist […]

Baseball Basics
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Wally Knows Keystone Coverage

This is elementary, but useful for kids and amateur coaches. Wally Backman explains how middle infielders decide who is going to cover second base in a stealing situation and how that decision is communicated.

Baseball Basics, WallyBall

What’s Wrong with Jose Reyes?

If it were still April, the “shaking off the rust” excuse would still apply to Jose Reyes. However, we’re now getting into mid-May, and Reyes is floundering with a .229 batting average and a .281 OBP. Those certainly are not the numbers you’d expect from the best offensive player on your team — a.k.a. the […]

Baseball Basics, Mets Hitting, Opinion and Analysis

Josh Thole’s Catching Stance

RED FLAG ALERT! Take a look at the above photo, taken in Port St. Lucie from yesterday’s intrasquad game by Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog. It’s Josh Thole in his “runners on” catching stance. Notice the flat back, weight forward on the balls of the feet (and off the heels), arms extended out in front. It’s […]

2010 Spring Training, Baseball Basics

Igarashi Wants to Throw 100 MPH

Newly signed import Ryota Igarashi is the owner of the fastest ball thrown in Japan, a 98-MPH heater. However, his goal is to hit triple digits, and he believes the harder clay mounds in the USA will give him that opportunity (do they play on sand in Japan?). From Yakyubaka.com: Ryota Igarashi is apparently interested […]

09-10 Offseason, Baseball Basics

Ron Swoboda on Outfield Play

Before Endy Chavez, “The Catch” in Mets history referred to the diving snare made by Ron Swoboda in the 1969 World Series. I had the great pleasure of talking to Ron about that catch and how he turned himself — through hard work, pride, and dedication — into a Major League outfielder capable of making […]

Baseball Basics

Ryota Igarashi: Mechanical Evaluation

The Mets and Ryota Igarashi have reached an agreement on a two-year deal. The 30-year-old Japanese hurler is expected to compete for the setup role in front of Francisco Rodriguez. I’ve never seen him pitch (other than the video below) and therefore cannot comment on his skillset or demeanor. However, Patrick Newman of the outstanding […]

09-10 Offseason, Baseball Basics

Reese Havens: Swing Evaluation

The 22nd pick of the 2008 draft — shortstop Reese Havens — has quickly emerged as one of the Mets’ top prospects. He is a strong all-around player, both in terms of talent and sound fundamentals, and has the “makeup” that scouts adore. Recently, the Mets decided to move him from his natural shortstop position […]

Baseball Basics

Listen To a Pro Baseball Scout

What exactly does a pro baseball scout look for when evaluating a ballplayer? What kinds of things does a scout consider, in addition to raw baseball skills? How can an amateur ballplayer attract the interest of a pro scout? Find out by listenting to an interview I did with Tyrone Brooks, a professional baseball scout […]

Baseball Basics
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Podcast with a Pro On Pitching

Do you know what LHP is the all-time leader with the fewest walks per 9 innings since 1900? Hint: it’s not Johan Santana. A few weeks ago I had a conversation on pitching with the lefthanded pitcher with the best control in MLB history —

Baseball Basics

Can the Mets Use a Mental Coach?

If you are a Mets fan, you are all-too-familiar with: – Mike Pelfrey’s “yips” – Oliver Perez’s “Jekyll and Hyde” routine – Frequent mental lapses on the bases and in the field – Team-wide choking that led to late-season collapses in 2007 and 2008 – Finger-pointing and under-the-bus throwing by players These issues were running […]

Baseball Basics, Shea What?
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David Wright is Unorthodox?

At first I thought this was the reason Wright played on the high holy day of Yom Kippur. Then I realized I had read the quote too quickly, and also realized Wright isn’t Jewish (though he and many Mets had plenty to atone for). Jerry Manuel had this to say about David Wright’s problems at […]

Baseball Basics, Manuel Being Manuel, Shea What?

Fernandog Revisited

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but wins don’t necessarily make me feel wonderful about a ballclub. For me, the process is just as, if not more, important as the result. Do not read on unless you have a good 5-10 minutes of time to waste — this is a long one.

Baseball Basics
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Basics: Bunting

While commenting on a replay of Oliver Perez dropping a beautiful sacrifice bunt in the third inning, Ron Darling brought up a fundamental that I don’t necessarily agree with. Darling said that you should hold the bat at chest level, and if the ball is above it, you let the ball go because it will […]

Baseball Basics