Baseball Magazine

Swing Down to the Ball

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Over the past several years of running this website, I have received a lot of very positive comments about my posts and videos.  In fact, just about all of them have been positive and I’m truly grateful for those who pass along their “thank you’s” and “well done’s.”  Some comments have not been so pleasant.  

Interestingly, the majority of the negative comments, emails, etc. have come from a single post called “Stay on top of the ball – Hitting.”  Basically, all the critics said the same thing – “This is garbage.  Hitters do not stay on top of the ball!”  After several more comments came in, I decided to explain myself further in this written post called “Hitters don’t stay on top of the ball.”  My critics still were not buying it.  

Oh, well.  You can’t please everyone.

You can imagine my delight when I looked at yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer sports section and saw this quote from Hall of Famer and Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg about Dominic Brown and his work with another Hall of Famer (Mike Schmidt) this spring … 

“(Dominic) Brown is working on staying level and swinging “down and through the baseball.” When he thinks about hitting home runs, his swing gets loopy, he said.”

Dominic Brown added by saying this … 

“The only time I get in trouble is when I’m a little under everything,” he said …. “When it’s right, it’s right. But when it’s not, you need a guy who has that nice downhill swing to get you back right, and Mike Schmidt has that.”

Another article that same day talked about how Jeff Francoeur is also in Phillies camp trying to resurrect his career.  Apparently, he is spending a lot of time with former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel who is considered by many to be one of the better hitting guys in the game.  Here’s another quote from Sandberg about Francoeur …

“He’s really buying into the simple approach that we’re talking about – line drives and swinging down at the baseball,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. 

My point in showing all of this is that even though good baseball people know full well that “swinging down at the ball” is not actually how batters hit a baseball, the phrase is still used quite often when teaching players how to hit.

That still may seem strange to some but it works.  If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be saying it.

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