Well, we’re coming in to the last few days of this camp. I gotta say I’m ready. I’m cooked. I’m ready to come home and see the family. And I think the kids are done too. I am still learning a lot from the other coaches though and I’ll share a couple of the little tidbits I’ve picked up in the last couple days. Bruce Hurst, the pitching coach, shared something that I had no idea about. I had always thought that when a pitcher gets into trouble, oftentimes his stride length was getting too long. Apparently Bruce has done some research and found through film and computer programs that the length of the stride should be equal or longer than the pitcher’s height. Interesting concept. I think the best pitching idea I’ve experienced comes from Guy Hansen, pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals during the mid 90’s. He found that every pitcher has a optimum time range (from the moment he starts his windup till the ball hits the catcher’s glove) that he falls into when he’s going good. He kept record of each person’s range and made sure that they stayed there. He found that most often when the pitcher is off, it was because he was rushing or going too slow.
The next thing I’ve learned at this camp is the “flat glove”. Now I’ve seen the flat glove before and used them myself as a training tool to improve my exchange. But Barry has his infielders here using them during every groundball session. And the unique thing that he has them doing is making them field the ball on their left side if possible and then using the flat glove to ricochet the grounder to their throwing hand. Even on backhands. Not easy to do, but they are all improving and are all starting to look very Latin in their actions. It’s fun to watch. Like I said, these gloves are great for teaching catchers good glove to hand exchange and concentration. I personally would start the first couple of weeks of every spring training using a no-break, pre 1960’s pancake glove to hone my receiving skills and make me concentrate. OK, all for now….until next time. Oh yeah, if anyone outside of my immediate family is reading this thing, don’t be afraid to let me know what you think. Suggestions, questions, comments would be greatly appreciated. Adios.