IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER !
” IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER ! ” – Yogi Berra
And let me quote a young slugger from Las Vegas who , at 23 years old , is one of only 3 left handed hitters to hit 40+ home runs in the American League by the age of 23 . He has joined the likes of Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Ken Griffey Jr. to accomplish such a feat . Pretty good company right there .
” When I was 8 years old , Mike was teaching me how to hit the ball to the TOP of the cage ( NOT the back ) by not dropping my shoulder ( I will clarify this in this article ) . It was more by backspinning the ball . With every coach I had besides Mike , they were teaching us to hit the ball on the ground to either the shortstop as a lefty , or the 2nd baseman as a righty . They still have that swing and a lot of those guys ( doing that ) are still in the minors and they are trying to change . But for me , I always had that loft. I kind of credit my career to Mike . We were at the beginning of this new era hitter . ”
– Joey Gallo Texas Rangers Slugger
And , of course , my Son Kris speaking about his father .
” My Dad got it early . Im sure if he wasn’t in the Red Sox organization with access to Ted Williams , I don’t know if he would be teaching this way . Or even at all . It’s so funny . Back then it was , ‘ Mike Bryant ? He doesn’t know what he’s doing . Now everybody is saying exactly what my Dad said .
– Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs 2 time All Star 3rd Baseman , MVP , and World Series Champion
Well . . . . . . . IT’S OVER ! Settled ! Done ! Balls hit in the air produce 125% more offense than balls hit on the ground . Balls in the air produce more hits . All kinds of them . Singles , doubles , triples , and home runs ! Are there any other kinds of hits ? And by a huge margin . If there are hitting instructors and coaches telling you to hit the ball on the ground , let me quote another slugging MVP 3rd baseman :
” . . . . . . . just tell them ” NO ! ”
– Josh Donaldson Toronto Blue Jays
Forgive me if I gloat a bit ! It is hard not to ! I remember a group conversation back in the day . The year was 2002 and my son Kris was selected to the Pecolle Little League 10U All – Star team . In between practice sessions waiting for my son Nicks 12U All – Star team to practice , we were having a discussion with some of the Dads and All – Star coaches . It was more of a debate . NO . . . . let me re-phrase . More of a downright argument that degenerated in to a testosterone laden ” you don’t know what you are talking about type of thing . ” The cast of characters participating in this donnybrook was interesting to say the least . Mark Cole , who’s son Taylor was a pitcher in the Blue Jays organization , Mark Sewald , who’s son Paul played with Kris at USD and reached the MLB as a pitcher for the NY Mets , and Craig Blair , who’s son Aaron reached the MLB as a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves . All three seemed to enjoy pushing my buttons and igniting my passion for hitting a baseball IN THE AIR ! Oh I heard much of the same old tired drivel like ” there is more than one way to hit ” and so on and so forth . Needless to say , we all looked like loud mouthed fools with of course me leading the pack in that department . I remember taking a parting shot at those three before I retreated to my bunker and it went something like this : ” OK . Go ahead and keep teaching your kids to hit the ball on the ground . Lets all meet back here in in about 15 years and we will see where our kids are at . ” That meeting never took place .
Well . . . . . . . . . . . They all seemed to have done well for themselves in that they all got a chance to realize their dream of playing in the MLB with two of them getting there . However , the one common thread is that they all ended up as . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PITCHERS ! . . . . . . . . Probably because they were better at getting hitters to hit the ball ON THE GROUND than they were as hitters trying to hit the ball IN THE AIR ! Hmmmmmnnnnnnnnn . . . . . . .