Wednesday, April 08, 2009

So That's What A Baseball Preview Issue Is Supposed To Look Like

Clockwise from top left: Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols

Still smarting from the lack of a Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue, I am delighted to post about cover-feature Manny Ramirez, whose cover story "Welcome to Mannywood" had some interesting insight into what a natural Ramirez is as a hitter, both gifted, as well as hard-working and analytic:

When Manny talks to mere mortal hitters, his advice can be as frustrating as it is enlightening. "When I was playing with him in Cleveland," says Branyan, "Manny was trying to help me, and he asked, 'Why do you swing at inside fastballs when you can't hit them?' I'm thinking, Because I'm geared up, and by the time I realize it's an inside fastball, it's too late to stop. And Manny would say, like it was easy, 'I don't swing at that pitch unless I've got two strikes. And then I just try to foul it off.' So, basically, he's playing a different game."

One time, Ramírez laid it all out for Branyan, gave him the whole hitting equation. "He told me that he put 70 percent of his weight on his back foot and 40 percent of his weight on his front foot. And even though I knew the numbers didn't add up, I thought for a second, I've got to try that."

Jeff Brantley's article is worth a read. The print edition also has a Matt Meyers sidebar that shows Andre Ethier's OBP rose from .350 to .505 when being backed (hitting before) Ramirez in the lineup; Jeff Kent's rose from .308 to .412. But the sidebar goes on to say the small sample sizes make this questionable. Yeah, right.

As for that missing and undelivered SI issue? I'm resigned that it's not coming.

photo courtesy RightView Pro.


Damon said...

so why do we have hudson batting in front of manny then