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Friday, April 05, 2013

WaPo: MASN compares Bryce Harper and Babe Ruth


“We just thought it was pretty cool,” Santangelo said early in Thursday’s broadcast. “When you watch Babe Ruth’s swing on the left, watch his back foot come off the ground at contact. Now we’ll move over to Bryce Harper on the right-hand side, and we’ve seen this before – at contact, foot off the ground.
“They’re both hitting off a firm front side,” Santangelo continued. “It creates so much torque and power throughout the course of their swing that it’s almost impossible to keep that back foot on the ground. If you did, there’d be so much pressure on the hip it couldn’t take it. So guys that swing violently like that have to release the back side off the firm front side. And if you’ve ever watched Tiger Woods hit a driver, same kind of deal — his back foot comes off the ground, he creates so much club speed. Same with Bryce Harper.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:46 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awesome, babe ruth, bryce harper, nationals

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   1. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4405237)
An old article from Carlos Gomez which includes discussion of Ruth's swing and a couple full GIFs. Sure enough, that back foot is coming off the ground (or at least his toes are barely scraping the dirt and carrying no weight).
   2. jdennis Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4405261)
when i swing my front foot never moves and i just trick out my back foot. therefore, in little league i was the same as babe ruth, right?

honestly, they should let guys swing how they swing and stop trying to change them. my baseball "career" went down the tubes when a coach tried to change my swing. you just overthink everything, it slows way down, and you never make contact anymore, though the one time you do its a monumental tater. just put the damn bat on the ball however you want and see what happens i say.
   3. Dan Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4405262)
The strong frontside and attacking the ball certainly seem to be commonalities between Ruth's and Harper's swings, but the link in the article to a comparison of Harper and Mantle by MLB Network last year seemed like it showed a TON more similarities. And Harper (and his father) patterning Harper's swing after Mantle's makes a lot of sense. Both Harpers are HUGE Mantle fans; Bryce's #34 is a tribute to Mantle's 7 (3+4=7).
   4. jacjacatk Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4405267)
As in the other article on Harper that was posted recently, I'm not sure why this is surprising. A lot of MLB hitters (maybe even most) have their back toe off the ground, or at least unweighted, at the point of contact. As noted in the Santangelo quote, it's effectively necessary for this to happen to maximize power.

Comparing Ruth to his contemporaries would actually be interesting, and it wouldn't surprise me to find that he was pretty unique in this regard for his time.
   5. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4405268)
honestly, they should let guys swing how they swing and stop trying to change them. my baseball "career" went down the tubes when a coach tried to change my swing. you just overthink everything, it slows way down, and you never make contact anymore, though the one time you do its a monumental tater. just put the damn bat on the ball however you want and see what happens i say.

When Jose Bautista went from an average hitter to one of the top sluggers in the game almost literally overnight, it was supposedly because he changed his swing.

I'm still not quite sure just how much I really believe this, but that's the official story we've been told, so there you go.
   6. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4405275)
just put the damn bat on the ball however you want and see what happens i say.


A really good coach can tell the difference between a poor swing and an unorthodox swing.
   7. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4405281)
Its one thing for a coach to try and change someone's swing when their track record hasn't been great (like Bautista) but a successfull hitter, at any level, should be allowed to swing the way they swing.
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4405287)
There once was a hitter named Krantz,
Who had a most unusual stance.
But with the coach's suggestion,
His swing is now perfection.
But he can't hit for the seat of his pants.
   9. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4405330)
Bryce Harper is like Babe Ruth in that they both killed and ate whores.
   10. Depressoteric Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4405413)
You know Sam, it's taken me forever to realize that you took your current username from a post I made. I like.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 05, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4405629)
This seems like as good a thread as any to post an observation I've wanted to discuss for quite a while but haven't found a forum for: When I watch games on ESPN Classic from before right around the '90s (Clemens' 20K game in 1986 being the most recent example that comes to mind), the players seem just generally...un-athletic in comparison to today's players. Of course some of them were every bit as skilled as modern players, but watching the action as a whole doesn't leave that impression.

There's a lot less fluidity, a lot less grace, and a lot less economy of motion. Obviously this is a big generalization with numerous exceptions, but has anyone else noticed this? The batters' stances tended to be blocky, slightly closed, bent only a little at the waist and none at the knees. Their swings were mostly wrist, accompanied by a dive out over the plate and a bailing out of the back foot. Pitchers' motions, with the huge windups, were a lot of wildly flailing limbs followed by a tumble toward first base. The whole business just seems to have gotten so much more refined over the years. I know I'm not describing it all that well - it's hard to communicate with words - but does this resonate with anyone else, or do my eyes deceive me?
   12. Moeball Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4405765)
honestly, they should let guys swing how they swing and stop trying to change them. my baseball "career" went down the tubes when a coach tried to change my swing. you just overthink everything, it slows way down, and you never make contact anymore, though the one time you do its a monumental tater. just put the damn bat on the ball however you want and see what happens i say.


A really good coach can tell the difference between a poor swing and an unorthodox swing.


Sometimes funny stuff can happen in youth baseball. A co-worker of mine was worried because her son had a batting stance different from the other kids on his team and the coach was talking about having him change his swing. I asked her to describe his stance and she was talking about how he holds the bat way up high by his face instead of at the letters like the other kids. I thought "Hmm, this sounds familiar." So I showed her this photo and asked "does his stance look like this?" And she said "YES! THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!" I smiled and told her not to worry and to tell the coach to leave the kid alone. He'll be just fine. She said she would talk to the coach as they had a game that evening. The next day she came in to work all excited because her son had hit his very first home run the previous evening, a shot hit so hard it cleared the fence and went down into the canyon. I just laughed and told her that's how legends begin...

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