Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Walt Hriniak, Superstar

Baseball is a pretty simple game. In 140 years, the only bright players were Moe Berg & Ron Darling. The only person too stupid to play was Reuben Sierra, and they gave him 20 years to prove it.

So Riley, who was a baseball player for about 106 minutes

brought up Walt Hriniak, Star Hitting Coach today.

There are only 2 important things in a batting stance : Hold the bat back far enough that you don't pull it back even more when the pitch is released, and protect your jewels.

Clearly, Evans had these covered. So how does a hitting coach get famous? I'm thinking Hawthorne Effect #1. You're crazy enough to seem a mad scientist, you get the players to buy in, they clear their heads & watch the damn ball. That's all you need.

So why no more famous hitting coaches since? Things have prety much gone back to the pre-Hriniak model, where the coach is just a worn out ballpalyer who sits around, spits tobacco & tells the manager when you've developed a hitch. I think the main thing is the development of the serious manager. In the days of McNamara, being a manager was a pretty low stress occupation. Show up, don't pass out, keep things on an even keel. As Hawthorne II showed us, success is all about group dynamics, and with a bunch of farmboys that grew up playing the game, that was what worked.

Now the only ones who get to drink are the pitchers in the bullpen. (MacNamara tells us that that's an old tradition)

Me? I think hits come from Jobu.

Everything's cool until you drink Jobu's rum.
And then Riley mentioned magazine subscriptions. No! Not even in jest. I'll be with my best buds, Shelly & Jose.

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