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  • Sheffield

    A friend of mine said that Gary Sheffield has a cue, like Schmidt, to try and back spin the ball off the infield grass. Are these 2 guys rare cases of being able to use that "cue" and not chop the ball, or is there some validity to their thinking, that triggers something else to happen correctly? People have often said that if Sheffield would change his swing plane slightly that he could hit 45-50 Hr's not the 30-35 we are used to seeing. But still, to be able to hit 35+ jacks he's got to be doing something right.

    Pictures and or video's of Sheffs' swing would be great.

  • #2
    cues vs. reality

    Seems like it's just another cue which doesn't match reality. And another example of why using cues or form as opposed to function when trying to understand what is actually happening in a swing can be problematic.

    Here's Sheffield trying to backspin the ball off the infield grass:

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jsiggy
      Seems like it's just another cue which doesn't match reality. And another example of why using cues or form as opposed to function when trying to understand what is actually happening in a swing can be problematic.

      Here's Sheffield trying to backspin the ball off the infield grass:


      Well there you have it. The thing I notice now after seeing Steve is what the front arm does just prior to swing launch. He does his little bat waggle and immediately before launching his front arm comes up into plane, very similar to B. Bonds.

      Sig, do you have any side clips of him?

      Comment


      • #4
        You're baiting us, aren't you HG?

        Interesting question. Once again, I'm speculating somewhat here, but I suspect that a lot of MLB hitters find the "swing down" or "stay on top of the ball" cues helpful in mitigating against bat drag ... especially those who set their "box" (and therefore "swing plane") and connect the bat to their rear shoulder as or after their rotation begins.

        This movement causes the front elbow to rise and the rear elbow to drop. The fact that these two movements happen late - more or less at the same time their rotation initiates - makes them susceptible to "elbow slotting," bat drag and the tendency to drop the bat head under the flight of the pitch.

        The notion of "swinging down - staying on top of the ball" prompts the body to instictively adjust/compensate so that their method of setting the box and efficiently connecting bat to the rear shoulder (in which front elbow is raised and back elbow dropped) does not result in inefficient movements connected to "elbow slotting and "weather vaning."
        Last edited by fungo22; 02-20-2006, 10:06 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          The cue is probably just telling himself to stay down through the ball. In that clip, the ball is clearly throw by a lefthander and it's actually in a decent location, middle away. Certainly a ball that should not be pulled for a dinger. Most hitters would probably roll over that pitch if they tried to pull it, grounding weakly to short. Shef seems to make a slight adjustment with his hands (yes I said it) to get down through the ball, creating ideal backspin. Arod does pretty much the same thing. Just my 2cents.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fungo22
            Interesting question. Once again, I'm speculating somewhat here, but I suspect that a lot of MLB hitters find the "swing down" or "stay on top of the ball" cues helpful in mitigating against bat drag ... especially those who set their "box" (and therefore "swing plane") and connect the bat to their rear shoulder as or after their rotation begins.

            This movement causes the front elbow to rise and the rear elbow to drop. The fact that these two movements happen late - more or less at the same time their rotation initiates - makes them susceptible to "elbow slotting," bat drag and the tendency to drop the bat head under the flight of the pitch.

            The notion of "swinging down - staying on top of the ball" prompts the body to instictively adjust/compensate so that their method of setting the box and efficiently connecting bat to the rear shoulder (in which front elbow is raised and back elbow dropped) does not result in inefficient movements connected to "elbow slotting and "weather vaning."

            No baiting here, just observing. I mean it appears to me that Sheffield has much more "down" in his swing that say V. Guerrero or K. Griffey. No?

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=Sultan_1895-1948]
              The cue is probably just telling himself to stay down through the ball.
              I think that is precisely what he is trying to do.

              Shef seems to make a slight adjustment with his hands (yes I said it) to get down through the ball, creating ideal backspin. Arod does pretty much the same thing. Just my 2cents.
              I've noticed this about him that he really tried to stay down through it.. His swing seems very similar to Hank Aaron. Thoughts?

              Are these the angles you guys are seeing in this swing? Or am I off? The shoulders and the bat are suppose to line up, correct?
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=hiddengem]
                Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948

                I think that is precisely what he is trying to do.



                I've noticed this about him that he really tried to stay down through it.. His swing seems very similar to Hank Aaron. Thoughts?

                Are these the angles you guys are seeing in this swing? Or am I off? The shoulders and the bat are suppose to line up, correct?
                Can't go frame by frame on it. For some reason it won't save as a GIF.

                From that spot you froze on HG, hitters will most always get on top of that ball. For him to get backspin the way he does, his bat path needs to continue down through the ball, in a slicing motion. Of course it all depends on timing too...even a split second later on that and it IS a groundball.

                HG, do you see anything unusual about his back elbow, that is allowing him to slice and get down through the way he does?

                Not sure about Hank. The few swings I've seen of him reminded me of Ellis Burks a little; a wristy, more stand up type hitter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                  From that spot you froze on HG, hitters will most always get on top of that ball. For him to get backspin the way he does, his bat path needs to continue down through the ball, in a slicing motion. HG, do you see anything unusual about his back elbow, that is allowing him to slice and get down through the way he does?
                  I agree, but what I'm saying is that I think he is in small company, when referring to hitters that hit this way.
                  Not sure about Hank.
                  Still not sure?
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is what I'm more used to seeing, and i think the others around here will agree.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by hiddengem; 02-21-2006, 12:14 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                      The cue is probably just telling himself to stay down through the ball.
                      I don't know what this means or what relevance it has to the swing we are looking at. What does "staying down through the ball" have to do with trying to impart backspin on it in the context of what Sheffield is actually doing?

                      Sheffield is able to "stay down on" and pull the pitch and not roll over his top hand not because of anything resembling a downward swing path but by significant tilt of his torso. Look at HG's still frame with the angles drawn on it. Sheffield is tilted so far that he has to adjust (raise) his natural swing plane/path with his hands/arms so that it is higher than one perpendicular to his spine. In other words, his actual method of "staying down through the ball" has nothing to do with his cue of trying to "backspin the ball."

                      I'm not sure why Sheffield uses (or thinks he uses) the cue in question. My speculation was what the cue actually accomplishes (avoiding ills associated with elbow slotting). I don't think what the cue actually accomplishes has anything to do with "staying down through the ball." He accomplishes this with efficient posture.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Sheffields swing is an extreme study in what I wrote about for a while. He is doing what somebody called the " hammer-lock drill. He throws the bat tip to 2B working the bottom hand under the top as he strides. He IS then accelerating the barrel back to the catcher as he gets back on plane and by the hand torque secondary to the lead elbow moving up and rear slotting.

                        He is exhibiting the ultimate CHP that matches his hip turn

                        Ruth, Bagwell. Piazza Sosa and host of others do a "light" version of this. It is advanced hand action that gets the barrel a running start before it enters the momentum plane of the shoulders and it does allow the hips to get ahead of the shoulders by delaying the upper body " Sheffields own words".

                        This was " foo- foo ed because it did not fit anywhere in the P-C-R system. In fairness, not sure it is a teach

                        CLemente exhibits a low finish on a high pitch. In the catcher view I find it very interesting to see his "lead elbow" fly back in the follow through behind his body and bent. I tried that and it is difficult. I think you will see that in Aarons clips with his "hammering top hand low finish " too

                        http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...t=38703&page=3

                        Bottom of thread


                        I will always believe that the " swing down" cues have more to do with not dropping the rear shoulder until weight transfer

                        see #8 & #9 cabrera http://imageevent.com/siggy/hitting/pro

                        See the elbow tip at the highest point when his front foot plants accepts weight. He might have the sense / feel that he can swing down from here but the down swing is NOT HIS GOAL
                        Last edited by swingbuster; 02-21-2006, 04:08 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by swingbuster
                          I will always believe...
                          ...now there is an open kind of guy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by swingbuster

                            Ruth, Bagwell. Piazza Sosa and host of others do a "light" version of this. It is advanced hand action that gets the barrel a running start before it enters the momentum plane of the shoulders and it does allow the hips to get ahead of the shoulders by delaying the upper body " Sheffields own words".

                            This was " foo- foo ed because it did not fit anywhere in the P-C-R system. In fairness, not sure it is a teach

                            I will always believe that the " swing down" cues have more to do with not dropping the rear shoulder until weight transfer
                            Whatever else this bat action may do it seems to me it almost forces the bottom hand arm to get in the swing plane.

                            As for dropping the rear shoulder before or after, I don't think of the rear shoulder dropping at all. I think of it as rotating on the swing plane. If the swing plane is not on a shoulder high pitch, the swing plane is going to be tilted and as a result the back shoulder will move down but that is a result not something to think about IMO.

                            As for swinging down to get backspin, I think telling this cue to a kid is a very bad idea. I know any given cue any given day with any given kid...but I'll find a different way to fix a problem and I will NOT ever mention this cue.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Whatever else this bat action may do it seems to me it almost forces the bottom hand arm to get in the swing plane.
                              Agreed




                              As for dropping the rear shoulder before or after, I don't think of the rear shoulder dropping at all. I think of it as rotating on the swing plane. If the swing plane is not on a shoulder high pitch, the swing plane is going to be tilted and as a result the back shoulder will move down but that is a result not something to think about IMO.
                              Agreed , but kids are told to swing level because they rotate their shoulders before front foot plant. Real life issues to be resolved in youth ball

                              As for swinging down to get backspin, I think telling this cue to a kid is a very bad idea. I know any given cue any given day with any given kid...but I'll find a different way to fix a problem and I will NOT ever mention this cue.
                              I have never used swing down and I agree it would likely be a disaster

                              Comment

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