Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
It Don't Mean a Thing...
2006-08-10 09:46
by Alex Belth

For everyone who is positively sick of analyzing Alex Rodriguez's head, Jeff Albert has a terrifc and informative analysis of Rodriguez's swing over at The Baseball Analysts. This one is a home run.

2006-08-10 10:05:54
1.   profound
On ESPN in the MLB/Yankees section there is a link:

Yanks Put Claim On Andruw
George King / New York Post

Im not an insider, so I cant read it, but thats Andruw Jones right? Does that mean Johnneys injury is serious?

2006-08-10 11:17:17
2.   Count Zero
Wow!!! Nice analysis there. Funny thing is you sort of intuitively could see that -- the feeling that he was "pulling off the ball" was there, but I couldn't really see it till he showed it in those clips with the markings.

Excellent link -- thanks, Alex!!!

2006-08-10 11:22:08
3.   Alvaro Espinoza
I sure noticed it. I've been jawing to friends all year about what happened to A-rod's power to right-center (in addition to other curious offensive tendencies). In the past, when he's been hot, he drives the ball unmercifully to the right side. For some reason(s), he seems to have turned into a pull hitter. And I've been shocked that it has gone largely unmentioned by the talking baseball heads to this point.
2006-08-10 11:25:43
4.   BobbyBaseBall
1 profound-

Here's the selection from the Post:

"According to several sources, the Yankees were one of four teams to put in a waiver claim on Braves center fielder Andruw Jones.

The Yankees had no spot for Jones, who isn't being dealt, but the move likely was made to make sure Jones didn't end up in Boston. He had to be dealt by Monday, when the 72-hour period closed."

It happened over the weekend, way before the Damon thing last night.

2006-08-10 11:26:39
5.   Shaun P
3 "And I've been shocked that it has gone largely unmentioned by the talking baseball heads to this point."

The cynic in me, Alvaro, thinks it knows why: it is boring. A-Rod's 'down' year is just due to a mechanical problem in his swing? Not because he lacks some intangible quality that Jeter and Papi have? Not because of his contract? Not because he's a soulless, heartless loser who always chokes in big situations?

The better story is usually the one that's repeated.

2006-08-10 11:28:56
6.   Travis

For any future similar "Insider Only" links, just go to the website of the newspaper of the cited article. It takes a little longer to find it, but it's free.

2006-08-10 11:46:29
7.   Sandman42
4 That didn't make sense to me. Isn't Boston ahead of New York in the waiver order?
2006-08-10 11:53:14
8.   mehmattski
7 Well, if Jones managed to pass through waivers without anyone claiming him, then the Braves would be free to trade him to any team. By making sure that at least one team claimed Jones, the Yankees ensured at least some control over a trade of Jones. However, if one of the 11 teams ahead of Boston also makes a claim, this essentially blocks Boston from dealing for Jones.

This is further complicated by the fact that Tampa is looking for revenge and reportedly put a waiver claim on every player the Red Sox added, making it nearly impossible for Boston to trade for Jones.

2006-08-10 11:58:22
9.   SF Yanks
I gotta say, I love that first video of A-Rods swing (the one with the big leg kick with Texas). It looks so smooth and powerful. Why can't he swing like that anymore?
2006-08-10 12:02:29
10.   mehmattski
From what I've seen on various specials regarding Don Mattingly, the Yanks' hitting coach is very thorough when it comes to analyzing video, so there's a chance that Donnie has noticed this and is trying to help Alex. Even so, we should really find some sort of e-mail for Mattingly and/or A-Rod to see if we can help. We are but lowly fans, but maybe if enough of us send the link, they'll notice!
2006-08-10 12:29:59
11.   tommyl
5 The realist in me says that ESPN and their ilk are way too lazy and stupid to figure this out. Who there has the ability to analyze a swing beyond some superficial dribble?

7 They weren't when he was placed on waivers. It was right before the Yankees took the AL East lead.

10 Here here! I've been thinking the same thing. I remember seeing him hit a towering shot to RF last year off the Sox. I can't remember seeing him to anything like that this year. He needs to get back to doing it. Anyone know how to do this?

What follows is a joking letter to him (though I do really want to bring this to their attention).

Dear Alex,

Big fan, but no I don't want an autograph. Several of us have noticed a problem with the weight transfer in your swing causing you to pull off the ball and lose a lot of opposite field power. Please see the attached link with video analysis. May you hit many more homeruns to right center.

2006-08-10 12:31:50
12.   tommyl
Oh, I know! Where's Peter Abraham's email? He's a beat reporter right? Someone tell him!
2006-08-10 13:35:10
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
"It Don't Mean a Thing..."

A masterstroke.

I hardly noticed the title at first glance but coming back, it struck me, "Of course, of course!"

The elipsis was the right touch.

You really have an uncanny knack for choosing perfect titles, Alex, resonant with poetry, pathos, and warm humor.

Subtle and pitch-perfect, always.

Hats off.

2006-08-10 14:13:11
14.   phee
What a great link/article Alex. Thanks for that. It is amazing to see his swing broken down like that. By the by A-Rod is completely locked in right now. He's not chasing pitches and is taking the ball up the middle. I excited about his last 2 months.
2006-08-10 14:13:58
15.   phee
I am*

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