WHITESTONE, NY – A few years ago a pilot for a reality show that never made it was being filmed at Tampa’s Steinbrenner Field. The plot of the show was a bunch of amateur baseball players showing their skills in front of former Major Leaguers. The one that impressed the judges the most would be signed to a pro contract. I was the oldest one that participated as I held my own against guys that were three decades younger than me. Former players Bucky Dent, Wade Boggs, the late Gene Michael and Billy Connors were the evaluators. They kept it real and raw of what they were witnessing.
When it was my turn at bat, someone informed the Hall of Famer Boggs that I was over the age of fifty. Boggs paid closer attention to my swings and blurted out, “He really got a hold of that one,” when I hit a rope into the gap. Hearing the career .328 hitter say that added extra swag to my swing, and built up the confidence into my aging self. Just having Boggs watching me swing made me a better hitter.
Major League Baseball teams always made it a point to hire ex-players to show current players the tricks of the trade, until recently. N.Y. Yankees batting coach, Dillon Lawson, has zero major league hits on his resume. As a matter of fact, he has zero pro hits. His baseball playing days ended at the college level! In the zany world of MLB, this qualifies him as a hitting guru.
Lawson’s theories sound like this, “When we swing, we wanna swing at strikes, when we swing at strikes we’re likely to make more contact.” Can you believe that this is what he’s preaching to major league hitters? He continues, “When we make more contact we’re likely to hit the ball harder. When we make hard contact, if we can, we’d like to hit it over the infield.” Lawson also adds, “Hit strikes hard!”
All I got to say to that is… DUH!
They say this great game is all mental, and it doesn’t take a psychology major to come to the conclusion of who’ll be the better motivator, Wade Boggs or Dillon Lawson.
On any given day the Yankees lineup can score double digits. They are so loaded with ballers that it doesn’t take a genius to coach them. When I notice a bunch of established hitters, who are pioneers of the game, being rejected for these coaching positions. Then I hear that batting average and strikeouts don’t matter. That prompts two questions:
1) Where do I sign up for this?
2) Who the hell hires these guys that never appeared on a TOPPS card?