George Costanza is a greatly misunderstood genius. Countless times has he admonished me on love, life, love life and most importantly, how to lie. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 100 times; his “look frustrated at work” trick has become my most well rounded skill and it’ll stick with me until the day I die.
George and I also have similar builds – short, fat and disgusting. I think that’s why I admire him so much. If I he didn’t get as much out of his talent as humanly possibly, there’d be no hope for a guy like me. I look up to him, and that’s just a fact.
So now that we know that George is responsible for shaping a troubled youth’s mind like me, but did you know he’s also responsible for shaping me as an athlete? Because he did.
I was a great baseball player. Two time letter winner at THE Wheaton Warrenville South HS and Division III Bullpen Catcher of the Year at North Central College. But it wasn’t until George introduced me to launch angle in the clip above where I learned about launch angle. He’s the reason that the New York Yankees are so analytically inclined and have turned scouting, hitting, biomechanics and baseball in general into a science.
“But WSD, I thought it’s better to hit the ball hard and on the ground and make the infield make a play! HARD AND ON THE GROUND AMIRITE!”
No you fucking dip shit, you’re not! The more one advances in baseball, the smaller chance a ground ball is booted by an infielder. So why would you train your body to swing in a manner which would be conducive to hitting the ball on the ground? Why not figure out a way to drive the ball in the air to gaps and over the fence? That’s better than beating it on the ground to short stop and hoping he has paddles for hands and fucks up right?
RIGHT. And George Costanza knew this years ago. He’s probably the reason that overrated slap hitter (whom also had paddles as hands) Derek Jeter is in the Hall of Fame.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “WSD what does this have to do with anything?”
Well I stewed all of this up this morning after waking up to this Seinfeld clip and subsequently seeing Eloy Jimenez take BP down in the Dominican Republic on the Sox prospects trip this week.
Obviously this is only BP but Eloy’s balance/torque/batspeed combo is absurd. Pair that with a special approach to hitting, and we have a superstar on tap. Here are back to back at bats from last July
Hanging breaking pitch, outer half, keep the hands back drive it oppo
Pitcher tries to sneak fastball on the outer half by him, hands back, drive it oppo…
A lot of young hitters are so hell bent on hitting fastballs by turning on them pull side that they throw all approach out the window. Not Eloy though. He takes what’s given to him and punishes baseballs whether they’re in/out or up/down. He’s a physical specimen at 6’4”, 215 pounds with excellent hand/eye coordination and body control, but his brain might be the most advanced ‘tool’ he possesses.
That, and the ability to one day hit 50 home runs in the launch pad that is Guaranteed Rate Field.
PS – yes, I have a MiLB package and watch minor league baseball games as much or more than MLB games. I have issues.