The Mystery of Hitting

It seems crazy that professional baseball players can go so deep into slumps. You’ve been playing all your life. You know how to hit. Then suddenly you can’t. It’s not like the game has changed. It’s the same game. But somehow you’re not the same.

How does that happen?

​I’ve been asked that question more than a few times during this bad stretch. I’ve asked myself that question a lot. I think it’s like handwriting. You know how to make your letters, right? You’ve been writing your whole life. But then sometimes maybe your hand gets tired or your brain is not sending all the right messages to your fingers, and you start writing different. The letters aren’t as neat and straight.

​So you have to clear your mind and get your focus and sharpness back. I’m in that process. It’s been hard mentally. It’s been on my mind so much — when I go to bed, when I get up in the morning.I come to the park every day and just try to figure out why it’s different from two months ago when I was hitting well and playing looser.

I feel much better since our team meeting the other day. I won’t go into the details of the meeting because that kind of stuff needs to stay private among the players and coaches. But I feel calmer and more relaxed. It was a reminder of how much support you have from your teammates and all the coaches.

​That support is so important when you’re having a rough time. A month or so ago, Hunter was struggling. He was hitting the ball right at people and striking out and not finding the hole. I saw him fighting himself. I went to him one day and said, “You just need to let it go. Have fun. Start a new season.’’

A couple of days ago, he came to me and said, “Man, I really appreciate what you did for me and I’m going to try to do the same thing for you.’’ So we had a good talk and I can’t tell you how great it is to have guys like that to pick you up when you need it.

​I’m not going to make huge changes to my mechanics at the plate to try to get back on track. The way I swing the bat, that’s me. That’s who I am. I know I can hit. But I knew I had to do something. So I got a lighter bat. I think my shoulders were getting tired a little bit, so my swing hasn’t been as compact as it could be. A lighter bat would help me have more control.

Yesterday the lighter bat arrived – it’s 31 ounces compared to the 31 ½-  and 32-ounce bats I’ve been using. I used it for the first time and hit the ball really well twice. (One line drive was caught, the other went into left field for a single.)

​Tomorrow is my son’s third birthday, so I’m looking forward to that. We’re bringing a birthday cake to the family room so he can celebrate with the other kids. Then we’ll go to a park after the game to celebrate some more. I can’t believe how quickly he’s growing up.

     

Here’s a photo of him pitching to me in the dugout. Notice the leg kick!

Thanks for coming out the games. Giants fans are amazing. You support us no matter what. Believe me, we are working so hard to get our hitting back on track to support the great pitching we’ve been getting. We know we’re a much better team than we’ve been showing, and we’re going to keep battling to the last game of the season.

27 Comments

Your son is is so cute! He is adorable.

Gregor! What can I say? I see you guys out trying and so little is working for you. It just breaks my heart. In games like this one today with Z on the mound yeah nothing went right. I know you guys are better than this and everything is just so out of sync. I’m just really sorry for you guys having to endure this season. You’ve tried so hard, still proud of the way you guys have worked at trying to be better, just sad that not much have worked for very long in the past couple of months.

Congrats on finding your groove at the plate. You guys have been fun to watch on this last road trip. Hopefully the offensive momentum will keep going. I still love my boys of summer whether in first place or last. GO GIANTS!

Gigantes for life…arriba peloteros latinos espero que la magia regrese .tiburon blanco mente positiva no importa si pierden o ganen sos gigantes for life.

We love you guys so much and baseball connects us to a great bunch of guys, Life is Good! Happy Birthday to your son!

Gregor, You have such a wonderful spirit and attitude. Hang in there!!

Thank you so very much for posting. Win or lose the fans continue to support you and the team! Hang in there, as there is still a lot of baseball left.

In your next blog can you write a little about how you spent the all star break? We love hearing about your lives outside of baseball too. :) thanks!

You’re a great dad, Gregor. What sweet photos– he’s a cutie. Don’t let life get you down…even when things are “terrible” we always have something to be grateful for, and get to choose, in a sense, how much we suffer in difficult situations. I always enjoy watching you all play, no matter what. What can I say? The team “had me at hello” : ) Have a great rest of the season!

Thank you for sharing Gregor. Enjoy watching you play win or lose. You have to take good with the bad and each and every player on this team has given me memories I will cherish always.

Happy Birthday to your little boy !!
Thank you & all the Giants players/coaches for knowing this is baseball and that your record doesn’t reflect the awesome people that you guys are. Stay loose and enjoy playing, Win or Lose, I’m a SF Giants fan for life !!!

Hitting, is enegry, timing, vision, and muscle memory. If anyone of these are not in tune with the rest a slump ensues. Bat weight plays into it two ways, length and static weight. It may take the same amount of energy to get a bat around by using a lighter bat or a shorter bat. The radius, when lessened, given the same time to complete the swing may take less energy than reducing the static weight.
Swing to hard and muscles tense up eyes tend to squint and the head tends to follow the shoulders, when that happens the head comes off the ball or and the lead shoulder flies open.
A ball traveling at 75 miles per hr is tracked by the batters eye and he see’s it as to be a strike and begins his swing. The eyes are tracking it’s path and the hands are bring the bat to the point of contact but the ball snaps downward 20 feet from the plate to a lower point of contact. The swing already started and tracked changes it track so the path of the bat has to be altered mid swing, the heavier the bat the harder it is to alter it’s track to the ball.
One aspect of hitting, there are many many and that is why there are a limited amount of people who can play at this level,
Baseball of all the sports is a deep thinking mans game, you don’t see the same level of intelect in basketball or football on the average. I know that is going to stir a bee hive of contraversy but look at the misfits in each and you will see few in baseball..

You’re on a wild streak, now, Gregor! Your article/blog appeals to baseball fans’ unexplainable relationships to the game. It – and you – is/are indescribable. Even in Sweden, we’re rooting for you!

Win or lose, I applaud you and the rest of your Giants teammates for holding your heads up high. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not superhuman but human like everyone else. We all have our ups and downs. The important thing is to hang on to your positive attitude. Thank you for continuing to keep us posted on your blog about your personal feelings and your interaction with the others. Your honesty endears yourself to your fans even more. We will continue to believe in you and the team if you promise to continue believing in yourselves.

You’re awesome, Gregor. Thanks

Muchas gracias mi amigo!
Dios esta contigo

What a cool story! Always knew our guys had big hearts…this proves it! I’ll take this team over any other because they care so much! Gotta love ‘em!

yea hard times, but you are still my favorite Giant. with all due respect to Mr. Sandoval, i think you were the WS MVP. You are still making valuable contributions on the bases and in the field. Just hang in there and keep plugging you have enough talent that you will do better and probably very soon. Happy B day to the little one.

Thank you for your blog today and congrats on your little guy’s birthday! They grow up fast so don’t blink your eyes.
I appreciate your comments on your performance but please realize that it’s you one day and another guy the next so don’t be too hard on yourself. You have had some amazing performances for this team and you will continue to have those kinds of games but how would we recognize when things are going good if we don’t have the bad times to compare them to.
You are an important part of the SF Giants and true fans will remember the good times and not focus on the bad.
Believe. I do. :)

Always know, Gregor, that your fans in Richmond cheer and wish you well.

Gregor! first of all your little boy is so cute! Happy birthday to him and I hope everyone had a really fun time. And you’re right…nice leg kick! Second thank you so much for continuing to post. It is so easy to keep up with things when things are going well but when things aren’t so good it isn’t nearly so easy, so thank you. I know you guys are trying hard to be good again. Marco was speaking of the difficulty of hitting and we understand it isn’t easy. It will happen. I’m really proud of the way you guys have stuck together even with so much adversity and not complain and gripe. It makes me proud to be a fan of such good, hard working people. You can say you are a family when times are good that’s easy, but to stick together when times are lean is to find out that you are indeed a family. I loved in your earlier blog that you apologized to Timmy for not getting him any run support in that gem that he threw against the Cubs. And that Hunter wanted to return the favor when you gave him words of encouragement earlier in the month. I once read that sports don’t build character; they reveal them. I believe that is true. And you guys have revealed amazingly strong character through these past difficult months and that makes me proud to wear the orange and black, no matter where we are in the standings. you guys will work this out and get back into sync this season and definitely next. Just remember to have fun and that we love you guys!

Thanks for the blog, Gregor… I’m glad to hear you say that we support you guys no matter what. That’s the truth! We know what you can do, and we will always have your back as long as you keep trying. We love you all through good times and bad. Keep fighting. We love you. Go Giants!

Thank you for sharing your troubles here so publicly, and some of the inside stuff that baseball players go through. Moving to a lighter bat sounds like a good suggestion and I think it was great that Hunter returned the favor to you from when you helped him when he wasn’t doing so well. Good luck and know that there are Giants fans rooting for you!

The thing I appreciate about the Giants as a fan is that I can be proud of you guys even when things aren’t going great. You don’t have temper tantrums and throw down your helmets or bats. You have class and you try to help each other. It makes me care about each of you and feel for you when things don’t go well. Sure I want to see you win games but I cheer you on personally as each of you come up to bat….especially my blogger boys….the 3 B’s…Brandon, Brandon and Blanco!

Your little guy is adorable. Happy Birthday to him. I can see how much you enjoy him and you should cause time goes by quickly. Before you know it he’ll be in school and he won’t be able to come out to the ball park every day with you.

Hope things go well in D.C.

We still love you man! We’re still at your back! Go Gigantes!

Thanks so much for posting even when the season isn’t going so well. The fans know you guys are playing your hearts out and sometimes it’s just bad luck. We still believe and I for one want to see this same team back next year; I love watching you all together. Hang in there, and happy birthday to your son (very cute photos).

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