a Royal swing fit for any hitting king
George Brett not only hits for average and power, he swings the bat having a picturebook consistency that’s the envy of virtually other major league batsmen canada goose female jackets . One of Brett’s chief admirers, of course, is Whitey Herzog, who managed him for quite some time in Might and now is on the other side trying to find ways to stop him in the World Series canada goose female jackets . Before every game, the St . Louis pilot goes over George’s hitting style together with his pitchers the way a person in the military might approach an unexploded bomb .
The one mistake Herzog does not want his hurlers to create when confronted with Brett is to buy the ball at any height, where he’s likely to drive it into the next county . The concept would be to work carefully to him, and perhaps get him to hit a pitch this is a little bit off the plate a wise decision any time, but especially smart once the designated hitter is not place in the world Series .
Normally when a team is playing Might it can’t afford the luxury of being too cute with Brett and risking walking him, because browsing the ondeck circle is Hal McRae . Hal, now 39, is still a superb hitter who seldom strikes out and who also offers some power . But because he has reached a job stage where he no more can enjoy the outfield or throw perfectly, Manager Dick Howser is applying him basically like a pinchhitter within this DHless World Series .
Even without McRae’s bat behind him, Brett has hit the ball hard so far, having a single, an RBI double, and a couple of other welltagged shots that went for outs within the first two games, while also playing a standout third base . And before that came his explosive playoff series by which George brought his team away from an 02 deficit with a fantastic Game 3 performance (4for4, two home runs, three RBIs, and a great participate in the field) and went on to earn MVP honors because the Royals beat out Toronto for th e American League pennant .
Coming through in big games and situations is certainly not new to Brett, though, as he has revealed on numerous other occasions most memorably the dramatic ninthinning homer from the Yankees’ Goose Gossage that won the 1980 pennant . Also, he hit . 375 in the World Series that year despite some physical problems .
Herzog, who has been using the Cardinals since 1980, managed the Royals during Brett’s growing years from 1975 through 1979 . George compiled some outstanding figures even then, leading the league in batting once and in hits 3 times, but basically it was the time when Herzog and the coaches molded him right into a complete player . And Whitey was gone the following season when Brett just missed becoming the first batter since Ted Williams in 1941 to hit . 400, eventually finishing at . 390 .
Today Brett and Herzog continue to be offseason fishing and hunting buddies . The subject of baseball has been known to creep into their conversation too .
When I was just a kid and hadn’t seen that much of the large leagues it was Whitey who taught me what it really popularized be considered a ballplayer,” Brett told reporters here . I’d rather not take anything from Charley Lau, who worked hours with me on my small hitting, or Chuck Hiller, who made me comfortable in the field at third base, however it was Whitey who helped me experienced in the sport and also educated me in patience . ”
Lay those Brett lines on Herzog, though, and just what you receive is the other side of what has obviously be a mutual admiration society .
Explained Whitey, George is the only ballplayer I know who doesn’t have a supervisor . He’s the rate to conquer out slow rollers, the power to hit for distance, and the patience to use all the field . Besides that, he plays a great third base . ”
What Lau did for the lefthanded hitting Brett years ago was persuade him to take his bat from the sky (a la Carl Yastrzemski) and bring it down nearer his shoulder where he had additional control . Lau also got him to focus on striking the ball over second base, partly because this is the biggest unguarded hole within the infield, but mostly while he wanted George to get the feel of creating good contact .
In ways, Hiller’s job was more tedious if hitting is definitely fun, fielding 100 or so ground balls a day gets boring before long . But to his credit, Brett made it happen . George also stopped overthrowing the ball to first base, again because of Hiller, who taught him the finer points of judging distance while still keeping his accuracy .
Asked what he’s thinking when he’s within the ondeck circle, Brett replied, To me that’s like time put in a laboratory . I watch the pitcher and I try to sort out everything I know about him . Although Irrrve never decide in advance what I’m going to do until I personally enter into the batter’s box, I usually possess a pretty good idea .
I’m thinking such things as, Should I try to pull this guy or must i simply ride with the pitch where it’s thrown, or must i go to the opposite field?
But the main thing is I’m patient . Maybe I even have a pitch to determine what he has got, or maybe when the ball is how I love it I’ll pursue it immediately . But I know what my strike zone is and I try never to go beyond my limits . ”
Even while following Lau’s basic theories and concentrating on making contact, Brett plumbed the depths of his natural power enough to become a consistent long ball threat . Entering this year he already had led the league in doubles once and triples three times, had hit more than 20 homers on five occasions, had driven in 80 or even more runs six times, and over 100 twice . ca And this year the transition to slugger increased a notch as George hit 30 out of the ballpark for the first time in his career w hile driving in 112 runs . He didn’t sacrifice anything in batting average either, with a . 335 mark that was 21 points over his lifetime standard and 2nd in his career only to that phenomenal . 390 five years ago . . canada goose female jackets .