Monday, January 28, 2013

The Lost Art

The bats are playing like wood. Homeruns are down. As a coach its time to bring back the scrappy, hit and run, bunt to advance the runner, and squeeze play.
These are terms that went away for a long time when everyone in the lineup was hitting a ball off the handle of the bat over the fence. Now that the bats have been changed the game is too. Coaches have to build a new team around speed, defense, and contact hitters. Don't get me wrong they still look for the homerun hitter but their not relying on that anymore.
As a player you need to work on bunting it has become a lost art. Two or three years ago having a number four hitter bunting a runner to second or squeeze bunting would sound ridiculous but teams are doing more and more of it.
 I have always liked the suicide squeeze play. It takes the right timing not to tip your hand. As the base runner you can't break to early. As the hitter you can't square to early and show the bunt. If done right is a very exciting play but can win you many close games.
How is it done? You want to be in your normal stance. Rotate at your hips to square up toward the pitcher. The barrel of bat should be above your fingers. To bunt the baseball in different locations bend your knees do not lower the baseball bat. Remember you are just trying to get the ball in play so the runner can score. Nice and soft catch the baseball with the bat. Practice the squeeze bunt and you could help your team win some games.
Everyone except the opposing pitcher digs the long ball but the squeeze bunt and bunting in general will win you some games. Set up some bunting stations at your next practice and your team will improve.

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