As promised, here are 5 batting stances and swings that antagonize me.
1. Craig Counsell – This is a stance and swing that will make you cringe. Counsell felt some weird desire to hold the bat high above his head and contort his body into such a fashion that his upper body looked like he was facing the catcher while his feet still faced the pitcher. I have no idea how he ever felt comfortable at the plate.
To get a view of what his former stance looked like, check out this video done by the Batting Stance Guy. He does Counsell’s stance at the very end of the video. Sadly, his portrayal is quite accurate.
2. Gary Sheffield – Sheffield wasn’t exactly known for being a likeable teammate, but even if he had been a nice guy, I couldn’t endorse this stance and swing.
The way Sheffield waves his bat around is enough to give epilepsy to the casual fan. I never enjoyed seeing him step to the dish and I certainly don’t miss that swing now that it’s gone.
3. George Brett – I love George Brett. I don’t know if you can be a Royals fan and not love George Brett. This all-encompassing love means that I am required to, in turn, love his stance and swing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think he constantly looked like he was about to fall out of the batting box every time he was up. I don’t understand the exact the science behind leaning back as far as he did and then having the ability to lash the ball in the manner that he did, but I’m not going to complain about it. Whatever works.
4. Mike Aviles – Based on my dislike of Sheffield’s stance, you might have been able to discern that I’m not a big fan of a lot of bat movement as a player waits for the pitch. A little bit is okay, but Sheffield overdid it. Aviles goes the way of Sheffield in his bat movement. He takes big looping arcs with his bat that just seem a little over-the-top to me. To each his own I guess.
5. Jeff Bagwell – Another example of a player that I like who just looked odd at the plate. Bagwell had a ridiculously wide stance. I just don’t know how you could get any power into your swing that way.
Again, he made it work for him. However, I retain the right to be snobbish about the aesthetics of all of these players’ swings.
This probably proves why all of these guys are major-league ballplayers and I’m not.