How come baseball is so messed up?

How is it that all those coaches have different opinions about just about everything?
I mean…after 100 years of evolution most of the stuff should be clear as day right?
long tossing for pitchers…
some say it kills the action…some say it strenghten the arm.

pitching from the windup…
some say its outdated…some say its how its supposed to be

hershiser drill vs pushing off

rotational hitting vs. linear hitting…

etc etc etc…

As a coach myself i am forced to take a golden route through the middle…how come there are no absolutes as in many other sports?

I could post this in the other forum but i like it here-)


This is such an outstanding post/question. Here’s my take on it.
I’m going to use myself as an example, in addition to observations that I’ve made over the years. I’m not going to address amateur baseball to answer your question. I have little experience in this area.

When I started out in the mid 70’s, I was called an Associate Coach – short for a goffer, go-for-this-go-for-that. The man that I reported to was the Pitching Coach. I followed his lead at every turn, without exception. So, in effect I was a carbon copy of man of his generation, his training (or lack thereof), his way of doing things. As time went on, I notice other clubs did things differently – a lot different. So, without delay, I’d ask why, how come, what’s with that?

What I found was, every single pitching coach was a carbon copy of who their mentors were. In every case, all mentors were stuck in time, comfortable with what they had and how they did things – after all it worked, don’t mess with it.

But hold on here, how come so much difference, but with positive results? The reason being these people (coaches) were dealing with mature adults, little if any learning curves, physically matured bodies, and no distractions like the amateur player has. So, from one club to the next I found variations with the same basic formula, but not a reinvention of the total package. Now let’s not forget, the coaching staff and their charges are doing this stuff over and over again, day in and day out. I mean, even a monkey can get 90% of this stuff if he’s pointed in the right direction over and over again.

Now let’s fast forward to the armature game. We will not find the same temperament of staff coaches, nor will we find the resources. What we will find is an amateur playing pool that has, to a high degree, a take-it-or-leave mindset, parental and social influences that can be major distractions, and so on.

So how can a training method slip in between the cracks- by inventing a product that compliments the environment that the amateur has to deal with – NOT THE TECHINIQUES OF DEVELPOING A PLAYING POOL OF A WIDE VARIATION IN MATURITY, ABILITY AND DEISRE. The basic mistake that all these people make is to approach an amateur with a cookie-cutter technique, OR, a personal style and technique that “they” think will work based on “their” understanding.

If there’s one thing that comes to mind to address your question it’s - INVENTIVE. The promises, the projections and all the hoopla that orbits amateur coaching should be expected. Again, I think the word INVENTIVE pretty much sums thing up. Then let’s throw in a dash of volunteers who have their hearts in the right place, but their experience with stuff (techniques) is as current as the last “how to” video they just rented.

There are pitching coaches out there that make an honest effort to learn the current topics of the day and try very hard to put the speculative into practice.

Pitching is a very personal thing. Pither’s come in all sizes and abilities. Their signature product can vary from pitcher to pitcher. So, training a pitcher correcting bad habits, bringing a man back into form during rehab means detail, customizing the coaching to fit the unique individual, and so on.

I’m sure others can offer a much better take on your question, but these are my observations on the topic.

Great question.

Coach B.

I mentioned that I wasn’t going to address the amateur game, but I got a little carried away. :redecoration:

Coach B.

Great question and great answer

This, to me, is what makes baseball so unique from other sports.

But, I will say that advances in technology also contribute to continued changes in knowledge and understanding which further lead to changes in philisophies, strategies, opinions, etc.

Because other sports are easier.

When I was being recruited by a College the HC said the exact same thing we had a great discussion about how Baseball aside from Golf or Tennis is the most individually demanding sport out there, yes its a team game but you can’t rely on your teammates to hit the ball when you’re at bat or throw the proper pitch when you are pitching.

He went on to say how in sports like soccer, football and hockey players can blend in and play a whole game without even having any real participation aside from being out on the playing field.

Two things come to mind here.
First, the advent of the designated hitter, and the fact that the major leagues have different rules regarding that. The American League has it, which means that the pitchers never get to bat unless it’s during interleague play such as the World Series when the teams play in the National League parks. The National League doesn’t have it, which means the pitchers have to bat, and most of the pitchers in that league are lousy hitters, which makes it easier on the guy on the mound—unless someone like Jason Marquis, who is a very good hitter, is in the game. I remember when the woods were full of pitchers in the AL who knew what to do with a bat. Nowadays some of those guys don’t even know how to bunt!
Second, the pitch count and the innings count. I don’t know how this came about, but many pitching coaches—and managers—got the idea that pitchers, especially the young ones, have to be kept on a very short leash with regard to how many innings they can pitch, or how many pitches they are allowed to throw. Now, this could be a good thing when a pitcher is coming off rehab or the DL and needs to be eased back into things—but to tell a pitcher, no matter how good he is, that five or six innings and you’re out of there, no matter what! It reminds me of a saying about horses—take a thoroughbred, for example, and train him to run a New York City block, and that’s all he’ll ever be able to do. And so, pitchers like C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander and that good knuckleballer R.A. Dickey who can throw 110, 120 innings, go the distance and win, are becoming almost as rare as hens’ teeth. And that’s another way the game has been messed up.
Yes, the game has gotten messed up, and things are not about to get any better. It’s enough to make one want to take up tiddlywinks. :shock: :roll: :?

If you can’t pitch from the stretch, you’re done. If you don’t like the wind-up, you don’t have to use it. Everything done prior to the lift has no impact on your delivery–provided it doesn’t mess up your lift :lol:

Video has really caused a lot of conventional wisdom to be questioned and abandoned.
Coaches coach the way they were taught and perpetuate drills that really have no real impact or correlation to game situations.

The best coaches evolve as truths are exposed and myths are put to rest.

Never stop questioning what you do.