Archive for April, 2017

More then just a gimmick

Posted: April 11, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
Tags:

As I have mentioned in the past I play in an 30+ Adult recreational baseball league in my area. Just before this season started I broke my current wood bat and was in the sudden and urgent need of a new one. Like any internet savvy person I started looking online about best bats for the best price, wood vs bbcor, length and weight, ect ect. The league I played in last year was wood bat only but this other league also allowed BBCor so I got to really compare everything to anything. Something I found that sparked my interest was a new bat type on the market called the AXE Bat. I read several articles about it being used by such hitters as Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts and how it increased their line drive hit percentage and ‘good’ contact numbers. I’m just a guy who likes to play baseball but if something as simple as a handle design can help MLB players it might help this old man hit a few more through the infield.

Now I broke my wood bat 3 days before my first game and had to have whatever bat right then, so even though I was doing my review homework I knew I was probably going to have to head to the local sports stores to pick it up. I headed over to the Big Green Sports Store to see what they had compared to what I had seen online and to my surprise they had a 32″ -3 BBCor AXE bat mixed in with all their regular stock. Let me reiterate they had ONE AXE bat and only ONE, so of course my first indication is well if these guys don’t see it as popular will I even like it. Skeptical but intrigued I took it off the shelf and held it.

First thing you notice is the handle, which is the main difference of an AXE bat. If you haven’t seen one think of cutting a wood chopping axe’s handle off and attaching it to a baseball bat barrel. Sounds weird I know but it felt really natural in my hand. Where the normal bat handle style has the large round end at the bottom that pushes against your wrist the AXE bat has none of that. You can easily grab the bottom of the bat handle and not feel like it’s going to slip out of your hand. Of course like any kid in a sports store I had to pretend swing it, without hitting anyone or other merchandise of course. I was amazed at how easily it flowed through the ‘hitting zone’. I wasn’t swinging full speed of course but I could already tell that you didn’t seem to need as much wrist action to get it going. Another huge bonus was this AXE bat was only 120 bucks, not anymore then the standard bats it was hanging with. After some mental debating my wife told me to just get it, and as we all know you can’t say no to that.

Took the bat home and then didn’t really get to touch it much before my first game, you know kids and all. Game day comes around and I do my pre-game swings, a couple of the other guys look at it and swing it. I’m all psyched thinking well lets see what this can do. First at bat I looked like I was swinging at a Kershaw curve ball.Way out front and off balance.

Definitely NOT what I had hoped for!

However it was the first time I had swung it at full speed and I noticed something I hadn’t felt previously. The bat flung itself through the hitting zone way faster then I had expected. What I mean by this is during your normal swing you have the: Load, where you coil up with the weight primarily on your back foot. Uncoil, where you start to shift your weight towards your front foot bringing the bat down into the hitting zone. At this point is where the AXE bat launches itself through the hitting zone like a badger with its butt on fire. Seriously I was really not expecting the increase in ‘umph’. Needless to say I struck out my first at bat and looked like I should go back to Teeball. Fast forward to a few days later when I got to take the AXE bat to the cages and really put some time into feeling what this bat does different. Their website said 30 swings, honestly it took me more like 60 swings to really get the hang of the new swing. You don’t really realize at first how much different the swing feels but the more you swing with it the more comfortable you get with it. Just like anything really, but you don’t automatically think of a bat swing being different for what you’re used to.

By the end of the time I spent in the cages I was in love with the way the AXE bat felt. The swing was easy, comfortable and repeatable. The way the modified handle pushes itself through the hitting zone really increased the force I was able to get onto the ball. By my next game it felt like I had always swung that way. I’m not saying suddenly I’m hitting .750 and belting homeruns but I can tell when I do make contact it feels much more solid. I really do love this bat and have absolutely no plans on going back to a traditional style handle. Each game, each at bat I get more and more confident in how I am swinging it and the ease of feel it has.

The other thing I have noticed which should already be clear is the increase in bat speed. This was something I was worried about with my old bat and had actually taped up the bottom a couple inches to get more speed out of it. With the AXE bat I didn’t even have to worry about ‘choking up’ it just naturally added bat speed because of its design.

The only two things that I have noticed that I am still working on are the handle is thin for what I like and lining up the bat so that it always comes through the zone on the hitting side. The thinness of the handle was easy to remedy just a bit of string and some athletic tape got it to the thickness that feels right in my hand. As for the lining up the hitting face that I am still working on. The AXE bat has a dedicated hitting zone just like how a real axe has a certain side you use to chop wood, the pointy end as we call it. You can’t just hold the bat like you used to with any part facing forward so figuring out where the best spot to hold it takes a little adjustment. I’ve found that holding the handle between the start of your palm and your first finger joint seems to line it up the best as it comes through the zone. Getting it comfortably there every time is taking a little more adjustment but I know I’ll get it.

Again I love this bat and definitely see using ONLY AXE handles from here out. I’ve actually started looking at getting my boy, who is in 12U little league, one as well to help with his bat speed and length of swing.

Here is a link to the bat I purchased except on Amazon – AXE bat Origin 32″ -3 BBCor

Here is a link to the AXE bat website

Just so it is clear, I bought the bat and this review is because I used the bat. Since I do this blog however I thought I would share my experience.

SD Signature

Advertisements

There is no question on my feelings towards Tim “The Kardashian of Baseball” Tebow. If he fell into a giant sinkhole while running in the outfield and landed somewhere in Siberia I’d totally be okay with it.

I’m really starting to think he might be the Anti-Christ… Okay we got it he hit a homerun during his first MINOR league at bat. So did a lot of other guys and remember he is IN LOW A MINORS so he is playing against guys probably 10 years younger then him. Also the dude is huge, I totally give him that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know strong big guy hits ball it has a chance to go a long way.

Saw this and had to share:

Of course I had to look this up if I was going to share it.

Domenic is 22 (Tebodashian is 29) and was drafted in the 22cd round by the Giants he plays for the CLASS A South Atlantic League Augusta GreenJackets. Not only does he exist but the MEME is true. Here is the other thing the media isn’t telling you do you know what his stat line was from that game?

4/6/17 @COL W – 0 L – 1 ERA – 23.65 SV – 0 Innings Pitched – 2.2 Hits – 7 ER – 7 W – 1 SO – 2

Sooooooo it’s not like this guy was burning down the house out there.

Please stop hyping this freaking guy, Tebow is not the great white hype. He’s a damn media circus that can’t get over the fact that he isn’t famous for being a ‘great player’.

SD Signature

Stick’em up

Posted: April 7, 2017 by souldysfunction in General Sports Rant, MLB
Tags: , , ,

Okay you can put your hands down, this isn’t a train robbery. It is however one of the weirdest things I have ever seen in my life.

People that is not photoshopped. That is actually a major league baseball stuck to Yadier Molinas chest protector.

Is Molina made of velcro? Did that phrase “I’m rubber and your glue” statement actually come true? Did physics finally break with the weight of Trump winning the presidency? Did Bizarro Molina replace our Cardinals catcher?

Honestly there is not a great explanation for this unprecedented situation. There are some thoughts on it but no one is rushing to ‘examine’ them.

1. Pine Tar

First it could be pine tar that is on his chest protector that the ball stuck itself too. Everyone knows the majority of players in the MLB use pine tar to get a better grip on their bat so it doesn’t go flying out of their hands when they swing for the fences. It could be that Molina grabbed his chest protector with pine tar on his hands and it just happened to get on there. Problem, Yadier wears batting gloves. Most of the pine tar would be on the gloves not his hands. What if someone else handed him his chest protector that had just lubed up on pine tar? Possible but eh… kind of a stretch.

2. Velcro

No.

3. Impact force upon said chest protector

Lance Lynn doesn’t throw that hard and the ball bounced in the dirt before it attached itself to Molina so No.

4. The Force is strong with Molina

This is quite the possibility and I won’t discount it.

5. Stick’em

There is this closely guarded secret goop stuff that magically exists for pitchers to get a better grip on the ball just like batters do with pine tar. The thing about stick’em is it is like “don’t tell don’t ask”. Some retired guys will admit to using some such thing but it is the quickest way to end a conversation. We all kind of know they use it but NO ONE talks about it.

Why would Molina have stick’em or pine tar on his chest if this benefits the pitchers grip? One clear answer is so that the pitcher doesn’t have any foreign substances on him and Molina easily adds a bit of ‘grip’ to the ball before he throws it back to the pitcher on the mound.

Is this legal? Not really Does everyone do it? Yes they do. Should we be upset about it? No not at all. Look if the pitcher needs to get a better grip on the ball so he can throw a 100 mph fastball and actually locate it rather then throw it and hit the batter with it then let him use something. Seriously just like pine tar for the batters the pitchers need something as well. I just wish it wasn’t so hush hush don’t talk about it.

Here is the whole at bat. Like I said, I got no problem with this and I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t happen more often.

SD Signature

It’s official baseball season is under way and thank gawd. While spring training gives you a taste it is not the full steak and potatoes that a normal day in the baseball season give you.

So what did we learn this opening day… days. Yeah it’s a little odd to have opening day part one and then part two but the more baseball the better.

First when you start Scott Feldman, Jhoulys Chacin, and Ricky Nolacso as your opening day starter your fan base knows this season is going to suck.

Second Madison Bumgarner is a beast. 2 homeruns and had a perfect game through 4 innings on opening day. Yes I know the Diamondbacks ended up winning but damn is Madbum awesome.

Dodgers offense looks primed for this season and Kershaw is just Kershaw. However they did open against my Padres…

Eric Thames looked good for his questionable hype coming into this season after killing it in the Korean leagues.

Trout homers, Trumbo homers, Harper homers. All is right in the world.

Benintendi is Rookie of the year, just go ahead and give it to him now.

Melancon blew his first save but don’t expect that to happen often.

Yankees Baby Bombers looked good but still lost. Pretty much what I expect from them all year.

CUBS LOST OMG THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMETH. Chill they will be fine.

Andrew Miller at some point is going to remember he was the Yankees closer and not be happy with being the setup guy. It will happen faster if the Indians start loosing, thank goodness I don’t think they will.

Padres, Reds, Brewers, Royals, Braves, and Angels lost. Get used to it you’ll be seeing a lot more L’s

I think the Hitters are slightly above the Pitchers this year.

Sutcliff and ‘Boog’ are terrible to listen to on ESPN baseball…. sorry but it’s the truth

Blacking out games is fucking ridiculous in this day and age

Man am I glad baseball is back

SD Signature