Archive for January, 2010

Postponed Until Sunday–Due to Illness

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2010 by tccsp

Thursday afternoon I started coming down with a bug, and I was out of commission all of Friday. I’m feeling a little better today, but thought it best to postpone the mechanics and velocity check until Sunday. I’ll try and get the video up on late Sunday evening.

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Mechanics Posted by Monday–Spread the Word

Posted in Pitching Mechanics on January 28, 2010 by tccsp

This baseball experiment of mine is premised on the belief that velocity is mostly tied to excellent throwing mechanics, which I never really worked on when I was a baseball player.

As I mentioned in my last post, this Saturday I will be having my mechanics videotaped (thanks to Grant) and my velocity checked( thanks to a Jugs radar gun I’m borrowing…and again, to Grant). On the velocity side, I’m hoping to at least top 80 MPH at this point, and am hopeful that I might get back up to 84.

No matter the outcome of the velocity check, though, I know that my mechanics are a work in progress. So when I post video of my mechanics–I’ll be looking for feedback. I already have a few baseball minds planning on taking a look at the video and analyzing my mechanics in the comments section, but I would certainly invite any and all feedback.

If you know a retired professional pitcher or any baseball coaches, please forward the link of the video on to them. The only type of feedback I’d prefer not getting is of the naysayer variety, comments like “you throw like a girl”, and “you throw like someone who hasn’t pitched in eleven years” and “go back to playing softball.” I know these will be on the tips of all of your tongues. But please do restrain yourselves… for my sake.

First “Final 50” results-and next Saturday video footage

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2010 by tccsp

Just an FYI: I created a page for tracking the results of my final 50 pitches of each workout session, for those of you that care about how each of my lonely sessions is going.

Anyway, there’s a link on the right there, but here it is for those of you who are technically challenged: https://rookieat32.wordpress.com/charting-command-control/

Results of the first session were pretty poor–but that leaves room for improvement, I guess.  I hope six months is enough to sand off eleven years of rust.

Also, Grant Dawson will be joining me next Saturday for a video/velocity check session. Grant has been kind enough to film me in the past, and I think he’ll do the same again. I’ll post the video of my mechanics as well–along with the velocity of each pitch.

Improving Command–The Final Fifty

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 by tccsp

As a high school and college pitcher, I was often told that I was “effectively wild.” Over a 7-inning game, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to walk three to five batters–which in baseball isn’t considered very good. However, being slightly erratic, batters were often a little more off-balance. Being “effectively wild” did probably contribute to more strikeouts, but my wildness was most likely a liability.

In my bullpen workouts, one of my primary concerns is to improve command. This weekend I purchased a nice pitching net with a four-zoned strike zone.

For the next four weeks–or my next 16 bullpen sessions–I will only be throwing fastballs from 45-50 feet at about 3/4 velocity. Because I’m throwing pretty lightly, I’m generally throwing about 100 pitches per day. My focus is on maintaining a consistent, repeatable delivery. To track my progress, I will be tallying my final fifty pitches. The first ten I will simply tally the # of strikes. Then in five groups of seven pitches, I will attempt to hit the 1) high outside corner, 2) high inside corner, 3) low inside corner, 4) low outside corner, and 5) general strike zone.

Today I got started late and so only got to the 10 pitches–and only 5 were strikes. A long way still to go.

Humble bullpen beginnings

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2010 by tccsp

Like all unlikely sports stories, my baseball comeback is starting with humble beginnings. I work in a small, inner-city school with a gym that is rarely available. However, there is a large vacant room in the basement that houses some weights. I have transformed this space into something that resembles a found objects art installation at the Walker Arts Center. It is where I throw baseballs 3-4 days a week. Let me walk you through my bullpen.

Here’s the view from where I throw.

View from throwing location

View from throwing pad

I’d like to explain the setting a bit. First, you see my bucket of baseballs sitting on a large elementary school rug. The floor in the room is slippery, so this helps me keep my footing. In the distance is my target (more on that below). To the left of the target are dozens of abandoned building plans; and on the right are weight machines that I do not (yet) use.

Here is a close-up of my current target:

Close up of target

A close up of my current target

My target is comprised of objects that were all abandoned years ago in this cavernous wasteland. The blue backdrop are thin dusty exercise pads–they cushion the blow of the ball. I haven’t yet marked a strike zone, and so currently try to consistently hit the middle of the horizontal pad. If the ball hits somewhere near the zone, it bounces into the wooden wall-mount shelf pictured in the foreground. It stands about 16 inches high, so most balls bounce back against it. I draped two black rubber mats over this shelf to dampen the noise of the ball striking it. Finally, the eight tires act as a sort of bank to corral the baseballs into the center area.

The system works out okay. Probably 90% of pitches end up corralled there inside the tires. The rest bounce all over the room.

I’m flirting with the idea of actually purchasing a pitching net with a built in strike zone. Could anyone do some research to suggest a net for me? Let me know in the comments below.

Siren songs and sub-zero jogging

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2010 by tccsp

So this morning I started my new daily routine. Last night, I set my alarm clock across the room and was able to roll out of bed, get dressed, and jog out the door without being seduced by the sirens calling from my bed–my pillow, sheets, and blanket were all cooing in unison, “Daniel Daniel…why don’t you start tomorrow? Come back to bed…”. Fortunately, my wife was cooing “Go jogging. And don’t wake up the kids.”

But boy was it frigid out there, and the footing was treacherous. I hope there are pitching gurus who suggest that jogging on mogul-like sidewalk ice is good for fine-twitch leg muscles.

Anyway–I’m hoping my daily routine looks like this–at least for the next two months:
5:15-5:55am–jog and stretch (home)
4:00pm-5:00pm – workout and throw (in Hope Academy basement)

We are due with our third child in March, and I can only imagine that I’ll have to get creative with my workout schedule. All I know for sure is that the sirens will be cooing much louder after being awoken 3-4 times per night by a screaming newborn.