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Brian26
06-27-2011, 10:04 PM
Been meaning to ask this for awhile. Curious what other people were taught. This questions pops into my mind because I was watching the Dodgers vs. Twins game with Andre Either at bat.

I was always taught that you hold the bat so that the label faces you or the chances to break your bat increase. I increasingly see major leaguers not do this.

Was the "label-must-face-you" a myth, or are players just not doing this anymore because they're using aluminum bats through college and just not taught properly.

A. Cavatica
06-27-2011, 10:21 PM
Been meaning to ask this for awhile. Curious what other people were taught. This questions pops into my mind because I was watching the Dodgers vs. Twins game with Andre Either at bat.

I was always taught that you hold the bat so that the label faces you or the chances to break your bat increase. I increasingly see major leaguers not do this.

Was the "label-must-face-you" a myth, or are players just not doing this anymore because they're using aluminum bats through college and just not taught properly.

I learned that from "Peanuts".

BainesHOF
06-27-2011, 10:39 PM
I think that's still good advice when you're talking about manufacturers such as Louisville Slugger which burn the labeling into the bat. I suspect those parts of the bat are somewhat weaker. I don't think it makes any difference with bats that have labels that are merely printed.

At least one manufacturer, I believe Louisville Slugger, has been printing a diamond-like shape on the handle of their bats for the last couple of years that makes it easier to make sure the label is in the proper position. A batter is supposed to hold the bat so the shape faces him. You can spot such bats during the next game you watch if you look closely.

DeadMoney
06-27-2011, 11:32 PM
Been meaning to ask this for awhile. Curious what other people were taught. This questions pops into my mind because I was watching the Dodgers vs. Twins game with Andre Either at bat.

I was always taught that you hold the bat so that the label faces you or the chances to break your bat increase. I increasingly see major leaguers not do this.

Was the "label-must-face-you" a myth, or are players just not doing this anymore because they're using aluminum bats through college and just not taught properly.

I was taught the same as you and the rationale was always that you wanted to hit the ball where the grain of the wood was closer together. On the bats I've used, the label was mostly on a part of the bat where the grain was further apart, therefore you wanted to either point it down or up to avoid hitting the ball on that portion of the bat.

Brian26
06-27-2011, 11:40 PM
I was taught the same as you and the rationale was always that you wanted to hit the ball where the grain of the wood was closer together. On the bats I've used, the label was mostly on a part of the bat where the grain was further apart, therefore you wanted to either point it down or up to avoid hitting the ball on that portion of the bat.

Which begs the question, why are major leaguers not doing this? That Ethier at-bat I mentioned earlier...the label was not facing him. Odd.

Huskie28
06-28-2011, 12:04 AM
Which begs the question, why are major leaguers not doing this? That Ethier at-bat I mentioned earlier...the label was not facing him. Odd.

I don't know what kind of bat he was using, but with maple bats, it does not matter where the label was facing because the grain is totally different than ash. They do however use dots nowadays to show where the hardest part of the maple bat is. If it was ash, he might just not care...

Foulke You
06-28-2011, 01:26 AM
I know that some players sign endorsement deals with bat companies so I've often wondered if it has to do with making sure the bat company's brand logo appears on TV. I have nothing to back that up, it's just speculation on my part to offer an explanation for the players holding the bats that way. I will say that I have noticed Adam Dunn uses exclusively Louisville Slugger bats because the very recognizable logo is always facing the CF camera when he bats.

DSpivack
06-28-2011, 02:32 AM
Threads like this are why I love WSI. I would have never noticed this on my own.

Zisk77
06-28-2011, 08:43 AM
A famous quote from Hank Aaron had him saying "I'm here for hitting not reading" when an opposing catcher mentioned to Hank that he should have the label up so he can read it.:redneck He also hit crosshanded in the minors.

Railsplitter
06-28-2011, 10:25 AM
Give this one to Mythbusters.

PatK
06-28-2011, 11:58 AM
From what I recall going to the Louisville Slugger factory, it doesn't matter with maple bats, as the label is a type of decal.

With ash, it's the weak spot.

Woofer
06-28-2011, 03:58 PM
My son was in a wooden bat tournament last fall. (Very cool, by the way) We were told by the Dinger bat representative to hit with the label up, because you want to hit off the grain where it is stacked, instead of where the grain is spread. Hitting the ball where the grain is spread will crack the bat. You almost have to have a wooden bat in your hand to picture it, but it does make sense. This advice was for an ash bat, but they recommended for all their bats.

mzh
06-28-2011, 04:12 PM
A famous quote from Hank Aaron had him saying "I'm here for hitting not reading" when an opposing catcher mentioned to Hank that he should have the label up so he can read it.:redneck He also hit crosshanded in the minors.
:hijacked:
Bill James wrote something interesting about this. He noted how Aaron batted cross handed in the Negro Leagues and the Minors, until ML coaches corrected it. He also noted how Aaron was known for having incredibly strong wrists, and why no coach ever thought of a possible connection. The other example he used was Ernie Lombardi, who interlocked his pinky fingers like a golf club, and how Lombardi was known for his incredible bat control. Interesting things to think about.

As for the bat labels, I was taught to pick either label up or label down, but I think the points about whether it is a decal or burned in is what makes the difference. I'll take not during the game tonight!