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Congratulations on the Rookie records for HR and RBI in April, Jose!

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  #16  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:04 AM
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doublem23 doublem23 is offline
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Let's be honest here, the Sox aren't going to be playing in too many meaningful games the 2nd half of this season. Abreu is already one of the best sluggers in baseball. He may as well do the HR Derby now, get the national publicity, and then hopefully in a few years when the team is even remotely possibly good enough to be playing real games in August or September, he can go and skip this.
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:10 AM
shes shes is offline
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
Thank you. We remember a few people who had awful results after doing it and it makes us think there's a pattern. All the players who went on to have productive second halves simply fade into obscurity in our minds. This belief is strictly a function of the way the brain stores data. Unusual/traumatic results cause us to hardwire the data into our brain for future reference in case it might be important.
Yep. If adjusting your swing to try and hit home runs was so damaging players wouldn't turn BP sessions into a glorified Home Run Derby. Yet they routinely do and it doesn't seem to be an issue.

When a guy like Bobby Abreu doesn't match a home run-happy first half, we should chalk it up to the 162-game sample size doing its job, not as Home Run Derby-induced PTSD.
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2014, 11:05 AM
Milw Milw is offline
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
Let's be honest here, the Sox aren't going to be playing in too many meaningful games the 2nd half of this season. Abreu is already one of the best sluggers in baseball. He may as well do the HR Derby now, get the national publicity, and then hopefully in a few years when the team is even remotely possibly good enough to be playing real games in August or September, he can go and skip this.
This is what I'm saying. Even if you subscribe to the theory that the HR Derby negatively impacts your swing (which I don't), this year -- when the Sox will be playing for fourth place in August -- is the year for him to do it.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2014, 01:36 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by shes View Post
HR Derby does not affect a player's swing. One of the most ridiculous myths in baseball.
It depends on your swing. It wouldn't affect Adam Dunn's swing. It wouldn't affect Brent Lillibridge's swing. Sadly, Lillibridge looked like he had the potential to be a pretty good line drive hitter before he adopted a home run-derby swing, although the only home run derbies he took part in were the informal kind during batting practice. And he did put on some awesome batting practice displays. Now he a little hitter in the Rangers system who occasionally displays power but strikes out too much and generally doesn't make enough contact to hit for a high AAA average.

If you're Conor Gillaspie, it would affect your swing. So much of hitting involves rhythm and muscle memory because pitch recognition and hand-eye coordination has to be so quick. The home run derby doesn't require pitch recognition and hitters tend to wait a bit longer on pitches becaue the pitcher isn't trying to get them out.

Hitters go into slumps because little things go wrong with their swings. If your approach to hitting it to hit line drives, which Jose Abreu's seems to be, you aren't going to go into the home run derby with the same swing, not if you are looking for success.

It's ridiculous to say the home run derby doesn't affect your swing, because it can.
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2014, 08:08 PM
soxfanreggie soxfanreggie is offline
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It's Jose's decision to make, and I support whatever that decision is. I want him to do whatever will prepare him for a good second half. Maybe that's a few days rest. Maybe that's just playing an inning or two in the game.
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2014, 08:31 PM
balke balke is offline
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I'd rather him break the rookie record for homeruns. I would't be upset if he was in the derby though - it'd be fun to watch. Whatevs, his decision.
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2014, 08:31 PM
shes shes is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
It depends on your swing. It wouldn't affect Adam Dunn's swing. It wouldn't affect Brent Lillibridge's swing. Sadly, Lillibridge looked like he had the potential to be a pretty good line drive hitter before he adopted a home run-derby swing, although the only home run derbies he took part in were the informal kind during batting practice. And he did put on some awesome batting practice displays. Now he a little hitter in the Rangers system who occasionally displays power but strikes out too much and generally doesn't make enough contact to hit for a high AAA average.

If you're Conor Gillaspie, it would affect your swing. So much of hitting involves rhythm and muscle memory because pitch recognition and hand-eye coordination has to be so quick. The home run derby doesn't require pitch recognition and hitters tend to wait a bit longer on pitches becaue the pitcher isn't trying to get them out.

Hitters go into slumps because little things go wrong with their swings. If your approach to hitting it to hit line drives, which Jose Abreu's seems to be, you aren't going to go into the home run derby with the same swing, not if you are looking for success.

It's ridiculous to say the home run derby doesn't affect your swing, because it can.
A lifetime's worth of muscle memory isn't likely to be disrupted by a few dozen home run cuts. I'd imagine that the general aches and pains that baseball players deal with do more to affect their swings than the derby ever could, and for the most part they can soldier through those without too much ill effect.
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2014, 09:53 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by shes View Post
A lifetime's worth of muscle memory isn't likely to be disrupted by a few dozen home run cuts. I'd imagine that the general aches and pains that baseball players deal with do more to affect their swings than the derby ever could, and for the most part they can soldier through those without too much ill effect.
Former ballplayers I've talked to have told me the home run derby can affect your swing. Abreu seems to believe the home run derby would affect his swing.

I will defer to professional hitters on this one.
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
Former ballplayers I've talked to have told me the home run derby can affect your swing. Abreu seems to believe the home run derby would affect his swing.

I will defer to professional hitters on this one.
Well then I'll defer to those that have said it has no effect
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:12 PM
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Well then I'll defer to those that have said it has no effect
No former major leaguer I've talked to has said the home run derby couldn't possibly have an effect on players' swings. And I don't feel qualified to tell Jose Abreu he is wrong about anything related to his hitting.
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  #26  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:27 PM
shes shes is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
No former major leaguer I've talked to has said the home run derby couldn't possibly have an effect on players' swings. And I don't feel qualified to tell Jose Abreu he is wrong about anything related to his hitting.
It very well may have an effect on Jose because he thinks it will. I do agree that if it's going to have such a psychological effect on him, he probably shouldn't do it.
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  #27  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:30 PM
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Didn't Bobby Abreu disappear right after he won the HR Derby?
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  #28  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:32 PM
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Didn't Bobby Abreu disappear right after he won the HR Derby?
The other example, closer to home, is Paul Konerko after the 2002 version. PK went into about a year and a half slump.
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  #29  
Old 06-27-2014, 10:35 PM
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A guy at baggage claim once told me it can mess with a guy's mechanics. I think that's definitive.
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  #30  
Old 06-27-2014, 11:04 PM
MISoxfan MISoxfan is offline
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The home run derby picks are 8 guys who are usually outperforming their career averages for half a season. Then they typically drop to their career norms for the second half and everyone thinks the derby has something to do with it.

Brandon Inge averaged 16 HR per 162 at bats, and everyone wants to blame the HR derby for the fact that he hit 6 in the second half of 2009.

Bobby Abreu averaged 19 HR per 162 at bats and hit 6 home runs in the second half of 2005 after the home run derby. Big deal.

Bobby Abreu also hit 6 HR in the second half of 2003, 7 in the first half of 2002, 7 in the second half of 1999, 6 in the first half of 1998, 7 in the first half of 2006, 5 in the first half of 2007, and six in the first of half of 2009.

Pujols, Inge, and Ryan Howard are a few of the professionals who say it doesn't hurt your swing. It doesn't matter. Completely rational people fall prey to this all of the time, and are completely convinced by complete coincidence. On top of this professional baseball players are notoriously superstitious. It is universally accepted that people see hot streaks and cold streaks where they don't exist.

There is a drop off between hitters before HR Derby and after the HR Derby, but I don't find that surprising at all. I would only take it seriously if someone were to look through all of the participant's slash line after the all-star break compared to their career numbers and found a significant difference. Anything else is anecdotal.
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