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Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 11:56 AM
I've heard Jerry Narron recently talk about Wily Mo Pena and how hard he's going to work on his defense. Well, I have a specific question for Narron that I wish our scribes would ask.

Will the coaches demand that Pena catch the ball with two hands whenever possible? I sure would. I'd fine the guy for every nonchalant, one handed catch he makes until he shows a proficiency in catching the baseball. He's forced the Reds to treat him like a little leaguer and coach the fundamentals to him. If I see him one handing catches again in 2006 it will tell me two things:

1) He's not intent on improving his defense

2) The Reds are not serious about insisting on improved defense from him

Redsland
02-27-2006, 11:59 AM
He can work on his defense, but he's going to have to hurry, since he leaves for the WBC this week. :thumbdown

westofyou
02-27-2006, 12:00 PM
Will the coaches demand that Pena catch the ball with two hands whenever possible?

No, todays game employs such large gloves that the use of two hands theory of the day and age of the kid glove is slowly dying out.

Welcome to the future.

Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 12:03 PM
No, todays game employs such large gloves that the use of two hands theory of the day and age of the kid glove is slowly dying out.

Welcome to the future.

In Wily Mo's case he needs that right hand to help close that big glove

TOBTTReds
02-27-2006, 12:06 PM
I've heard Jerry Narron recently talk about Wily Mo Pena and how hard he's going to work on his defense. Well, I have a specific question for Narron that I wish our scribes would ask.

Will the coaches demand that Pena catch the ball with two hands whenever possible? I sure would. I'd fine the guy for every nonchalant, one handed catch he makes until he shows a proficiency in catching the baseball. He's forced the Reds to treat him like a little leaguer and coach the fundamentals to him. If I see him one handing catches again in 2006 it will tell me two things:

1) He's not intent on improving his defense

2) The Reds are not serious about insisting on improved defense from him

I'd have to say I disagree with this. I can only think of one time where two hands would have helped him and that was when he crashed into the Red Sox RF wall and gave someone a HR basically, I believe Manny actually.

His problem is not holding on to the ball when it hits his glove, it is literally getting to glove to the ball. Catching with two hands limits your mobility and ability to reach certain plays. I can recall a play last year, I believe in Boston as well, a line drive hit right at him, he didn't even have to move and he tried to catch it with two hands this time and the ball drilled him in the leg. His judging of the fly ball is what is terrible. Eric Byrnes almost looks like he runs good routes to the ball compared to WMP.

Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 12:18 PM
I'd have to say I disagree with this. I can only think of one time where two hands would have helped him and that was when he crashed into the Red Sox RF wall and gave someone a HR basically, I believe Manny actually.

His problem is not holding on to the ball when it hits his glove, it is literally getting to glove to the ball. Catching with two hands limits your mobility and ability to reach certain plays. I can recall a play last year, I believe in Boston as well, a line drive hit right at him, he didn't even have to move and he tried to catch it with two hands this time and the ball drilled him in the leg. His judging of the fly ball is what is terrible. Eric Byrnes almost looks like he runs good routes to the ball compared to WMP.

I can remember several times balls hitting his glove and popping out. Catching the ball with two hands is a fundamental taught for generations on baseball fields. I trust that.

RedsManRick
02-27-2006, 12:25 PM
I wonder if there's any proven correlation between judging fly balls and the ability to hit a curve. Though vastly different contexts, both are simliar uses of hand/eye coordination, projecting the ball on a curved path through space. With that comes the question, is an inability to do either well a indictment of his coordination, eyesight, or both?

KronoRed
02-27-2006, 12:55 PM
He should be working on his D in CF, with JR in left.

Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 12:59 PM
I wonder if there's any proven correlation between judging fly balls and the ability to hit a curve. Though vastly different contexts, both are simliar uses of hand/eye coordination, projecting the ball on a curved path through space. With that comes the question, is an inability to do either well a indictment of his coordination, eyesight, or both?

I've seen very few major league players have the trouble of catching fly balls that WMP does. You'd think hitting major league pitching would be harder than catching fly balls but this guy is really challenged out there. I think he's probably a DH in the long run. Let's hope some AL team agrees

BRM
02-27-2006, 01:00 PM
He should be working on his D in CF, with JR in left.

Blaspheme!! ;)

Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 01:01 PM
He should be working on his D in CF, with JR in left.

I don't know. A guy who has a hard time judging and catching fly balls would be a disaster in CF. I'd rather "hide" him in LF like Kal Daniels.

IslandRed
02-27-2006, 02:50 PM
I can remember several times balls hitting his glove and popping out. Catching the ball with two hands is a fundamental taught for generations on baseball fields. I trust that.

I'm not sure that everything taught to youth ballplayers is applicable at the major-league level. If a major-leaguer has enough trouble judging the ball that he can't be trusted to catch it with those fishing nets they use for gloves nowadays, it's probably as likely that his attempt to use both hands gets the other hand broken.

registerthis
02-27-2006, 03:01 PM
It seems to me (could be wrong on this) that the ability to accurately judge fly balls, or at least a majority of them, is something that could be taught with enough patience and repetitive practice. It's a basic, fundamental skill that all OF'ers must possess, so if the reds are intent on keeping him in the OF, he'd better learn how to do it.

RANDY IN INDY
02-27-2006, 03:09 PM
Two hands is still a great concept if the ball is hit and centered right at you. Camping under a fly ball, it should be no problem to use two hands. Ground balls in the infield that you can reasonably get in front of and "accept" should be handled with two hands, gator hands, whatever you might call it.

Where the problem lies is when you are charging hard on a ball in the outfield or infield, or if the ball is hit to your right or left, or even over your head. When you have to extend, the chances of using two hands are slim, and actually limit you from getting full extension. I've seen guys who actually catch the ball better with one hand. Adding the other to the mix totally screws them up. I've always adhered to the theory of "DFW" or "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it," be it hitting or fielding. If a guy is performing well, I don't need to add my "two cents" to it. Let him play.

I believe there is a time to use two hands. Just not all the time.

RANDY IN INDY
02-27-2006, 03:12 PM
It seems to me (could be wrong on this) that the ability to accurately judge fly balls, or at least a majority of them, is something that could be taught with enough patience and repetitive practice. It's a basic, fundamental skill that all OF'ers must possess, so if the reds are intent on keeping him in the OF, he'd better learn how to do it.

Repetition is the key, but it has to be coupled with a player's attitude that wants to put in the time to get better. Going through the motions won't fix it.

In some cases, there are guys that just can't play defense. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap.

Sea Ray
02-27-2006, 03:18 PM
I've always adhered to the theory of "DFW" or "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it," be it hitting or fielding. If a guy is performing well, I don't need to add my "two cents" to it. Let him play.

I believe there is a time to use two hands. Just not all the time.

The problem here is that it definitely is broken and this guy needs a fix, unfortunately.

KronoRed
02-27-2006, 03:38 PM
I don't know. A guy who has a hard time judging and catching fly balls would be a disaster in CF. I'd rather "hide" him in LF like Kal Daniels.
CF is supposedly easier, because the ball isn't coming at an angle :dunno:

Doc. Scott
02-27-2006, 04:08 PM
I wonder why no one's bothered to note that just playing the same position every day- like Narron has said WMP will do in LF- will do wonders for the guy's defensive steadiness.

RedsBaron
02-27-2006, 05:47 PM
Two hands is still a great concept if the ball is hit and centered right at you. Camping under a fly ball, it should be no problem to use two hands. Ground balls in the infield that you can reasonably get in front of and "accept" should be handled with two hands, gator hands, whatever you might call it.

Where the problem lies is when you are charging hard on a ball in the outfield or infield, or if the ball is hit to your right or left, or even over your head. When you have to extend, the chances of using two hands are slim, and actually limit you from getting full extension. I've seen guys who actually catch the ball better with one hand. Adding the other to the mix totally screws them up. I've always adhered to the theory of "DFW" or "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it," be it hitting or fielding. If a guy is performing well, I don't need to add my "two cents" to it. Let him play.

I believe there is a time to use two hands. Just not all the time.
Catching with two hands is a concept that dates back to the time when gloves were much, much smaller.

TOBTTReds
02-27-2006, 06:28 PM
CF is supposedly easier, because the ball isn't coming at an angle :dunno:

This is true. But the main reason why it is easier is because the ball is not curving that much (that might have been what you meant). How many times have we seen Adam Dunn do 360's in LF? Most balls hit to center have very little curve with the exception of smashed line drives (the ball is spinning harder). Plus, in CF, the ball is ALWAYS curving away from you, whether it is hit to the left or right of you...with this one exception below...

You know the fundamental quote that the hardest catch to make is the ball hit right at you? The ball hit right at you for a CF'er can curve either direction. Personally, it is much easier to play CF, and there is one less wall to run into and no corner to deal with (something he has had issues with).

RedsManRick
02-27-2006, 07:55 PM
This is true. But the main reason why it is easier is because the ball is not curving that much (that might have been what you meant). How many times have we seen Adam Dunn do 360's in LF? Most balls hit to center have very little curve with the exception of smashed line drives (the ball is spinning harder). Plus, in CF, the ball is ALWAYS curving away from you, whether it is hit to the left or right of you...with this one exception below...

You know the fundamental quote that the hardest catch to make is the ball hit right at you? The ball hit right at you for a CF'er can curve either direction. Personally, it is much easier to play CF, and there is one less wall to run into and no corner to deal with (something he has had issues with).

This was my thought as well. But what about an inside-out swing on a ball on the inner third of the plate from a righty to a righty. Depending on the timing, won't this result in a ball that's hit to left field with strong right hand english, meaning it's curving towards the CF. I suppose the question is whether the LF or CF is typically responsible for that hit.

Of course, the problem with balls hit right at you is not just that it can curve, but that because it lacks a 2nd lateral dimension, it is difficult to judge how close it is to you (ie. how hard it is hit) and thus know if it's gonna be over your head or in front of you. When you have an angle on the ball, it's much easier to figure out it's depth. This seems to be Pena's problem in particular. He has trouble judging depth well. He can do better in CF because he has a bit longer to react meaning speed can help make up for a bad pursuit angle.

Marc D
02-27-2006, 08:47 PM
It seems to me (could be wrong on this) that the ability to accurately judge fly balls, or at least a majority of them, is something that could be taught with enough patience and repetitive practice. It's a basic, fundamental skill that all OF'ers must possess, so if the reds are intent on keeping him in the OF, he'd better learn how to do it.


I can tell you from experience playing along side them, some people just cant judge a fly ball no matter how many you hit them.

Also as far as the CF vs corner OF question. CF puts a premium on speed and lessens the need to judge a slicing ball. You still have to deal with slices but its easier to read from CF but harder to get to if your not really fast. Conversley LF and RF is a harder read but easier to get to due to lack of area to cover.

I've personally seen several guys who were not very good corner outfielders play a very good CF due to their speed and arm. I played all 3 through HS and Legion ball and CF was much easier to judge flyballs imo. You couldn't pay me to play RF in mens beer league softball.

RANDY IN INDY
02-27-2006, 09:17 PM
Catching with two hands is a concept that dates back to the time when gloves were much, much smaller.

I agree with that. Outfielders gloves, today, are huge. While the outfielders use the "bushel baskets," many middle infielders still use very small gloves so that it is easier to get the ball out of their gloves, and almost use the glove like a paddle to get the ball from the glove hand to the throwing hand. Cal Ripken used a relatively small glove. Alex Rodriguez uses the same model that Ripken used. Buddy Bell used a small glove to play third base, but I see a lot of third basemen using much larger gloves than they used to.

There is still a time to use two hands in the professional game, just for the sheer need for transferring the ball quickly, but these guys are so wonderful with their hands, for the most part. I love to watch them take infield. It is sheer artistry to watch the great defensive players do their thing. It is a wonderful thing to see a great outfielder charge a ball, pick it one handed, and come up throwing, or to see them get their feet set under a fly and position the ball the correct way on their shoulder to make the throw.

Defense takes constant work, and some of the "big boppers" don't like to put in the time that it takes to be a good defensive player. It is more than just knowing the fundamentals of catching and throwing. It is knowing the hitters and positioning yourself so that you have the greatest chance of making the plays. It's thinking along with the pitcher and knowing the pitches before they are thrown. It takes a lot of effort and concentration. It's the thing that a lot of folks don't want to hear. "Playing the game the right way."

Spitball
02-27-2006, 11:58 PM
There is still a time to use two hands in the professional game, just for the sheer need for transferring the ball quickly, but these guys are so wonderful with their hands, for the most part. I love to watch them take infield. It is sheer artistry to watch the great defensive players do their thing. It is a wonderful thing to see a great outfielder charge a ball, pick it one handed, and come up throwing, or to see them get their feet set under a fly and position the ball the correct way on their shoulder to make the throw.


I agree. Using two hands enables the outfielder to have his throwing hand on the ball as he catches it, and this is even more important with large gloves where the ball can get "lost" while making the exchange.

LINEDRIVER
02-28-2006, 01:41 AM
I'm suggesting that WMP will lead all 2006 NL outfielders in fielding errors, throwing errors, whiffs, and getting picked off base.

RedsBaron
02-28-2006, 07:49 AM
I agree with that. Outfielders gloves, today, are huge. While the outfielders use the "bushel baskets," many middle infielders still use very small gloves so that it is easier to get the ball out of their gloves, and almost use the glove like a paddle to get the ball from the glove hand to the throwing hand. Cal Ripken used a relatively small glove. Alex Rodriguez uses the same model that Ripken used. Buddy Bell used a small glove to play third base, but I see a lot of third basemen using much larger gloves than they used to.


I can remember Joe Morgan using a glove that didn't look much larger than a dress glove, but Joe did quite well with it.

Chip R
02-28-2006, 09:06 AM
I'm suggesting that WMP will lead all 2006 NL outfielders in fielding errors, throwing errors, whiffs, and getting picked off base.

Way to go out on a limb there. ;)

37red
02-28-2006, 09:52 AM
He should catch the ball using two hands, when possible, which does two positive things. The first one is he'll keep his eye on the ball which he doesn't do now. This is true when it's hit on the ground to him as well. Think of all the times he's taken his eye off of it using one hand and bobbled it. Secondly he'll get a better grip on the ball for a quicker return to the infield.