• Don Mattingly’s Hitting Is Simple

    Posted by on February 22nd, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Don Mattingly’s Hitting Is Simple: The ABC’s of Batting .300” is slated to be released in 12 days.

    There’s no word on whether or not the sequel to this release will be a book on tips towards being a wonderful bench coach.

    Now, I love Donnie as much as the next Yankeeland zealot. And, I will not deny that Mattingly knows more about hitting a baseball than many, many, people. However, I don’t see myself running out to get his new book.

    To be a batting coach who gets my attention, you need to have a serious pelt on your belt – like Charlie Lau had George Brett and Rudy Jaramillo has Gary Matthews Jr.

    Show me where you actually made someone into a great hitter and then I’ll want to hear what you are selling.

    There’s no fighting the fact that Mattingly knows hitting mechanics and works hard on studying pitchers, etc. – he’s proven that. But, you can say that about most batting coaches in the bigs too. Therefore, I see no reason to be overly jazzed about this book release than I would be if, say, Steve Henderson had a book on hitting coming out as well.

    Comments on Don Mattingly’s Hitting Is Simple

    1. brockdc
      February 22nd, 2007 | 10:42 pm

      As a teacher, you’re only as good as the willingness of your pupils to learn. As far as Donnie’s success, one name immediately comes to mind for me: Giambi. He practically nursed Giambi’s ego and power stroke back to health in 2005. As Giambi emerged from his year-long slump (remember how we were all saying that he was finished?), he repeatedly praised Mattingly’s expertise and dogged determination in helping to turn his season around.

      In the end, the question is: did Giambi return to form due to improved health or Mattingly’s proficiency as a hitting coach. Probably more the former, but you have to give Mattingly at least a little credit here.

    2. February 22nd, 2007 | 10:53 pm

      How about Donnie’s work with A-Rod last year? It was so good that it brought cause for a Lou Piniella sleep-over, no?


    3. Raf
      February 22nd, 2007 | 11:26 pm

      Funny, because it was Lou who taught Donnie everything he knows, wasn’t it?

      I’d thumb through Donnie’s book, but chances are I won’t pick it up. Haven’t really found anything better than Williams’ “Science of Hitting”

    4. Nick from Washington Heights
      February 23rd, 2007 | 12:08 am

      What about Cano. He seemed to make a big leap in his second year. No?

    5. February 23rd, 2007 | 9:36 am

      Has Donnie ever been cited for working with him?

    6. JeremyM
      February 23rd, 2007 | 10:06 am

      I do believe Mattingly has been cited for working with Cano. I think it goes without saying that he worked with him–does a rookie in the majors just get thrown out there? I somehow doubt it. If I remember the stories correctly, he worked a lot with Cano on using the whole field. Really, if Mattingly had been reincarnated, it almost seems like Cano would be the guy–they’re both pretty aggressive hitters with good doubles power.

      Anyway, I don’t see anything wrong with this book. Ted Williams, as cited above, has the definitive book on hitting, and as I recall, he was never a hitting coach. But he could damn sure hit. And considering Mattingly was a guy that wasn’t born with a lot of natural talent, and instead worked his tail off and became the best hitter in baseball for half a decade or so, I’d say his thoughts on hitting are worth a look.

    7. Raf
      February 23rd, 2007 | 10:27 am

      And considering Mattingly was a guy that wasn’t born with a lot of natural talent
      I don’t know about that; he had a lot of talent; he hit everywhere he was. I’d say he could’ve been a full-time player in ’83, maybe ’82.

    8. February 23rd, 2007 | 12:25 pm

      FWIW, IIRC, Donnie was written up in SI, as a HS kid, for not swinging and missing an entire season – or something like that.

      The only thing that prevented him from being a hyped draftee was the lack of speed.

    9. JeremyM
      February 23rd, 2007 | 12:50 pm

      Yeah, but have you ever heard the stories on his routine in high school? He was up with the roosters hitting in the cage year round. Obviously he’s had talent, but he worked his tail off to develop it. Anyway, my point is, if Don Mattingly wants to talk about hitting, I consider him very credible.

    10. February 23rd, 2007 | 1:31 pm

      I never said he was not.
      I just said that he’s got nothing on Lau and those types.

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