Opening Up the Blog

So after posting these new topics, I kind of noticed that everything seems so stiff and pressed and not fun. I’ve decided to open things up a bit by relaxing rather than focusing on finishing the blog for a grade. I’m going to have fun with this blog and hopefully you will too! Stay tuned for the latest updates on the everyday baseball grind!!!

-Franco

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Pine Tar: Liquid vs. Solid

Tiger Stick Pine Tar

Last post I featured various bat tape techniques to enhance the grip of a bat. However, tape is not the only method that increases the stickiness of a bat. Players everywhere will agree that the best way to make a bat sticky is by using pine tar. The biggest issue about pine tar though: liquid versus stick.

The two major types of pine tar are liquid and a solid stick of pine tar. From my personal experience, stick pine tar is better than liquid pine tar. The solid form is much more cost effective and provides a perfect amount of stickiness. Liquid pine tar probably is more “grippy” but the total cost for the liquid and materials needed to put the pine tar on the bat (special rags to apply and remove the tar) outweighs the longevity of the product. I have experimented with different pine tars and found that Tiger stick works the best. Use http://www.viperbats.com to buy Tiger stick brand pine tar for the lowest price and best quality.

Although every person has their own way to apply pine tar, the most common method (and the one I use) goes as follows:

1. Open pine tar

2. Rub pine tar below the barrel but above where you put your hands. There should be about three or four inches of product lengthwise on the bat and it should wrap around the entire bat.

3. Rub hands (with batting gloves on if  they are used) on the pine tar and get ready to swing

below the barrel, above the handle

It’s fairly straightforward. The use of pine tar will help improve grip which allows a batter to swing faster and harder.

Happy swingin’!

-Franco

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Bat Tape Techniques

Have you ever swung a bat and it slips out of your hands, flies across the field, and lands somewhere in your dugout? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. The problem is that the bat doesn’t have enough grip. A quick remedy to this problem is … taping the bat’s handle.

Taping a bat can be as complex or as simple as a person makes it, but if the appearance of the bat is a priority, then the time it takes to tape the bat will increase dramatically. There are simple ways of taping a bat and also exciting, complex tape techniques.

Perhaps the most fundamental method is just completely wrapping the handle with one piece of tape.

basic technique

However, a more common and stylistic technique uses tape to make “x’s” across the bat’s handle.

Criss Cross Method

To tape a bat like this, follow these instructions:

  1. Tear a long piece of tape, length is the distance from the knob to just before the barrel
  2. Cut the tape in half so that it is not as thick but still the same length
  3. Place one strip at an angle from the knob and wrap up the handle
  4. Repeat for the second strip
  5. Tape the ends of the strips so they won’t fall off

Once these two techniques are mastered, one can start playing around with tape techniques and create a unique, personal, and advanced way of taping. Personally, I tape my bats following the crisscross method, but I also add some flare to the technique.

My Variation

Don’t be afraid to add your own style and play around with taping your bat. Now when you swing, you can rest assured that the bat will remain glued to your hands and not fly off.

Happy swingin’!

-Franco

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Batting Gloves vs. Bare Hands

It is the age-old conflict for batters: batting gloves vs. bare hands. In my baseball career I have repeatedly transitioned from gloves to no gloves. The decision to use batting gloves is purely based on opinion; there is no science backing either side (to my knowledge), so it is just a preference.

Evoshield Batting Gloves

I have found that using new batting gloves combined with fresh tape on my bat and using pine tar provides the stickiest solution for swinging. But, when gloves become worn they lose their grip, so new gloves are required. I currently am using batting gloves but I buy a new pair for each season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. It is not the most frugal choice but it is just a preference that I use batting gloves.

With the number of swings I take each day, which is between 50-100, I use the gloves to protect my hands from sores or blisters that may occur. I also like gloves because they protect my hands when I am sliding on the base-paths. Diving headfirst on the infield dirt of a baseball field rips the skin from my hands; the gloves save my hands from unnecessary and uncomfortable wear and tear.

As I said earlier, I don’t use gloves if they become excessively worn and a new season has not yet started. The advantage of using bare hands is that there is no material separating the batter from the bat. However, frequent swinging without batting gloves leads to blisters and sore hands which painful and unnecessary. But, the choice is up to each and every baseball player in the world.

Jorge Posada Bare-hand Swing

Happy swingin’!

-Franco

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