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Jeter ditches famous swing changes

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08:22 AM ET 04.06 | Before a game in which he went 1 for 4 while his average remained south of .200, Derek Jeter was open to talking about changes in his game. [Jeter] will turn 37 in June, and he is coming off a dreadful season by his own standards, not to mention the contract negotiation from hell. So this is the season that will determine whether 2010 was a mere aberration, or the beginning of Derek Jeter's end. In that context, Jeter's first 14 at-bats are worthy of serious scrutiny, even from the captain himself. On his way into work Monday, unhappy over his early parade of ground balls, Jeter told himself he was through fretting over the changes hitting coach Kevin Long made in his footwork, reducing his front-foot stride to no stride at all. "I just said the heck with it," Jeter said. "I wasn't going to think about it."

ESPNNewYork.com

Derek Jeter, Getty Images Derek Jeter, Getty Images
April 6, 2011  08:27 AM ET

As well as you shouldn't HOF

April 6, 2011  08:37 AM ET

It's no surprise that this didn't work out. It's a lot harder changing the way you've hit all your life then it looks. He'll come around this weekend against the Sox, seems no matter how bad he's hitting he still kills us with a hit or two.

Comment #3 has been removed
April 6, 2011  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It's no surprise that this didn't work out. It's a lot harder changing the way you've hit all your life then it looks. He'll come around this weekend against the Sox, seems no matter how bad he's hitting he still kills us with a hit or two.

Word, Mongo.

This strideless swing cr@po!a was the worst idea since tinkering with the formula for Coca Cola. The hair-brained hitting coach who tried to convice Jeeter to take the legs out of a whole body motion should be fired, or demoted to picking up the players's jock straps.

Sadly it'll take him another month to get a natural motion back in synch. As a Red Sox fan I'm not encouraging the process, but... Jeter knows what he's doing. He should just listen to his body and let it happen.

April 6, 2011  09:07 AM ET

jeter is done

April 6, 2011  09:21 AM ET

The reason Jeter made the change in the first place is he can't get around on fastballs like he used to. The strideless swing has been used effectively by a few, but it drastically cuts down on your power. He's between a rock and a hard place now. Either he can't get around on a fastball or he slaps groundballs to short. Anyone who thinks this change back to the old swing is good news for Jeter or for the Yankees is in denial.

April 6, 2011  09:23 AM ET

BTW: I went to a Spring Training game in St Pete. Jeter had an o-fer, with a K, a weak GB and a line drive to center that kind of hung up for the centerfielder to go get it. Apparently this has been the standard game for Jeter. The question now is will he make 3,000, or will his game take a major nose dive this year and suddenly he's Mr. 2,999.

April 6, 2011  09:27 AM ET

"Jeter's first 14 at bats are worthy of serious scrutiny". Really??? Seriously???
4 games worth of at-bats does not a season (or in this case, a career) make. Whoever reported this is ridiculous. Give him a couple of months -- perhaps til allstar break before you stick a fork in him and call him done. He sure as heck has earned that right!

April 6, 2011  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

jeter is done

Not done but also not a 300 hitter any more - Jeter's strength has always been his ability to let the ball get very deep before swinging and then being very quick to the ball once he recognized the pitch. Hence all the line drives to right field and the high pitches per At Bat when he is performing well. The removing the stride may be a mistake but the reason he and Long tried it was he was having to guess more about the type of pitch last year because his bat speed was slowing (age). Slower to the ball - you have to start earlier - less time for pitch recognition - more strike-outs on breaking balls thrown at the outside half of the plate that end up being off the plate low and away.

April 6, 2011  09:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

"Jeter's first 14 at bats are worthy of serious scrutiny". Really??? Seriously???4 games worth of at-bats does not a season (or in this case, a career) make. Whoever reported this is ridiculous. Give him a couple of months -- perhaps til allstar break before you stick a fork in him and call him done. He sure as heck has earned that right!

You don't think it's notable that Jeter ditched his well publicized batting style change to combat his advancing age and declining skills after only 4 games? It means his plan failed and he has to hope somehow to get it back together by "not thinking about it". To me, that's a stunning development this early.

Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #15 has been removed
April 6, 2011  09:39 AM ET

Things can change in a hurry at 37....

April 6, 2011  09:44 AM ET

I just said the heck with it," Jeter said. "I wasn't going to think about it."

exactly...just go see the ball and hit the ball...keep it simple

April 6, 2011  09:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Not sure why you're getting all kinds of upset with the messenger, but Jeter had all of spring training to evaluate the change as well and obviously he felt it wasn't working.

It's true, he did have all Spring. But what is that for a regular (playing half the games & usually not all game)? 40-50 ABs? If you're going to make a change, you have to commit to it. You can't think that it's all going to sort out in 50 ABs. I've seen this before with Andruw Jones and others on the decline. If you're not going to stick with it, then don't bother. You're just setting yourself back farther. Jeter's season is hosed already.

Comment #19 has been removed
April 6, 2011  09:48 AM ET

jeter has to use the experience that brought him all the way where he's now, been discipline and enough patience eventually he can start hitting better than 200 avg!!

April 6, 2011  09:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I just said the heck with it," Jeter said. "I wasn't going to think about it."exactly...just go see the ball and hit the ball...keep it simple

I would usually agree with that philosophy (making an adjustment during the year, or something), but since Jeter has already admitted that he won't achieve good results the old way (since he saw it necessary to make the change in the first place) I don't see this as a positive development for Jeter.

April 6, 2011  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Oh NO!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I have to watch him dip back and forth again, like one of those toy ducks dipping over in the water bowl to get some water. My God, it doesn't get any worse than this.

HA! I never thought about it, but YES!

 
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