Baseball is full of quaint sayings like "can of corn" for an easy pop fly, "pickle" for a rundown, and even "tools of ignorance" for catcher's gear. To say a certain player swung at a pitch "at his eyes" is another one of those baseball-y things that is not actually true, but it gets the point across. Just like fielders don't catch an actual can of corn, most batters don't generally swing at baseballs thrown high enough to be on the same level with their eyes. And batters really don't swing at pitches so high they have to jump at just to get at eye level. Pablo Sandoval is not most batters.
Look at the pitch Sandoval just swung at (#5). pic.twitter.com/g5oD0Swvc5
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) June 29, 2015
What we've got here is a second-inning at-bat against knuckelballer R.A. Dickey in Toronto. Now, sure, hitting a knuckleball is one of life's great challenges, even to men paid millions to hit baseballs, but might I suggest an alternative approach to unlocking the mystery of the knuckleball?
Whatever this is, don't do it. I know what you're going to say, I know; "in the heat of the moment, it is difficult to control yourself like that and, hey, Sandoval actually put the ball in play, so maybe it's not such a bad idea after all?" That is certainly a point you are trying to make, but it is a bad one, and I will not engage this line of questioning any further, other than to say this: I know the knuckleball dances all over the place and is impossible to predict—so we're already fighting an uphill battle—but the next time you see a ball fluttering skyward, and you feel yourself getting on your tip-toes and possibly even preparing yourself to jump and swing, just drop the bat. Just drop it. You must do anything you can to resist the urge to swing at a ball that is a full strike zone above the actual strike zone.