I am a believer in the drop and drive method over the tall and fall. I even had a discussion with a former MLB pitcher several years ago. This gent is a very good pitching coach and is a tall and fall guy. He is very good at what he does and has a big following.
I think back on our discussion and just laugh about the whole scenario. What originally got me going was I asked him how a second baseman should throw the ball to first base. I am old school on this issue; the second baseman needs to stay low. The perfect example is to watch Manny Trillo and the way he threw the ball in the 80s, he stayed low and threw the ball ¾ or side arm. The runner from first on a double play attempt knew he had to get down because of the way Trillo threw the ball. I think it is very important for second basemen and shortstops to be able to throw from down under, and to stay low.
Before we could even get to the issue of throwing the ball, Scott gets into position of fielding the ball like an infielder. What got me going was he gave an example of catching the ground ball with the alligator style. Anybody that knows me, I am not a believer in this method at the least bit. Well we got mouthy on the walk back to the mound. I had my pitching coach with me and I can still see us all walking back to the mound and the look on Walt’s face, still humors me.
I think the next lesson we discussed the issue of drop and drive and tall and fall. It was the same thing to hot heads disagreeing, except I didn’t say too much, because he knows pitching. My strength is base running and fielding, and not pitching.
Scott Terry was the former MLB pitcher that was our pitching coach. Scott is very good as a pitching coach and is firm in his opinion. I just disagree with him on these two issues. I have seen Scott a few times after our lessons and he remembers me. Good Humor! We get along very well now and I hope that he will do some writing for us or make some comments.
I remember when Mark Pryor came up to the majors, and all the analysts were in awe of him and his delivery. The consensus was he was so nice and easy with his motion and had the perfect delivery. Pryor was a tall and fall guy, and I said from the beginning he was going to have arm problems. Pryor had arm troubles his entire career and never came close to what the experts thought he would accomplish.
Tall and fall is exactly as it says, the pitcher stays as tall as possible to be able to throw in a more downward angle to the hitter. The pitcher then seems to just fall with his lead leg and not to drive on his back leg. It looks to me like the pitcher is using nothing but his arm and not using his body, legs or trunk. The lead leg is not extended like the drop and drive. It seems to me they don’t follow through on their delivery; it seems the back leg just drops by their side. If you are following through your back leg should be a little closer to home plate than your lead leg.
I like to give this example, a shortstop fields the ball and he throws to first base. He completes his throw and his body follows the ball towards first base. Watch Jim Edmonds play center field and see him get behind the ball and then he goes in the direction of the base he is throwing too. His follow through has him rather violently going towards the base.
Here is another example, Shawon Dunston at the tail end of his career he played for the Cards. He was normally a shortstop but with us he played leftfield. I saw him do this a couple of times where he would be charging the ball with the runner on second and was going to do his best to throw the runner out at the plate. He was in the one way charge and fielded the ground ball and he fired to home plate, and he gave it everything and fell forward after making the throw! Dunston and Edmonds did this the proper way where you follow the throw and sometimes falling forward on your face. My point is I don’t think the tall and fall guys follow their throws to home plate.
Drop and drive is the pitcher pushing off the rubber and driving out to about the height of his body, towards home plate. His body drops so to be able to push off of the rubber and is driving hard to the plate. The pitcher is using his trunk, legs, upper body and arm to make his delivery to the plate. When you drive to the plate you also release the ball closer to the hitter, which makes your pitch quicker. The perfect example is Tom Seaver Hall of Famer that pitched for the Mets and the Reds.
I really prefer the drop and drive because you are using more of your body than just your arm. I will have the majority of people and the professionals disagreeing with me, but that is ok, I am a big boy.
I can’t wait for Scott Terry to get back with me and write some articles.