“I started to watch a batter’s hands and feet, his elbow and shoulders, his swing pass. Then, depending on your pitcher and what pitch he’s about to throw, you know what the hitter is most likely to do,” he said.Glad to hear Wilson takes the Greg Maddux to the game: study, discipline, maximum effort--a welcome change from the laissez faire style of his predecessor.
“I got good enough that in Pittsburgh, they let me set the infield defense. I moved an outfielder one time and one of the coaches asked why. I showed him the video of the hitter’s first swing and said, ‘Look at that. There’s no way he was going to be able to pull a ball with that swing.’ After that, they trusted me.”
It was more than study in the field. Wilson read up on the opposition.
“If a guy is in a slump, for instance, what’s he going to try to do? Keep the ball up the middle, go the other way. That’s how you try to get out of a slump,” Wilson said. “Pulling the ball gets you into slumps, it doesn’t get you out. So if a guy is in a slump, it doesn’t make sense to play him to pull.”
Just stay out of Wilson's way when he's heating the Florence flask.
Update: The Times' Larry Stone explains why Wilson chose baseball over soccer--and how the world's game has helped him compete in America's pastime.