I only managed three parts, but I never pretended I'd be able to keep up.
=== Stefen Romero for Dummies, Dept. ===
If you're new here, Romero is a 6'3", 225-lb. "second baseman" who was drafted 12th round in 2010, broke his arm, and couldn't play in the minors that year. Last year, 2011, he debut'ed as a pro and hit well, not great, at low-class-A Clinton.
Coming into 2012 he was, basically, unranked. He hit .350/.390/.580 at High Desert, but most pundits blow off all High Desert results because it's a hitter-friendly environment. Neverthless, scouts were beginning to say, hey, watch this guy.
Romero, 17 games ago, was promoted to the high minors, AA baseball. This seemed a bit too aggressive at the time - until Romero vindicated Zduriencik by posting a Lou Gehrig batting line in his very first look at high-minors pitch sequences.
Suddenly, then, Brad Miller and Stefen Romero are the two glitterati of the M's minor league system, the two position players most likely to be seen on top-100 lists this winter. SSI posters have called for The Big Crunch. As y'know, we live t' serve. :- )
.Screen shot #1 below, and #2-5 following, are taken from the 2:38 mark on this video. Don't get the idea that we are going off of this single swing. I believe the mainframe has inputted each Romero swing available on the 'net. This is typical, with a capital T. The Romero swing, of him, not the inputting, of us.
Romero's address looks like an All-Star high school shortstop on the infield, playing in a slo-pitch league for laughs. His balance, agility, and looseness are sigh-inducing. Run through a few Romero swings -- this one being at 2:38, and another one at 5:31, and another swing on this 33-second video.
Take a second and enjoy. This kind of relaxation is what they invented aikido for.
We could write a book on the benefits of relaxation in a hectic sports environment. Actually, people have. Choosing among 10,000 benefits, though, start with the understanding that as your mind becomes more stressed and pressured, the harder it becomes to think and to perceive. As your mind is more relaxed, the easier it is to think and perceive. I mean, you're most creative when? When you're asleep. Dreaming, as in.
There are four -- count them, 4 -- Grand Themes in aikido and aikidoka spend their lives trying to master them. One of these grand principles is relaxation. Every try to relax when a football player winds up and throws a punch at you? It's a transcendent experience. We mean that without hyperbole: your life is never the same once you have experienced it. At the moment I'm trying to experience it with respect to a golf swing and can't even come close...
Justin Smoak opens his lips, grinds his teeth, tenses his muscles, does the opposite of relaxing, and ... can't see the pitch before he makes a decision. Romero's style is the anti-Smoak.
Pedro Grifol, who is Romero's manager, positively swoons over Romero's makeup and here is where Dr. D can /cosign without reservation.