How to hit 'em
Get the bat head in front. It's not about how hard you swing. If you're facinga guy who throws 95 miles an hour, all you need to do is get the barrel of thebat where it needs to be—slightly in front of the plate. People think theharder they throw, the harder you swing. Usually it's the opposite. You can beshorter and quicker to the ball. The pitcher's going to provide all thepower.
How he learned
My dad and I played in the yard [in DeLand, Fla.] with tennis balls. He'd throwas hard as he could from 45, 50 feet. From the time I was seven, I saw ballscome at me 75, 80 miles an hour. I had to tune it up.
Mental drills, looking at film. It's just getting mentally ready, decidingwhether you want to put in play the fastball away or the fastball in or put thefastball in play at all. I pick one side of the plate and go get it.
With guys like Roger, Randy, Schilling and Pedro, you're going to see heatpainted on the outside corner. So you've got to be thinking about 'em,sleep-dreaming about 'em, and when you wake up in the morning, you're lockedin.
JOHN IACONO (JONES ACTION)
GARY A. VASQUEZ/US PRESSWIRE (JONES HEADSHOT)