Open stance gives Bay a different feel

Open stance gives Bay a different feel

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jason Bay has not seen it on video, so he cannot tell exactly how open his batting stance has become. But the difference is clear for Bay, who has been hitting this spring with his left foot a full step behind his right, the front of his torso exposed to the field.

The change is the most visible part of Bay's effort to avoid the mechanical tinkering that undid him last season. To that end, Bay has ceased watching video of his swing, molding his stance instead through what feels comfortable.

"I feel like I've done enough of that," Bay said of dissecting game film. "Now I'm just going to go up there and start feeling what I'm looking for instead of mechanically forcing it. I've always been a big feel guy, a big rhythm guy. I lost that somewhere along the way in trying to be too robotic."

One of Bay's early adjustments last year was to close off his stance, positioning his feet more parallel to home plate. Ditching that effort last September, he has since exaggerated the openness of his stance even more. It may continue to change depending upon how he feels.

"If you look at the baseball cards from 2004 to '07 to '09 to now, they're all a little bit different," Bay said. "But there's not one conscious effort. It's just kind of the evolution."