The Raul Ibanez story is almost too impossible to believe and many will have trouble doing so. But there are so many things about Ibanez’s improbable career that are already difficult to imagine, so suspending your cynicism one more time and making the leap of faith needed to comprehend a 41-year-old hitting 24 home runs by the All-Star Break is just one more step.
In this morning’s paper, I try to explain the story to you. It starts with a diet and conditioning regimen required to allow a 40-something player to keep competing with 20-and-30-year-olds. Then, it takes the mindset needed to not accept that failure is inevitable.
And in Ibanez’s case, it also took a special “Tek Bat” he has used since May in indoor batting cages to hone his swing. The bat was given him by a coach from long ago, a security guard at his former high school who also once gave him the Ted Williams book “The Science of Hitting.”
Mariners hitting coach Dave Hansen, another longtime friend and former teammate, worked extensively with Ibanez to find a way to incorporate the oddly-shaped bat into his workout regimen.
Read about Ibanez and his incredile story in this morning’s paper.