Rox coach builds ardent social media following

Weinstein aims to instruct, promote game on Twitter, Facebook

Rox coach builds ardent social media following

DENVER -- Baseball fans, coaches and players have reason to look forward to social media, thanks to Jerry Weinstein, a veteran instructor in the Rockies' organization.

On Monday, Weinstein treated his more than 16,300 (and counting) Twitter followers (@JWonCATCHING) to six seconds of baseball done fundamentally right, by posting Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel's "load and go" delivery from the stretch.

Weinstein explains how Keuchel "sits," or lowers his hips at the start of the delivery, to maintain power and control.

Weinstein, who will manage Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, also shares these gems with his 3,767 and growing friend list on Facebook. Weinstein, considered one of baseball's foremost catching experts, in addition to being renowned for his pitching strategy, recently offered a five-part series of short videos on a catcher's pregame preparation. 

Weinstein turned 73 on Nov. 9. He began his career as a freshman baseball coach at UCLA in 1966, fresh from earning a bachelor's degree in history and before earning a master's in physical education in 1969. He has written several books, including "Baseball Coach's Survival Guide," with Tom Alston, and "The Complete Handbook of Coaching Catchers," as well as a coaching manual for USA Baseball.

But joining social media and posting as close to daily as possible has extended Weinstein's reach.

"Sometimes I'll have 100,000 people look at [my social media]. You've got to be kidding me?" said Weinstein, who serves as special advisor to player development and scouting advisor. "You get 100,000 hits on just little things and hear, 'Oh, you're the guy? I just love your stuff.' So I guess if you feel like you're doing something that helps the game, that's what I'm trying to do -- help the guys become better coaches and help players become better players.

"It's not the gospel. It's not like I'm rewriting the Ten Commandments or anything."

Weinstein had finished "The Complete Handbook of Coaching Catchers" when Alan Jaeger -- an important figure in baseball in the areas of training, fundamentals and psychology -- suggested Weinstein become active on social media.

"He's the one that set me up, taught me how to do it," Weinstein said. "I was just trying to promote the book a little bit, trying to get it out there. I'm not a very good businessman. Then I started throwing things out there. I got a lot of positive response relative to just basic technique, fundamental stuff. And I have access, working for the Rockies, to a lot of great video."

Of course, he highlights the home team. Weinstein tweeted about Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood faking a bunt and managing an infield single that moved a runner to second.

But Weinstein highlights all the teams. The World Series was a treasure trove of standout plays from the Cubs and the Indians.

Weinstein -- whose Team Israel WBC squad will play in Korea from March 7-10 against South Korea, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands -- is guided by a simple principle: He highlights triumphs.

"I try not to be a 20/20 hindsight guy, not after the fact saying, 'Why didn't they do this?' or, 'They should've done this,'" Weinstein said. "I try to be positive. There are things that you see and you want to say something, but you realize how hard this game is."

In an era of well-meaning instructors pushing cookie-cutter techniques or claiming authority by looking at a video or two, Weinstein reminds that the game offers art as well as science.

"I say there's no 'always' or 'never.' I'm just trying to put more information in people's file cabinet," Weinstein said. "If they have a situation with an individual -- because it's all about adapting to the individual differences -- then they have some resources.

"People say, 'He's got good mechanics.' I don't even know what that means. What is good mechanics? It that going to be the right mechanics for Jon Gray or someone who's 6-foot-6 and really athletic and has a lot of quick-twitch? We're a bunch of slow-twitch, squatty-body guys, but that doesn't mean that we can't find a way to accomplish a particular movement skill."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.