Re: Ellsbury Excelling at Leadoff Position
posted at 5/4/2011 4:40 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Ellsbury Excelling at Leadoff Position
[QUOTE]Expitch, I'm sorry, but I think what you are saying is that Ellsbury should have stayed on second base or had a lead of no more than a stride or two. I say again, it was a bam-bam play. Gonzalez's liner went straight to the second baseman, who immediately threw it to the shortstop. If Ellsbury was drifting, the play would not have been close, but it was. And these kinds of double plays happen all the time. Iguess Expitch and softy are saying it's time to break a century long tradition of taking a sizable lead off a base in hopes of getting an extra base or even scoring a run that counters the few times you may end up getting picked off. What's most disturbing about this opinion, is that softy and expitch blame Ellsbury for not choosing to break the century long tradition on his own, against management's and MLB's base-running philosophy. I am 100% positive that had Ellsbury been standing just 2 feet off the base and was thrown out at home by a foot on a hit, softy would have been here criticizing Ellsbury for not taking the "standard lead" in tht situation. A good baserunning player on the basepaths takes as big a lead as possible to avoid the normal "pickoff" out. Tommy Harper was the master of the big lead, and was praised for it, even though he was "doubled off" more than his fair share for it. Good baserunnes are also leaning to the next base and even stepping that way as the ball reaches the plate. No sane manager would have his baserunners stand 3 feet off the bases. Getting doubled off a base happens. Sometimes a baserunner misjudges by a foot or so and can be blamed for the out. My guess is if it was anyone but "Jake or Jed" we'd be heaing nothing but crickets about the play from softy. As for the "baseball terminology" debate: this is proof positive that GM is indeed softlawA, softlaw1A , softlaw__ fill in the blank. He alone decides what words like "pop" mean, he alone can change the meaning of "picked off" so as not to appear to have mispoken, he alone can determine who is a bust. He alone is the biggest clown on the board.
Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
No need to be sorry -- unless you're apologizing for being wrong. On a line drive, the first step by the baserunner should be back towards the bag. It's really as simple as that -- yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It doesn't matter which way the runner is leaning or stepping. Drifting, too, has nothing to do with it -- except to stop as soon as the ball is seen as a line drive, unless it's clearly between fielders.
You're back to caricaturing the other man's position. Shame on you. I did not say the runner should stay on the bag or take a short lead. You're saying that I said or implied that. No matter where the runner is or what he's doing, the principle is the same: "Make the ball go through."
If the runner takes the first step back towards the bag, very rarely if ever in mid-infield is a ball hit so hard or so directly that the runner doesn't have time to return to the bag.
The reasoning behind the correct way to make the play is obvious. The risk of a double play when you're in scoring position is too great to take; if the ball goes through you probably will score. That goes twice if your name is Ellsbury.
If these kinds of double plays "happen all the time," the main reason is that the runner made a mistake.
That is the overriding "century-old tradition."
OK, since you've pushed me this far with your condescending tone and dishonest representation of my position, here goes. Casey Stengel and Rod Dedeaux, my college coach, were good friends. One night Casey was holding court in Rod's living room. The upshot of his dissertation on baserunning was that there is no excuse for being doubled off base. That's my source -- as if one needed a source -- what's yours?
And, oh, please leave me out of your feud with GM. In this instance, he's right.