Re: Runnin' Wild
posted at 3/12/2012 3:43 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : The things you just described are at least 80% on the individual player and have little to do with team preference. "Not getting picked off", are you serious? What can coaches do about that, other than remind players to keep their focus? Hit and runs are largely dictated by both the runner AND the hitter at the plate (and the opposing pitcher, and catcher)...the value of that tactic is limited to game situation, and risk (can be quite large) has to be weighted against reward (often very small). Do I think the Sox were a good baserunning team last year? They weren't the best, and they weren't the worst, that's about all I can say or care to say, because it's a silly question otherwise. The Sox have some tremendous baserunners and some awful ones, so why would I lump that into a team "rating"? You make use your excellent baserunners, and you protect your poor ones...the best coaches are NOT the ones who impose some kind of team concept...they're the ones who tailor what they want out of a team around the skills of the players. "Standing around", the criticism that was being placed on the Sox, is a PHILOSOPHY of taking very few risks on the basepaths...and while the Sox definitely are not freewheeling when it comes to baserunning, they still make use of it often enough. You might criticize how good the Sox are at it (which is a different discussion), but I think it's uniformed to continue to label them as a philosophically station-to-station team.
Posted by redsoxu571[/QUOTE]
Most of what you say is dictated by the individual player in fact comes either on a sign from the bench or an attitude instilled by managers and coaches. Not getting picked off, similarly, is the result of managers and coaches repeatedly demanding alertness. And how properly to return to a base. Players are not virtuoso soloists, or shouldn't be, nor should a club adapt to accommodate a player's weaknesses, if they can be remedied.
The hit and run is one of baseball's master plays, if called at the right time and executed right.
It's far from silly to ask how a club is doing overall on the bases. The question can and is asked about all facets of the game, baserunning included. Feed Valentine a truth serum and ask him what he thinks of the Sox on the bases last season.
Teaching someone to run the bases is not like trying to teach him to hit .350.
It's perhaps the easiest element to teach and learn. That's why a lot of guys who aren't rabbits are amongst the best baserunners. You don't "protect" poor baserunners. You get on their tail until they improve.
Philosophy doesn't matter as much as execution. What counts is what happens on the field.
Youkilis said in an interview that in ST the club was rehearsing things that "we'd probably forgotten." That is, fundamentals all around. Baserunning is one of them.