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Thread: Defending Aggressive Base Running

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    It happens in HS all the time! Our team loves to pull the 1st and 3rd, R1 takes off and stops play. It ends up different ways, but more often than not a run ends up scoring, and its for the same reason it works at lower levels. It’s a very complex play that 5 fielders have to have perfectly coordinated, and that takes a lot of experience to get right. Of course at our level all of the players have higher skill levels, and that’s why it doesn’t work as often as it does at levels lower. But it does work. It’s sometime tried in college, but it works even less there, and its very seldom tried above that, and when it is, it’s a very special situation.
    We were coached in HS as a trailing runner with less than 2 outs to push for an extra base and if your beat get into a pickle hoping the lead runner would get an extra base. It's fun to play and it's fun to watch.

    Not real baseball. You guys and your real baseball. Like everyone else is playing fake baseball. Exploiting a teams weakness is a part of every sport. Now exploiting that weakness into a slaughter is a no no. When you're playing within the rules to gain an advantage than I don't see anything wrong with it.

    There is extremes at every level and it's all based on prespective.

    We have a coach in our league 10-12yr olds that gets upset if you steal second at will because he has a weak catcher. His whole point is you would never take that risk under "normal baseball" circumstances. My point to him is if you want to defend against the steal move your hotshot ss behind the plate and we wont steal at will. We make defensive position choices all the time based on what talent we have available and what we want to defend against. If an offense finds a hole we make adjustments.

    Should the 12yr old pitchers back off on the bottom half of the 10yr old line up to give them a shot at putting it in play?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    First I'll state I dislike coaches who teach bs baseball to gain advantage at a level of play that will not help any players at the next level. I detest the runners who distract from the game with their dancing on the base paths.

    This is all bs. None of it will develop players for the next level. I loved coaching against coaches who taught this stuff by 13U. By 13U it's all they have and people notice they are baseball ignorant.
    You always talk about the next level like everything we do today is for tomorrow. When in reality at every jump in level you lose 60-70% of the players. Taking kids and winning TOC will be the biggest sporting championship many/most kids will ever experience. It does mean something to the bottom half of your lineup that may never play any sport above rec. They may never be involved in any other sport this structured that allows a championship based on the last 4 months of play.

    Real baseball, never see it above 13u, ignorant coaching, bla bla bla. This mentality comes off as egotistic and arrogant to us lesser thans! Many times it comes after getting beat by a team you feel is inferrior. You can't say they cheated because they played with in the rules. So they result to they are not playing real baseball.

    I am not a Fan of a kid being a monkey between bases but a trailing runner making the defense make a choice is not a problem in my book.
    Last edited by real green; 05-07-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    You always talk about the next level like everything we do today is for tomorrow. When in reality at every jump in level you lose 60-70% of the players. Taking kids and winning TOC will be the biggest sporting championship many/most kids will ever experience. It does mean something to the bottom half of your lineup that may never play any sport above rec. They may never be involved in any other sport this structured that allows a championship based on the last 4 months of play.

    Real baseball, never see it above 13u, ignorant coaching, bla bla bla. This mentality comes off as egotistic and arrogant to us lesser thans! Many times it comes after getting beat by a team you feel is inferrior. You can't say they cheated because they played with in the rules. So they result to they are not playing real baseball.

    I am not a Fan of a kid being a monkey between bases but a trailing runner making the defense make a choice is not a problem in my book.
    True dat. TG seems to think all we're doing down here with our little 12 and 13 yo's is training them for the major leagues. If by "higher level" he means HS, this kind of stuff still happens there all the time. As far as it not teaching them anything useable at the next level, I think it certainly teaches defenses a few things, which is why you don't see it as much as you move up.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    You always talk about the next level like everything we do today is for tomorrow. When in reality at every jump in level you lose 60-70% of the players. Taking kids and winning TOC will be the biggest sporting championship many/most kids will ever experience. It does mean something to the bottom half of your lineup that may never play any sport above rec. They may never be involved in any other sport this structured that allows a championship based on the last 4 months of play.

    Real baseball, never see it above 13u, ignorant coaching, bla bla bla. This mentality comes off as egotistic and arrogant to us lesser thans! Many times it comes after getting beat by a team you feel is inferrior. You can't say they cheated because they played with in the rules. So they result to they are not playing real baseball.

    I am not a Fan of a kid being a monkey between bases but a trailing runner making the defense make a choice is not a problem in my book.
    Because I played through college baseball and returned to coach from kiddie ball rec through college prospect showcase ball I have a healthy respect for the game. I believe in teaching the game properly. I have little respect for the know nothings who try to reinvent the game with gimmicks that don't teach the kids how to play ball. These gimmicks aren't worth a minutes worth of practice when balanced against teaching the game properly.

    The next level is whatever is the next age grouping. When dealing with 9/10's the next level is 11/12's. At each level the players should be taught as much as they can grasp. Each year they choose to play should be cummulative learning on the proper way to play the game. The coaches who teach the crap get exposed at 13U. It's when gimmicks get a team embarassed due to the increased level of competition. In the LL our family came from, purposely getting in rundowns would create nothing but an out most of the time in 11/12's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Because I played through college baseball and returned to coach from kiddie ball rec through college prospect showcase ball I have a healthy respect for the game. I believe in teaching the game properly. I have little respect for the know nothings who try to reinvent the game with gimmicks that don't teach the kids how to play ball. These gimmicks aren't worth a minutes worth of practice when balanced against teaching the game properly.

    The next level is whatever is the next age grouping. When dealing with 9/10's the next level is 11/12's. At each level the players should be taught as much as they can grasp. Each year they choose to play should be cummulative learning on the proper way to play the game. The coaches who teach the crap get exposed at 13U. It's when gimmicks get a team embarassed due to the increased level of competition. In the LL our family came from, purposely getting in rundowns would create nothing but an out most of the time in 11/12's.
    I have respect for the game as well and believe in teaching the game properly. The definition of properly is an opinion.

    Is it a gimmick for the trailing runner to take an extra bag while the defense is trying to keep the lead runner from scoring? Making the defense make a play. I have seen it so many times at every level. Why is this a bastardization of the game?

  6. #26
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    Recklessly running the bases in a manner that would get a player thrown out at the next level is a bastardazation of the game. Reckless base running is not aggressive base running. What I've seen described in the past two threads is reckless, not aggressive.
    Last edited by tg643; 05-07-2012 at 07:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    First I'll state I dislike coaches who teach bs baseball to gain advantage at a level of play that will not help any players at the next level.
    We often disagree.... But on this I could not agree with you more.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    We were coached in HS as a trailing runner with less than 2 outs to push for an extra base and if your beat get into a pickle hoping the lead runner would get an extra base. It's fun to play and it's fun to watch.
    Real, go back to the OP... We were talking about 10 year olds! I think most here would agree what you describe above would be appropriate and in fact a big part of the game at this level.

    Not real baseball. You guys and your real baseball. Like everyone else is playing fake baseball. Exploiting a teams weakness is a part of every sport. Now exploiting that weakness into a slaughter is a no no. When you're playing within the rules to gain an advantage than I don't see anything wrong with it.
    My experience is this, at some point, will always work against you or your players.

    We have a coach in our league 10-12yr olds that gets upset if you steal second at will because he has a weak catcher. His whole point is you would never take that risk under "normal baseball" circumstances. My point to him is if you want to defend against the steal move your hotshot ss behind the plate and we wont steal at will. We make defensive position choices all the time based on what talent we have available and what we want to defend against. If an offense finds a hole we make adjustments.

    Should the 12yr old pitchers back off on the bottom half of the 10yr old line up to give them a shot at putting it in play?
    While I agree with you... this, at some level, makes it about the coaches and not about the players. DO you have evry team in the league beat up on this team because their coaching is poor...

    Now on the other hand, if I recommended this and he refused to do this because HE wanted to win, then all bets off... That's the point many have made is that it has to go both ways.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by real green View Post
    I have respect for the game as well and believe in teaching the game properly. The definition of properly is an opinion.

    Is it a gimmick for the trailing runner to take an extra bag while the defense is trying to keep the lead runner from scoring? Making the defense make a play. I have seen it so many times at every level. Why is this a bastardization of the game?
    Real, how long have you been coaching?? (And I don't mean to ask this in a bad way) I did not gain real perspective on what made sense overall, untill I had a decade or so under my belt and my players were playing college... and a few in the pros. Only then could I understand what made sense...
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  10. #30
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    Is it a gimmick for the trailing runner to take an extra bag while the defense is trying to keep the lead runner from scoring? Making the defense make a play. I have seen it so many times at every level. Why is this a bastardization of the game?

    Every level? I've never seen reckless running of the bases past preteen rec ball. I didn't see it in early teen travel that was high level. I've never seen in it high school ball. I've never seen it in college ball. What levels have you coached and/or played? That you would suggest playing this way suggest you didn't go far enough in the game to get the kind of coaching were you would understand and respect the game.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    I've never seen reckless running of the bases past preteen rec ball.
    ahem...

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    Quote Originally Posted by songtitle View Post
    Do you have ADHD? Do you have trouble staying on topic? Exactly what was it Harper did that was reckless? At what point in the steal of home did he purposely get in a rundown hoping a fielder would either drop the ball or throw it away? These are the topics of this thread. Nothing Harper did was what has been described in this thread. Harper took a calcucated risk based on a skill set (timing and speed). He wasn't looking to force unskilled players into screwing up.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Do you have ADHD? Do you have trouble staying on topic? Exactly what was it Harper did that was reckless? At what point in the steal of home did he purposely get in a rundown hoping a fielder would either drop the ball or throw it away? These are the topics of this thread. Nothing Harper did was what has been described in this thread. Harper took a calcucated risk based on a skill set (timing and speed). He wasn't looking to force unskilled players into screwing up.
    I agree. There is a difference between being aggressive and being stupid and just hope.

    However I do sometimes see a lack of aggressiveness even at the highest level. Even in the majors I see guys failing to make a turn on first and taking second if the outfielder fails to hit the cutoff on a throw home. This is not good either.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominik View Post
    I agree. There is a difference between being aggressive and being stupid and just hope.

    However I do sometimes see a lack of aggressiveness even at the highest level. Even in the majors I see guys failing to make a turn on first and taking second if the outfielder fails to hit the cutoff on a throw home. This is not good either.
    There is defintely a case to be made for baserunners not being aggressive enough. You'll see it in high school. At the MLB level, while the average fan might not like it, the pros pace themselves. They do not play 162 games like it's the seventh game of the World Series.

  15. #35
    I am no expert and probably have not coached near as long as a number of members. I do understand that coaches at every level of sport regardless of the actual sport take advantage of other teams weaknesses. At youth level play there are just more weaknesses to exploit. To say that upper levels don't exploit weaknesses would be ludicrous. If that were the case why would coaches and players need scouting reports or watch film. They don't just use them to see what the opponents strong suit is. They are looking for weaknesses as well! In basketball a team without size gets exploited inside. In football a team without speed gets exploited outside. In baseball a team without sound defensive fundamentals gets exploited on the basepaths. Should we not bunt because the third baseman is overweight or the opponent does not defend it well? Should we not take two on an outfielder with a weak arm? Maybe a baserunner should not go to third on an overthrow to first when the rightfielder forgets to back up the throw.
    I understand the point that sometimes these rec coaches are going overboard and not teaching the basics and more concerned with wins and losses. Some rec dept are just furtunate to find enough coaches for the teams in the league. Some recs have to call random parents or maybe ask the local basketball or football nice guy if he would help out. This guys only cue is keep the elbow up. His goal is to win to keep the parents and players happy. He is the coach that sets up the machine for 2 hours of BP on the field during every practice while the other kids shag balls.
    You want the answer to the OP, GET THE OUT! They want to screw around on the bases, take an out which is more precious in rec than a run. If you don't want to give up the run, then give up second and have confidence that your defense can get the next guy out. Spend some time at practice getting better at this. In our league the regular season record counts for seeding into the playoffs. Everybody goes so I spend that time working as much basic fundamental stuff as possible. I let them throw the ball around and try to make plays in the game just like we practice. It typically does not begin very well but they all have the ability to learn. They begin to understand what they are and are not capable of. All this in hopes that come playoff time they have learned somethings and honed those skills.

  16. #36
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    This stuff is similar to the youth football coaches that spend an unwarranted amount of time on things like triple reverses and flea flickers (and then as dads always complain that the HS coaches doesn't teach the kids to play football) that exploit things like the age of the defenders and/or length of the field. Rather than take the kid that would make a great TE with some coaching, or an athletic lineman, they stick him in the backfield because it doesn't require any more coaching than "run straight ahead, Tank".

    I've said this recently, but we played our first "leadoff travel tournament" this year. It took our players about 2 games to really get the hang of it and the players that enjoyed it the most were the least talented guys that enjoyed, for a change, being able to steal bases. I'm not impressed. I am however, impressed at the DP's I've seen turned, and credit to the coaches for teaching the footwork.

    What we need is for coaches/dads to see the "big picture" and understand that winning a 10U rec league game is insignificant. Seriously, it's meaningless. Winning ALL of the 10U rec league games is insignificant. If the highlight of a boy's baseball career is his undefeated 10U team, then we have failed them.

    The exploitation at this level is on [1] arm strength and [2] base length.

    If you take all above average defenders and they can't get the runner out ~75% of the time, then it's likely an exploit.

    It's been my experience that dads/coaches that have played college baseball or higher "get it" more than the guys that haven't. The guys that really seem to ruin it for everyone else are the ones that think the rec league or whatever division they're coaching is the pinnacle of baseball. The goal should be to teach kids skills and mechanics that won't need to be "unlearned" later.

  17. #37
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    This situation happened to me the other day...I was coaching third base and was not very aggressive with the base running...Needless to say other coaches on my team disagreed with my approach...I think it depends on the developental stage of the kids... If they can throw and catch...by all means be aggressive....If you have kids who are still unable to throw accurately, field and catch properly...I think very aggressive base running is bush league...IN REC BALL!

    In rec leagues, Coaches need to coach their own team, but also need to have consideration for the other team's coach who may have players that are just learning the game....The whole point of REC ball is to introduce and intruct kids to the sport of baseball....if some kids start late...do you really think they are going to stick with it if the coaches on the other teams take advantage of their inexperiance and skill level to make themselves feel better? And then people wonder why baseball is losing players...

    Lets face it..baseball is very differnent than other sports and requires a long period od skill development to play elegantly...Between 5 and 11..you just don't have an even development of skills for a variety of reasons..

    You don't have to play station to station T-Ball...but if you are forcing the other team to play pickle and they are not at that developmental level yet...you are exposing a weakness on that team... if its Travel ball then sure...go ahead...if it is Rec ball...I hope you feel good about beating up on little kids.

    I like the rule about pitchers mound being home base in that situation....

    JMHO

  18. #38
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    Our Little League Minors has eliminated the "monkey in the middle" play, as well as, stealing home from 3rd (unless a play has been made on the runner at 3rd).

    Last year we started having the epidemic of runners stealing home on throws back to the pitcher, or the catcher trying to chase back the runner to third only to have him come home anyway on the throw back to the pitcher.

    Like Coach Weaver explains, we're talking about an age group of baseball where the greatest offensive weapon is the passed ball. So, many of the comments regarding preparing to stop pickle/monkey plays are just that .... talk. At this age, basics are still a challenge for much of the team and the basic basics are a challenge for a third of the team.

    I think a case can be made that kids 12 and up, that essentially anything goes. But not 10U.

  19. #39
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    Our team is not overly agressive running the bases. We have been burned a couple times when we sent a runner home on a passed ball/wild pitch and it bounced perfectly off the fence back to the catcher who either made the tag himself or had an easy toss to the pitcher for the out. We held runners on 3rd several times last night on wild pitches when we probably could have scored. Sometimes I wish our HC/3rd BC would be more agressive, but I am OK with our style in general. Last night I think we could have easily stolen home on the throw back to the pitcher because the catcher was being careless, but we just have not taught the kids to look for that yet.

    The good part is that our #2 catcher (my son) has thrown out at least one runner trying a straight steal in each of the last 2 games (3rd base empty). So now I think most teams will at least wait until a dropped or passed ball to steal. Unfortunately our #3 catcher fell for the stolen base attempt with a runners and 1st and 3rd and then almost hit our sleeping center fielder with the ball. We also picked off a runner who was trying go between 2 and 3 as the pitcher turned his back to head to the mound. We definitely need to just get outs when we can and concede 2B in close games where the runner on 3rd is important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    It's been my experience that dads/coaches that have played college baseball or higher "get it" more than the guys that haven't. The guys that really seem to ruin it for everyone else are the ones that think the rec league or whatever division they're coaching is the pinnacle of baseball. The goal should be to teach kids skills and mechanics that won't need to be "unlearned" later.
    Ruin it for "everyone else????" Who is everyone else??? It seems everyone else are those who played college or pro! So it's dads like me that ruin it for the other 1% of guys that played college or pro.

    Sports are insignificant at every age group. They mean nothing, zilch, nota, so what difference does age have to do with it? Why do you feel 10u rec game is less significant than 12u, 14u, HS, College, or Pros. The players and fans at every level want to play, are competitive, and hopefully have fun.

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