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LL walks where player keeps running to second

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Rocketsan22 View Post
    Seen it in tournament play but last night one of our (supposed to be) elite players in a 12u houseleague game was walked by us and as he jogged down to first and rounded bag, took off for second. This kid knows better. Stuff like this drives me bonkers.

    What’s the most diplomatic way to express my displeasure while still maintaining my positive demeanour?

    Still pissed tonight. Especially when he was overheard saying “I got walked and scored a triple.” Grrrr...
    I remember my 12 year old year in LL. There was a team in the league that was notorious for this. This was back when the players coached first base. So what we ended up doing just for this team is whenever there was a walk (no runner on 3B), our 1B would step into foul territory and take a few steps forward. Our catcher would throw him the ball. The 1B would receive it about the time the runner was just passing him. If the runner took a step off the bag our 1B tagged him. If for some reason he got out of reach of our 1B, he would just throw the ball to the SS covering 2b.

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    • #17
      Teach the pitcher to look for this and to run directly at the runner and execute a run down. Once you do this properly once or twice you will never see this again.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by SouthGaBaseball View Post
        Teach the pitcher to look for this and to run directly at the runner and execute a run down. Once you do this properly once or twice you will never see this again.
        At 9U in rec league (the year kids can start doing this), this is not something most teams can do. It is fun, now that we are 12U, that most rundowns end in outs, and aggressive runners get thrown out.

        As far as running through first to second, I think it is a legit thing to do if there is a passed ball and the catcher retrieves it lazily. Every passed ball, if the 'walker' is not going 100% towards first, we will get on him. Otherwise, even at 9U, the kids should be able to stop this once they drill it a couple of times. I didn't like it either when a coach was super aggressive on the bases at 9U, but it did cause us to learn to handle it, albeit we may have given up a few runs in the interim.

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        • #19
          Simple fix, and nothing to get upset about. After the walk, have F2 throw the ball to F3, and have him wait off the bag a few feet to the inside of it for the batter/runner to now try to take off for second. =)

          If F2 and F3 can play catch, can even be done with an R3 who can be gunned down at the plate if/when they decide to take off before B/R makes it to 1st or if/when B/R might try to turn, and head for 2nd...if he's foolish enough to do so with F3 standing in front of him with ball in glove already.
          In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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          • #20
            In my last couple years of rec league as a kid I remember we had a pretty much no holds barred league. We were experts at getting out of rundowns or extending them long enough for R3 to score (kids used to play a lot of "hotbox" otherwise known as "pickle" or "rundown") and must've invented a dozen plays like that. It was fun. This seems a little mean spirited though.

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            • #21
              Catching them napping goes both ways, at least if you have a league that allows leadoffs.

              ......
              Last edited by bbrages; 05-17-2018, 11:50 AM.

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              • #22
                I'm not sure I understand the controversy here. It happens a lot when they are young and then they learn to defend it and it becomes less frequent. But it's absolutely allowed by the rules and absolutely not "bush league" or whatever else complainers want to call it. It's part of the game. As that Bautista video shows, someone needs to always be covering second base when the ball is live and there is a runner on 1B. And the ball is live after a walk. The best way to learn that is to be burned by it once of twice.

                Same thing with steals of home. Happens a lot at the younger ages and starts to disappear after a couple of years once the defense learns that they need to always keep an eye on the runner at third. There is one coach in our 9U division this spring who is frothing mad about how other teams tend to "take advantage" of his team by stealing home. He complains that the rules are unfair and hasn't seem to grasped that it happens to him more than others because he hasn't coached his pitchers to properly defend it. They just get the throw back from the pitcher and turn their back on the runner and walk back to the mound and the runner takes off.

                Seriously, if it's in the rules, learn to defend it. In situations like that they aren't taking advantage of the rules or your players, they are taking advantage of the opposing coaching.

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                • #23
                  If I were to venture a guess based on past experience with rec ball, the player was probably intentionally walked (or nothing remotely close to a strike) because he's a good hitter. And going from experience, that player would have stole 2nd on the 1st pitch and 3rd on the 2nd pitch. Same result, runner on 3rd.

                  Ty Cobb-"Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher."

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                  • #24

                    This should be an easy out...

                    An immediate throw back to the pitcher from the catcher will prevent this if there aren't already runners on base.

                    I seriously doubt that he will be going to second if the pitcher has the ball and is watching him.

                    Almost all of these situations can be controlled by the catcher making a hard and immediate throw back to the pitcher.

                    If there is a runner on third, this is no different than a first and third play.

                    If you have a catcher who can't throw back to the pitcher reliably or throw down to second, that is a defensive decision you have made and my goal as the opposing coach would be to make you rethink that decision...
                    Last edited by castaway; 05-17-2018, 12:53 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by castaway View Post
                      This should be an easy out...

                      An immediate throw back to the pitcher from the catcher will prevent this if there aren't already runners on base.

                      I seriously doubt that he will be going to second if the pitcher has the ball and is watching him.

                      Almost all of these situations can be controlled by the catcher making a hard and immediate throw back to the pitcher.

                      If there is a runner on third, this is no different than a first and third play.

                      If you have a catcher who can't throw back to the pitcher reliably or throw down to second, that is a defensive decision you have made and my goal as the opposing coach would be to make you rethink that decision...
                      Unfortunately while a good idea...it takes more than the pitcher having the ball as Wailuku shared with us already....

                      Originally posted by WailukuHeights View Post
                      Happens in MLB too.

                      ...where the pitcher had the ball before B/R was even halfway down the line yet, and the team still gave up 2nd base easily.
                      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by castaway View Post
                        Almost all of these situations can be controlled by the catcher making a hard and immediate throw back to the pitcher.
                        It doesn't even have to be that hard or immediate. Get the ball back to the pitcher before the runner is halfway to second and they are giving you an out, all you have to do is execute.

                        Runner on third changes the calculus though.

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                        • #27
                          Gonna be blunt here, but this is poor coaching on your part if you ever let this happen to you again.
                          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                          • #28
                            I'd say knowing that he'll do it and knowing his coach isn't going to tell him to knock it off, just get the ball to the pitcher quickly (as has been said) and have your SS nonchalantly take a step or two toward 2B and mirror what he's doing. If the kid starts to slowly walk into his lead then the SS starts walking slowly toward 2B. If he's running then SS has to book it obviously. Make sure the pitcher holds the ball a couple extra tics, maybe even steps off. That way you mess with the runner plus make sure SS isn't too far out of position.

                            Kids will still panic half the time but oh well. If you can get him even 1 time in 3 that totally changes the math on that play. Make sure CF is ready to back it up, if he sees that kid pulling that again he needs to come in. Kid's not going to do it I wouldn't think unless he's sure he can pull it off 3/4 of the time.

                            I realize it still sucks though because here's this rarely attempted thing that you have to spend time teaching half your team to counter just because of one kid. Hard enough sometimes to just get em to figure out who's covering 2B on a steal (I prefer 2B for a RHH and SS for a lefty unless SS is just significantly better than 2B for the record).
                            Last edited by Tman; 05-17-2018, 03:03 PM.

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                            • #29
                              How is executing this that much different from executing when a pitcher steps off and gets a runner hung up between bases?

                              IMO, it's not too much to expect 12 y/os to handle. Only catch is, they are Little League and aren't used to open bases.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Rocketsan22 View Post
                                Seen it in tournament play but last night one of our (supposed to be) elite players in a 12u houseleague game was walked by us and as he jogged down to first and rounded bag, took off for second. This kid knows better. Stuff like this drives me bonkers.

                                What’s the most diplomatic way to express my displeasure while still maintaining my positive demeanour?

                                Still pissed tonight. Especially when he was overheard saying “I got walked and scored a triple.” Grrrr...
                                My first year as a head coach was 9u, and there was a team that loved to do this and many other types of aggressive base running, most especially stealing home when the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. They had one stud player who was a master of this stuff and his dad (head coach) encouraged it. Many other players on that team copied the stud player even though they didn't do it as well.

                                So what did I do? Drills!

                                Our team had a ton of fun rapidly improving our ability to handle all kinds of aggressive base running. By the time we played this team mid season, we had it down, and it was so much fun when they handed us free outs! Kids on my team had a blast with it!

                                However - I do admit we never did get the stud out. Every other kid on the team got thrown out multiple times as they were very slow to catch on to just how good my team got at stopping this kind of thing.

                                Some baseball purists coaches with college experience did not like this kind of thing as it wasn't "real baseball." To them I replied:

                                1) It's real at the 9u level

                                2) While the skill the kids learn to defend against this may be useless at the college baseball level, it's a really fun way to get them to learn how to pay attention at all times, throw/catch accurately, execute rundowns, etc. So their skill and attention level increases while having fun throwing out aggressive base runners.

                                It did take time to drill all this but it was a ton of fun. To those who say it can't be done at the 9u level, I disagree. You may not be able to throw out the fastest kid in the league with the best reflexes. But you'll be able to throw out all the copycats, and there will definitly be some of those.

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