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  • Bush League

    13 y/o town level rec game last night, new pitcher (inexperienced) on the mound, other team has runner on third, batter draws a walk and never stops running when he gets to first, turns, and is now heading towards second. Pitcher naturally runs at him then throws to 2nd allowing the runner on 3rd to go home.

    Good job coach, you scored a run and taught the kids nothing.

    Pisses me off.

    This coach also had 12 kids suited up but opted to bat 10 (rules allow this). He tried to insert the other 2 into the game in the 4th inning, but the game was called due to daylight and therefor the kids never got a second of playing time or an at bat. League rules require that he start them next game, but I'm willing to bet he won't.

    Sad, really.

  • #2
    Perhaps it wasn't so much that the kids needed to be taught something as much as he taught you that you should have a practice to teach your players how to defend against aggressive baserunning tactics. Dunno. BTW, what age group is this?

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    • #3
      That is a very common base running tactic in our area. Concede the steal and hold the runner at 3rd.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm going to defend the OP on this one.

        1. It's rec league, it's developmental primarily.
        2. It's an inexperienced pitcher.

        I don't know about other rec leagues but ours offers essentially 3 weeks of practices (2X/wk) then games start and practices basically evaporate due to games 2 and 3 X's per week to get in enough games and season-ending tourney before districts start.

        So, as a coach with this limited time, and players of drastically varying ability, how much time would you allocate to defending the "runner walks with a guy on 3rd and takes off for 2nd play"? With a neophyte pitcher.

        With an inexperienced pitcher, I would simply say "no big deal, just concentrate on throwing strikes. I'm only observing your mechanics and accuracy. Everything else improves with experience."

        It's been my experience that everyone talks a good game about developing more pitchers instead of pitching the crap out of the same kids over and over (especially when playing for multiple teams at the same time), but then the game comes and nobody actually does it ... or when somebody does give a new kid a chance, the opposing coach sees it as an opportunity to take advantage.

        This is one thing I struggle with in the community I live in. I played college baseball and I don;t think regular season rec leagues games mean anything at all (in regards to W-L). The the local dads in the community, winning regular season games mean everything because it means local bragging rights (or some crap like that). They don;t really care about player development because they are not involved with the HS teams, travel teams, or other teams that involve producing players that will excel at the next level. They're there to win their current level's games, and do so by pairing up with another guy whose son can act as a 1-2 punch along with the other coach's son. Then you draft as many good players as you can (hopefully having inside information about who's over-rated and under-rated) to game the system.

        The rec league is just happy to have guys that don;t cuss kids out and that have passed the sex offender and violent crime background check.

        To me, this situation is along the lines of Coach Weaver's plea to give youth catchers a friggin break. I believe Biblical literature refers to this as "casting pearls to swine".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kings over Queens View Post
          13 y/o town level rec game last night, new pitcher (inexperienced) on the mound, other team has runner on third, batter draws a walk and never stops running when he gets to first, turns, and is now heading towards second. Pitcher naturally runs at him then throws to 2nd allowing the runner on 3rd to go home.

          Good job coach, you scored a run and taught the kids nothing.

          Pisses me off.

          This coach also had 12 kids suited up but opted to bat 10 (rules allow this). He tried to insert the other 2 into the game in the 4th inning, but the game was called due to daylight and therefor the kids never got a second of playing time or an at bat. League rules require that he start them next game, but I'm willing to bet he won't.

          Sad, really.
          There's always a fine line sometimes between good coaching/playing and bush-league play.... In this example I would not feel this is bush if the score was close or either team had a shot at winning... I would consider it bush if the other team had a huge lead and the game well in hand, there was a coach on first who sent him.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
            In this example I would not feel this is bush if the score was close or either team had a shot at winning... I would consider it bush if the other team had a huge lead and the game well in hand, there was a coach on first who sent him.
            Agree with Jake.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
              Perhaps it wasn't so much that the kids needed to be taught something as much as he taught you that you should have a practice to teach your players how to defend against aggressive baserunning tactics. Dunno. BTW, what age group is this?
              Rec ball or not, they are 13, and teaching a baseball team what to do in this situation is basic. This is a very standard play and this is nothing different than teaching 1st & 3rd defense. Not bush.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Uncoach View Post
                Perhaps it wasn't so much that the kids needed to be taught something as much as he taught you that you should have a practice to teach your players how to defend against aggressive baserunning tactics. Dunno. BTW, what age group is this?
                No doubt, it's just one more thing we'll cover in practice on the chance it comes up again in our short season. I'll find the time to train pitchers to defend this tactic in between basic pitching mechancis and everything else you are trying to teach a brand new pitcher.

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                • #9
                  In fact, there is a play that used to be used occasionally in MLB (though I haven't seen it used in over 20 years) where the guy who takes off for second actually fakes a trip and fall. Even at the pro level, guys who know better, are thrown for a loop at the sight of a defenseless baserunner and can't help themselves. Note that MANY years ago, this was done successfully on a regular basis by Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford and, of course, we all want our kids emulating Ty Cobb, don't we?:innocent:

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
                    Rec ball or not, they are 13, and teaching a baseball team what to do in this situation is basic. This is a very standard play and this is nothing different than teaching 1st & 3rd defense. Not bush.
                    Standard? Perhaps for rec level ball.

                    I've never seen it done at the college or professional level.

                    It takes advantage of an inexperienced kid who's trying to focus on pitching for no other goal than to eek out a run.

                    What does it teach the kids, which is what rec ball is all about? Nothing.

                    I understand that you play to win. In my house Monopoly is a blood sport. I get it.

                    Instead of bush league stuff how about letting the kid stop at first, and then try to steal second. Like you said, defend a 1st and 3rd, instead of inducing a run down and making the kids feel like crap. All for the lofty goal of a stupid run.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is there a special reason why the kid is an experienced pitcher at 13?

                      It is a basic play. Given the context of the rest of the post, I interpreted it to mean that is most likely was not a close game. If it's a close game, then the experience level of the pitcher is irrelevant. I agree with others on that one.

                      But, given the context of the rest of the post, exploits or taking advantage seems to be the root of the feelings.

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                      • #12
                        Tactic often used at lower levels. Lot of times automatic in 10U travel sball circuit. See a lot in younger levels of baseball as well. I agree not great thing to be teaching as when you get to higher level (high school etc.) teams physically more prepared to make the play. However, great time for opposing to coach to start teaching kids to play the game. Defensive team puts in full arm fake to 2nd base, 90 degree turn to check runner at 3rd. Have seen that defensive play pick runner at 3b and that usually curtails the play of sending runner. Great to teach as full arm fake when you do not have a play is great to start teaching kids as soon as you can. Also, you get young kids to start "thinking" the game. Agreed tactic is not teaching kids, but take the tactic used against you and teach your kids something positive about the game as a result of it. As in anything else this has to be taught, practiced and reviewed.

                        www.headstillhitter.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by headstillhitter View Post
                          Tactic often used at lower levels. Lot of times automatic in 10U travel sball circuit. See a lot in younger levels of baseball as well. I agree not great thing to be teaching as when you get to higher level (high school etc.) teams physically more prepared to make the play. However, great time for opposing to coach to start teaching kids to play the game. Defensive team puts in full arm fake to 2nd base, 90 degree turn to check runner at 3rd. Have seen that defensive play pick runner at 3b and that usually curtails the play of sending runner. Great to teach as full arm fake when you do not have a play is great to start teaching kids as soon as you can. Also, you get young kids to start "thinking" the game. Agreed tactic is not teaching kids, but take the tactic used against you and teach your kids something positive about the game as a result of it. As in anything else this has to be taught, practiced and reviewed.

                          www.headstillhitter.com
                          I agree that this is a great scenario to teach and implement the full arm fake. It's rarely executed well, but still a very good thing to use for reasons like you said ... it gets kids thinking about the "next move".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
                            Is there a special reason why the kid is an experienced pitcher at 13?
                            Because he's never been developed as a pitcher. He's never been offered the opportunity. I couldn't believe it.

                            I'm one of those guys who asks the kids which positions they want to try, and then takes 2 days a week seperate from team practice where I work with pitchers and catchers.

                            M & F team practice. T & T pitchers and cathers (4 kids at a time). W & S games. Sunday is a travel game day for my son's team, unless we're rained out, then I offer to hold BP in the batting cages.

                            I don't view it as having been taking advantage of as much as the loss of teaching (proper teaching) and simply a disrespect for the game.Or perhaps I am. I guess I might have some boo boo feelings.

                            It's rec ball. It shouldn't be about wins at any cost over losses.

                            It was a close game and we lost 9-8 when the game was called due to darkness.

                            I opted to stick with my developing pitchers instead of going with my lights out travel guys. The other manager stayed with his lights out guy and exploited the less experienced kids. He got the win, good for him. If it had gone 7 inning we'd have crushed them. And I wouldn't have embarrased his kids. Good Lord, his first pitcher couldn't find the plate, so with his permission, I went to the mound and helped him. His mother couldn't thank me enough.
                            Last edited by Kings over Queens; 04-26-2012, 08:59 AM.

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                            • #15
                              KOQ,

                              I'll tell you this ...

                              2 years ago, coach pitch, I played all players 2 INN IF, 2 IN OF, and kept the rotation consistently. We lost regular season games. We won the tournament (trophy) because of one simple act, I played the best players in the OF and the IF kids could hold their own. Teams that were used to scoring 18+ runs/game, score 4 in the semi-finals and 6 in the finals. Their parents and coaches were dead silent the entire game. Our CF made a diving catch with the bases loaded and 2-out early in the game. Other teams could not do this because they didn't develop their IF'ers to be able to hold their own. They played the same kids on IF all year long and just taiught their OF to chase down the ball and throw it in. By the middle of the championship, the other team's parents were no longer cheering a flyball, as everyone assumed it would be an out ... they were right. *grin* That was one of the few games in rec league I have actually enjoyed. The catch in CF was pure awesome , and we did have our CF and LF crash during a play where both guys ran a loooong way to make the catch (LF held onto the ball).

                              Last year, 9-10 league, we had 2 travel pitchers, I didn't pitch them often because (1) travel pitchers, (2) also a catcher. We pitched 3 other guys, 2 of whom were 9yo. So, we basically had 5 pitchers with lots of experience. I turned the top 2 pitchers lose in the tourney and they did what those kids do. In the championship game, all 4 pitchers (their two pitchers and our two pitchers) were blowing everyone away. The game went into Extra innings, and their #3 hadn't pitched all year, ours had pitched about 20 IP. We scored 5 runs, they went down 1-2-3. This game pretty much sucked. IMO, it was embarrassing for the league (or should have been) because all 4 of these guys were not dominant in travel ball, and yet struck out something like 32 of the 36 combined outs through regulation time.

                              My point is that it's effective during the regular season to develop as many pitchers/players as possible, and then "play to win" in the tourney. Regular season doesn;t count for anything other than seeding, and well, you gotta beat the #1 or #2 team eventually ... so you might as we ll do it in the 1st round.
                              Last edited by CircleChange11; 04-26-2012, 09:12 AM.

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