Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Curse of the little things

August 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Misc

When you are obsessed with the finer points of baseball, it sometimes makes it difficult to watch a game.  The other night I took my five year old son on a “guy’s night out” to watch an American Legion state tournament game.  My son was wide eyed and

There's always a lot more going on than just safe and out.

attentive.  He watched the game like any beginner would and asked a ton of questions to better understand what he was seeing.  I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but pay attention to what was not seen.

Here is what I “saw” in the first two innings alone:

  • A player missed first base and had to return to the bag on what should have been an easy double.  Neither the first baseman or umpire noticed.  The first base coach threw his hands up in disgust and gestured to second base as if to say “why aren’t you on second?”  He didn’t notice either.
  • No middle infielders on either team peeked at the runner on first base immediately after the pitch.  A successful delayed steal caught one set napping.
  • On that delayed steal, with a runner on third as well, the catcher forgot to peek at the runner on third before throwing to second base.  The runner on third came home easily on the throw.
  • A runner on first didn’t know where the center fielder was playing before the pitch.  A line drive hit to right center that should have been an easy 1st to 3rd run ended with the runner pulling up at second base.  He had to pause to see if the ball would land.
  • On a play where the third baseman made a diving catch on a grounder and threw to second to start a possible double play, the second baseman straddled the bag instead of coming across the bag to get to the ball sooner.  Safe at first.
  • A pitcher never mixed his looks with runners on.  Two easy stolen bases resulted.
  • A pitcher took the wrong path to a swinging bunt.  Runner safe at first without a throw.
  • On a blocked third strike, a catcher picked the stationary ball up with his glove only instead of his bare hand.  Bad transition and bad throw to first base.  Run scored as a result.

I don’t mean to come across as a know-it-all or a grump.  I saw some terrific plays in those two innings as well.  The point is, if you want to continue playing the game at the higher levels, these finer points mentioned above have to be ironed out.  If not, other players and the game as a whole will pass you by.

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