Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Don’t run into a tag

I had another “shake my head at the TV” moment the other night while watching a major league game.  With one out and a runner on first base, a soft ground ball was hit towards the second baseman.  He charged to field the ball, easily tagged the runner going

Don't run into a tag!

Don’t run into a tag!

to second base, and threw to first base for the double play.
 

If I had a nickel for every time I heard my dad say “don’t run into a tag” I would be a wealthy man.
  The basic concept surrounding that saying is to force the defense to make more throws.  Most errors on defense are throwing errors.  Make the other team throw the ball and the chances of a team not getting an out go up considerably.  Of course, catching a ball and tagging a runner going by does not involve a throw.
 

The correct thing for a runner to do in that situation is to just stop in the base path.  This forces the fielder to make a choice.  Throw to second to start the double play or chase the runner.  Throwing to second base adds the normal number of throws (two) to the play.  Chasing the runner may cause enough of a delay to prevent a double play.
 

In the end, the defense may end up getting the double play but at least the runner made it as hard as he could possibly make it.  That’s always better than making the play easier by letting yourself get tagged.


 

Tomorrow’s post: What to do if you are the second baseman on this play!

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