Let them know in advance
Today’s post is a tip for third base coaches. I recently filmed a short video about the do’s and don’ts for third base coaches when giving signs to players (this should be posted within a week or so). One thing I didn’t mention is that sometimes there will be no need to give a sign at all. Let me explain.
Let’s say it’s the last inning and the game is tied – you are the home team. Before you even go down to the third base box you have a quick pow-wow with the first few hitters who will bat. You tell them that if the first batter gets on first base, the next guy will sac bunt towards first base until he gets two strikes. If he doesn’t get it done, the runner will steal on the first pitch to the third batter. If the first batter hits and gets to second base, the next batter will push bunt towards the second baseman to try for a hit and/or move the guy over to third. You also tell them that there will be no signs given for any of this. Just do it.
There are a couple reasons why doing this can be helpful.
- You avoid the shock of getting the bunt or steal sign. It’s true. There are players in that situation with a tie game and a runner on first who are actually surprised when they get the bunt sign. I don’t get it either but it happens. Give it to them ahead of time so they are in the correct mind-set when they approach the plate.
- You prevent the other team from stealing them. Late in the game is when the other team wants to know what your team is going to do the most. They can’t steal signs if you are not giving any.
Tomorrow’s post: Carry the ball with you