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Nic

How to explain "how to counter blocking base"

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I looked and didnt see exactly what I wanted to ask, btw. 

How do you explain to coaches and parents how to counter a player blocking second base on a steal attempt? 

Tonight 12U OBR and a SS for one of the teams was standing in front of second base when taking the throw from the catcher on steal attempts, blocking the base. Catcher had a gun and put it on the money everytime.  He always had a play. Wearing rubber cleats and not spikes.

R1 would always try and go around the SS, and eventually would be called out. They were frustrated by the end of the night. I was asked, 'if it's legal, how do you counter it?'

I said, "cleats up, calf shot, clean but hard, going directly into the bag once would be my suggestion," I told them. 

Seems harsh way to explain. How do you explain this to coaches and parents?

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6 hours ago, Nic said:

I looked and didnt see exactly what I wanted to ask, btw. 

How do you explain to coaches and parents how to counter a player blocking second base on a steal attempt? 

Tonight 12U OBR and a SS for one of the teams was standing in front of second base when taking the throw from the catcher on steal attempts, blocking the base. Catcher had a gun and put it on the money everytime.  He always had a play. Wearing rubber cleats and not spikes.

R1 would always try and go around the SS, and eventually would be called out. They were frustrated by the end of the night. I was asked, 'if it's legal, how do you counter it?'

I said, "cleats up, calf shot, clean but hard, going directly into the bag once would be my suggestion," I told them. 

Seems harsh way to explain. How do you explain this to coaches and parents?

You don't. 

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6 hours ago, Nic said:

How do you explain to coaches and parents how to counter a player blocking second base on a steal attempt?

1) Get a better jump.

2) Run faster.

3) Both 1 and 2.

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7 hours ago, Nic said:

I said, "cleats up, calf shot, clean but hard, going directly into the bag once would be my suggestion," I told them. 

Good gravy, whatever you say, don't say that! We never, ever, encourage dangerous play in amateur baseball.

Also, the act you describe could easily be ruled MC, and intentionally contacting a fielder in the act of making a play is INT in many codes.

In all codes, a fielder with the ball may legally block the base. A runner generally is required by rule to attempt to avoid contacting the fielder making a play on him.

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Don't steal.   It's really that simple.  If you are playing a superior catcher, and a pitcher with a quick delivery, why give away outs?  Why keep pushing your luck?  To paraphrase Billy Beane in Moneyball - "Your job is to get to first, not to get thrown out at second".

The idea that this team tried this more than twice is the textbook definition of insanity.

Statistically speaking, if your SB success rate is under 80%, stop stealing.

Kids, and coaches, need to learn that SB's aren't automatic freebies, and that at some point you have to learn to hit the ball or advance runners in other ways, because eventually ALL the catchers you face will have cannons.

If you do insist on stealing...or botch a hit and run, run back to first.

I'm serious.

Your choice is a CLEAN, legal, hard slide, maintaining your speed as much as you can, and hope your foot/knee/hip (wherever the tag is made) knocks the ball loose, or prevents him from coming up with the throw...or stop and get in a run down and try to induce a mistake.

Implicitly, by rule, you are conceding the out if you proceed to the base in a legal manner - or hoping for a miracle.    And I HATE it when my players concede an out.  The only thing I hate more than that is when they try to injure the other player.

 

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12 hours ago, Nic said:

I said, "cleats up, calf shot, clean but hard, going directly into the bag once would be my suggestion," I told them. 

and after you have been ejected for coaching your kids to do that...........................what do you tell the coaches and parents?

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I have had a few ejections for doing what you said. No reason for the cleats to ever be thigh high on a slide and if it is that is text book MC see ya. At the youth level we promote sportsmanship first. I have also thrown coaches who tell their kids to take out fielders in the base path. 

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You tell them they need a new coach!!  How many times do get thrown out before you stop trying to steal second.

Reminds me of the coach that setup their catcher in the middle of opposite batters box and continually complain when you don't call it a strike,

Oh, by the way, that also the way you stop it.

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14 hours ago, Nic said:

I was asked, 'if it's legal, how do you counter it?'

Not my problem.  I'm just here to keep calling your runners out.

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I tell my defensive guys that unless they are holding the ball in their glove they better not be blocking. It's youth baseball, I'll take a close call at 2B vs. F6 with a busted leg and an obstruction call. 

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7 hours ago, Mister B said:

I tell my defensive guys that unless they are holding the ball in their glove they better not be blocking. 

Because they can't most places.

 

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22 hours ago, Nic said:

I looked and didnt see exactly what I wanted to ask, btw. 

How do you explain to coaches and parents how to counter a player blocking second base on a steal attempt? 

Tonight 12U OBR and a SS for one of the teams was standing in front of second base when taking the throw from the catcher on steal attempts, blocking the base. Catcher had a gun and put it on the money everytime.  He always had a play. Wearing rubber cleats and not spikes.

R1 would always try and go around the SS, and eventually would be called out. They were frustrated by the end of the night. I was asked, 'if it's legal, how do you counter it?'

I said, "cleats up, calf shot, clean but hard, going directly into the bag once would be my suggestion," I told them. 

Seems harsh way to explain. How do you explain this to coaches and parents?

You're basically condoning a player injuring another player.  You aren't a coach.  Bad advice.

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Good gravy, whatever you say, don't say that! We never, ever, encourage dangerous play in amateur baseball.
Also, the act you describe could easily be ruled MC, and intentionally contacting a fielder in the act of making a play is INT in many codes.
In all codes, a fielder with the ball may legally block the base. A runner generally is required by rule to attempt to avoid contacting the fielder making a play on him.
I've definitely had umpires that would call cleats to the calf MC every time, though it's happening much, much less frequently this year than 2 years ago when it was first instituted. For a few tournaments there it was a popular call, saw one almost every other game, had a couple of games with 2 - haven't seen one all Spring this year.

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In would also say to the OP, be careful - if you gave that instruction to a coach in our local little league, and it got back to the board (and it likely would), that would have been your last game there.

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You can tell your runners to actually show they were obstructed when F4 or F6 is blocking the base path without possession of the ball and possibly get that call.

Other than that? Slide direct to the bag and as someone said earlier, try and get the ball dislodged.

Or stop trying to steal on the cannon behind the plate.

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Guest Nj coach

What if F6 is blocking 3 feet toward 1st base such that it would be pointless for R1 to slide into him there ?  Seems to me you can’t block the path or base for even a brief moment without the ball 

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32 minutes ago, Guest Nj coach said:

What if F6 is blocking 3 feet toward 1st base such that it would be pointless for R1 to slide into him there ?  Seems to me you can’t block the path or base for even a brief moment without the ball 

He's not blocking the path until the runner gets there, or should I say until the runner gets close enough that he then has to alter his run. If he gets to where he has to alter his run to 2B, if F6 has the ball it's nothing, If R1 has to alter his path to 2B and F6 doesn't have the ball, we have OBS.

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Great Question Nic 

A few things here: 

1. Youve been scolded pretty well for the cleats up advice, that's a no no. 

2. It sounds too me like you had obstruction almost all amateur codes going back to 2012 or 2014 have removed imminent possession from their books. Some state clearly that you must ALREADY be in possession of the ball in order to take up a blocking position.

For me, it's simple no ball no block. Mr. defensive player If the ball ain't there you shouldnt be there.  It keeps everyone safe. BTW don't say these things either tell them to your partner.

OBR - I noticed that you were playing OBR so yes immeniment is allowed at bases other than home but even there it's tricky and leaves a lot of ambiguity. I would clarify with the league and reaffirm at the plate meeting whether or not your playing possession or Imminent,  if no one knows go with possession. As it keeps everyone safe and is an over arching responsibility. 

BTW - 12's playing OBR when they have 4 years of HS is ridiculous and puts you in a bad spot.  Not to mention they to finish middle school. It's just dumb too me. But so are $600 bats while they only want to pay us $55 a game.  

 

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On 6/8/2018 at 9:48 PM, Guest Nj coach said:

What if F6 is blocking 3 feet toward 1st base such that it would be pointless for R1 to slide into him there ?  Seems to me you can’t block the path or base for even a brief moment without the ball 

Coach - you're correct. No Ball No Block. Side note: In my opinion if F2 is skilled enough and making solid throws and F6 is laying it on him, than F6 should be able to manage a tag without hindering the runner. Either straddle the bag and lay the tag or step aside (give up the path but still move up for an early tag) letting the ball take your glove into the runner. This is strictly my opinion and means nothing as far as rule application. It's how I would coach my guys, if I coached. 

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On 6/8/2018 at 7:48 PM, Guest Nj coach said:

What if F6 is blocking 3 feet toward 1st base such that it would be pointless for R1 to slide into him there ?  Seems to me you can’t block the path or base for even a brief moment without the ball 

I go back to my original statement.  If F6 is three feet off the bag with the ball by the time you get there, run back.   It's your only hope.  

And, don't steal again.  

Weak/inexperienced coaches get used to the "free" base against weaker teams, or younger/lower levels, and learn to depend on it.   If you can't coach your team to a win without stealing bases you need to look in the mirror - the rules, the umpires and the other team's star catcher are not your problem.   

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