In the age of baseball analytics, stolen bases have largely gone out of style. Most statisticians would argue that the base theft is almost always not worth the potential out. Take the base runner and see what you can do at the plate, they say. However, even with the altered perception of stolen bases, general base running continues to be a vital part of the game.
Learning how to properly run the bases is no easy task. From the initial lead to the secondary lead to rounding the bases, one must keep a close eye on the pitcher and have a strong understanding of the strength of the arms in the outfield and the location of the ball. This can be quite taxing for a young ballplayer.
Coaches should use practice and team websites to ease the learning curve for young athletes when it comes to running the base paths. After all, baseball is indeed a complex game, but it can be much easier with a solid understanding of its intricacies.
Reds hope to improve base running in 2015 season
The Cincinnati Reds missed the playoffs last year despite big expectations. Heading into the new season, the team may place a greater emphasis on a former strength - running the bases. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, manager Bryan Price said that he looks to Red legend Pete Rose as a good example of a player who pressured opposing defenses with his work on the base paths.
“The bottom line is when you lose, you tend to hyper focus on areas of your game that stand out as areas that need improvement,” Price told the news outlet. “We’ve been a very good base running club in the past. When you don’t score many runs, you tend to focus on: how do we take advantage of every opportunity to score? We did get away a bit from our aggressiveness on the bases.”
Crimson Tide lose game, but stand by aggression
The Alabama Crimson Tide lost 6-5 against Louisiana-Lafayette after a base running mistake by infielder Mikey White, according to the Alabama Media Group. The Ragin’ Cajuns threw him out at the plate in the 9th inning. Yet even after the tough loss, coach Mitch Gaspard said that he would rather get thrown out than be standing at third and wondering what might have happened.
“We want to be aggressive, but we want to be smart,” White told the news outlet. “That might not have been the smartest play, but we just tried to make a play, just kind of set it all out there on the table and tried to get the win.”