We are not even two weeks into the season and I have already witnessed players violating my top ten list of fundamental pet peeves (and some,surprisingly, who have not)
Here they are – Curious to see what others think
10. Running out ground balls at full speed
- Though this is cliche, the quickest path to first does not entail watching the fielder field your ground ball. Run full speed through the base. Want a perfect example - go to Youtube and watch Bryce Harper's
first MLB at bat. I showed that highlight to the little league team that I coach (7 year olds) and trust me, the kids got it. (Shawon Dunston
was also awesome at this)
9. Inability to make even an attempt to overcome the shift.
If Alfonso Soriano
does not make adjustments, he is going to have more groundouts between third and short this year than probably the previous 3 or 4 years. Take what the defense gives you - don't try and pull the outside pitch...
8.Pitchers not even attempting to catch a pop-up on the infield.
Ok, we may absolve Garza, but it annoys me when a pitcher gives up on a pop-up to him faster than the French did in WWII. If there are no runners on base, an infielder may have 70-80 feet to run vs the pitchers 10-15. Play it until called off.
7. Failure to take good secondary leads
- I am sure their is a stats guy charting how many feet certain baserunners are off the base upon the pitch reaching home. Big deal when trying to go from first to third on a single to center and right
6.Not running pop-ups on windy days.
I'll give the Cubs
a little credit here, I was mildly impressed at how they ACTUALLY DID run out pop ups earlier this week. Schierholz got a bloop double as a result. Aramis was one of the worst at this......
5.Swinging on the first pitch after the pitcher has issued a 4 pitch BB.
I will occassionally absolve a #2 thru #6 hitter with great stats against said pitcher if a fastball is grooved down the middle, otherwise, make him find the zone.
4.Scoring the guy on third with less than two outs.
IF you don't hit a pop-up or comebacker to the pitcher, this runner scores almost every time. It was nice to see the Cubs get their first 2 runs against Milwaukee via the RBI groundout in their 6-3 come from behind win. Note: I love the run expectancy stat they have been showing.
3.Inability to execute a sacrifice bunt.
Though bunting may be proven to be less effective than in its hey-day, there are situations that it is appropriate. However, most position players look inept when asked to do it (and a fair share of pitchers as well).
2.Working deep into the count, and making the pitcher pitch.
You should rarely have more than 2 batters swing at the first pitch of the inning during the course of the game. If you see all of a starting pitcher's pitches in the first few at bats, not only will he have a higher pitch count come your 3rd at bat (leading to fatigue), there is less of a chance of being fooled. Target to get at least 15 pitches per inning.
1 Outfielders failing to Frame fly balls and getting their momentum to their target when runners tag up.
This one drives me nuts. How many times do you see an outfielder catch a lazy fly ball flat footed? My high school coach showed the difference between a flat-footed catch and a "momentum forward catch" was the ball arriving .4-.6 seconds faster. That can be 2 steps from the runner, a HUGE difference!