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Florida coach blows it by holding runner at 3B

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,882
63
Dallas, Texas
In the 6th inning, with runners at 1st and 2nd base, a single is hit into the alley between left and centerfield. The runner at 2nd base got a good jump and was off to try to score. After the runner takes the turn at 3rd, the coach stops her. The left fielder makes a throw to the plate, but the throw is not perfect. The next two batters for Florida make outs, so no one scores.

IMHO, the Florida coach blew his chance to win the game. He played it safe and now he is going home.

JRW
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
Of course if he sends her with just 1 out and she gets nailed, the coach still looks bad because his team was on a little roll and he killed it by sending the runner home into the 2nd out and still no score.

In just about the same situation, our coach sends the runner home, the outfielder throws a perfect ball and our runner gets out. If he had held her, we would have tied the game that inning with subsequent hits.

For me it's hard to get all that upset over a coach having faith in the next few batters rather than banking on the outfielder to mess up.

On the other hand, our base coaches do tend to push runners and make the defense make the perfect play. I just know that, from that end, you have people criticizing you as well for being too aggressive.
I'll have to go watch the game. It's waiting for me on my DVR.
 
May 9, 2008
98
0
Decisions Decisions

I saw that play and at the time I wondered out loud why the coach held the runner at third. The ball was hit just short of the fence and the runner had a better than 50/50 shot at making it home safe. Maybe he didn't have confidence in his players speed, maybe he had seen video of the opposing outfielder and had too much respect for her arm.

I think sometimes when the stakes are high in tournament games coaches tend to get conservative and they err on the side of caution. Being overly cautious doesn't win championships. It's a toe to toe battle that has to be fought with reckless abandon. Most people like to avoid risk and I think that's what happened in this case. My Grandfather used to say, "I'd rather be hung for stealing a ram than a sheep." It was his way of saying, "Go for it". You've got to risk defeat in order to achieve greatness. Instead of going for it the coach chose a more conservative path because of what was at stake. He'll have the entire off season to think about it and I'm sure that it will haunt him until next season starts.

Most people don't realize that softball like life is an all out competition. You've got to be willing to fight everyday and you've got to be aggressive to win. This isn't chess where you can out think your opponent. You've got to take physical action to defeat them and when they are down you've got to keep them down.

3rd base is a tough place to coach. In this case I think the coach played it too safe and it cost his team a run and maybe a shot at the championship. But it was only one event in a series of events in the game. Maybe Florida should try hitting better in the clutch, they've got the pitching to be back next year.

Pops
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,456
48
Mundelein, IL
This is a tough call to make. Presumably we don't know everything the Florida coach knows about his team and his players. He may have also gotten burned sending the runner earlier in the year and thus decided not to make the same mistake again.

Pops is right. Third base is a tough place to coach. You have to make very quick decisions that have very long reaching consequences.

I was coaching an elimination game in baseball once. We had a slow runner on second, my son (who is pretty fast) at the plate. He crushes a ball to the fence in left. The runner on second is chugging along, and makes it to third before the other team tracks down the ball. I send him. By this point my son is at second. (Did I say the other kid was slow?) The fielding team tracks down the ball, throws perfectly to the shortstop, who turns and fires a strike to the plate to get our runner by several steps. Several things had to happen for them to get that out. They all did. We wound up losing that game and get eliminated. I still regret sending the kid, even though it was the right thing to do.
 

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