Wish I could charge an error to the dugout.

There’s often a lot of talk about how it should be possible to charge errors for brain farts, and I wish I could have done that during yesterday’s game, twice for the same reason.

 To set the stage a bit, our home dugout is the 3rd base dugout. Situation is top 2nd, no score, runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. RHB shows bunt on 1st pitch and takes a strike. Shows again on 2nd pitch that misses badly outside. Next pitch sees batter put down a pretty good bunt for a sacrifice, but something happens. At least 10 people in our dugout are screaming “THREE!”  “THREE!”

 RHP was set to field the ball and throw to 1st, but suddenly shifts his feet to field the ball and throw to 3rd. Unfortunately, rather than fielding the ball cleanly and making a good throw to 3rd that would have been too late to force the runner, the ball got picked up, bobbled, then thrown poorly to 3rd where the F5 had to jump to grab the ball and keep it from going wild. E1, BR reaches on FC and gets credit for sac bunt. 3 runs scored after that, 1 of them earned.

 I was sitting there thinking how many times I’d seen something similar, where people not playing a defensive position were yelling poor instructions to fielders who should be either listening to teammates on the field or making their own decisions and wishing I could have charged an error to the dugout.

 The very next inning with a different pitcher, other than the different batting positions of the hitters, virtually the same situation comes up. Situation is top 3rd, we’re behind 3-0, runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. RHB shows bunt on 1st pitch and takes a pitch very high. Next pitch sees batter put down a pretty good bunt for a sacrifice, but something happens again. At least 10 people in our dugout are screaming “THREE!”  “THREE!”

 RHP fields the ball cleanly and makes a great throw to 3rd far too late to get the force, so now the bases are loaded with no outs. Now I’m sure I want to charge an error to the dugout, right after I whap a few of them upside the head to wake them up!

 In general I’m pretty forgiving of brain farts because I realize the players are only kids still developing and will make mistakes. But both times no less than 4 coaches were doing the screaming and looking pretty guilty for having done so, but it didn’t help the players on the field one whit.

 I’m just sayin’ …

Original Post

Oh the dreaded call from the dugout. "2"!!!!!!!! - "3"!!!!!!!!!!  I preach to my players to block everything out. Take a quick look and if your not sure get 1. Don't listen to what you hear trust what you see. But of course at least once every year it happens. 

I tell my guys they have to be smarter than me.  I can't tell you how many times this year I've said a ball is down with runner at third and the OF comes in to catch it.  Luckily my guys have been smarter than me and stayed.

On bunts in high school you get the out at first unless it's directly back at the pitcher.  If a team wants to give me an easy out we will take an easy out.  I have faith we will work out of the jam.  If not then we still have to hit to score runs to win a game.  Just have to get more now.

My lead off LHB does his job and gets on. On his own decides to steal, no sign because it's first inning and I want to see the catchers arm and haven't had a pitch from the stretch to time the pitcher, but he's safe at second.  Two hole RHB has a .950 OBP and slaps a blooper to short RF, it is a close play with the RF charging hard and 2B making a good move to cover. Runner on 2B is watching with me trying to determine what the play is going to be.  I've changed my mind 20 times on wither anyone is going to be able to make the catch in less than 3 seconds the ball has come off the bat.  2B runner has good baseball intelligence so he has checked up about 1/3 from 2B waiting...ball is dropped so I call "COME, COME, COME!!!"  Well, it was the first inning and in the heat of the moment it had slipped my mind that the field we are playing at has a short RF with a 20+ foot wall and although I visually saw the RF standing in the "middle" of RF it was not too far to throw to 3rd to get the out.  That was a TERRIBLE first out of the game and an error on me.

Only got worse when the 2 hole guy got to 3rd with my 4 hole batter on 1st...runners on the corners with 2 outs.  I have a standing rule that you don't need a sign to go with runners on the corners, so 1B runner goes.  Catcher pops up and throws hard...to the pitcher (you know where this is going don't you).  Before I could even say STOP!!! to the 3B runner, he bit.  To make it worse, as he got into the pickle he focused too much on the situation and did not listen to me coaching 3B, after the catcher threw to 3B and then 3B threw back to catcher, the 3B was now out of position to the runner and no one was covering 3B...but runner gave up in the run down and inning was over.  Absolutely SUCKS giving up 2 out of 3 outs on the base paths for a team like ours that struggles to manufacture runs. 

We have hit REALLY well this year...just to everyone's fielders.  If we weren't a nobody program I would swear someone is scouting our hitting because they sure as heck know where we are hitting.

Baseball is a surprisingly fast moving sport when you consider the infinite scenarios you have to go through in your head at light speed.  When I was on the field I could barely hear anything the dugout screamed.  The coach sounded like a little mouse even though he's a guy with a very loud voice.  

We’ve always coached the catcher to make the first/third call on the bunt. He has the best view of the position and speed of the runners. 

I agree, sometimes you want to muzzle the bench. On the other hand, it’s good that they’re engaged and paying attention to the game. 

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