baserunners advance on the ball in the dirt because it kicks too far away from the catcher. it doesnt matter how you block if you stop a runner from 3rd from scoring -- bottom line is results. however, there is a way -- that is against the norm that will allow catchers to control the ball in the dirt and stop the ball from kicking out.
i know there will be a lot of feedback on what i am about to say, so before i do, here is the history of it. In spring training in 2002 with the yankees, our catching instuctor had us get to our normal blocking stance, then instead of being upright and curling in our shoulders, he had us stick our chest and stomach out. from their our glove was positioned against the cup with both fore arms buried deep inside the slot where your hips and legs connect. automatically, from a front veiw, the forearms disappear and all that is seen is the chest protector. next, we leaned over so our chest was completely horizontal to the ground (i see the look on all of your faces - bear with me). we leaned over until we hit a breaking point with our body - just before your weight would cause you to fall over on your mask. from there he threw balls in the dirt at us- being at a standstill. the ball stopped directly underneath us every time. then we were told to imagine dribbling a basketball, and how to stop a bouncing ball by forcing it to the ground. next ball thrown we took our chest, and at impact force it straight down. and again the ball was forced to the point directly under our body.
here is the part where all of you can chime in on -- because it makes no sense. we got into our position again but he then stood at an angle coming from 3rd base. now, if a ball is moving in a straight line, to block it you have to have your body in a straight line to meet it head on--- right? ..... nope, wrong....
balls were thrown at that angle and low and behold the ball stuck under your body every time. when a slider or change up comes in at an angle, when it hits the ground, the ball will change paths and come in a straight line. this is why blocking sliders or curve balls causes the ball to kick to the sides. now instead of sliding to the right or left, with the body turned in with the outside shoulder turned in, we would come forward (still squared up to the pitcher) but end up on the side of the plate. this cuts down the distance that the ball will travel and hit you once it hits the dirt.
i can tell you this, once i got a feel for it, i started to attack and control balls in the dirt....... and i didnt take a ball in the forearms again (thats 4 years of playing without getting hit their)
have fun with this one.. i am waiting for lots of feedback on this