Good Morning everyone,
Regardless of the fact that we just got 2 feet of snow here in Maine, I'm thinking baseball this morning. Just checked out the other thread about MIF and pitcher communication on the pickoff to 2nd and it got me thinking:
in my division of super small high schools, its rare that you come across a great catcher. Some teams exploit this by doing a lot of aggressive base path stuff. I've been thinking of ways to not only cut it down, but hopefully turn some of these things into outs. heres a couple scenarios. I'd like to know what people think and what strategies you've employed in these situations.
1. there is at least 1 team up here who is notorious for always sending the first baserunner of the game on the first pitch. Its so automatic, I dont think the coach even gives a sign... like clockwork. They test the catcher, and if it works out, they keep doing it. Very successful team and very aggressive on the base paths. I was thinking: If i have a RHP on the hill, that base runner is going to be taking off as soon as he lifts his foot. What if i have my P make an inside move to second. It should lead to an easy pickle out, and keeps the other team from testing my catchers arm at all for the time being...could be really demoralizing too when this is a big part of their game and you squash it in such a way. I want to make sure this move is legal and am wondering if anyone has used it before. If memory serves me correctly, there is some sort of rule about not throwing a pick move to an unoccupied bag? but, if R1 has already broken for second, and footwork-wise, this move is not a balk...how does that work?
2. there was another team we faced that would take a premature walking steal of 2B. basically, as soon as P comes to the set, R1 would just start walking to 2B. This sometimes induces a balk, or at least makes the team throw the ball around a lot. Usually done with a R3 and they will have a very good chance of scoring. Again, what if we have P do an inward move on this one? SS takes the throw, looks R3 back, and catches "R1.5" dead in his tracks with an easy throw to 2B or 1B to get him.
I know its not something that comes up a lot. But I anticipate it happening for us at least with this couple of teams and would love to give them something they may have not seen before. Let me know what you all think. If you've done it before. If you've had success doing something else. If this move is altogether illegal since 2B is unoccupied. Thanks