Both of these scenarios have occurred in two separate games within the past two weeks:

 

Varsity HS Baseball Game - Slashing:

 

  1. Multiple times opposing team had runners in scoring position, and with less than 2 outs the opposing team's batter would square around to show bunt to get the corner(s) crashing in, and then slash (pull back, and take a huge cut).  On one occasion a missile went right by the 3B head.
  2. Coach instructs his defensive corners to no longer crash in, but instead just creep to a certain spot, and wait until you actually see the bunt on the ground.  Opposing coach then starts laying down the bunts, and getting runners on base.

Everyone OK with that?  My personal opinion is that until you are getting paid to play, or at least on scholarship, the risk is much greater than the reward.  This same coach had all kind of trick plays as well, which drives me nuts.  My rule for the most part for teams I have coached has been, that "unless you see it on TV", we ain't doing it.  I used to also have a rule about not running up scores against very inferior teams, we'd move base to base, and shut down the running game.  However, against teams that play this kind of baseball, I would instruct them if we were able to get up big, to keep the foot down full throttle.

 

Varsity Baseball Game Intentional Hitting a Batter:

 

  1. Opposing team has runner on 1B, and steals.  Catcher's throw beats runner by a mile,....runner slides hard, spikes high, and kicks spike at 2B glove, cutting his arm.  Not a big cut, but drew some blood.  Umpire either did not see, of chose not to do anything about the "spikes high" slide or last minute kick.
  2. Coach is pretty mad at ump, and after inning instructs his pitcher to hit the kid that spiked the fielder in his next at bat.
  3. Two innings later, kid comes up to the plate, and a sign is relayed from dugout to catcher, and first pitch drills player.

A little more info., the pitcher who hit the batter had a 4-0 lead, and was cruising with a very low pitch count, and only a couple of base runners.  He throws in the low 80's, and the pitch that hit the batter was almost a head shot, in fact some in the stands thought he had been hit in the head.  Thankfully, he was not, it went off the top of the shoulder.

 

Any thoughts?....is this OK at the HS level?

 

 

Original Post
Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

 

Any thoughts?....is this OK at the HS level?

 

 

 

NO.

 

My observation is nothing good ever comes from intentionally hitting a batter.  Just play "your" game.  It will hurt more by beating them.

 

As far as the slashing scenario - not much you can do about it since it more or less is within the rules.  I would not have a problem running up the score on a team that plays like that or a team that thinks trick plays will get them ahead.

Intentionally hitting a batter is called "dotting them." It comes from the concept of dotting the I on their uniform. Very few high school pitchers have the level of command to dot a hitter. Therefore, it becomes a dangerous act. I'm betting a high school coach could lose his job and charged with battery if it was proved he ordered it.

 

Slashing is legal. I'm not a fan of it. But you have to figure out a way to deal with it from a pitching approach and defensively.

I am old school and grew up with the idea that if you were "wronged" in baseball field you took care of it and that included hitting a batter. I have changed my mind as I get older. Simply not worth the risks of permanent injury. I,also, realized at some point that these are children playing and for an adult in charge  (or for that matter not in charge) to hurt a child on purpose. is simply stupid. The learning point for me was when my 15 year old, at the time, talked about throwing at a batter because his teammate was "wronged" on the way home from a game. I said he shouldn't do that and he simply said "why not dad, you would have". Sometimes it takes our children to teach us by looking in the mirror what we have taught them.

 

As far as slashing, not a big fan but it is legal. Pitcher can help with that by throwing inside (not at the batter but definitely inside) or high,  hard to get around on those pitches if he pulls back then swings. I guess it does depend on how hard the pitcher throws versus hitters bat speed.

Not a fan of slashing...but as it's legal...not much you could do. 

 

If I'm the second baseman and a kid slides at me late with his spikes up, I'd wait till he hits me then fall with my knee hitting him somewhere in the groin region....lol.  You would hope the umpire would see it....especially if the ball clearly beat him, but with HS umpires, you just never know.

 

Under no circumstances would I tolerate a HS coach telling a pitcher to throw at a batter.  If he told my son that, my son would definitely not do it..,..no matter what the reason.  If he caught grief from the coach afterwards, that would be the last time he sees my son on his team...and that wouldn't have to come from me, my son would likely tell him on the spot.....

I find, for some reason, there is a lot of opposition to the butcher boy play. I've been calling it for years. I don't see it as any more dangerous to the third baseman than it is to the pitcher, unless he's coming WAY to close. A few years ago at a World Series event with a 12yo team, I called the play against a team from Texas whose 3b came flying down the line until he was about four feet from the plate. I tried to scream at my batter to not swing, but he put the bat on it and looped one down the line. the Texas coach went ballistic, claiming that that's an automatic out. Apparently, in his area of the woods there was something called the Texas Safety rule, a local rule outlawing the play. Needless to say, his kids didn't charge that far anymore. When I came to coaching youth baseball from coaching girls competitive softball, I was a little taken aback by how other coaches would respond. In softball it's a very widely used tactic.

 

I don't go with the "if it ain't on TV we don't do it" or "if we ain't paid we don't do it" mindset. the rules at different stages of baseball vary and so do the tactics. I'm not coaching a bunch of future pro players, so I use the tactics that are within the rules and further the goal of competition.

Originally Posted by roothog66:

I find, for some reason, there is a lot of opposition to the butcher boy play. I've been calling it for years. I don't see it as any more dangerous to the third baseman than it is to the pitcher, unless he's coming WAY to close. A few years ago at a World Series event with a 12yo team, I called the play against a team from Texas whose 3b came flying down the line until he was about four feet from the plate. I tried to scream at my batter to not swing, but he put the bat on it and looped one down the line. the Texas coach went ballistic, claiming that that's an automatic out. Apparently, in his area of the woods there was something called the Texas Safety rule, a local rule outlawing the play. Needless to say, his kids didn't charge that far anymore. When I came to coaching youth baseball from coaching girls competitive softball, I was a little taken aback by how other coaches would respond. In softball it's a very widely used tactic.

 

I don't go with the "if it ain't on TV we don't do it" or "if we ain't paid we don't do it" mindset. the rules at different stages of baseball vary and so do the tactics. I'm not coaching a bunch of future pro players, so I use the tactics that are within the rules and further the goal of competition.

You realize you could have killed that kid. 

roothog66:  it depends....what I mean is, what is the ultimate goal at each level...is there any level in youth baseball, let's say up to HS level, that winning the game, justifies the inherent / unnecessary danger those plays add.  I am not a fan of justifying it by saying, "well the pitcher is close", his position requires "him" to be in inherent danger, not so for 3B, or 1B, now you just added two more players.  I also don't agree with "this is just strategy" that is legal, and could further our chances of winning.  Luckily for you, there were no parents that had to see their 12 year old son carted off the field on a stretcher, because of "tactics within the rules of the game". 

 

I live in TX, and yes there are rules at 12u, that prohibit coaches from using tactics that put players in danger to win the plastic trophy.

 

If my son is earning a scholarship, or a paid professional baseball player, then yes it is fair game.  Also, the "if you don't see it on TV, we ain't doing it", comes from developing talent, rather than trick plays that at the older ages are easily defended against.  You must have also started runners from first base to get in intentional run downs at 9u, to get across the almighty last run for the trophy....I'm not a fan, especially since after a few years it will no longer work.  I used to run up scores on coaches like that.

My teams used the "slashing" play, as you call it, all the time at the high school level.  It is a good way to make defenses move and open up the offense.  It is one option of many.  Keep in mind that I am aggressive on offense and so, probably have someone on the run with this play as well.   If you have a player that is good at this, he has such an impact on the defense.  It is up to the coach who's team is on defense to have done his homework and defend it.  I don't see it any more dangerous than any other play.   There is a point where the defender at 3rd or 1st can play where they can field the bunt and still defend the slash.  Otherwise, it would be a staple of the game at all levels. 

 

Per hitting a batter on purpose, not a fan.  I understand the scenario of the player sliding in with spikes high but also understand that this is one team's perspective.  I just watched a "charge" on hudl time and time again where one team "blatantly charged."  IMO, what I saw was one of the worst flops on defense in the history of flops in basketball and can't believe the official called it.  My perspective and the other guys are totally opposite.  If coach is willing to bean someone, I hope he was right in his assessment and even at that, I don't agree.  JMHO!

Look, the danger in that particular play is far overplayed. I've been doing it for years, seen it done a LOT in softball (and in my job I watch thousands of youth baseball and softball games every year). I have not seen even one incident come close to injury. here's why:

 

Corners coming in are in good fielding position to make a play on a line drive (far better than the pitcher). Additionally, it's rare that a hitter gets into the ball for the type of linedrive you're talking about. It's generally a strategy for pushing a grounder throught the hole.

 

As far as "using the rules" isn't that exactly what the Texas team I mention was trying to do? Flying right up to the plate and try to snag a linedrive bunt for the double play? Only difference was he was playing under rules that weren't in play. As a adanger I have far more of a problem with 12yo's pitching at 46'. Some of those kids are over 6' and the pitcher is far too close.

 

As far as the other tactics you mention, yes I've used them. You know why? They work. Those same tactics were used in the majors in the days of Ty Cobb. Why? Because they worked. If they worked today, they'd be used. heck, sending the guy from first on the double steal to score the winning run STILL works today occasionally in the majors.

 

Run up the score? Never bothered me. If I can't stop your team from scoring, that's my problem, not yours. Outside of bunting for a hit and stealing bases with a big lead, it's all fair game and even that isn't a problem if I realize that you're close to the run rule (don't have that one on TV, do they?) and can save pitching by pushing across one more run and ending the game. What I do find insulting is moving your players station-to-station when you have a big lead. Play the game.

 

We may not agree on tactics, but that is no reason for you to get personal with your attacks. I enjoyed your other post. It even brought a tear to my eye, but I lost a little respect for you here.

roothog66:  nothing personal on my end, sorry you felt attacked.  Although you may not have witnessed anyone seriously injured, that was not a result of anything you had control over, it just happened that way.  All it takes is one, and in my opinion, at the age you described (12u) one is too many. 

 

Also, I watched again the other night the movie "Cobb"...it reminded me how much he was liked an revered by all for his tactics...not my cup of tea.  Just because someone did it along the way, doesn't justify it in my eyes.  If you want to lose respect for me because of that, so be it.

 

I was one who watched my son carted off the field in a 12u tournament in Texas, by getting hit with a line drive from 46' while pitching.  Head strapped to a gurney, on stretcher, flying down I-35 to Children's Hopsital was as frightening as it gets.  I can tell you this, at that distance, whether 3B, 1B, or pitcher, or any defensive stance you want to have, a bullet is not getting snagged unless the "ball catches the glove".

 

In softball you see infielders with headgear, not so in baseball.  To each his own, legal, strategy, or whatever anyone wants to call it, I don't like it at all.

As the father of a thirdbasemen through LL, Travel, HS, JC and now D2 baseball, the slash play is something they come to deal with and know how to charge. As RJM said a lot of the defense on that play is up to the pitcher, if you think it is coming. As a matter of fact that slash play was used against my sons team this past weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary, but you just knew it was coming. He has never complained about that play. The only time I ever heard him say anything was back in HS " Pop, its not a good feeling playing in on the grass when Eric Hosmer, or Devon Marrero is at bat, its scary at times". That was when the bats were hot. Only time I ever heard a peep out of him!

BTW - purpose of this post was to get opinions from the community, which is great.  I already knew my opinion, which is obvious now.  But it is good for me to know that so far the majority is:  don't like the intentional hit on the batter, and secondly that although the slash is legal, it appears so far, most are not a fan of it up to the HS level.

 

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

roothog66:  nothing personal on my end, sorry you felt attacked.  Although you may not have witnessed anyone seriously injured, that was not a result of anything you had control over, it just happened that way.  All it takes is one, and in my opinion, at the age you described (12u) one is too many. 

 

Also, I watched again the other night the movie "Cobb"...it reminded me how much he was liked an revered by all for his tactics...not my cup of tea.  Just because someone did it along the way, doesn't justify it in my eyes.  If you want to lose respect for me because of that, so be it.

 

I was one who watched my son carted off the field in a 12u tournament in Texas, by getting hit with a line drive from 46' while pitching.  Head strapped to a gurney, on stretcher, flying down I-35 to Children's Hopsital was as frightening as it gets.  I can tell you this, at that distance, whether 3B, 1B, or pitcher, or any defensive stance you want to have, a bullet is not getting snagged unless the "ball catches the glove".

 

In softball you see infielders with headgear, not so in baseball.  To each his own, legal, strategy, or whatever anyone wants to call it, I don't like it at all.

You just have to be careful when you question the motivation of coaches who give their time and effort to the game because you don't agree with their use of a strategy that is a longtime part of the game and perfectly legal.

Cobb was just the first to come to mind, but quick-thinking players of that age often used tactics we now call bush. Many of us think of ourselves as above it, but what "bush" really means is "it doesn't work at a higher level."

 

I coached softball for decades and infielders weren't wearing headgear back then (well, not many, at least). Never saw an injury or anything close to one from the play. It's still used in the majors, though mostly by pitchers.

 

LL is behind the times. I do believe 6' 2" kids throwing 70mph to 6' 3" kids at the plate from 46 feet is a recipe for disaster. Kids are just bigger and stronger and using hottoer bats. It's time that organization get a grip on itself and make some changes.

 

Re-reading the post, it wasn't THAT bad, but you probably wouldn't want to tell me that I was the kind of coach you'd run the score up on.

 

I believe there are appropriate situations to employ the butcher boy play. And all players, particulary third basemen, must be taught that you don't go flying all the way down the line toward the batter just because he squares... just like teams must be extremely careful to have a sign/counter sign so that everyone knows a suicide squeeze play is on. As a parent, I hate both plays at younger levels.  But both have their place and are legal.

 

But I've also seen what BFS is describing, basically teams using the butcher boy repeatedly and indiscriminantly as a way to gain an advantage.  As a pitcher, NOT as a Coach,I believe that it is reasonable to stop this with a message pitch. I know many will disagree with me on this, but it's my honest opnion.  There's a proper way to play the game, and almost everyone knows what it is by HS.  Teams that use the butcher boy indescriminantly, spike MIFs, ram catchers uneccesarily, etc... run the risk of a message pitch.  Yes, there's danger in a pitcher doing this, but there is danger in not doing it too.  A good umpire can keep things from getting to this point by warnings and tossing as necessary. I guess my point is this... by HS ball, players need to be accountable for their actions.  If a player is going to play dirty, he is putting others at risk.  The game has a way of policing itself.

 

Last thing related, if a Coach tells a pitcher to hit a kid... that's different, IMO. For one, the Coach is absolutely putting himself and his school in serious liability by engaging in this.  But just in pure baseball terms, that coach is out of line to do this.  Let the players playing the game police the game... I truly believe that this is the best and safest scenario.  As a Coach once told me a long time ago, the only guaranteed 100% safe way to play is NOT to play.  The next best thing is to play the game smart and play it right.

Originally Posted by Soylent Green:

I believe there are appropriate situations to employ the butcher boy play. And all players, particulary third basemen, must be taught that you don't go flying all the way down the line toward the batter just because he squares... just like teams must be extremely careful to have a sign/counter sign so that everyone knows a suicide squeeze play is on. As a parent, I hate both plays at younger levels.  But both have their place and are legal.

 

But I've also seen what BFS is describing, basically teams using the butcher boy repeatedly and indiscriminantly as a way to gain an advantage.  As a pitcher, NOT as a Coach,I believe that it is reasonable to stop this with a message pitch. I know many will disagree with me on this, but it's my honest opnion.  There's a proper way to play the game, and almost everyone knows what it is by HS.  Teams that use the butcher boy indescriminantly, spike MIFs, ram catchers uneccesarily, etc... run the risk of a message pitch.  Yes, there's danger in a pitcher doing this, but there is danger in not doing it too.  A good umpire can keep things from getting to this point by warnings and tossing as necessary. I guess my point is this... by HS ball, players need to be accountable for their actions.  If a player is going to play dirty, he is putting others at risk.  The game has a way of policing itself.

 

Last thing related, if a Coach tells a pitcher to hit a kid... that's different, IMO. For one, the Coach is absolutely putting himself and his school in serious liability by engaging in this.  But just in pure baseball terms, that coach is out of line to do this.  Let the players playing the game police the game... I truly believe that this is the best and safest scenario.  As a Coach once told me a long time ago, the only guaranteed 100% safe way to play is NOT to play.  The next best thing is to play the game smart and play it right.


Personally, I feel the slash bunt is useless if it's used more than occasionally. Then what you get is a lot of easy line drives to the third/first baseman who has learned not to charge very far. Far better that it be a total surprise. Honestly, at very young ages or even at, say, 12u at lower levels of ball. Not many batters can pull it off anyway.

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

roothog66:  it depends....what I mean is, what is the ultimate goal at each level...is there any level in youth baseball, let's say up to HS level, that winning the game, justifies the inherent / unnecessary danger those plays add.  I am not a fan of justifying it by saying, "well the pitcher is close", his position requires "him" to be in inherent danger, not so for 3B, or 1B, now you just added two more players.  I also don't agree with "this is just strategy" that is legal, and could further our chances of winning.  Luckily for you, there were no parents that had to see their 12 year old son carted off the field on a stretcher, because of "tactics within the rules of the game". 

 

I live in TX, and yes there are rules at 12u, that prohibit coaches from using tactics that put players in danger to win the plastic trophy.

 

If my son is earning a scholarship, or a paid professional baseball player, then yes it is fair game.  Also, the "if you don't see it on TV, we ain't doing it", comes from developing talent, rather than trick plays that at the older ages are easily defended against.  You must have also started runners from first base to get in intentional run downs at 9u, to get across the almighty last run for the trophy....I'm not a fan, especially since after a few years it will no longer work.  I used to run up scores on coaches like that.

Don't you think it was the 3rd baseman that put himself in danger?  What about a player's responsibility to protect himself?  Does the offense have to pull back because the defensive players are playing in a way that is dangerous to them?  I'm not saying anyone should try to hurt another player, but a 3rd baseman charging nearly to the batter's box in any circumstance is ridiculous and shows very little understanding of the game, and he should be pulled from the game and chastised, not the batter.

smitty28:  standard bunt coverage distance is what I am talking about, not in the batter's lap!  Yes, in the correct bunt coverage unless you drop to the ground, you are not going to avoid a line drive the first time that particular play is used.  After that, sure it is the 3B's responsibility to have his own "rule" of how far he feels comfortable coming in.  So to answer you questions, NO - I don't think the 3B put himself in danger, 50' from the batters box is not crashing too far, but it is too close, and puts him in a defenseless position against a batted ball headed for his forehead. 

 

Nobody is asking the offense to pullback, however my OP was asking, do folks think the risk is worth the reward up to the HS level.  I've been around the game all my life, I know it is legal.  I just questioned whether the majority are a fan of this particular play.  I for one am not.  I agree with Sylent Green's response, I guess I am not that steadfast when used sparingly, but not repeatedly, and if so, maybe a message pitch is in order.

 

 

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

smitty28:  standard bunt coverage distance is what I am talking about, not in the batter's lap!  Yes, in the correct bunt coverage unless you drop to the ground, you are not going to avoid a line drive the first time that particular play is used.  After that, sure it is the 3B's responsibility to have his own "rule" of how far he feels comfortable coming in.  So to answer you questions, NO - I don't think the 3B put himself in danger, 50' from the batters box is not crashing too far, but it is too close, and puts him in a defenseless position against a batted ball headed for his forehead. 

 

Nobody is asking the offense to pullback, however my OP was asking, do folks think the risk is worth the reward up to the HS level.  I've been around the game all my life, I know it is legal.  I just questioned whether the majority are a fan of this particular play.  I for one am not.  I agree with Sylent Green's response, I guess I am not that steadfast when used sparingly, but not repeatedly, and if so, maybe a message pitch is in order.

 

 

No thirdbasman charging a bunt that has been around baseball more than a coupe of weeks should be in a "defenseless position." It's not like a receiver stretching out to make a catch, he should have his glove in a position to make a play of some sort. The pitcher, on the otherhand can be considered to be in a "defenseless position."

Originally Posted by roothog66:


Personally, I feel the slash bunt is useless if it's used more than occasionally. Then what you get is a lot of easy line drives to the third/first baseman who has learned not to charge very far. Far better that it be a total surprise. Honestly, at very young ages or even at, say, 12u at lower levels of ball. Not many batters can pull it off anyway.

But the butcher boy can be "gamed" by using it a couple of times, then dropping a bunt down third, then back to the butcher boy.  I have seen that type of thing more than a couple of times, not an entire lineup... but the same 3-4 guys repeatedly throughout a game. Someone said this doesn't happen in higher level ball because the defenses are so good.  No, this could be an effective offensive strategy against a Miguel Cabrerra type defender at a given level.  The reason it doesn't go on is because, to complete the example, the Max Scherzer type player would plant the second guy who tried to pull that.

+1 in that Soylent Green....only problem is do you want HS players throwing high and in....not saying you do, but that is why I don't like that at this age.

 

Also - roothog66 - just because you have your glove up, unless you are covering your entire body, you can't reflex fast enough to react to a line driving coming from 50', unless the ball finds your glove by mistake.

 

 

Originally Posted by Soylent Green:
Originally Posted by roothog66:


Personally, I feel the slash bunt is useless if it's used more than occasionally. Then what you get is a lot of easy line drives to the third/first baseman who has learned not to charge very far. Far better that it be a total surprise. Honestly, at very young ages or even at, say, 12u at lower levels of ball. Not many batters can pull it off anyway.

But the butcher boy can be "gamed" by using it a couple of times, then dropping a bunt down third, then back to the butcher boy.  I have seen that type of thing more than a couple of times, not an entire lineup... but the same 3-4 guys repeatedly throughout a game. Someone said this doesn't happen in higher level ball because the defenses are so good.  No, this could be an effective offensive strategy against a Miguel Cabrerra type defender at a given level.  The reason it doesn't go on is because, to complete the example, the Max Scherzer type player would plant the second guy who tried to pull that.


I doubt that. I've seen the Rockies use it multiple times in the same game without incident. It's not considered "bush" or bad play at that level, simply part of the traditional strategy of the game. Now, do it up by 10 runs, you got one in the ear coming.

Story one. I personal don't run slash crap. I think it's softball but that's just my opinion. I have no problem with the other team doing it. Then again I don't have a problem with anything the other team does they're not my team. If my third baseman doesn't know how to safely defend this play that is my fault. If he know what to do and can't do it he won't be at third.

Second story. As a coach, I would never and I mean never tell a child to throw at a child.

As a pitcher the coach wouldn't have to tell me to. If I was the second baseman the pitcher wouldn't have to deal with it for me.
Originally Posted by roothog66:
Originally Posted by Soylent Green:
Originally Posted by roothog66:


Personally, I feel the slash bunt is useless if it's used more than occasionally. Then what you get is a lot of easy line drives to the third/first baseman who has learned not to charge very far. Far better that it be a total surprise. Honestly, at very young ages or even at, say, 12u at lower levels of ball. Not many batters can pull it off anyway.

But the butcher boy can be "gamed" by using it a couple of times, then dropping a bunt down third, then back to the butcher boy.  I have seen that type of thing more than a couple of times, not an entire lineup... but the same 3-4 guys repeatedly throughout a game. Someone said this doesn't happen in higher level ball because the defenses are so good.  No, this could be an effective offensive strategy against a Miguel Cabrerra type defender at a given level.  The reason it doesn't go on is because, to complete the example, the Max Scherzer type player would plant the second guy who tried to pull that.


I doubt that. I've seen the Rockies use it multiple times in the same game without incident. It's not considered "bush" or bad play at that level, simply part of the traditional strategy of the game. Now, do it up by 10 runs, you got one in the ear coming.


Your saying that the Rockies will repeatdly employ and fake the butcher boy along with executing actual bunts?  All I can say is that I've sure never seen anything like that.  Not talking about a speedster maybe faking a quick bunt look on a take or something like that to draw in 3B a step or two.  I'm talking about a true butcher boy: square convincingly, then pull back and swing with all you've got. If a guy did a butcher boy once, then later came back around in the order and tried either an actual bunt OR another butcher boy... I think most pitchers would nail him, with extreme prejudice. Nolan Ryan would avoid the Christmas rush by throwing at any guy who squared at any time... but I digress... 

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

+1 in that Soylent Green....only problem is do you want HS players throwing high and in....not saying you do, but that is why I don't like that at this age. 

I don't like to see a HS pitcher throwing a batter period.  But... like most things in the game, there is a right and wrong way to do it.  You don't throw at a guys head under any circumstance... end of story. Of course I totally understand that the problem is that no pitcher has perfect control, least of all HS guys obviously.

 

But there has to be balance out there.  Example; you see that big 18 year old four hole hitter coming up to the plate. Last year, my tall skinny 15 year old kid was pitching to him. The four hole hitter is licking his chops, and swinging from his heels with all he's got.  My tall, skinny pitcher had better move that kids feet. The hitter gets a helmet, not the pitcher.  And forget about our poor hard charging thirdbasemen for a second... the butcher boy is no picnic for the pitcher, either.  If a pitcher let's a hitter swing with all he's got at will, then that pitcher is in danger.  So back to your question, yes... I do want HS pitchers to "own the plate" at all times.

 

"I'm pitching inside. If it hits the man... tough." - Bob Gibson

Originally Posted by Soylent Green:
Originally Posted by roothog66:
Originally Posted by Soylent Green:
Originally Posted by roothog66:


Personally, I feel the slash bunt is useless if it's used more than occasionally. Then what you get is a lot of easy line drives to the third/first baseman who has learned not to charge very far. Far better that it be a total surprise. Honestly, at very young ages or even at, say, 12u at lower levels of ball. Not many batters can pull it off anyway.

But the butcher boy can be "gamed" by using it a couple of times, then dropping a bunt down third, then back to the butcher boy.  I have seen that type of thing more than a couple of times, not an entire lineup... but the same 3-4 guys repeatedly throughout a game. Someone said this doesn't happen in higher level ball because the defenses are so good.  No, this could be an effective offensive strategy against a Miguel Cabrerra type defender at a given level.  The reason it doesn't go on is because, to complete the example, the Max Scherzer type player would plant the second guy who tried to pull that.


I doubt that. I've seen the Rockies use it multiple times in the same game without incident. It's not considered "bush" or bad play at that level, simply part of the traditional strategy of the game. Now, do it up by 10 runs, you got one in the ear coming.


Your saying that the Rockies will repeatdly employ and fake the butcher boy along with executing actual bunts?  All I can say is that I've sure never seen anything like that.  Not talking about a speedster maybe faking a quick bunt look on a take or something like that to draw in 3B a step or two.  I'm talking about a true butcher boy: square convincingly, then pull back and swing with all you've got. If a guy did a butcher boy once, then later came back around in the order and tried either an actual bunt OR another butcher boy... I think most pitchers would nail him, with extreme prejudice. Nolan Ryan would avoid the Christmas rush by throwing at any guy who squared at any time... but I digress... 


On August 16, 2012 Michael Young, Jr. and Josh Rutledge both slug bunted in runs in the same inning.

 

June 12, 2009 vs. Seattle, Ubaldo Jimines drove in Tulo with a slug bunt single. The inning before Fowler grounded out in attempting one. Tracey pulls it out of the bag all the time. However, I've also seen it lead to easy grounders to the ss when it comes late. rarely have I ever seen anyone pull one hard at the third basman. It's just not that easy. Again, butcher boy: legal. Throwing at a player intentionally: illegal. However, many on here say they find the first abhorrable, but encourage the second. Makes you think.

Roothog66 - I'm not really challenging you on this, just saying I've never seen it.  And I think we may be talking about two different things anyway.  It's rare to see a full on butcher boy play in the majors.  Butcher boy is not the exact same thing as a slash bunt.  I honestly am not familiar with the term slug bunt... maybe it's the same thing as I'm describing.  But I think there's a different intent between a slash bunt and a butcher boy. Butcher boy squares early like a sac, then the bat's pulled back and the swing is aggressive and pulled... not a slap swing like a slash bunt.

I am thinking this topic may be like talking religion or politics....much differing opinions.

 

As for. MLB teams employing this tactic is not really relevant to this thread, I asked is it appropriate up to the HS level. 

 

Also keep hearing about how a true 3B should know how to handle this...I don't agree.  You have some small schools where if you show up, you make the team.  What happens if this school plays another small school, but has a good handful of talented players.  I'm just not sure the risk is worth the reward.

 

Great mix of views and replies.

Back foot not sure where your from but it sounds like the players you are speaking about should not play the game if they are in danger.  If a 3rd baseman cant understand the play he should not be playing baseball. ( I am assuming we are talking HS).  Hitting a batter in the head should never happen on purpose.  However in football they have plenty of time to send a message, in basketball it's a hard foul.  In baseball it's a ball in the Near the ribs.  Most of the time the batter gets out of the way, if the don't it hurts for a minute.  again at the HS level a well placed ball can send a message, get a batter to move his feet.  my son has thrown inside on purpose many times.  Never at a head and almost never with the intent of actually hitting the player just making him think.

Throwinbbs - I'm in TX, but that's not the point of the post.  NO player no matter how talented can crash on bunt to the correct distance, and defend a line drive from 50'...that is not a feat of talent or lack of.   If you've ever pitched you've surely had a line drive buzz you, that you had no prayer on if it was headed towards you, remember McCarthy, or Cobb last few seasons on ESPN.  Just because you understand or pick up the play doesn't give you Spider-Man powers, you either bail on the play or risk wearing the seams on your forehead. 

 

Regarding hitting a batter, it was not about a pitcher moving the batter off the plate, it was about a coach instructing his pitcher to put a hitter down.

Originally Posted by Back foot slider:

Throwinbbs - I'm in TX, but that's not the point of the post.  NO player no matter how talented can crash on bunt to the correct distance, and defend a line drive from 50'...that is not a feat of talent or lack of.   If you've ever pitched you've surely had a line drive buzz you, that you had no prayer on if it was headed towards you, remember McCarthy, or Cobb last few seasons on ESPN.  Just because you understand or pick up the play doesn't give you Spider-Man powers, you either bail on the play or risk wearing the seams on your forehead. 

 

Regarding hitting a batter, it was not about a pitcher moving the batter off the plate, it was about a coach instructing his pitcher to put a hitter down.

I'm surprised your in Texas, doesn't sound like a texas post.  A 3rd baseman making the correct move is "more" protected than the pitcher As he will not be closer than the pitcher at the point of pull back.  I don't care for the play myself but I don't complain if it's not against the rules.  As a pitcher I drilled my share of guys.  Some on purpose and guess what, they all where ok, except the one broken rib guy who leaned into a pitch on purpose.  

SLASH PLAY - Run it occasionally with the right player, and if we see the D using the Wheel Play....goal is to hit it up the middle where SS is vacating.  We aren't trying to pull the ball and hurt the corner IF's, but at the same time, if they come in under control, at the high school level they should be pretty safe in about 95% of the situations.

 

THROWING AT A HITTER - I've posted over the years about my acceptance about throwing at a hitter.  In the "old" days of my coaching, we worked with the pitchers about when/if it needed to be done (very rarely), and how to do it to send a message; not with intent to injure.  Haven't instructed like that in 15+ years, and haven't told a player to do it in that long either.

 

That said, if you have a problem with it on general principle, I understand that and am fine with it.  I've never quite understood those who say "Well, I'm against hitting a batter, but it is ok to throw up and in to move his feet".  My feeling is that if my player were going to try to "plunk" a batter in the butt or thigh, or even the ribs, he is much less likely to miss and cause damage than the kid who is trying to pitch high and tight and misses in; that kid will probably hit a batter in the head, face, neck.

 

Additionally, while I have had one or two 90+ guys in my time, the majority are upper 70 and low 80's guys.  If they hit a kid in the leg, butt, ribs, will it hurt?  Yeah, it will.  But you know what? It hurts the same whether it was intentional or not.  And quite honestly, the likelihood that a kid will get seriously injured by a fastball to the middle of the body is MUCH smaller than a kid getting hurt in football, wrestling, basketball.

 

In my roughly 30 years of coaching I've seen inuries by pitchers getting hit by batted balls, kids hurt on hard slides, collisions at plates,  kids running into fences and each other, heck, even a kid hit when an on-deck batter let go of a bat.  But every kid I can remember getting hit by a pitch (thank god) ended up with a bruise or stitch marks, soreness for a few days, and some bragging rights.  May not be ideal, but it's true. 

I guess I am confused about "slashing" or what one poster refers to as a "slash bunt". Is this different that a slug bunt? I have never heard of the slash bunt term - I have always called it a slug bunt.

I see the slug bunt all the time - at every level from youth through MLB. It is a pretty common tactic.

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