Baseball Advice

[Some seriously good stuff by Kyle Wagner. Plenty more at gowagsbaseball.com]

Post Season Analysis

As a coach, you should always sit down after a season and discuss with your players what you see as their strengths and weaknesses. This way they have some direction with which to work.

Here are some post season general thoughts to whom it may concern.

1- Why do coaches constantly tell catchers to block everything? Nobody on base and the ball gets past the catcher and I hear coaches yell " block it." Why? To practice? Obviously those coaches never caught before. It's hard work catching all those potential dirt balls when you NEED to block let alone when your coach would like to see you practice.
Coaches, please let your catcher relax a little when he can.

2- I believe one of the most overlooked aspects to coaching is instructing the outfielders on where to throw the ball in crucial late inning situations.

Example: 5-3 game. Last inning. Runner on 1st base. Single up the middle. Center fielder throws to 3B to try and throw out the 4th run allowing the 5th run to move into scoring position. Ugh! How about an "all throws to 2nd base defense" coach!

3- The changeup is not a 2 strike pitch. Unless you've got yourself a Cole Hamels changeup, don't throw it when the batter is looking to protect. The changeup needs to be thrown in "hitter advantage" counts when the fastball is expected. Think 1-0, 2-0, 2-1. And if you're really, really good 3-1.

4- Who started all the cheers in the dugout stuff? It's baseball. Seriously, when did this happen?

5- Please, please, please stop telling your kids to not look at the ball when they run. Good baseball players hit the ball and take a peak at the ball so the position of the ball guides their decision making. The 1B coach should not be the only person to see it go through the shortstops legs.

Furthermore, I witnessed two separate ocassions where a baserunner was hit with a ground ball because he wasn't looking at the ball. Please!

6- Don't be afraid or embarrassed to say "I'm sorry." We've all been in a competitve situation where we've acted inappropriately. You're not alone. And as long as you didn't go Billy Martin on the umpire it goes a long way to apologize.

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