Running with reckless abandon

In my last post I mentioned how I liked the new dimension that the Jays’ running attack is giving the club. It seemed, in most cases, the Jays were running at opportune times and giving themselves a high rate of success (at the time of the post they had 16 steals versus three caught stealings).

It's baseball, not a track meet, let's use some common sense here.

The last two games in Boston, I have witnessed absolutely atrocious baserunning that has me scratching my head.

Saturday’s game:

Red Sox are leading 4-1. John MacDonald singles to start the top of the 8th. Great. The top of the order is coming up, if the Jays can get one more guy on base there will be a chance to bring the tying run to the plate in the name of a middle-of-the-order power hitter.

John MacDonald then proceeds to easily get thrown out at second, effectively killing  a rally in a progress and snuffing out what would be the Jays last real promising chance to get back into the game.

I am not being results oriented here. Even if he makes it into second safely, so what? You keep yourself out of a double play, yes, but you still need that run, and two more. It’s just a foolishly unnecessary risk in my opinion and terrible timing for a steal.

Sadly, I don’t think John MacDonald would be one of the players given the all the time green light that apparently the Corey Pattersons and Rajai Davis’ of the world have been given, so this means the sign would have come from the bench. This gives me a little less faith in John Farrell’s managing if he thinks this is an opportune time to run.

Sunday’s game:

Jays down 6-1. Runners at first and second, one out. A pitcher in Doubrant on the mound who has been struggling to throw strikes.

Patterson breaks for third and is thrown out easily. Atrocious. Again, I am not being results oriented here. He could have gone into third base standing up and I would have still thought it was a terrible, terrible decision. 

What is accomplished? You are going to need more hits to get back in the ballgame anyway, and Patterson will score from second on a hit anyway. It’s funny, because in my minor baseball coaching days I can recall explaning to and getting mad at some young baseball players for taking unnecessary risks on the bases in these exact same types of situations. These kids are 13 years old, however, Patterson quite simply should know better.

That second run just isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. It’s funny as right after that play happened I was  inspired angered to come write this post and I loaded up the old blog. The Red Sox ended up getting out of the inning and it went back to the Sportsnet studio where Gregg Zaun provided the exact same sentiment on the play as I did.

Take it away, Zaunie, with your thoughts on Patterson’s attempted steal:

“Stupid, I don’t think you should be worried about a run that doesn’t mean anything … Being aggressive just to be aggressive is not smart and this is just not smart baseball.”


Bingo. You don’t need to be a journeyman below-average retired catcher to know that one. This one, I can assuredly say did not come from the bench, so Patterson is to wear the blame on that muck up.

Slow down there, top gun

However, we have heard non-stop about how Farrell has inspired this green light attitude amongst the fast guys on this team and an overall aggressive base running approach to the entire team, perhaps this needs to be infused with a bit more baseball common sense mixed in?

As it stands now, sure, the Jays will create themselves some extra runs over the course of the summer with their legs, but if their baserunning decisions are on occassion going to be completely lacking of any type of baseball logic, I will be tearing my hair out at the end of the year.

Also, there had been a request for me to post an update on my Jays betting challenge . Just quickly, obviously the good start/profits I had gotten off to are down, but I’m still on the positive side of the ledger.

Total through April 17: +$107.5 

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2 thoughts on “Running with reckless abandon

  1. From Farrell:

    “We gambled in the first-and-second situation late in the game, down by five,” Farrell said. “Corey has very good instincts on the base paths, it just so happened (Felix) Doubront ran the inside move after we broke early. We’ve had a lot of success running the bases. You”re not going to be right 100 percent of the time. We don’t want our aggressiveness to be curtailed for the fact we gambled wrong in that situation.”

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