Re: I give Valentine credit for being Francona calm
posted at 4/10/2012 12:57 AM EDT
In Response to Re: I give Valentine credit for being Francona calm
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: I give Valentine credit for being Francona calm : With no one on first, the Punto play was not "go on contact." Suppose the ball had been hit right back to the pitcher. Still "go on contact"? Contact is contact. Go is go. You may not think Valentine is very smart, but he'd have to be moronic to call a "go on contact" with a good chance that the runner on third will be called out at the plate, or hung up, as Punto was. Punto got caught going the wrong way on a ball hit sharply to the third baseman, who was right behind him. He forgot in that situation the oldest rule of them all: Make the ball go through. Then you can walk home. And he's not exactly a speed-burner.
Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]
I never said I didn't think Valentine wasn't smart.
Go on contact is employed sometimes when a runner on third. If you watched the at-bat, you saw Punto go as soon as the ball was hit on both the foul ball and the fair ball.
If it's a weakly hit ball and the runner doesn't go on contact, he's not going to score. If the runner goes on contact, he has the chance to score and puts pressure on the defense.
Sure it's a gamble. It's aggressive. The downside is that if it is a shot back to the pitcher or a hard shot to the infielder, the runner ends up being toast as is what happened with Punto.
It's the same as a hit-and-run. In that case, the runner goes on the pitch. The upside is that if it's a grounder, the team can avoid a double play or if it's a base hit, he might get another base. The downside is that if it's a line drive to an infielder, he's easily doubled up or or the batter misses the ball and the runner isn't fast, he might get thrown out trying to steal.
A manager isn't moronic for employing either strategy. It's simply how a manager chooses to manage. I favor hit and runs more than go-on-contact when the runner is on third, but it is a legitimate strategy either way.