Runnin' Wild

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    Runnin' Wild

    Valentine is advertising his intention to depart from Boston's habit of just standing around on the bases, even though the middle of the lineup is notoriously slow-footed. Ellsbury and Crawford can fly, Pedey is an excellent baserunnner, and Aviles has decent speed. Ross and Sweeney don't look bad on the move.
    However, advertising can go over the top, as it did, IMO, when Valentine had Iglesias try to steal home. ( I'm assuming the sign came from the bench and was a straight steal. ) What was the point? "We're gonna run" had already been shown this spring. A lot can go wrong on that play. The runner can get conked by the pitch. The catcher can "teach the other team a lesson" by, let us say, making sure the runner is pinned down, etc. If there is any chance at all of an injury, why risk it in a meaningless game to the hottest prospect on the team at this moment?
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    We never really hung around the bases.  We have a small handful of guys that can ourun me, and those guys run.  There is really no need to be running Salty, Gonzo, Youk, or Papi.

    Most people forget it, because leaving in Pedro was his claim to fame, but before that fiasco, Grady Little had completely run us out of the series v the NYY with 5 CS in the first 4 games, with 3 of them being Strikeout/CS DPs.
     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]We never really hung around the bases.  We have a small handful of guys that can ourun me, and those guys run.  There is really no need to be running Salty, Gonzo, Youk, or Papi. Most people forget it, because leaving in Pedro was his claim to fame, but before that fiasco, Grady Little had completely run us out of the series v the NYY with 5 CS in the first 4 games, with 3 of them being Strikeout/CS DPs.
    Posted by Joebreidey[/QUOTE]
    All the way back to 2003 -- and to a single series -- to show that the Boston Red Sox have been a running team. 
    No one is talking about running the lead-footed, but they do slow things down on the bases. 
    In the resent past, you must have been watching a different team from the ones that Boston and other announcers have been watching. After a Boston steal or steal attempt, they comment to the effect that there apparently will be a new approach this year. 
    The Sox have never had a reputation as a team that runs, even when, from time to time, the club has had fleet feet.
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    I was never a big Grady Little fan, but I think he got a bum rap for the Pedro thing. 

    1) We had nobody better than a tired Pedro in the pen.
    2) It's not like they hit rockets off Pedro after the no-pull decision.
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    RUN, BABY, RUN!!!!!!!!


      (to those who can....)


     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]I was never a big Grady Little fan, but I think he got a bum rap for the Pedro thing.  1) We had nobody better than a tired Pedro in the pen. 2) It's not like they hit rockets off Pedro after the no-pull decision.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]
    Nixon misplayed Jeter's ball into a double.
    Matsui hit a rope.
    Posada hit a bleeder.
    IIRC, Varitek told Little that Pedro still had it. ( Not had had it. )
    Little did a nice job with the Sox in his two years: 188 wins.
    He did just fine in LA too, but McCourt and Colletti wanted Torre. He wasn't helped by some of the grousing and petulance of veterans like Nomar, who were jealous of playing time going to younger guys, as it should have.

     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]RUN, BABY, RUN!!!!!!!!   (to those who can....)
    Posted by SinceYaz[/QUOTE
    I expect to see more hit-and-run plays, even with players who are not speed merchants. That's a play that Iglesias can learn to make, and it will force him to put the bat on the ball.  He needs to focus continually on making contact. It wouldn't hurt either for Crawford to learn to hit the outside pitch to left field with the runner on the move. 
    Plays like these, not just steals, define a running team.

     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]I was never a big Grady Little fan, but I think he got a bum rap for the Pedro thing.  1) We had nobody better than a tired Pedro in the pen. 2) It's not like they hit rockets off Pedro after the no-pull decision.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]


    Scott Williamson was not to be underestimated.
     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : [QUOTE]RUN, BABY, RUN!!!!!!!!   (to those who can....) Posted by SinceYaz[/QUOTE I expect to see more hit-and-run plays, even with players who are not speed merchants. That's a play that Iglesias can learn to make, and it will force him to put the bat on the ball.  He needs to focus continually on making contact. It wouldn't hurt either for Crawford to learn to hit the outside pitch to left field with the runner on the move.  Plays like these, not just steals, define a running team.
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    I agree, pitch, I agree!

    The more we do what you're talking about, the more the other team has to think...   I've said it many times before, I love the Big Boppers...but I have always wanted a running team  (well, since the '67 series)
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    If Crawford can earn a promotion to the 2 hole, he and Ellsbury make an ideal hit-and-run partnership. The advantage of a lefty hitter going to left is that the runner has the play in front of him. First, on a line drive, the runner can go a little farther to see if it's caught, because it takes a longer throw from left than from right to double him up. Second, if the ball is down the line or into the gap, a runner like Ellsbury can turn on the burners as he approaches second, and think "score." On the run he doesn't look back but takes direction from the coach at third. Since Crawford can fly, the outfielder and the relay man ( if there is one ) have a tough decision as to whether to try to get Ellsbury or to hold Crawford to a single -- even if the outfielder doesn't have to go far to field the ball. 
    Speed drives defenses nuts -- if used properly. 
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]Valentine is advertising his intention to depart from Boston's habit of just standing around on the bases, even though the middle of the lineup is notoriously slow-footed. Ellsbury and Crawford can fly, Pedey is an excellent baserunnner, and Aviles has decent speed. Ross and Sweeney don't look bad on the move. However, advertising can go over the top, as it did, IMO, when Valentine had Iglesias try to steal home. ( I'm assuming the sign came from the bench and was a straight steal. ) What was the point? "We're gonna run" had already been shown this spring. A lot can go wrong on that play. The runner can get conked by the pitch. The catcher can "teach the other team a lesson" by, let us say, making sure the runner is pinned down, etc. If there is any chance at all of an injury, why risk it in a meaningless game to the hottest prospect on the team at this moment?
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    Ex

    I think the announcers have been saying the Dustin is a great base-runner since he arrived in MLB.  Then I read somewhere that he ran into too many outs, I have watched intently ever since and I have seen that he does.  Now there are folks who are recording how often a player runs into an out, scores from 1st on a double,.... There are other factors like Bogar, but it is pretty easy to quantify base-running with a large enough sample.

    In 2011, Fangraphs had 4 of the 19 top 2nd basemen with a negative base-running score Pedroia was one of them.

    From 2007 - 2011, Pedroia is last among the top 19 2nd baseman in base-running.

    BTW: Youk rates as a slightly above average runner despite being pretty slow.


     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Runnin' Wild : Ex I think the announcers have been saying the Dustin is a great base-runner since he arrived in MLB.  Then I read somewhere that he ran into too many outs, I have watched intently ever since and I have seen that he does.  Now there are folks who are recording how often a player runs into an out, scores from 1st on a double,.... There are other factors like Bogar, but it is pretty easy to quantify base-running with a large enough sample. In 2011, Fangraphs had 4 of the 19 top 2nd basemen with a negative base-running score Pedroia was one of them. From 2007 - 2011, Pedroia is last among the top 19 2nd baseman in base-running. BTW: Youk rates as a slightly above average runner despite being pretty slow.
    Posted by tom-uk[/QUOTE]
    Yikes. I guess I was took.
    But here's an honest question. Is running into an out always bad if it was worth the risk? Was the context figured into the data? Situation. How good the throw was. The old rule of thumb was "make him make a perfect throw to get you."
    Could this have been the case with Pedey a few ( several ) times? Does the data also include the number of times Pedey successfully took what was considered an extra base. 
    I'm trying to understand the methodology.

     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    pedey is very aggressive, and i dont care how fast you are, that means you will cause outs...but isnt that a better way to play than standing on the base waiting for an extra base hit to score you?

    valentine knows exactly why this team had no heart last year - baserunning is just one part of getting the team ready to play to win every game
     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : What are you talking about? What younger guy was playing in place of Nomar?
    Posted by thepeskypole6[/QUOTE]
    Betemit. 
    Kent and Gonzalez were also malcontents on that team.

     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : Yikes. I guess I was took. But here's an honest question. Is running into an out always bad if it was worth the risk? Was the context figured into the data? Situation. How good the throw was. The old rule of thumb was "make him make a perfect throw to get you." Could this have been the case with Pedey a few ( several ) times? Does the data also include the number of times Pedey successfully took what was considered an extra base.  I'm trying to understand the methodology.
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    To be honest I'm not sure about the Fangraphs #.

    BBRef has a % stat, extra base taken: more than one base on a single, more than two on a double, they don't take where the ball is hit or the throw into account.

    Career XBT

    Youk     41
    Ped       39
    Ortiz     27
    Jeter     46 ( when he was young he was well over 50%)
    JDDrew 45 (the 1st college 30/30, 1st 6 years: 50 68 60 49 45 52)

    BBProspectus  Base-running which takes stolen bases into account:
                   2011:
    Kinsler   11.6
    Suzuki     8.9
    Scutaro   2.0
    Lowrie    1.9
    Pedroia   1.4  (121st)
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]Valentine is advertising his intention to depart from Boston's habit of just standing around on the bases, even though the middle of the lineup is notoriously slow-footed. Ellsbury and Crawford can fly, Pedey is an excellent baserunnner, and Aviles has decent speed. Ross and Sweeney don't look bad on the move. However, advertising can go over the top, as it did, IMO, when Valentine had Iglesias try to steal home. ( I'm assuming the sign came from the bench and was a straight steal. ) What was the point? "We're gonna run" had already been shown this spring. A lot can go wrong on that play. The runner can get conked by the pitch. The catcher can "teach the other team a lesson" by, let us say, making sure the runner is pinned down, etc. If there is any chance at all of an injury, why risk it in a meaningless game to the hottest prospect on the team at this moment?
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    What habit is that?
    Let's look at Boston's MLB steals ranking the past few years:
    '11: 17th
    '10: 25th
    '09: 5th
    '08: 7th
    '07: 15th
    Avg ('07-'11): 14th

    So the Red Sox are a slightly above average stealing team over the past five years. Yup, they just stand around...
    Somewhere along the line, misinterpretation of Moneyball's view on stealing (not "don't steal" but "not all steals are worth it, steal efficiency is the most important part of the skill"), Theo Epstein's professed liking of the Moneyball message, and a few years of Red Sox teams that didn't steal because they had virtually no worthwhile speed to begin with has created an innaccurate view that the Sox don't steal and don't like to.
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : My bad....my reading comprehension took a turn for the worse. I was thinking of the 2003 Red Sox.
    Posted by thepeskypole6[/QUOTE]
    No harm done. An honest mistake is just that. We all make them.

     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Runnin' Wild : What habit is that? Let's look at Boston's MLB steals ranking the past few years: '11: 17th '10: 25th '09: 5th '08: 7th '07: 15th Avg ('07-'11): 14th So the Red Sox are a slightly above average stealing team over the past five years. Yup, they just stand around... Somewhere along the line, misinterpretation of Moneyball's view on stealing (not "don't steal" but "not all steals are worth it, steal efficiency is the most important part of the skill"), Theo Epstein's professed liking of the Moneyball message, and a few years of Red Sox teams that didn't steal because they had virtually no worthwhile speed to begin with has created an innaccurate view that the Sox don't steal and don't like to.
    Posted by redsoxu571[/QUOTE]
    "Standing around" is a term of art, not to be taken literally. Steals are only part of the running game. There is also taking the extra base, moving the runner over, completing the hit and run, AND not getting picked off or doubled off. I had a coach who said, "You don't have to be fast to be a good baserunner. But you have to be smart." And he taught us how. 
    Do you think that the Sox were a good baserunning team last season? Or when, in your opinion, did they qualify for this label?

     
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    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : "Standing around" is a term of art, not to be taken literally. Steals are only part of the running game. There is also taking the extra base, moving the runner over, completing the hit and run, AND not getting picked off or doubled off. I had a coach who said, "You don't have to be fast to be a good baserunner. But you have to be smart." And he taught us how.  Do you think that the Sox were a good baserunning team last season? Or when, in your opinion, did they qualify for this label?
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    The things you just described are at least 80% on the individual player and have little to do with team preference. "Not getting picked off", are you serious? What can coaches do about that, other than remind players to keep their focus? Hit and runs are largely dictated by both the runner AND the hitter at the plate (and the opposing pitcher, and catcher)...the value of that tactic is limited to game situation, and risk (can be quite large) has to be weighted against reward (often very small).

    Do I think the Sox were a good baserunning team last year? They weren't the best, and they weren't the worst, that's about all I can say or care to say, because it's a silly question otherwise. The Sox have some tremendous baserunners and some awful ones, so why would I lump that into a team "rating"? You make use your excellent baserunners, and you protect your poor ones...the best coaches are NOT the ones who impose some kind of team concept...they're the ones who tailor what they want out of a team around the skills of the players.

    "Standing around", the criticism that was being placed on the Sox, is a PHILOSOPHY of taking very few risks on the basepaths...and while the Sox definitely are not freewheeling when it comes to baserunning, they still make use of it often enough. You might criticize how good the Sox are at it (which is a different discussion), but I think it's uniformed to continue to label them as a philosophically station-to-station team.
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    Youk is a head-up runner. I used to hate that part of watching the Sox of the 70's, so many runners would not even watch if the OF'er muffed the ball or threw to the wrong base. 

    I find it hard to believe Pedey is a poor runner, but I will watch closer this year.
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild : The things you just described are at least 80% on the individual player and have little to do with team preference. "Not getting picked off", are you serious? What can coaches do about that, other than remind players to keep their focus? Hit and runs are largely dictated by both the runner AND the hitter at the plate (and the opposing pitcher, and catcher)...the value of that tactic is limited to game situation, and risk (can be quite large) has to be weighted against reward (often very small). Do I think the Sox were a good baserunning team last year? They weren't the best, and they weren't the worst, that's about all I can say or care to say, because it's a silly question otherwise. The Sox have some tremendous baserunners and some awful ones, so why would I lump that into a team "rating"? You make use your excellent baserunners, and you protect your poor ones...the best coaches are NOT the ones who impose some kind of team concept...they're the ones who tailor what they want out of a team around the skills of the players. "Standing around", the criticism that was being placed on the Sox, is a PHILOSOPHY of taking very few risks on the basepaths...and while the Sox definitely are not freewheeling when it comes to baserunning, they still make use of it often enough. You might criticize how good the Sox are at it (which is a different discussion), but I think it's uniformed to continue to label them as a philosophically station-to-station team.
    Posted by redsoxu571[/QUOTE]
    Most of what you say is dictated by the individual player in fact comes either on a sign from the bench or an attitude instilled by managers and coaches. Not getting picked off, similarly, is the result of managers and coaches repeatedly demanding alertness. And how properly to return to a base. Players are not virtuoso soloists, or shouldn't be, nor should a club adapt to accommodate a player's weaknesses, if they can be remedied. 
    The hit and run is one of baseball's master plays, if called at the right time and executed right. 
    It's far from silly to ask how a club is doing overall on the bases. The question can and is asked about all facets of the game, baserunning included. Feed Valentine a truth serum and ask him what he thinks of the Sox on the bases last season.
    Teaching someone to run the bases is not like trying to teach him to hit .350.
    It's perhaps the easiest element to teach and learn. That's why a lot of guys who aren't rabbits are amongst the best baserunners. You don't "protect" poor baserunners. You get on their tail until they improve.
    Philosophy doesn't matter as much as execution. What counts is what happens on the field. 
    Youkilis said in an interview that in ST the club was rehearsing things that "we'd probably forgotten." That is, fundamentals all around. Baserunning is one of them. 
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Re: Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]Youk is a head-up runner. I used to hate that part of watching the Sox of the 70's, so many runners would not even watch if the OF'er muffed the ball or threw to the wrong base.  I find it hard to believe Pedey is a poor runner, but I will watch closer this year.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    I will stir some controversy.  Pedroia is thought to be a good base-runner which he isn't. Which is analogous to Jeter being perceived to be a good defender by many which he never has been.

    "Old school" fans don't like the saber influence but they are wrong b/c announcers and fans alike propagate myths which can now be better scrutinized. Baseball is more interesting now IMO b/c the casual fan with the internet can debunk loads of cliched maxims. I grew up only listening to baseball, even then I noticed no consistency of player skill evaluation. For example, who had a strong arm or was a good defender. I liked Joe C. but "old school" baseball men were full of it all too often. Even the ones who played and been in the game for decades.

    Anecdotally Mr. Moon, I have been watching Pedey closely and I posted about his poor decision making in the past.  My memory is that he often tries to go to second when a player from second is scoring on his single. With two outs late in a close game when the other runner is in danger of getting thrown out at home, it is excusable. He does it in all situations. Like Jeter I think the Pedey myth took hold because of a couple of big moment heads up plays which remain in memories.

    I have posted before about the Rays having a low OPS compared to runs scored over the last few years with average RISP #s.  They take the extra base, just like Texas.  Post roids world IMO...
     
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    Re: Runnin' Wild

    In Response to Runnin' Wild:
    [QUOTE]Valentine is advertising his intention to depart from Boston's habit of just standing around on the bases, even though the middle of the lineup is notoriously slow-footed. Ellsbury and Crawford can fly, Pedey is an excellent baserunnner, and Aviles has decent speed. Ross and Sweeney don't look bad on the move. However, advertising can go over the top, as it did, IMO, when Valentine had Iglesias try to steal home. ( I'm assuming the sign came from the bench and was a straight steal. ) What was the point? "We're gonna run" had already been shown this spring. A lot can go wrong on that play. The runner can get conked by the pitch. The catcher can "teach the other team a lesson" by, let us say, making sure the runner is pinned down, etc. If there is any chance at all of an injury, why risk it in a meaningless game to the hottest prospect on the team at this moment?
    Posted by expitch[/QUOTE]

    I'm all for the Rays style of play a few years back, wait until Iggy joins the mix.
     
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