Monday, January 28, 2008

On the bases

Only the Oakland A's stole fewer bases than the paltry 57 swiped by the Jays in 2007. By no means am I saying that stealing bases is going to win you a championship, but it wouldn't hurt to try. Aside from Aaron Hill's wicked theft of home last season, the Jays were one of the least aggressive teams on the base paths. Call me an uninteresting traditionalists; but creating chances by way of aggressive baserunning, bunting and moving runners over are things the Jays simply don't do enough. I don't give a shit what league they play in.

It would probably help if the Jays as a team could get on base a bit more often. Last season they were 12th of the 14 AL teams. Obviously there isn't a team with a lineup solely made up of baseball stealing-speed freaks, but the Jays have players who have proven they can run and should be given the chance to do so. Something many people seem to forget (or never knew, thanks to sheer ignorance) is that you don't have to be fast to impact the game on the basepaths. A smart baserunner can be just as valuable as a fast one. Vernon Wells & Alex Rios are capable of stealing more often and guys like Aaron Hill, John McDonald, David Eckstein and Reed Johnson have shown the ability to run at times as well.

Although one of the more important parts of baseball, it's often the most neglected fundamentally. Quicks alone don't get your from first to third on a base hit. Being able to get a good jump, anticipate and move well comes as much from coaching and experience than it does athletic ability or speed. Come spring training, I suggest the Jays coaching staff emphasize the importance of baserunning. Christ, Jose Reyes stole 21 more bases on his own. Quit being a bunch of pussies and run from time to time. If necessary practice by playing "running bases" during your down-time. Not only is it a wondrous game, it will make you fearless on the bases.

Being aggressive on the basepaths doesn't only create the opportunity to score more, it also keeps your opponent guessing and opposing pitchers wondering (ask Andy Pettitte.)

Baserunning kids.


  1. Stealing and bunting...oh, lordy.

  2. the way the game was supposed to be played...or has everyone forgotten...


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