Friday Base Running Tips – Creatures of Habit
Even slow runners should be able to steal bases.
One of the major league mangers I played for was great at getting slow runners, who you never though could steal a base, a few stolen bases over the course of the year. He did this because pitchers are creatures of habit.
It is often easier for slower runners to steal bases than faster ones because of the element of surprise. Of course, this does not mean that coaches should allow all base runners to attempt to steal bases at anytime. However, this surprise element, used at an opportune time in a game, can help teams win games. When a runner, who is not known to be a base stealing threat, is on base, pitchers generally pay them little mind and have the same timing to their pitching delivery.
Additionally, pitchers rarely use the quicker slide-step, after holding the runner on base, with these non-base stealing threats. Once coaches notice this routine and rhythm, they relay this information on to players, and use it to steal bases with one of their non-base stealing threats, at a key point in the game. If this base stealing technique is used too often, pitchers begin to pay more mind to all base runners and the element of surprise is lost.
Base runners, who know the pitchers timing, just take off at the right time according to the pitchers rhythm. Stealing the base is usually a given because of the great jump and element of surprise and allows slow runners, who normally would never run, steal bases with that surprise element.