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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cardinal Sins of Baseball (Part 1) - Defense

A "Cardinal Sin" refers to the most important behaviors people should avoid.  In baseball, cardinal sins involve the worst mistakes players can make on the field.  Old Timers probably have a more extensive list than today's players which is why it is tough for some in the older baseball generation to watch today's modern game.  More players seem to not care or have never been taught things that were standard years ago.  At least that's what my father says!
Today's list involves the cardinal sins on the defensive side of the ball that I grew up hearing.

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  • A 1st baseman letting a routine ground ball get past him.  He's 10 feet from the bag and has the pitcher to help over there as well.
  • An outfielder losing a ball in the sun and then asking for sunglasses.  Should have had them prior to missing the ball.
  • Failing to make sure of one out on a double-play attempt.  Now you have the start of a rally.
  • Not knowing (or forgetting) how fast a base runner is.  If you don't know, assume he's fast.
  • "Olay-ing" a thrown or batted ball in the dirt and allowing it to go into the outfield.  You don't have to make the out but you do have to keep the ball in the infield.
  • An infielder not diving for a ground ball with runner(s) in scoring position.  The pitcher will not be happy.  Remember, he'd rather not have numbers added to his ERA.
  • An infielder not diving for a ground ball with runner(s) in scoring position when a pitcher has a shutout.  Now the whole pitching staff hates you.  
  • Not diving for a ball when a pitcher has a no-hitter/perfect game going.  Congratulations.  Now the whole team hates you.
  • A catcher who tries to "catch" a ball in the dirt as opposed to "blocking" it.  That's why they call it blocking drill and not catching drill.
  • Walking out to your position.  There is no walking in baseball.
  • Allowing poor at-bats to impact your performance on defense.  Get over it and do your job on defense.
  • An outfielder missing the cut-off man allowing other runners to move up.  A ball that slips out is excusable.  Forgetting how important it is to hit the cut-off man is not.
  • Failing to get an out on a sacrifice bunt.  The other team is giving you an out.  You have to take it.
  • Forgetting how many outs there are.  Somebody paid good money for that scoreboard.  Look at it once in awhile.

    Know any more?  There are many!

    The next two cardinal sin posts will cover offense and pitching.  Stay tuned.

    1 comment:

    1. I'm going to print this and give it out to my 12yo LL'ers. I don't know how many times I;ve uttered these sayings to them. Your dad is a smart man!