Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Should He Stay or Should He Go?
the Clash, there's a debate raging about whether Ranger's star Josh Hamilton should have tried to score on a foul popup near the dugout. The play resulted in an out and a broken arm for the reigning AL MVP. If you listen to Hamilton, and the pundits on ESPN, he never should have attempted to score. On the face of it, it seems obvious that the play was not worth the risk. It occurred in the first inning. The Rangers are hot and their offense has been scoring plenty of runs. Still, the third base coach was adamant in telling Hamilton to take off. So take off he did, despite his own misgivings. This is the first time I remember commentators berating a player for listening to a coach. Usually players overrun stop signs at third and the pundits have a field day criticizing them. The flip-flop surprises me. John Kruk and Bobby Valentine argued on ESPN that it was Hamilton's decision whether to go or stay. In all the the decades I have been watching baseball, I have never heard it argued that the runner should ignore the third base coach. I wonder if this is a new development (a vestige of the Me Decade) or if it always was this way. If runners take the Kruk-Valentine advice, I wonder if anarchy will rule on the bases. Of course, budget-conscious clubs could save money by eliminating the base coches altogether.