Spring is my favorite season.
I love to see the flora & fauna reappear, growing seemingly every day.
Stretching incrementally longer, the sun finally making an appearance most days after the dormancy of winter.
There is a general feeling of renewal and possibility.
Of course spring also means baseball.—my first love.
With America’s Pastime just about to embark on the 2018 campaign, I recently was thinking about my early frustrations, education, and even some of the magic moments that were such a huge part of my adolescent, tween and teenage years.
I wanted to be a Omar Moreno.
Somehow I convinced my manager to let me bat first and play centerfield. 😀
Omar stole a ton of bases.
If he reached base via a walk or a slap hit the other way, you knew he was running.
I always had the same mindset, having speedy legs as possibly my only asset.
I would always, always take a huge lead, a Rickey Henderson type of lead, and just bolt for second.
Stealing second base is actually somewhat of a stable approach as far as odds are concerned.
So much has to go right for the defense to throw you out, make you look foolish for giving up a sacred out.
The pitcher has to be very quick, accurate and deliberate to the plate, the catcher has to defy physics and in almost one motion, catch the pitch, aim for the base, and deliver a precise throw before you arrive.
That’s a whole lot of moving parts.
Stealing third base was actually a bit easier.
You could get even more of a lead, you could give the opposing pitcher fits by moving all around, just within his sphere of peripheral vision, disrupting his rhythm.
You could also almost sense the panic, as you were already in scoring position, and the extra 90 feet you were seeking, would almost guarantee a run on a slow hit ground ball, or any fly ball of decent depth.
Stealing home though, that is a different story.
All the advantages become disadvantages.
You, as the runner need everything to go right, as the pitcher is only a 60 feet, 6 inches toss away and most likely holding the ball.
The catcher (before the silly rule that didn’t allow him to block the plate) was anchored and just waiting for the throw, wearing the “tools of ignorance,” ready to crush you.
Coincidentally, I was thinking about the art and science of stealing home yesterday, the incredibly level of difficulty, risk, and to my surprise, I happened to see this:
Did I tell you how much I love spring? 😀