With the season in full swing, we have many from across the country contact us seeking advise, looking for our opinion on how to handle special situations and just wanting to share stories with us.
We talk about playing this game the right way. We talk about development. We talk about respecting the game and your opponents.
Here is a topic that has come up a few times so I want to speak on it for a few minutes. This is one of those un-written rules in Baseball. It’s unacceptable, but often done. If, and when, a team gets caught doing this by the other team, it often doesn’t end well, especially in the adult version of this game. It’s usually something planed out by the players (though I have heard of coaches teaching the players how to do this…classless). A runner gets to second base and is there long enough that he is able to unlock the code of signs the catcher is giving to the pitcher. It’s often something very simple like, “The second sign”, “The first sign after 2”, “The last sign” or “Outs +1”.
Some tips on what to look for in a runner on second who is giving signs…
-Verbal cues (probably only with the young age groups).
-Different shuffles in their lead after seeing the signs.
-Starting with hands on upper leg, then dropping one or the other after seeing the signs.
-Looking left or right after seeing the signs.
-Stepping forward or backward after seeing the signs.
-Standing straight up or squatting lower in their lead after seeing the signs.
Like I said, this is often done but is what we call “Bush League” and most pitchers and catchers will take this personal when they see this happening.
If your hitters can’t read the ball out of the pitchers hand, then try teaching them what to look for in a pitchers delivery that may show what he plans on throwing. If you really study a pitcher, most will tell you, with their body movements, what they are throwing on almost every pitch. If you are teaching your players how to “Give Signs From Second Base”, you are NOT developing. You are NOT respecting the game. You are NOT respecting your opponent.