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Friday, November 6, 2009

Baseball Base Running - When Not to Slide Into Second Base

By Larry Cicchiello

If you are a runner on first base and a ground ball is headed to the second baseman, make a quick observation as to where the second baseman is going to field the ball. If he is going to go to his left to field the grounder, it would be very wise for you NOT to slide into second base. If you slide, you are opening up a throwing lane for the second baseman to his shortstop. A much better choice is avoid sliding and run slightly to the right side of the baseline. It's a very easy and intelligent play that unfortunately, not too many base runners put to good use. By not sliding and running on the right side of the base line, there is a very good chance that when the second baseman fields the grounder, he will look toward second base and see you and not be able to see his shortstop. A simple thing like this can create chaos for the team in the field. One possibility is that the second baseman will not even attempt to get the force out and you will now be in scoring position at second base. Another possibility is that if the second baseman does attempt the throw to second base, he will alter his throw because he has to either get it over you or around you. He could very well throw the ball away and you may now have two runners on with less than two outs, rather than having one runner on and possibly two outs. It creates an entirely different scenario and this simple technique can lead to a big inning and a big inning can have a major impact on the outcome of a baseball game. Most people in attendance at the game, including players and coaches, won't even notice what happened because it is a very good play that very few are aware of.

Another time to at least consider NOT sliding into second base is if you are on first base and a pickoff throw gets away from the first baseman. When the pickoff throw gets away, immediately look over your right shoulder and make a very quick determination as to where you think the first baseman will pick up the ball.

If you think the ball will be fielded far enough away that you can possibly go to third base, you do NOT want to slide into second base and waste time getting up from sliding and then consider going to third base.

These are two very good baseball base running tips that unfortunately, not too many know about.

Larry Cicchiello is the author of the very informative book "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." He is unique in that his site offers visitors several FREE TIPS that are straight from his book. His book includes many baseball tips on hitting, baseball pitching tips, baseball fielding tips, baseball base running tips, baseball coaching drills and more. Your baseball "help desk" will be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and very user friendly. You will be FULLY EQUIPPED as a manager, coach, player at any level or a parent who wants to help their child improve or overcome any baseball struggles.

You can visit his website at

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1 comment:

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick