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The Game of Life: Advancing the runner Edition

Poets, novelists and Playwrights have been writing for the last century about a great muse.  This inspiration is the game of baseball.

It is a resource for writers that can never be drained.  It always keeps giving and giving and never seems to empty.  The reason it can never run out is because baseball continues to remind us how life is, was and will continue to be.

I am going to attempt to shed a little light on the intricate plays of baseball and somehow relate them to life.

This entry is dedicated to advancing the runner to third base with no outs.

One of the coolest, most unselfish plays on a baseball field is when a hitter gives up his at-bat by hitting a ground ball to the right side of the infield with no outs to advance the runner on second to third.

The situation is a follows:

A baserunner is standing on second base with no outs.  He could have gotten to second in a myriad of different ways but the result is that he is at second base with no outs. The coach does not put on a sacrifice bunt to advance the baserunner to third and instead trusts the hitter to make the unselfish play.

All a hitter is trying to do is drive the ball to the right side of the infield, behind where the baserunner at second is getting their secondary.  It seems simple enough, hit a ground ball to the right side and get the runner to third base with one out so the next hitter can drive him in.

But there are many reasons that makes this play difficult.

  1.  You are asking the hitter to give up an at bat.  To essentially get out and lower his batting average.
  2. The hitter is looking for a pitch away if he is right handed hitter and a pitch in if he is a left handed hitter, but the pitcher is trying to do the opposite; in to a righty and away from a lefty.
  3. The baserunner needs to read the ball correctly and only advance when the ball is behind them.

 

All three of these things need to happen to move a runner up 90 feet.  That is why it is so cool when it happens.  A hitter making the ultimate unselfish play in a game where hitters are supposed to be selfish.  A hitter willingly giving up his at bat and lowering his batting average so the guy behind him can get the glory of driving him in.

If you watch a big league dugout when this play occurs, you will see something pretty cool.  Every player on the bench including in most cases the manager will congratulate the player who just got out.  They know how valuable his out was and they will let him know how much they appreciate the unselfishness of the play.

 

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