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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Orioles and Holding Runners: Showalter’s Gambit

The party line is defensive coverage in the three-four hole, but it probably isn’t that simple. Knowing Buck Showalter, some gamesmanship is at play as well.

The Baltimore manager has his first baseman, Chris Davis, playing a few steps off the bag when holding runners. Not just the slow-of-foot — all runners, all the time. The situation doesn’t matter. According to Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne, the practice began in spring training and has been in place for every game since the start of the season.

Here, see for yourself, as Davis shuffles back to the bag on a pick-off attempt.

Everybody do the Chris Davis Shuffle!

Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles, pick offs, showalter, sweet gif

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   1. Depressoteric Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4410978)
Well MY version of this article was WAY better!
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4410993)
I think this is a great idea if you've got a catcher who throws well. I'm interested to see how it plays out this season.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4411031)
Didn't the Mets do something similar with John Olerud under Bobby Valentine?
   4. zack Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4411079)
I don't think it was just Olreud. My recollection is that he used it most of the time, as well as having a hard-on for the wheel play.
   5. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4411123)
Well MY version of this article was WAY better!

Beat you by 40 minutes! Your intro was certainly more esoteric than mine though.
   6. McCoy Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4411130)
Bobby Valentine would station his first basemen in front of the runner so that the runner's vision to the pitcher was blocked and then he would have the first baseman either deke to first base or go to first base for a pick off attempt. I always thought it was a much better way of holding the runner on and defending against batted balls.
   7. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4411133)
The Mets mainly did that with lefties, right?

Er, correct?
   8. McCoy Posted: April 11, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4411142)
I never noticed that.
   9. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 11, 2013 at 06:17 PM (#4411163)
Valentine did this with Olerud and also did it a lot with Todd Zeile.
   10. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4411181)
I think this is a great idea if you've got a catcher who throws well. I'm interested to see how it plays out this season.

You also need an athletic and engaged first baseman who can throw. Showalter definitely has a couple of players with the exact right skill set (and attitude IMO) to make this work. I hope it nets them a few runs this year.

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