Who’s On Third?
One of the things that has kind of been funny to watch this season is the complete 180 degree philosophy of coaching third base…
For the past few years (ever since Al Newman left, I believe) Scott Ulger coached third and become notorious for getting guys thrown out by feet, not inches. Gardy usually praised Scotty’s aggressiveness, but this year Ulger is bench coach, with Steve Liddle manning the hot corner box:
Liddle (at least so far) has been the polar opposite, throwing up stop signs like a middle school crossing guard.
To be honest, I don’t know which approach is best. There’s nothing worse than getting a key run thrown out at the dish by a mile, but having an inning snuffed with a man on third is exasperating as well. I think that 3B-coach is just one of those spots where turnover is the name of the game. Whereas Jerry White will coach 1B forever under Gardy…
…the guy at the hot corner is under so much more pressure to make those split-second decisions correctly.
It isn’t as easy as it looks (!):