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WK Recommends John Scolinos: The Dugout Diary


John Scolinos : The Dugout Diary

John Scolinos

My former college coach, John Scolinos, helped me be successful in baseball by teaching me to be baseball aware and considerate from the time I arrived at the ball park until I left for home. Check out the things you can learn all day at the ball park:

Pre-Game Ritual
Dugout Responsibilities
The On-Deck Circle
At the Plate
Running to First Base
At First Base, Going to Second Base
At Second Base
At Third Base
After the Game

I. Pre-Game Ritual

Dress properly.

Beware of equipment.

Know the rules of the field.

II. Dugout Responsibilities

Watch the opposing pitcher warm-up.

Watch all your infield and outfield opponents.

Be ready to help your club on defense.

Know the game situation.

Perform routine duties that help the whole ball club.

Try to determine what the pitcher is doing.

Know who the hitters are at the plate, on deck, and in the hole.

Try to pick up pitches and signs from the other team.

Observe the pitcher in the stretch to see if you can run on him/her.

Check to see if you can steal off the catcher.

Develop a hitting plan in the dugout.

Do not "get on" the other team.

Always hustle in and out of the dugout.

III. The On-Deck Circle

Reassure your game plan for hitting.

Get into a rhythm with the pitcher.

Be alert for passed balls and wild pitches in order to help any baserunners.

Check the defense.

Does the pitcher quick pitch - be aware before you step in!

IV. At the Plate

Get all the signs outside of the batter's box

Once you have stepped into the batter's box, think only about what you are going to do - hit the ball.

On a pick-off attempt, step out of the batter's box.

On wild pitches and passed balls, help any baserunners.

On a steal or hit and run, protect the runners.

With two strikes, shorten your swing in order to make contact.

If your mind starts to wander, step out of the box and re-establish your hitting plan.

V. Running to First Base

Sprint to first base on all walks.

On ground balls to the infield, glance at the ball so you can see if a throw will be bad or if you may need to slide.

Every hit is a double to you - make the outfielders stop you.

Always touch first base - touch the front half of the bag to the middle.

On overthrows, do not go to second base unless you know where the ball is.

The fielder has the right-of-way on all pop ups.

Be aware on base hits through the infield.

Once you round the bag, you are on your own.

VI. At First Base, Going to Second Base

Check the position of infielders and outfielders.

Get the signs from the third base coach with your foot on the base..

Take the same type of lead every time so as not to tip off a steal or a hit and run.

On all bases, take a safe lead that is not too short too help avoid the double play.

With two outs, you can take a bigger lead after each pitch.

Observe the pitcher in the stretch to help with a steal or hit and run play.

Look for the delayed steal situation.

Always anticipate a wild pitch or a passed ball.

On a base hit, watch the ball and make the decision yourself whether you can go to third. Only look for the coach if you cannot see the ball.

On a batted ball down either line, you should be able to make third base without a problem.

If you hesitate, do not go to third base.

In a double play situation, do not let the second baseman tag you.

Try to break up all double plays.

If the first baseman does not hold you on, steal (unless you are very slow afoot).

In a stealing situation, do not go if you do not have a good jump.

In a hit and run situation, you must always run as soon as you see the pitcher make a move toward home plate.

On a passed ball or wild pitch, you can only go if the runner in front of you goes.

On a bunt, run when you see the ball head toward the ground.

With one out or less, take a step back to the bag on any line drive or ball hit in the air.

VII. At Second Base

Take a lead off the base about two to three feet back toward the shortstop.

Your secondary lead is very important after the pitcher's release.

When the ball is caught, take a step back toward the base and know where the ball is.

With one out or less, any ball hit by the pitcher and to your left means you should go to third.

With one out or less, any ball hit by the pitcher and to your right means wait for the throw to first before attempting to go to third.

Look for the hit and run situation.

Make sure the pitcher pays attention to you. You may be able to steal third.

On a base hit, always assume you will be trying to score. Stop only if the coach stops you.

VIII. At Third Base

Anticipate a wild pitch or passed ball.

Take a short walking lead in foul ground.

With one out or less, take a step back on a line drive or fly ball. Always tag up on a fly ball.

With one out, you try to score on a ground ball.

Try to score in a double play situation.

On a bush or delayed steal, move into fair ground as the catcher receives the ball..

Slide anytime there is a throw made when you are trying to score.

Know when to go home on a squeeze play.

Know when to go home on a bush play.

Know when to go home on the delayed steal.

Make sure you touch home plate.

Never slide headfirst into home plate.

IX. After the Game

Meet to find out about practice or the next game.

Help gather and carry equipment to storage.

Hang your uniform up on a hangar.

Play the games one at a time. Don't dwell on the past or look into the future too much.

Keep your head in the game!


March 25, 1999