"You Be the Coach"

The Situation - "Does Valentin Go Home?"

It's the Red Sox vs. the A's at Fenway. We're 2-2, bottom 8 with one out. John Valentin is on second base and Reggie Jefferson is at bat. Mike Stanley is on deck with Mo Vaughn in the hole.

Jefferson hits a fly ball that Oakland leftfielder Geronimo Berroa should make an easy play on near the Green Monster. Valentin is about halfway between second and third when Berroa suddenly jumps back as the ball hits the base of the wall and plays the ball on a good hop.

The Question

You be the coach. Do you send Valentin home? What would you do and what are your reasons?

Here's WK's answer:

This should be a very easy situation for a third base coach. Once the ball takes that great hop for Berroa, then you have to hold Valentin at third base.

My reasons are:

Here's a good answer from "Coach" Ryan Walker even though he takes a different view of the situation.

"I'd send Valentin home even if he has just average speed. If Jefferson is hustling to second, you wouldn't worry about the double play with Stanley up. Stanley and Vaughn have good bats. If Valentin is out at home and Stanley makes an out, you still have Vaughn due up in the ninth."

Thanks for answering my situation. You see that you have to look at the whole picture and the percentage has to be with you most of the time in making a very important judgement call. If you put your players in a situation where they can succeed more often than fail, you have a better chance of winning. Many situations are dependent upon variables such as the speed of a runner, the arm of an outfielder, or the dimensions of the field.

Good luck until next time!

All my best,


Updated May 20, 1997