"You Be the Coach"

The Situation - "Nomar is Sent - Good or Bad Move?"

The Baltimore Orioles are playing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. It's the third inning with the score tied 0-0. There is one out.

Nomar Garciaparra is on second base after hitting a double off the Green Monster. The hitter, Mike Stanley, slaps a ground ball past the pitcher, three feet to the second base side of the mound. Second baseman Roberto Alomar, a great fielder, makes a diving stop close to the edge of the grass and easily pegs Stanley with his throw to first baseman Rafael Palmeiro. During the play, Nomar was running hard and I decide to send him home.

The Question

You be the Coach. What variables or reasons make this a good move or a bad move?

Let me know all the factors you considered and what your reasons were.

Here's WK's answer:

You already know I sent Nomar so I'll tell you why I think it was a good move. Along with the factors listed below, the element of surprise plays an important role in my decision. In this case, I'm hoping to catch the Orioles on their heels while we try something a bit uncoventional.

My reasons are:

Here are some good answers, both for and against sending Nomar, from various coaches on the internet.

"If Nomar is going hard with two outs, I'd send him. Although he is no Kenny Lofton, Nomar does possess moderate wheels. It's the third inning and there are plenty more opportunities to score so it's not the end of the world if he is thrown out."

Jason Perry

"I'm not sure that sending Nomar is such a good idea. If Nomar is out at the plate, that's the end of the inning. Such an outcome is likely, despite Nomar's speed, if you consider that Palmiero only has to throw the ball 90 feet. If Nomar stays at third, you've got Mo Vaughn at the plate. Your chances have to be better with Vaughn at the plate than with Nomar dashing home."

David Atkins

"With Robbie Alomar's strong arm, Palmiero would catch the ball fast enough to still have time to throw out Nomar at the plate. Nomar does have great speed, but you must remember that he's trying to run 180 feet (second to third to home) faster than the Orioles can throw it 180 feet (second to first to home). There is practically no chance that Nomar can run fast enough to beat a throw even if he gets a good jump on Stanley's hit."

Ben Jacobson

"Good move. It is early in the game and it is good to be aggresive. It sets the tone for the game. Plus, with a left-handed first baseman (Palmiero), he would have to turn to throw to the plate. I don't know what kind of arm Palmiero has, but that also must be considered."

Kevin Vorro

"As a life-long (39 years) BoSox fan, while the percentages may say 'hold', I look forward to seeing more daring baserunning from the Sox. Ninety feet at a time doesn't cut it anymore so I agree - send him!"

Dave Kerr

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,


That's it for "Nomar is Sent - Good or Bad Move?".

Updated June 6, 1997