"You Be the Coach"

The Situation - "Following O'Leary"

Toronto Blue Jays versus the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston

The score is tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning with one out.

Troy O'Leary is at third base and Scott Hatteberg is on second base. Jeff Frye is the hitter with a count of no balls and two strikes. On the next pitch, Frye hits a medium deep fly ball to rightfield. Blue Jays rightfielder, left-handed Shawn Green, is setting up to throw. O'Leary and Hatteberg are tagging up. You are sending O'Leary.

The Question

You be the coach. What do you want Hatteberg to do at second base? What should he be looking for and how will that effect his and your actions?

Give me your answer and any supporting reasons.

Here's WK's answer:

"In this situation, Hatteberg should tag up and get off the bag while watching Green's throw. If Green throws home, then Hatteberg should go to third base. If Green throws to third base, then Hatteberg must stop and go back to second base. Remember that Scott is not a fast runner. If he gets tagged out attempting to go to third base before O'Leary crosses the plate, then the run does not count. Hatteberg and you (the coach) should play it safe here and make sure the run scores."

Here are some good answers from various coaches on the internet.

"The runner on third base is the go ahead run. The trailing runner must not:

Hatteberg needs to check the position of the cut-off man to determine if the relay throw is going to third base or home. Worst case, there is a play on him. If so, he should stay in a rundown until the umpire at home counts the run. If the relay is to the plate, Hatteberg should come into third watching for a possible bad relay throw and a chance to score as well."

Richard Todd

"Hatteberg should be paying attention to you and O'Leary so as not to allow a baserunning blunder. Once the catch is made, Hatteberg should be following the lead runner, O'Leary. You will be in O'Leary's ear and Hatteberg's eyes. We want Hatteberg at third with O'Leary already scoring. Should, by some fluke, O'Leary get cut down at the plate, at least Hatteberg is ninety feet away maintaining a better scoring threat."

Milt Sagon - Hawaii

"Hatteberg should be looking to see where the throw goes and tag up if they don't hit the cut-off man. He should also make sure the run scores before he is tagged out if he happens to be caught in a rundown."

Peter M. Ryder

"First and foremost, you have to make sure the runner on third is going to tag up. You don't want to be caught in a lame duck situation. I would want the runner on second base to tag up. What I would look for is the rightfielder's body position as he is setting up to catch the ball. Being a left-hander, he has to turn his body to get a throw off to third base. This gives the runner on second an idea of what base he is going to throw to. The other things that you have to consider are the strength of the rightfielder's arm and the speed of the baserunner."


"Assuming O'Leary scores and Hatteberg makes it to third, I would say Scott should be looking for a bad throw at home plate. He should be preparing himself to go home or possibly decoying himself at third base to draw a throw. If he can force a throw, it may be wild and he can score himself."


Thanks for answering my situation. Be sure to include your name and where you are from with each response.

Good luck until next time!

All my best,


That's it for "Following O'Leary".

Updated October 15, 1997