in blogs past, the first base coach's main job is to tell baserunners that they "don't wanna get picked off here in this situation."
It seems like a ridiculous statement on its face. Nobody wants to get picked off in any situation, and you wouldn't think major league players would need to be reminded of that. Nevertheless, you still occasionally see pickoffs happen at inexplicable times.
Take Jarrod Dyson, for example. The Kansas City outfielder's baserunning gaffe in the ninth inning on Monday took the Royals right out of a potential rally and allowed the White Sox to escape Kauffman Stadium with a 7-6 victory.
In that ninth inning, the Royals had runners at first and second base with one out. Dyson was at second base representing the tying run. Noted Sox killer Billy Butler, who was 3 for 4 to that point in the game and possesses 84 RBIs in 120 career games against Chicago, was at the plate. The on-deck hitter was Alex Gordon, who was coming off a four-hit game on Sunday. Rookie reliever Jake Petricka, who previously had no career saves (and only one career save in the minor leagues), was on the mound in place of the injured Matt Lindstrom for the Sox.
The whole situation was set up nicely for the Royals to at least tie the game, if not win it. Instead, Dyson strayed too far off second base. Petricka whirled around and caught Dyson in a rundown, where he was tagged for the second out of the inning.
The trail runner, Alcides Escobar, did reach second base on the play, so Butler still had a chance for a game-tying RBI. But I'll bet the rookie Petricka felt a little more comfortable with two outs, knowing he was just one pitch away from recording the third out and earning the save. He retired Butler on a routine grounder to second baseman Gordon Beckham, and the Sox escaped with the win.
What Dyson was thinking I'll never know. Stealing third in that situation isn't necessarily a bad play with one out. If Dyson had stolen, with his speed he could have scored the tying run on a fly ball of medium depth. However, when representing the tying run in the last inning you better make sure the pitcher is delivering to the plate before straying too far off base.
A dumb play like that is the exact reason base coaches make seemingly asinine comments reminding runners of the situation. The White Sox and their fans are greatful for Dyson's stupidity.
Hey, Dyson, you don't wanna get picked off there in that situation.