Fundamentals: a Refresh

Rawlings Major League BaseballOK, no time to panic here. All the Mets need right now is a refresh on the fundamentals of baseball. Perhaps playing in those big stadiums with the frenetic crowds and TV cameras and flashbulbs popping has caused you Mets to lose sight of the fact that, whether it’s played in a sandlot, on a little league field, or in a $500M retractable dome stadium, it’s still baseball. And to win at this boys’ game, you must follow fundamentals. For example:

1. Know the number of outs and the score at all times.

2. When in the field, and before the next pitch is thrown, think about what you will do with the ball if it’s hit to you.

3. When you are behind in the score and leading off an inning, take a strike.

4. A walk is often as good as a hit.

5. Leadoff walks nearly always score — so get them on offense and prevent them on defense.

6. Never, ever make the first out nor the third out at third base (particularly when your MVP is at the plate).

7. In the field, listen to your catcher’s instructions regarding where to throw the ball. He’s the only one on the field who has the play in front of him.

8. On ground balls, keep the glove down. It’s easier to move the glove up on bad hops than to jab it down.

9. In the field, always try to get in front of the ball and use two hands if possible.

10. For pitchers, the most important pitch is strike one.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. RockStar78 September 18, 2007 at 12:23 pm
    11. When you get out to an early lead, the game is not over. Do not take it for granted and go through the motions. Try to tack on runs.