“I’m going to try and do it. At least once, you’re going to see me do it.” Jose Reyes on stealing home plate
There have been three instances this year alone where players have stolen home plate, Jason Werth of the Philadelphia Phillies being the latest one. Jacob Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox was the first one to steal home this year.
It has brought up so much talk about players stealing home. Not many do it anymore. In the past, it did not seem as such a crazy thought as it is now. Ty Cobb holds the record for most stolen home bases with 54. You read that right. It was not a misprint. With a number like that, you have to wonder why more people do not talk about Cobb. Everyone associates stealing home with Jackie Robinson.
With speed like Reyes has, I’m sure many thought he would’ve attempted this feat already. He’s been in the majors for seven years already. What is he waiting for?
I’m sure Mets fans would get really excited if Reyes was to steal home.
He gave an explanation about this to the New York Times calling it a very dangerous play:
“…sometimes Delgado is the one hitting. He’s the No. 4 hitter in the lineup. It’s kind of tough for me to do it. You don’t want to take that chance.”
You cannot exactly blame hime. Imagine you are about to run down to home plate to steal. The pitcher makes his pitch are you are already on your way. If the batter does not see you, he swings, you get hit with the bat. That’s a concussion waiting to happen. Or maybe something worse.
I would like to see Jose Reyes steal home. I would also like to see him get there in one piece.
EHow.com gives tips on how to steal home. It kind of gives you more of an idea of what might be going on in a player’s mind. Some of these tips are common sense, like stealing when there is a lefty on the mound and preferably a righy-handed batter to block the catcher’s view:
- Access the game situation to ensure a steal of home is justified. You must only attempt to steal home with two outs because there are plenty of other ways to score from third base with less than two outs. The game must be in the late innings when attempting a steal to home, because early in the game you have more opportunities to score. Steal home if the hitter at the plate is a weak hitter who is not likely to drive you in with a hit.
- See if the right people are in place. It is best to steal home when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound because his back will be to you as he is pitching. It is not necessary to have a right-handed batter at the plate, but it helps because he will block the catcher’s view of you.
- See if the pitcher is in a windup. It is extremely hard to steal home when the pitcher is in the stretch because you cannot get a big enough lead. A pitcher will often use the windup if the only runner on base is at third and there are two outs.
- Get a big lead gradually. Move closer and closer to home plate slowly so you do not draw attention to yourself. By the time the pitcher is ready to start his windup, you need to be 25 to 30 feet down the line.
- Continue moving slowly toward home plate and as soon as the pitcher raises his hands to begin the windup start running full speed. At this point it is too late to abort your steal of home, so keep going and hope for the best.
- Use a hook slide to make yourself harder for the catcher to tag out. The ball will probably beat you to home plate, so the key will be keeping yourself from getting tagged out. Slide with your body in front of home plate and curl your top leg so it will catch the plate on your slide by.
It doesn’t sound so easy does it? Maybe it does. Personally, the thought of getting clobbered in the head with a bat is enough to knock the notion of attempting to steal out of my head.
I’m not so sure Reyes will do it. He might say he will attempt it, but I think otherwise. If he does, it certainly would be great. He is so fast, he could probably beat the throw to the plate. Wouldn’t that be something to see?
Of course, he would have to get to third base too without getting thrown it. I mean, it would help.