The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jan 26, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The Significance of Good Catchers to Baseball Team Defense

Next to the pitcher, the second most significant player on the field is - you guessed it - the catcher. This is not to say that every defensive player is not important. However, it is simple - without a guy behind the plate that can catch, the game is very difficult to play and have success as a team.

In an earlier blog pertaining to catching, I spoke of the lack of ability of catchers to simply catch the baseball and that there was a great de-emphasis on this discipline; or that the receiving of a pitched ball was an area that has fallen secondary to that of trying to throw runners out stealing.

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Topics: defence, team Defence, defensive baseball, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, baseball team defense, team defense, Defense

Rick Johnston | Apr 14, 2014 6:03:00 PM

26 Points for Excellent Verbal Infield Communication

What does the verbal communication mean in the infield?

Throughout the history of baseball, both verbal and nonverbal signs have been delivered as a form of communication to and from players, coaches and managers from the same team as a way to disguise or hide various types of strategy and intentions. When communication comes from a coach or manager it is usually done in the form of nonverbal signs or a sequence of signs to a hitter, baserunner or the defense. This type of language or form of communication is the most obvious form of interaction that the average fan is able to see when watching on TV. It certainly does not mean the transmission of the sign will be known to the fan, let alone the 

opposition, but it is a well known practice to most who watch the game. This nonverbal system is primary approach that is used most, similar to one learning sign language or reading lips.

There is, however, a very standard form of verbal communication that is used in the infield by each infielder when situations apply in games (and failing to do so is my top pet peeve of infielders). The following is a look at some of the primary verbal cues infielders need to communicate when the communication is necessary.

First Baseman:

1.     Remind the second baseman to talk on ground balls in the 3-4 hole. If the second baseman can make the verbal call immediately, “ball, ball, ball” the first baseman can release back to the base.

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Topics: infielding, infielding tips, team Defence, baseball communication, bunt defense, defensive baseball, infield play, infield communication

Rick Johnston | Oct 28, 2013 9:41:00 AM

Do You Know Your Teammates' Throwing Abilities?

Practice the practice of knowing your teammates' throwing abilities

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Topics: baseball coaching, defence, team Defence, baseball practice, throwing skills

Rick Johnston | Oct 7, 2013 4:16:00 PM

21 Baseball Pet Peeves of Coaches - Outfielder Edition

Don’t worry outfielders, I have not forgotten you!

As previously tapped into, I have blogged on Pet Peeves about coaches, players in general and most recently, infielders. It is time to move on to the players that patrol the outfield; the players that have to cover the most range; the players that people often disregard; the players for many reasons that get left out in practice as far as their development goes.

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Topics: baseball coaching, team Defence, baseball communication, baseball pregame, baseball practice, baseball fundamentals, throwing errors, baseball pet peeves, Outfielding

Rick Johnston | Sep 24, 2013 9:20:00 AM

15 Baseball Pet Peeves Inspired By Infielders

Ok Infielders it’s your turn!

In the two previous Pet Peeve blogs the focus was on coaches and players and some of their pointless or irrational thoughts or actions on and off the diamond. This blog will be dedicated to position players, specifically the infielders and some of the unwise and sometimes ridiculous decisions they make and do that will drive any coach up the wall. Again, like many of these Pet Peeves that have been mentioned previously, lacking the thought processing for what they are doing, lacking experience or simply not ever been taught what to do can lead to these Pet Peeves never ever being changed. Each one of these Pet Peeves is and can be changed and altered, if time, thought and practice is brought into the equation. This may sound easier said than done, but the reality of it is if we as coaches want to eliminate these types of Pet Peeves then attention to detail is a necessary evil. 

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Topics: baseball coaching, team Defence, baseball communication, throwing skills, fielding skills, baseball fundamentals, throwing errors, baseball pet peeves, infielding errors

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