Baseball Magazine

Giving Signs After Pickoffs

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

Picture this … A coach gives a sign to a runner at first base to steal on the next pitch.  The pitcher comes set and goes to first with a pickoff attempt.  The runner flinches towards second initially but then gets back to the bag safely.  Of course, everyone now knows he was stealing.  What do you do?

When a runner leans on a pickoff attempt, be sure to give another set of signs.

You give another set of signs.  You can even give the same steal sign again.

When you give signs over again after such a play, you make the other team think “did he take the steal sign off or did he keep it on?”  Not knowing the answer to that question keeps the element of surprise open.

And that’s the value of always giving another quick set of signs to the runner after a pickoff play at first base.  It isn’t so much to inform the runner what to do.  As I said, coaches often just put the same sign on again.  It becomes more about keeping the other team guessing.

Next post:  Breaking games up into sets

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