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 Post subject: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:27 pm 
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I'm not sure that it would have resulted in an out but Doumit's positioning to receive the throw from Nady was awful. Nady's throw was right on line but Doumit (for inexplicable reasons) positioned himself on the first base side of home plate and made no effort to block the plate in anticipation of a close play. When Doumit receives the ball, he must step towards the third base side of home plate. At about the same time, the Nats runner is sliding and reaching for the back side of home plate. Had Doumit positioned himself correctly, it would have been a tougher slide and would have bought Doumit some valuable time to try to apply a tag.

Just not a real smart or fundamentally sound play by Doumit on a key play.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:11 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
[...] and would have bought Doumit some valuable time to try to apply a tag.


Or, maybe, a broken ankle.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:47 pm 
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There is always the risk of injury on a play at the plate but Doumit should have been set up with his left foot in front of the plate on the third base side. All catchers are taught this. When he catches the ball, he can then proceed to either make the tag or prepare to block the plate and make the tag. To set up on the first base side of home plate so that he has to "come back" to the plate to make a tag involves poor fundamentals. I watched the replay several times and Nady's throw was on line. Again, I don't know if an out would have been made but it would have given the ump a call to make. In a 2-2 late inning game, I'd like to see a more "heads up" effort. That being written, the game wouldn't have been 2-2 without Doumit's big hit.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 8:48 pm 
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Bertie wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
[...] and would have bought Doumit some valuable time to try to apply a tag.


Or, maybe, a broken ankle.

That is a risk, but you've got to have one foot between the runner and the plate. I was taught to put my left foot between the runner and the plate, but only covering the front of the plate. That leaves the back of the plate open for the runner to aim at. Then, as you receive the throw, you step back and take that space away from him and apply the tag.

If you're pretty sure that the runner is going to beat the throw, then all bets are off. You have to decide whether you should block the whole plate or not. What you do depends on the situation. If it's the winning run in the ninth, you imitate a brick wall (or even better, Mike Scioscia) and hope for the best.

For you whippersnappers out there, Mike Scioscia was the best catcher at blocking the plate I ever saw.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:12 pm 
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No 9:

Would you say that Kendall used to do the same thing? I remember him always receiving throws out of position, so much so that I cam to think he was deliberately avoiding blocking the plate. Was I crazy?


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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 1:44 am 
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No. 9 is correct on all counts. Doumit did not block the plate as he should. He also had one of just 3 hits off of Odalis Perez, and it was a HR.

He will get better on defense by playing. He is looking more and more like a 25 HR, .300/.350/.500 switch-hitting catcher.

He will become a decent defensive catcher. Just compare how he was receiving the ball last year with this season. The improvement is plainly apparent. He also has a pretty good arm.

So, agreed that he did not block the plate. But he can learn to improve this part of his trade. It is damn tough to find a catcher who can hit like him.

He is now one of the better hitting catchers in the NL. There, I said it. Go ahead and admit it, the rest of you - you have been thinking the same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 12:12 pm 
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BBF wrote:
No 9:

Would you say that Kendall used to do the same thing? I remember him always receiving throws out of position, so much so that I cam to think he was deliberately avoiding blocking the plate. Was I crazy?


BBF -
There was a lot to "scratch your head" about Kendall's overall defense. I have many recollections of Kendall's positioning being poor. Whether he was deliberately trying to avoid contact or deliberately trying ot avoid blocking the plate, I don't know. The guy could be tough as nails and I'd like to think that he wasn't deliberately trying to avoid contact. But I did find a fair amount of his defense to be maddening.
My biggest beef with Kendall is that I thought that he called for an inordinate number of fastballs with runners on base in an effort to give himself a chance to throw runners out. Kendall had very little chance to throw out an attempted base stealer if the runner had even an average jump and the pitch was anything other than a fastball. I came to believe that it ultimately hurt the pitching staff.
Just my $ .02.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 12:19 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
He will become a decent defensive catcher. Just compare how he was receiving the ball last year with this season. The improvement is plainly apparent. He also has a pretty good arm.

He is now one of the better hitting catchers in the NL. There, I said it. Go ahead and admit it, the rest of you - you have been thinking the same thing.


You are understating the improvement shown thus far by Doumit defensively. It has been marked to say the least. Problems remain but they are not nearly as glaring as last year.

As for his bat, I don't recall reading anyone ever questioning that he could hit the ball. Indeed, even the posters on this Board that have been highly critical of his D have suggested figuring out a way to get him into the lineup (either in RF or at 1B). The other big question mark (which still lingers for me) involves his durability and whether Doumit can handle the day-to-day grind of being a nearly everyday catcher. For me, this is one of the more maddening variables with LaRoche's slow start. Right now, Doumit's bat has to be in the lineup. LaRoche is not carrying his weight. If LaRoche was hitting like he was capable, Paulino could play twice a week. And, let's be fair, Paulino hasn't exactly been a chump at the plate this year. As it is now clear that Paulino is the back-up . . . he's a pretty damn good back-up catcher to have.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 4:16 pm 
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In that case, it might be a good idea to market Paulino as a starting catcher blocked by Doumit. Could be decent trade bait.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Willton wrote:
In that case, it might be a good idea to market Paulino as a starting catcher blocked by Doumit. Could be decent trade bait.


FWIW, I don't know that the Red Sox would be at all interested. But according to Buster Olney, they're already exploring catching options for next year. For example, discussing Jeff Clement w/the Mariners for Coco Crisp. (Although Olney said he doubts Seattle would give up Clement -- who's destroying AAA Pacific Coast League pitching so far -- even though he's blocked by Kenji Johjima.)

Boston has no catching prospects in the high minors, so it might at least kick the tires on Paulino if the Pirates were to put him out there as trade bait.

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 Post subject: Re: Last comment about last nights Bucs/Nats game
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:22 pm 
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I think that is one of the nice things about having a manager like Russell who was a catcher...both Paulino's defense and Doumit's are better this season...and hes choosing them in the lineup very well, to exploit their offensive capabilities, regardless of the pitcher...

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