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Dale Sveum, I have my eye on you...


I'm trying very hard not to be all over the top, starting a headhunt, but I have to say that third base coach Dale Sveum is on my radar for what I think have been some questionable calls in terms of base running at third and home and I'm beginning to wonder if Sveum's to blame.

 

I think the call to send Prince home today from second was questionable as the ball just wasn't hit that deep. Sure, Prince is a big guy and can try to take out the catcher, but that throw beat Prince home by at least 4 steps.

 

On a hit in the 9th, Kapler was heading into third and the ball was already on its way to the infield. Sveum waved Kapler around third. Kapler kind of paused and looked at Sveum and then Sveum put up the stop sign. If Kapler had been sent home, he would have been a sitting duck.

 

There was also the play earlier in the week where Corey tried to stretch a double to a triple. Is that on Sveum? (I don't actually know)

 

There was another pick-off, I think it was Braun, last week. I don't remember the details.

 

I'm not sure that this is necessarily a valid question, but I do know that we're at game 27 and I can think of three vivid plays already where I'm questioning the call and that seems like a lot.

 

Sorry for the edit, I didn't finish my sentence.

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Does anyone know if Sveum was sending Rickie in the 9th today when he got thrown out at plate? I have heard it said that he ran through a stop sign but I was listening on radio and didn't hear anything about that.
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I believe Red Sox fans started calling him "The Windmill" during his stint as their third base coach before coming to Milwaukee. I've definitely had some questions about some of his decisions, but there are only a few that I whole-heartedly disagreed with (sending Hardy home on the play that broke his ankle two years ago, for one). I think every team has their fair share of "why the heck did you send him??" plays every month, so I'm not too worried yet about this season.

"[baseball]'s a stupid game sometimes." -- Ryan Braun

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See, I wasn't even that upset about Rickie's play at the plate in the 9th - maybe that's just personal, but I felt like that kind of aggressiveness when it's top 9 and we had gotten the lead is ok.

 

Really? I'd much rather have Prince up with guys on 2cnd and 3rd and 1 out than be aggressive and get thrown out by 20 feet.

 

There's being aggressive and there is being stupid and that play was just stupid.

 

I would love to know if Rickie ran through the stop sign or if Dale waved him in. Anybody know?

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Good point. I forgot Prince was up next. I was at the game today, so all of those plays involved a lot of loud standing, booing Cubs fans and short me trying to see what was going on while jumping up and down and being excited.
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I think the call to send Prince home today from second was questionable as the ball just wasn't hit that deep. Sure, Prince is a big guy and can try to take out the catcher, but that throw beat Prince home by at least 4 steps.

 

I thought sending Prince there was absolutely stupid.

 

Does anyone know if Sveum was sending Rickie in the 9th today when he got thrown out at plate? I have heard it said that he ran through a stop sign but I was listening on radio and didn't hear anything about that.

 

He was sent, according to Uke.

 

See, I wasn't even that upset about Rickie's play at the plate in the 9th - maybe that's just personal, but I felt like that kind of aggressiveness when it's top 9 and we had gotten the lead is ok.

 

When you are a half-step past aggressive you are being stupid. Weeks had no chance at scoring. It was a free out.

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Well from what I heard on the radio weeks ran through a stop sign. As for Fielder, I have no idea as he was dead. But that is the only one I can think of seeing we havent had as many chances as we would have liked. And the Hart play was probably on Cory seeing the play was in front of him and he could determine whether or not he could make it.

 

I just dont want this to be another bash session on a coach. He had a bad game today and we still won. Plus I think sometimes the third base coach may get caught up in the moment and has a tough job. But his job is to know each runner and the situation. He may have blown it today but I dont think there is a pattern.

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I wonder how many combined feet Fielder and Weeks were thrown out by today?

 

I could see sending Weeks with Hardy, Kendall, the pitcher's spot, or even Hall up next, but Fielder? That's just dumb.

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That's the thing about 3rd base coaches. The only really get noticed if the runner is meat at the plate. No one really notices all the times this year that Dale has sent them and they go on to score.
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Fukudome made a nice play on Prince. At the time, I though it was a good play to send him.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Well from what I heard on the radio weeks ran through a stop sign.

 

If you listened to the Brewers radio broadcast, Uke said twice Sveum sent Weeks.

The cubs broadcasters said that he ran through the stop sign.

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I thought sending Prince there was absolutely stupid.
I thought it was a good move. They needed to make a perfect throw and a perfect relay, and we're facing Zambrano with Craig Counsell on deck. That seemed to me to be an obvious situation.

 

As for the earlier question about Corey Hart being thrown out at 3rd, no, that was all Hart. The ball was in front of him and Corey didn't even look at Svuem passing 2nd.

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At the time, I though it was a good play to send him.

 

At some point, you need to quit testing Fukudome's arm

 

He's got one OF assist on the year. I don't think we'd reached that time yet.

 

Again, what's more likely, that they don't make two perfect throws, or that Craig Counsell gets a hit there?

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I thought sending Rickie Weeks in the 9th was incredibly stupid. You should never ever pass up the opportunity to have Prince up with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd. If they walk Prince you have the fastest guy up so it should be somewhat hard to GIDP.
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Well from what I heard on the radio weeks ran through a stop sign.

 

If you listened to the Brewers radio broadcast, Uke said twice Sveum sent Weeks.

The cubs broadcasters said that he ran through the stop sign.

 

The obvious problem is listening to the Cubs broadcast. They are conspiring against us and will do anything to cause dissent on Brewerfan.net. Do not fall for the trick. Doing so only lets them beat us down. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif
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According to the Pat Hughes on the Cubs broadcast (I have XM, so I was stuck listening to the home team broadcast while in my car), Rickie ran through a clear stop sign in the 9th inning. Now I love Uke and would not trade him for anyone... but he occasionally misses the details during exciting plays, so I think I actually would trust Hughes more until I see the video of the play.
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Judging third base coaches can be tricky... With less than two outs, if it's questionable, you hold the runner and try to score him while you still have an out to burn.

 

However, with two outs, you have to be pretty aggressive and if runners aren't being thrown out at home, you're probably not being aggressive enough. You don't want to send a dead duck around third, but there's enough that has to go right on throws and catches that the breaking point for maximizing your run production is probably right around being safe 40% of the time on close plays at the plate. Otherwise, with a good hitter coming up, you'll probably have about a 30% chance of him knocking the run in with two outs (albeit there is also a chance he knocks one out and scores you two or more).

 

I kind of just threw those numbers out there, but the gist is that something's wrong if guys aren't being thrown out at home on close plays. Now some of these weren't close and some weren't with two outs, but I had no problem with the Fielder play.

 

Does anyone know if a study has been done to evaluate third base coach performance and what a good success rate is for sending guys home on close plays? I think that could be pretty interesting.

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I entered this thread prepared to rip Sveum for a really bad day yesterday. However, given this discussion, I think I'll have to see a bit more. If Weeks ran through a stop sign, obviously, that is not Sveum's fault, and would seem to indicate that he learned his lesson about running on F-bomb when Prince was thrown out. I am generally a believer in erring on teh side of aggressiveness and making the other team make a play. However, if he did send both guys, both times, I can live with the first one, but the second was a big mistake.

 

Fact is, he has been rather invisible most of this year (of course the Brewers haven't sent many runners his way this year), which is good. So, its tough to get too critical based on what happened yesterday given some of the questions about what actually may or may not have happened.

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According to the Pat Hughes on the Cubs broadcast (I have XM, so I was stuck listening to the home team broadcast while in my car), Rickie ran through a clear stop sign in the 9th inning. Now I love Uke and would not trade him for anyone... but he occasionally misses the details during exciting plays, so I think I actually would trust Hughes more until I see the video of the play.

 

Fair enough... I was listening to the Brewers radio, and Uke said "they're sending Weeks", during the play, and then after the play was over and Uke was recapping it, he said "Sveum sent Rickie". It is certainly in the realm of possibility that Hughes is right and Uke was wrong, and obviously if Weeks ran through a stop sign, that's on Weeks. If Sveum did send Weeks, it was really a bad decision.

 

Again, what's more likely, that they don't make two perfect throws, or that Craig Counsell gets a hit there?

 

This is not a fair statement. Both Weeks and Fielder were out by large margins, perfect throws were not required.

 

I certainly understand the idea that being more aggressive with Fielder might have merit with Counsell at the plate.

 

However, given the fact we had Fielder/Hart on deck, and Kerry Wood on the ropes, I would have held Weeks up at 3rd 9 times out of 10. 2nd and 3rd with one out with Prince/Hart at the plate with a struggling Kerry Wood, is a game begging to be blown wide open.

 

Kudos to Soto for taking on Prince and putting the big guy on his backside.

 

EDIT: Fact is, he has been rather invisible most of this year

 

Given our offensive woes this year, Sveum could have been napping out at 3rd base, and no one would notice http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

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Sending Prince with two outs and Craig "the Wonda" Counsell on deck was certainly the correct move. Prince was out by a decent amount but Fukudome's throw was absolutely perfect. I would take the risk of him making that perfect throw rather than the 2.5/10 chance Craig gets a hit.
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