Back to the Basics

This is back to an earlier column I wrote a few months ago. As we prepare to go to the off season, here is my summary in what went wrong in as few words as I can.

Ok, just for point of reference, I recently retired after 34 years of teaching in the public school system. I understand, i see the value of repetition. that is one of the best ways to learn.

Practice.

Someone shows you how to do something correctly. This doesn’t appear to be what the Cardinal coaching staff does very well or maybe not at all. The team is struggling in defense this year. The errors are mounting up.

Situational hitting appears to be left out of the equation. We can teach them to swing from the heels. To turn on a pitch at every count of the at bat. But we can’t seem to move runners along to get in scoring position.

Baserunning is horrid. One thing that would help is for them to watch their base coach and actually do as they are told. Quit this looking over the shoulder while rounding second base and trying to score when the “stop sign” is put up. Another thing is attempting to steal bases because you ‘thought” you could make it. A very few should get the green light and the rest go on a sign.

Now is the pitching. Can’t we talk to pitchers about not throwing the same pitch 6 times in a row? one change-up or two are fine but it doesn’t remain a change-up if it is your pitch a half dozen times in a row. Reliever need to understand they are in the Major Leagues and their fastball is as overwhelming as it was in lower leagues.

Teaching is important in ALL profession in order for them to be successful.

Tony LaRussa has a propensity to surround himself with veteran players and I feel it is so he doesn’t have to “teach” them the ways of the game. I can attest to the fact that I have coached different levels in the school setting and you actually say the same thing over and over at each level. Some more advanced than others but it is really the same thing.

That is my rant for the 2010 Cardinals. They just didn’t learn. Before you remind me they are professionals, I am telling you they need teaching and repetition too.