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Rockies Notebook: Becoming the best base runners in baseball

Patrick Lyons Avatar
September 6, 2018

DENVER – Here’s a taste of today’s pre-game banter with manager Bud Black before the Rockies look to finish of a three-game sweep of the Giants:

On the aggressiveness of base runners coming from the players or coaching staff:

“Kind of a combination. We’ve been in the type of games now that enable us to do that, whether close or ahead. When we have a pre-series meeting, we talk about the opposition and we identify certain pitcher-catcher combinations, certain pitchers, we talk about certain counts. All the things that you do as base stealers. As a group, our guys are engaged in that.”

On whether or not a red light is given and if players are stealing on their own:

“It’s a combo. There are times when I’ll put a steal on when I want them to go on that pitch. There are times when they know they have the green light. It’s rare that I put the stop sign on. I want us to be aggressive. I want our guys always pushing the envelope. That’s how you become better base runners. That’s how you apply pressure on the defense, especially this time of the year. When you’re the attacker, when you’re motivated to put pressure on the opposition, I think that’s great. This time of year, that’s awesome to keep the other team on their heels.”

On leading the majors in taking the extra base (ex. going first-to-third):

Black discussed seeing the roster of players with Colorado and the size of Coors Field coupled to make life challenging and uncomfortable for opposing teams. He likened the style of play of Rickey Henderson and Marquis Grissom being frustrating during his playing days and the Rockies have some guys who can replicate such a style.

On pressing during this time of the year with so much on the line:

“There’s a fine line, at times, but experience is the best teacher. But there’s no doubt that when you get in these games, there’s a different feel as each day clicks off the calendar. There’s no doubt about it. The best performances, I think, happen when you are relaxed, when you slow the game down…. Sometimes, it’s hard. If you do it enough times, it comes easier. I think that’s why it’s important you have the Chris Iannetta’s, the Matt Holliday’s, the Ian Desmond’s, the Wade Davis’. The guys that have been in playoff games. It was big for our guys last year: Nolan, Trevor, Charlie, DJ. Last year helped. The guys who’ve been through will be instrumental.”

On Ian Desmond being selected as nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award:

“It’s well deserved on Ian’s nomination, for sure. He typifies what a big leaguer stands for outside of the ballpark. The things he did in Washington, the things he’s doing now in Denver personifies what that award means. I’m very, very happy for him. I hope he wins the big award.”

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