I haven't posted in a while but this concept came to me after some recent quotes from Billy Beane about Rickey Henderson's now found grace in the A's organization after being inducted into the HOF. His work with Rajai Davis and others has been documented well. The fact that in a recent interview Beane said they brought him back a second time during spring training to work with hitters on reading pitchers from the batter's box was surprising.
Why the cold shoulder for so many years? Was it his simple request to finish out his career as an Athletic that caused the big chill between he and Billy or a lack of communication? That is conjecture that we may never know. I simply look at it as a failure to communicate on the part of A's management. But Rickey has come back to the fold and we are all happier for it.
So now that the A's are not in denial about the usefulness of the stolen base perhaps we can get to my main point. As you know, nobody was better than R. Henderson at reading pitchers not only in the batter's box but also at first base. What a tremendous asset he could be if a pitcher who just gave up a single to any of our faster base runners now had to contend with the eyes and brains of Ricky Henderson giving instruction to our base runners on a regular basis. I have never seen too much use for 1st base coaches other than for length of leads off of the bag or instructing on the location of balls in play. The nuances of pitchers can be tricky and yet any opportunity to get an extra base can result in what we are witnessing with the combination that Seattle is showcasing with Ichiro and Chone Figgins.
Can you think of examples where base coaches have made positive impacts on their team and caused fear in the opposition from the 1st base side?Or is it that regardless of" who's on first", the base coach couldn't even help Lou Costello steal a base.