Catcher Meme #28: Don't Make A Mountain Out Of A Mole Hill
A couple of days ago, I was watching the Brewers Vs. Pirates game. Eighth inning, 1 out, 3-2 count, 0-0 game, Gaby Sanchez facing Will Smith in a pretty important late game situation.
Will Smith got Gaby Sanchez to chase strike three in the dirt and, although Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy did a fairly decent job of getting his body in from of the ball, it ricocheted away from him towards the first base dugout.
Lucroy immediately sprinted towards the ball, drove his hand into the ground over top of the ball, picked it up and threw a strike to Brewers' first baseman Mark Reynolds for the out. No harm, no foul.
However, all too often while watching games at the youth, high school and even the college levels, I see catchers turn what is indeed a difficult turn of events into a huge problem. I can't tell you the number of times I have seen balls get by catchers, that they know they should have blocked, and instead of hustling to get the ball they are overcome by a moment of self-pity. I'll see them swear at themselves, or let out a loud grunt of anger, all the while they could be up off the ground looking for the ball to minimize the damage.
Catchers, while we must have a righteous swagger on the field and bring a level of intensity with us in order to perform the duties of our job well, do not let your emotions get the best of you!
Lucroy made a mistake, but he didn't sit around to find out how bad it could become. He busted his butt to make sure that the only difference between what he wanted to have happen and what actually did happen was that he had to work just a little bit harder.