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Old Fri Apr 07, 2006, 05:21pm
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Arrow Runner from First to Second

I am not as fast as I used to be, so if I stay on the left side of the second baseman I am trailing the runner, if I set on the right side of the second baseman I feel more comfortable making the call. Is it alright to be on the right side.
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Old Fri Apr 07, 2006, 06:33pm
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I think so. Especially if the second baseman sets up closer to first than normal. For example cheating over to cover first on a sac bunt.
As long as you aren't so far that you can't get an angle on a pickoff throw from the catcher.
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Old Sat Apr 08, 2006, 07:33am
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As I approach 62 the bases get father apart and the runners get faster. I set up about 2/3 of the way to second. If the 2nd base person is in front of me I take a step or 2 to the left towards 1st base. In your pregame with your partner make sure they will be watching the pick off attempt and are ready to help with a close call or you possibly being blocked on the play. I've worked with PUs who WANT to make the pick off call at 1st.
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Old Sat Apr 08, 2006, 09:08am
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I always stay as close to 1st as the fielders let me, minimum of 15-20feet. Pickoff plays happen much faster and are harder to call from a poor angle than the steal at 2nd. But I also adjust for the game situation, the catcher's tendency to throw and the runner's speed.
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Old Mon Apr 10, 2006, 11:44am
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This is another of the situations in two-umpire mechanics where there is a tradeoff. Runner on first, non-batted ball, there are two seperate plays that you will have to cover; pickoff attempt at first and an attempted steal of second.

I have been taught that the steal attempt happens more than the pickoff attempt, therefore, I am going to position myself more toward second to make it easier to get to position to call the attempted steal play.

Cecil is absolutely correct in saying that pickoff plays at first happen much faster. You compensate for this by starting to take a few steps toward first, parallel to the baseline once the ball is not hit by the batter and the runner at first is not stealing. By the time the play happens and you make a call, you are much closer to first with a better angle. It also gives the appearance to the teams and coaches that you are hustling to position to make the call.

The worst thing you can do, IMHO, is to set up closer to second base and not make any movement at all to call the pickoff play at first.
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