Wednesdays Web Gems Tips – Art of Tagging out Runners
Possibly the defensive baseball play that is screwed up the most is the tag play. Even though this seems like a simple thing, applying a baseball tag is misplayed repeatedly, even at the major league level. The problem develops when defensive players go out and/or up to apply the tag, only to have the player sneak into the bag, usually by going under the tag. This move to go after the runner is common nature because players are anxious to get the out, but they fail to realize it makes the out less likely when doing it that way. Of course, it is important that defensive players are observant and in intentional, when applying the tag, as the base is bigger than the glove so runners can sneak around the tag.
Coaches must continually let players know that the runner has no way of being safe, unless they touch the bag before tagged, with the key word being “touch.” With the base on the ground, there is no reason for the defensive player to go out and up towards the runner when the runner must get to the bag, which is on the ground, as mentioned. The only time they would have to go up is if the runner is attempting to jump over the tag, but even then the runner has to come down to touch the base.
This is another baseball play that is hard to get enough practice at because it happens only a few times each game, so coaches should have players practice applying tags during team sliding practice.