“Ask Sam” – Your Baseball Questions Answered By MLB Coach Sam Perlozzo July 2016

Ask Sam Perlozzo - Twins

Welcome to the latest “Ask Sam.”

I’m Sam Perlozzo and I’m the minor league infield and baserunning coordinator for the Minnesota Twins. A former manager and coach at the major league level, I am also one of Professional Baseball Instruction’s Major League Advisors. Each month, I answer your baseball-related questions.

Inside BaseballBefore we get into this month’s questions, I want to remind you about something that I’m involved in and very excited about. Fellow PBI Advisor Leo Mazzone and I have teamed up with former MLB players Roy Halladay, Dave Magadan, Jody Reed, Tom Foley and others on a new website called Inside Baseball. We offer the world’s largest online library of baseball training videos with proven advice and training methods designed to help baseball players of all abilities improve their game. I hope you’ll take a few moments to check out the website; there’s a lot of excellent information there.

Now, let’s get to your questions. And remember, if you have something you’d like to ask, email me directly – AskSam@baseballclinics.com.

Q: Sam – with the draft having happened in June, I had a thought about young players. What advice do you have for a rookie to handle opposing fans, and their negativity which comes with starting a professional career? Thank you, Phil

Sam Perlozzo

Photo courtesy of news-press.com

A: Phil – Dealing with rowdy and unruly fans is a fact of life if you are going to play baseball. Actually, it is there in all sports. I would think that young kids these days are dealing with it on all levels of sports today. I would hope that parents have helped their kids at the youngest levels. Our youth have to deal with all kinds of adversity and scrutiny on a daily basis, especially with all the mass media available now.

It is vary hard to keep anything a secret with social media. That seems to carry over to us everyday. My advice would be to try to stay focused on the task at hand. I coached third base at the major league level for about 17 years. I had plenty of boo-birds on me in that span of time. What I found out was that the more I stayed focused, the more I was able to zone out all external noise. Let’s face it, when you think about fans yelling at you, its really only NOISE!

I also found out that the more you let the fans know that you hear them, the more they will continue. So the more they yelled the less I let them know that I hear them. They want to get to you….don’t let them! Stay focused on the moment. I know it is hard, believe me, I’ve been on the end of that many times. Eventually they will let up as long as you don’t let them know that it bothers you.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of buttheads out there that have nothing positive to do with their lives, so they act like idiots at sporting events. Remember. if they were any good they would be playing like you are. So keep that under your hat and give yourself a little inside smile and go on with the things that need to get done. You will be a much better person for it and you will grow with maturity. God will take care of you. Have some fun! Sam

Q: Sam – do you know if it’s against the rules for another player to use a catcher’s mitt? Brad

catcher's mitt - fielder's gloveA: Brad – that’s an unusual question but a good one. When you look at an official major league rule book, you will find out they discern the difference between a glove and a mitt. The catcher may only use a “mitt,” while a first baseman may use a “mitt” or a “glove.” All other fielders must use “gloves.”

OK, so what makes a mitt different from a glove? A mitt really has no discernible fingers separated. A glove has fingers. So if you ever took a good look at a first baseman glove, you will find that they do not have fingers either. Therefore, catchers must wear mitts, and first basemen can wear either.

You must remember though, that all gloves have requirements as to their size, regardless of which position you play. I would ask you to look at major league rules on gloves, starting with rule 1.12 to 1.15. You will find it interesting. Hope that helps!! Sam

Q: Sam – two outs, two strikes runner on 3rd. Runner steals on pitch and beats pitch to the plate but the pitch is strike 3 on batter. Does the run count? – Sid

A: Sid – the short answer to your question is that the run does NOT score. It is no different than having a man on third and hitting a fly ball to a fielder and the runner on third touching home plate before the ball is caught. It is a force out, and nothing occurs after that. Same with the runner at third stealing home. Now if the hitter isn’t out on strikes, then the run would count. Hope that clears it up for you! Sam

Thanks again for the great questions. I always enjoy talking baseball with people. Send your questions to me via email at AskSam@baseballclinics.com.

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