3 up, 3 down: running game philosophies

corbinTim Corbin (Vanderbilt), Greg Goff (Campbell) and Jason Stein (Eastern Kentucky) all led their teams to prolific stolen base totals during the 2013 season. Here’s their take on a few aspects of the running game we discussed in this issue’s Feature article (http://www.insidepitchonline.com/Press-Center/Lineup/2013/Stolen-bases-an-argument-of-quality-versus-quant.aspx)

1. Would you rather have your team steal the most bases it possibly can (quantity), or have a high (75% or above) success rate?

TIM CORBIN- “I would tell you that stealing the “most bases” would not be our top priority but rather the “quality of the attempt”…right pitch, best jump, right time, what advantage did we gain, was it “show-me” stolen base or an effective team stolen base. Putting up high stolen base numbers has not necessarily translated into the most effective offense, but it can be a component of one.”

GREG GOFF- We never talk about percentage with our players, as I feel may take away from their aggressivness. I want my players to trust their instincts and be fearless on the bases.

JASON STEIN- I think you need to factor in both quantity and success.  Certainly above 75% is the goal but you must have quantity or guys throughout the line-up that will run so the opponents fear the line-up instead of just a guy or two.

2. How would you define what a “good base stealer” is? More stolen bases or higher stolen base percentage?

TIM CORBIN- I would say the high percentage runner with the most attempts, not the runner with the most attempts. To me it’s like passing the football…you can unload 60 passes in a game, but it’s worth may be minimal if your completion rate is down and your yards per catch is low. Running efficiency is like passing efficiency to me.

GREG GOFF- I feel a good base stealer is someone that trust themselves, has good instincts, and fears nothing. I prefer the bags over a percentage.We try to promote that within our program during practices and scrimmages.

JASON STEIN- A good base stealer has no fear of getting thrown out and of course must have a good success rate

3. Do you keep close track of your team’s stolen base totals and/or their accompanying percentages throughout the course of the year? What do these numbers tell you when you are scouting your opponents?

TIM CORBIN- I look more at who an opponent is running against – are the numbers bullied or true. If you are running on a team that defends the running game well…then you must have an efficient running game.

GREG GOFF- We talk more about the process than actual numbers. What are pitchers trying to do to stop us and find their weakness and expose it. Stolen bases are a big part of our offense and I feel  helps us score runs. Educate them on good times to run and when not to run, help them gain confidence through practice and scrimmage games, and turn them  loose in the spring is my approach to the running game. Its always a risk but to me you can’t reach your full potential without risk taken.

JASON STEIN- We keep track of all percentages and hopefully teams are worrying about the running game.

Spring has sprung

"From the Publisher" by Keith Madison

“From the Publisher” by Keith Madison

Spring! Flowers, birds, mowing grass, short sleeves and BASEBALL. This is the “perfect storm” for baseball enthusiasts; college baseball is in full swing, high school baseball is cranking up and the major leaguers are embracing the beginning of the 162-game marathon we all know and love as baseball season. Continue reading

FALLing into place

The fall practice period in college baseball represents everything that is good about our national pastime. With eagerness rivaling those of MLB spring training in February (albeit to a slightly lesser extent), student-athletes, coaches, and support staffs assemble for what marks a new beginning for every program in the country.

Expectations may be heightened, however, for coaches like Tim Corbin, Greg Goff, Scott Stricklin and Tony Vittorio, who are currently in the midst in preparations for their own programs at Vanderbilt, Campbell, Kent State and Dayton, respectively. The quartet, who combined for three conference championships and three NCAA Regional bids in 2012, recently gave Inside Pitch an all-access pass to how they approach fall ball. Continue reading

3 up, 3 down: MLB playoff edition

Who will hoist the trophy in 2012? Greg Goff, head coach, Campbell University Scott Stricklin, head coach, Kent State University Tony Vittorio, head coach, University of Dayton
Favorite thing about MLB postseason How players up the ante with their energy, excitement, intensity, and competition level. They play like they’re supposed to play. I like the intensity of it.  Every pitch, every play means something. Watching the players who play the game right, with passion and energy.
Favorite memory from MLB postseason I’ve always loved to watch players that I’ve had a chance to coach (Brandon Webb with Arizona Diamondbacks; Joe Blanton with Phillies) Watching Sid Bream round third base for the Braves to beat the throw from Barry Bonds in 1992 playoffs. I’m a huge Carlton Fisk fan, so I’d have to go with his homerun against the Reds in game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
Pick to win it New York Yankees Texas Rangers- I think they’re the most complete team. The Oakland Athletics and the Washington Nationals would be the perfect World Series. Former Dayton Flyers LHP Jerry Blevins (currently with Oakland) versus former Flyer RHP Craig Stammen (Washington).

From the Bleachers, Spring 2012

“INSIDE PITCH is an outstanding new magazine developed by Keith Madison, the former baseball coach at Kentucky, who had an ABCA Hall of Fame coaching career and who is an even better person. This unique publication covers a number of different angles in every edition with a variety of interviews, video and mechanical breakdown instructions, rules discussions and other cutting edge ideas and articles from high caliber people.

The high expectations for a Keith Madison publication or production may have been exceeded already and my only disappointment is that he has a quarterly magazine that has not yet progressed on to monthly or bi-monthly. It is a GREAT resource for all levels of baseball players, coaches or families.”

– Joe Roberts, Armstrong Atlantic State University; 2010 ABCA President

“Received my first Inside Pitch. Loved it! The ‘Larry Doby story’ was great.”

– John Borie, Louisville, Ky.

“I’ve followed the game for over 65 years and I’m sure Inside Pitch will make you a better coach, teacher of the game, player and fan; and, unlike most other sports publications – a better person.  A great magazine.”

– Rex L. Bailey, Retired (Weak arm, bat and glove, but love the game), Lexington, Ky.

“As a former player for Coach Madison, I am grateful to have played for someone who taught and led by example on how to play baseball the right way and used the game of baseball to teach valuable life lessons. I’m so excited that Coach and his staff are now sharing this type of knowledge and perspective with others. Inside Pitch is a resource for anyone that loves the game of baseball and wants to continue to learn to play ball at the highest level, as well as be encouraged by the many positive examples of baseball coaches and players that teach and play this great game.”

– Manny Cervantes, Assistant Coach, Oklahoma Christian University

“What has been missing has now been provided in this great new magazine for the baseball fan and advocate. Articles undertaking intricate aspects of baseball and affiliated issues of the game authored by authentic experts; witnesses of living the faith filled quality whole lives; perspectives by worthy leaders and entertaining captivating stories are all present. No sports fan should ever miss an issue. Thank you for providing such a fresh new approach through “Inside Pitch.”

– Carroll Land, Former Head Coach, Point Loma Nazarene University, Former President of the ABCA, NAIA Hall of Fame, ABCA Hall of Fame

“What a great concept Keith Madison has put together with Inside Pitch…I have been coaching for 26 years- 21 at the Division I level- and I feel that this magazine is exactly what college baseball has needed over the years.  It gives a fresh perspective of what goes on behind the scenes in college baseball, but at the same time covers our national pastime from different angles.  For me personally, I really enjoy the interviews given by my colleagues, and getting a chance to learn from them…”

– Tim Montez, Associate Head Coach, Jacksonville University

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– Rusty Stroupe, Head Coach, Gardner-Webb University

“Inside Pitch is a welcome addition to the baseball community!  I look forward to reading it each month.  The combination of personal interest stories, performance enhancing tips, and focus on all levels of baseball make it a must read.  Two copies of every issue go in our locker room and our players love it.  Keep up the great work.”

– Jan Weisberg, Head Baseball Coach, Birmingham-Southern College

“Inside Pitch is a great baseball magazine. The detailed information included is a must for any coach at any level. This magazine is first class, and I’m already looking forward to the next issue!”

– Justin Cunningham, Central Christian College Head Coach

“Inside Pitch gives a unique perspective inside the careers of players and coaches at all levels. The magazine is an encouraging and uplifting look inside the game! It’s a true blessing to the game of baseball.”

– Andy Phillips, University of Alabama Assistant Coach, former MLB player

“The quality and content of this magazine is impressive. Good, crisp, well-written articles that relate to those who care about more than just the x’s and o’s of the sports. Looking forward to the next edition!”

– Tom Roy, former professional player and college coach, President of UPI

“Inside Pitch is one of the best magazines for covering college baseball that I’ve read. I get excited every time my new copy comes in the mail. It’s a must-read for everyone that follows college baseball.”

– Greg Goff, Campbell University head coach

“I’m always trying to expand my knowledge base, and was delighted to be introduced to Inside Pitch magazine. I was instantly impressed and captivated with the depth of the articles.  Each article/interview had information that I will be able to use within my own program.  Simply put, Inside Pitch is a great resource for baseball coaches at any level.  I look forward to future editions and learning more about the game I am passionate about, baseball!”

– Gary Adcock, California Baptist University head coach, NCCAA champions

Inside Pitch is absolutely the best “baseball guys (and gals)” magazine I have ever looked at. It will help people of all ages increase their knowledge of the game and is extremely worthwhile to look into.”

-Larry Redwine

“With all of its recent technological advances, I was really looking for a way to ‘stay ahead of the curve’- no pun intended- with what is going on in baseball today. Inside Pitch does a great job of informing its readers of the innovations that our game is undergoing. I love it!”

-Drew Robinson

“The only thin i reed most of the time is my stats. But i reed the furst ishue and i can no put it down. Es the smartest thing i ever reed. Definitlee no semi pro!”

-Domingo Ayala (domingobeisbol.com)

 “I just downloaded the app in the iTunes store and it is UNBELIEVABLE! I spent all day going through the content, links, and other features of the first issue of Inside Pitch. I can’t wait until the next issue comes out!

-Matt Reynolds

I just finished reading my first copy of Inside Pitch.  What a great magazine.  It reminded me that everything Keith Madison touches turns to gold.  I had the pleasure of coaching with Keith for only one season at Kentucky but I learned a great deal and that time helped turn me into the coach that I am now.  He is a great leader and has so much influence in the coaching profession.  I have no doubt the magazine will be a huge success.

-Scott Malone, Head Coach at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

I want to let you know how impressed I am with the magazine! It was a pleasure to read and also conveyed just the right message. Thank you for helping us not only become better coaches but more importantly, better people. It is an honor to serve the ABCA alongside such men of quality.

-John Casey, Heads Coach at Tufts University

“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Madison over the past two years on baseball/mission trips with SCORE international. When I heard that he was starting a magazine, I was pumped. From the people he knows in baseball and the things he stands for, there’s no question that Inside Pitch will be a huge success. I think that it’s going to instantly become one of the best resources for all levels of baseball players, coaches, and families everywhere. I can’t wait to read it!”

-Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees

“I could not be more excited about Inside Pitch. As a former swimmer and tennis player, I had no idea about how much went into being a baseball parent until my son starting playing. Different kinds of gloves, rules about bats, recruiting regulations, what terms like ‘showcase’ and ‘travel ball’ meant- it’s been a challenge to learn just what I need to know to give my son the best opportunities.

With Inside Pitch, parents now have a place to go for all of this information. I’m looking forward to this magazine being a fantastic source for up-and-coming players and parents!”

-Anonymous

“I’m excited and thrilled that Keith Madison and his staff are publishing a new, fresh and relevant magazine for college, high school and travel coaches. Inside Pitch will not only be an asset for coaches at all levels, it will be a great resource for baseball players and their parents. This informative magazine will provide coaches, players and parents with “cutting edge” articles and coaching tips.  There is no other publication in the marketplace that shares the knowledge and insight that Inside Pitch provides. I only wish that this magazine could be weekly instead of quarterly!”  

-Ron Polk, ABCA Hall of Famer

“Keith Madison and I have been friends for over 30 years.  His is an outstanding coach and even a better person.  He is a college baseball Hall of Famer who left a very successful coaching career to join SCORE International, and now devotes his time and life to spreading the Word to thousands of young people.  With the new publication, Inside Pitch, thousands more will now be reached. We are excited about Coach Madison’s work, the new magazine and the great things that will continue to happen though SCORE International.”

– Dave Keilitz, Executive Director, ABCA