In an attempt to steal more bases, Braves manager Bobby Cox has been approaching opposing pitchers and requesting something quite odd from them.
A head start.
Through Wednesday, the Braves had only five steals through 27 games.
Not exactly burning up the basepads, right?
It gets worse when you realize that 22 others have more steals than them. No, not 22 teams, but rather 22 players have more steals than the entire Braves team. Five different players are tied for the team lead, with one stolen base.
Though, when asked about their lack of stolen bases, Cox didn't seem to be worried about it at all.
"We just need to catch a few breaks, as in, a shortstop breaking his leg while trying to cover the bag and get the throw. If that happens, I can see a few more steals in our future."
This is nothing new for the Braves, as they rank near, or at the bottom of the league in steals every year. When Chipper Jones is one of your best baserunners, you realize you may be in a bit of a bind.
Though recently, Cox has come up with a plan that he hopes to implement in the upcoming games, with the cooperation of opposing pitchers.
"Basically, i'm just going to go to each pitcher before the game and ask for a bit of a favor," Cox said. "Nothing too big, just something so we can get a bit of confidence and hopefully swipe a bag or two early."
"I basically just ask the pitcher to close his eyes for 3-4 seconds before he starts his wind up. And if that doesn't work, I just ask for them to start their wind up, and when they get their leg in the air to deliver the pitch, just hold it in the air. Count to three Mississippi, and then you can throw it".
Cox doesn't think the request is odd in the least.
"What, you don't think Rickey Henderson got head starts? You honestly think a man could steal that many bases without the opposing help from the other team? Ha!"
Upon hearing the news, Braves third basemen Chipper Jones became downright giddy.
"Oh man i'm excited! It's been a long time since I had the confidence to steal a base, this way, with the pitcher letting me get halfway to second before he pitches the ball, now all I need is for the catcher to drop the ball, and I may actually be safe!"
The Braves square off against the Marlins tonight, and we'll have to see how well the Braves plan works, but I for one can't wait to see the experiment in action.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!