Early in the Spring, Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade was talking a big game about the Cubs’ consistently low stolen base totals, and about how that was going to change under his watch. His comments were met with more than one raised eyebrow as folks looked over the Cubs’ roster and, predictably, thought who exactly is going to be stealing all of these bases?
And then Aramis Ramirez asked to get the green light on stolen base attempts, and the whole thing devolved into absurdity.
Fortunately, Quade now sees the light.
“I almost feel like we’re forcing something that we shouldn’t,” Quade said. “It goes against everything (I believe) — ‘We’re going to be aggressive, we want to run …’ Yeah, you’re going to run yourself into a lot of outs.”
Quade does want Starlin Castro to improve his baserunning instincts, knowing he has the speed. But he also wants the Cubs to run “intelligently” and won’t send him just to be aggressive.
“Do I see him stealing 30 (bases a year) some day? No,” he said. “Make a liar out of me. That’s fine. We just need to run with our heads.” chicagotribune.com.
A team has to steal bases at something like a 3:1 success ratio for it to net a positive impact on performance. Very few teams achieve that ratio, but hey, people like stolen bases. Fortunately, the Cubs won’t be one of those teams, just trying to steal bases because “that’s one of the things you do in baseball.”
It’s another sign of a slightly more forward-thinking regime.