Cool story on NECN about how Red Sox Carl Crawford brought along Cotuit Kettleer’s coach Mike Roberts to spring training to help improve his base running. Any Cotuit fan knows the mark of a Roberts’ team is incredible basework and small-ball. Roberts’ son, Oriole Brian Roberts, is a perennial stolen-base leader. Together they wrote a book on the art of the steal: “You Can’t Steal Second Base and Keep Your Foot on First”
“For two days, after the team’s regular workouts, Crawford went back out to Field 3 to work with Mike Roberts, a former college coach and a baserunning specialist. Roberts and Crawford have worked together for several years, most recently before Crawford’s last season with the Rays, in 2010.
“It’s usually like for a reminder,” Crawford said of these sessions. “I don’t care how good you get at something, it’s always nice to have guys like Mr. Roberts come in and remind you of the little things that make you successful at it.
“Last year I lost my confidence on the basepaths and that’s one thing we were talking about, having confidence on the bases. It might translate to my playing better defense and hitting better.”
“The best word to use is ‘refine,’” said Roberts. “He’s got to refine [his technique]. And the other thing that I mentioned to Carl is by refining and working on the little things on basestealing, if it clicks, his legs are more alive, he has more confidence. With some of the athletes that I’ve worked with it seems that they have more confidence when they’re hitting, they have more in their outfield play, when they have to make a throw. So I think it transcends the entire game. A lot of people start with offense. With a player like Carl, I think you start with his baserunning to regain his confidence.””