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McKeon Pulling On the Reins

Das Texan

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McKeon pulling on the reins


http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/conte...03408c00b7.html

By Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 28, 2003



Manager Jack McKeon has been reluctant to remove the green light for the Marlins' base runners. But changes may be on the way.

"Everybody had the green light to go at your own pace and I didn't change it," McKeon said. "I wanted to see for myself who runs in what situations. I wanted to figure things out."

The Marlins have run slightly less since McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg on May 11. Under McKeon, the Marlins have stolen 14 bases and have been caught eight times, about 1 1/2 attempts per game. Under Torborg, the team had 56 steals and were caught 19 times, about two attempts per game.

The Marlins have four of the top six base stealers in the National League and their 70 stolen bases are more the twice the total of second place Pittsburgh, which has 34.

"Stolen bases are all right, but steal them when you need them," McKeon said. "You don't want to run yourself out of an inning, especially when you're not hitting. If you're hitting, like (Monday), do what you want."

Juan Encarnacion was thrown out Monday in a situation that McKeon would discourage most players from running. In the eighth inning, Florida led 5-1 with runners on first and third and two outs. Alex Gonzalez, hitting.331, was at the plate.

"If it was (Mike) Redmond, or somebody like that, it'd be a different story," said McKeon, whose team was 0-for-3 on the base paths Monday. "This guy has 12 stolen bases, he's in the top 10 in the league. So I don't have any problems."

Juan Pierre, who leads the majors with 19 stolen bases, said he's always looking to run if the Marlins lead or trail by less than three runs. He will not take as many chances if the Marlins are further behind.

Those decisions soon could be in the manager's hands.

"There's no scientific way I can explain it," McKeon said. "There is no set way. A lot of time it's instinct and gut feeling."

Long journey: The heading on the Expos' itinerary hanging from the clubhouse wall reads: "Montreal Expos 2003 World Tour."

Montreal started a 25-day, 22-game, six-city trip Monday that will take it from Florida to Philadelphia to Puerto Rico to Seattle to Oakland to Pittsburgh. The stretch is the longest the Expos will be away from the home during the season and will cover 11,310 miles.

"It's not a big challenge," manager Frank Robinson said. "A challenge is something you don't have to do that you accept doing. We have to do this."

Montreal will play Anaheim and Texas during its second "home" stand of the season in San Juan. The Expos were 6-4 in Puerto Rico in April and will play 22 games there, including three against the Marlins Sept. 5-7.

"You don't let it bother you, you just play it," Robinson said about the schedule. "If you allow it to creep into your thought process, it's going to affect your performance. With what this team went through last year with the contraction, this is a piece of cake."

Relief rumors: Closer Braden Looper and setup man Armando Almanza were mentioned in a New York Post story as possible targets by the Yankees, whose bullpen has been a big part of their recent slide.

Looper was told about the story by a friend, but he has not heard any other reports.

"It's the time of year," Looper said. "But it's a little flattering. You play in one place for a long time and find out other people want you, that's cool. But I'd like to stay here, if possible."

tom_dangelo@pbpost.com
 

Das Texan

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This is how you should run....



There are times when as a base runner, you should be aware of the situation and the surrondings and run when its in your favor to run and will benefit your team....


Not all situations are best to run in....be smart...



The Marlins seem to suck badly lately on the base paths.
 

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