SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The new rules designed to prevent catchers from undue bodily harm in a home-plate collision won't diminish third-base coach Tim Flannery's aggressiveness or spontaneity in sending runners around third base.
That's because Flannery doesn't have collisions in mind when he waves a Giant home.
"I never send anybody thinking, 'Hey, run the guy over,'" Flannery said Saturday. "You gamble at times, but [a baserunner] still can slide hard. You can still hit a catcher pretty good going feet-first into the plate."
Flannery noted that the decision to direct a man home becomes much easier when the runner obtains a proper "secondary lead" -- the few extra steps he takes after a pitch is delivered.
"If you don't get a great secondary lead, that's where the gamble is," Flannery said. "If the throw's off-line, you score. If the throw is on-line, the guy's out by 20 feet. That's when you have to make up your mind [based on] who's running, who's throwing, the score. But it's their responsibility to get a great secondary lead."