Garcia’s aggressive coaching from third works
Craps is played on a 12-foot by 5-foot table, and while baseball’s third base coaching box is 20-feet by 10-feet, it can turn into a place to gamble.
Wednesday night, Curve manager Carlos Garcia took quite a few chances in the third base box and turned out to be the “winner, winner” as the Curve downed Reading, 7-3, thanks to some aggressive baserunning.
“The scores allow you to do those things,” Garcia said of taking risks when his team has a lead. “When you have a struggling team who is struggling to score runs, you have to take a chance, especially when you go ahead early in the game.”
Garcia took several chances, including pulling of a double steal as part of a five-run third inning.
Along with the double steal, the manager waved Andrew Lambo home twice on base hits. It worked successfully once in the third when Lambo was on second, but Lambo was called out in the sixth inning when he started at first.
Garcia said playing in the National League with the pitcher batting, a team has to manufacture runs. The Curve were able to manufacture runs several times on Wednesday, including the double steal, plate patience when they scored on a bases-loaded walk and scoring from second and first base.
Coaching third for the Curve isn’t Garcia’s first crapshoot, though. He learned lessons when he was the third base coach for the Seattle Mariners.
“I had the opportunity to coach third base in the big leagues for three years in Seattle,” Garcia said. “I remember. It’s a lot of factors in there. You are on the big stage. Everything is magnified. Whatever decision you make in the third base coaching box, everybody is going to see it.”
While Garcia does tell runners whether to stay or go, he also feels the players must make their own calls. The balance between them is something the Curve must use to their advantage to score more, especially with the Eastern League’s worst offense.
“It’s very important [to listen to Garcia],” Mel Rojas Jr., who scored two runs, said. “But you’ve got to know who is hitting behind you, know the hitter-pitcher situation. You’ve got to keep that in mind before you go from there to be aggressive.”
When the manager spends three years in the majors like Garcia did with Seattle, he knows the tendencies of players in the field better. However, in the minors, the knowledge base may not be the same.
That’s when Garcia leaves it to his players.
“You have to use your instincts as a player,” he said. “You have to do your own work.”