For those of you who didn’t do so hot on the English portion of your SAT’s, all I’m saying with that title is that Ed Reed is to “Don’t Throw the football,” as Matt Wieters is now to “Don’t Try to Steal a Base.”
In case you forgot, here’s a segment from NFL Network with Mr. Reed from 2008 where he implores opposing quarterbacks and coordinators to not throw the ball when he is on the field.
Teams have learned to not throw it – or at least throw it to the other side – when #20 is on the field for the Ravens.
In much the same way, opposing MLB teams are going to quickly learn to not attempt to steal bases when the O’s have #32 behind the plate. Wieters caught two more Nationals on Sunday (including for the final out of the game), and has now thrown out 14 of 28 attempted base stealers.
Most times with Wieters, it’s not even close, with the opposing baserunner not even in the screen yet when the camera pans back and J.J. Hardy or Brian Roberts collect the throw. There was no doubt on either of Washington’s runners yesterday. Earlier this month, he threw out the great Ichiro by a country mile.
Only Kurt Suzuki of the A’s is close to Wieters among catches that have a similar number of opportunities. Oakland’s backstop has caught 18 and allowed 19 steals (48%). In addition to Suzuki, only the Giants’ Buster Posey (15) and the Tigers’ Alex Avila (14) have as many CS as Wieters, but they have allowed 24 and 23 steals, respectively, and are thus throwing out only 38% of attempted runners.
Even St. Louis’ Yadier Molina, one of the game’s premiere “don’t run on him” catchers, is just 7/22 (32%) in 2011.
Thirty percent is considered “very good” in MLB circles. Wieters is at 50.
Hey, baseball: Don’t run. Just don’t do it.