Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Around the Horn

Okay, all you fine baseball minds, answer me this:

When the infielders throw the ball around the horn after a strikeout, why do they always skip the first baseman?

13 comments:

Justin said...

I was at the Cardinals-D'backs game this past weekend with my wife's family and, being a former first baseman, was ranting about that same thing.

Xeifrank said...

Probably because he'd throw the ball into left field and delay the game.
vr, Xei

Josh S. said...

The best I can figure is:

It goes "guy who made the out" to 2nd to short to 3rd. So if the out is at first, the first baseman would be involved. On a strikeout, it goes catcher to 2nd to short to 3rd.

(I could just be making this all up.)

Andrew said...

You will notice that with some catchers, when a right hander strikes out, the horn starts at first base.

Steve Sax said...

With EK at first base, any errant throw knee-high or lower might lead to a two-base error.

With Loney, we should be okay.

Dusty Baker said...

The around the horn thing, and its quirks and permutations, intrigues me. I'd like for Ken Burns to do a 12-part series on the subject.

Mr. Customer said...

"With EK at first base, any errant throw knee-high or lower might lead to a two-base error."

Says Steve Sax with no small amount of irony.

DanGarion said...

I think that only started after Pedro Guerrero played 3rd... Because they wanted to give him and Sax some extra practice...

Dusto Magnifico said...

Around the horn is a "bases empty strikeout" situation. Sometimes teams go around the horn on an easy play to first with the bases empty, but why the first baseman is skipped... I have no idea, maybe he gets enough touches anyway, so they just skip him... yeah, great baseball fodder talk anyway.

Matt said...

I read somewhere that it's a practice to keep the infielder's arms warm.

That doesn't explain why the 1st doesn't get a touch, but I've always assumed that it's because he gets a lot of touches recording outs.

Steve Sax said...

Mr Customer, fair point. Around the horns that included me usually ended up in the loge section.

And don't get me started on Mackey Sasser.

Hong Like a Chih Kuo said...

I think that you are misusing the term "around the horn". In my baseball education, "around the horn" is a double play started at 3rd (3rd to 2nd to 1st). This was also something we used to do at baseball practice when taking infield: the coach would drop a bunt down and yell "around the horn!" and the catcher would throw to 3rd, 3B throwns to 2B, 2B throws to 1B and then 1B back to the catcher.

When a routine ground out is made, the players "throw it around" beginning with the 1st baseman throwing to short, short flipping to 2nd as the 3rd baseman takes a couple of steps in toward the mound to toss the ball back to the pitcher. On a strike out the catcher throws down to 3rd, 3B throws to 2B, 2B flips to short as the 1B takes a few steps toward the mound to give the ball back to the pitcher.

That's how I did things in little league, I never pay attention to what they do in the bigs other than notice when the catcher throws down to 3rd after a K with nobody on.

That was really long. Sorry. Go Doyers.

Orel said...

Thanks to everybody who responded. This has been very educational for me.