Scott Ullger: What I've Learned

Steely gaze = runs.

From La Velle E. Neal III's blog:

Third base coach Scott Ullger and bench coach Steve Liddle are swapping roles. Liddle has experience coaching third base, so it shouldn't be a rough adjustment.


Here's the thing people don't understand: When I'm in that coach's box, home plate is right there. I mean, it's like I could reach out my foot and touch it. If you were standing there, you'd send guys home too; it looks like they could trip over third and land on home.

Delmon will eventually test that theory. You know he will.

I'm not going to miss Cuddyer's home runs. Guy pretty much tries to take your arm off on the way by. I'm pretty sure he'd take his shirt off and rip a phone book in half, if he thought the umps would let him get away with it. We get it, big guy; you don't have to prove something by dislocating my shoulder.

I told Liddle he better bring a handwritten sign out there, if he wants Casilla to follow directions. I was thinking about getting some of those giant orange signaling sticks, like the kind they use to direct planes. Even then I think Alexi would get confused. It's just his way.

If you're going to drink on the field - and you will - save it for Oakland. The stands are so far away that nobody can see you.

Morneau likes going for the high five on the home run trot. Delmon's more of a low-five kind of guy. Mauer? I can't remember what he likes. It''s been so long since he hit a home run.

Just a little third-base humor there, heh.

I'm sorry, okay? Jason Kubel just LOOKS fast coming into third.

That said, a couple of times last year, I sent Thome around just because I was curious to see what would happen. I was always hoping he'd get up a head of steam and just knock some poor catcher's head into the fourth row of the stands.

Usually he was so tired by the time he got there, though, he probably just would have bounced off. Or died of exhaustion.

Looks like we might get Nick Punto back. I gotta remember to give Steve the knife I started carrying after that Yankees game.

There's an art to picking up women by tossing them foul balls. I can give out all of the pointers you want, but when there's a tapper wide of third and you've got to pick somebody out in the stands, well, you need a true artist. They called me Van Gogh.

I can't tell you how many third base umpires are hung over. Those guys think third base is a vacation day. Anytime I'm out of the designated coach's box, it's probably because the ump has whiskey breath that could drop a buzzard at fifty paces.

Everybody's got their own unique little indicator, when they're giving the signs. It's never something big and obvious, like touching the brim of your cap or something ridiculous like that. It's gotta be the kind of thing you can't see unless you're looking for it. I'm not telling you what mine is; suffice it to say, you won't be doing it in church anytime soon.

I love when Johnny Damon's in the outfield, because it simplifies the process so much. The ball goes to him, it doesn't matter who's coming around third, they're getting waved home. Thome with a pulled hamstring? Send him. Kubel with a gunshot wound? Send him. Gardy on a pair of ice skates? You better believe I'm sending him.

I'm not gonna miss third base, no. I'll miss a few of the memories, I guess. I'll never have another chance to go back to the dugout and say, "Cripes, Kubel, my grandmother runs backwards faster than you run forwards," and, "Delmon, if I ran like you, I'd wear a knee brace everywhere and pretend I was hurt."

Now that's coaching.

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