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Consistent baserunning mistakes frustrate Baker

Consistent baserunning mistakes frustrate Baker

Consistent baserunning mistakes frustrate Baker

ST. LOUIS -- The baserunning gaffe by Reds shortstop Zack Cozart in the fourth inning of a 6-1 Reds loss on Tuesday was not an isolated incident to manager Dusty Baker.

"All through the year we've had them. This has been one of the worst baserunning years I have ever seen," Baker said. "We go over it. We practice it. We have Eric Davis in Spring Training and [Billy Hatcher]. I help out to go base to base. You have to be a quick thinker -- not necessarily smart, but baseball smart and a quick thinker, because you have this much time to make up your mind between being safe and being out."

Cozart was running from first to third base on a Mat Latos single. Jay Bruce, who was on second base, was originally waved home by third-base coach Mark Berry before being held up. With his head down, Cozart did not notice and ran to third, where he was tagged out to end the rally and inning.

It was brought up to Baker that the Reds used to be strong in baserunning, especially when former third baseman Scott Rolen was on the team.

"In 2010, we had somebody to emulate," Baker said, referring to Rolen. "It's a lot easier to emulate. For me to tell you something, it's not the same effect as me telling you something and then showing you how to do it.

"Too late. He's home. Rolen had judgment. Plus he had forethought -- when to go, when not to go, the speed of the outfielder, the arm and accuracy of the outfielder."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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