How the Squeeze play is performed in Baseball
Baseball is a unique game in which, though it is a team sport; it consists fundamentally on individuals and confrontations between those individuals. From the moment the pitcher gets his sign from the catcher, comes set, and delivers the pitch, it's all between the pitcher and hitter. Present are many fielders in set and ready position on the field, base runners creeping off their bases, and players and coaches watching from the dugout, but during those few seconds, baseball evolves into a two player game. Likewise, on nearly any play - a fly ball, a ground ball, a popup, etc. - all the attention is focused only on the fielder and perhaps the base runner that he will attempt to throw out. Every play that is, except for the squeeze.
Simply put, a squeeze is a play in which there are less than two outs with a runner on third base who takes off as soon as the pitcher releases the ball, and the batter attempts to bunt the ball to allow the runner to score. The batter must make every attempt possible to put the ball in play and make sure not to tip off the action by squaring up to bunt too early and allowing the defense to adjust, failure to execute properly means the runner charging home from third base will more likely than not thrown out a home plate. With the exception of a double steal, the squeeze is the only other play in which two players on the offensive team work in conjunction with one another. The coach or manager who makes the call must be sure to select an instance in which the runner can get a decent jump and the pitcher will throw a good enough pitch for the batter to put the bat on the ball. Obviously, the hitter and runner both have to be aware that they will be attempting to execute a squeeze, making a one squeeze of the few instances in which the action and confrontation expand past the usual one-on-one format.
As with all risky actions in life, the squeeze can yield great dividends or cause great losses for the...