Judging the Royals

Royals have a lot of hand signals for positioning outfielders

Kansas City Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz.
Kansas City Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz. The Kansas City Star

When the Royals are on defense, look into their dugout and you’ll see coach Rusty Kuntz positioning the outfielders. Here’s a guide to hand signs you’ll see Rusty use.

▪ Play straight up: A hand waved straight up and down in front of the chest.

▪ Bunch the gaps: Both hands making a squeezing motion.

▪ Move left or right: One hand pointing in the appropriate direction.

▪ Come in: Both hands tapping the chest.

▪ Over and in: One hand on the chest for in, the other hand pointing in the desired direction.

▪ Move back: A hand waved behind the head. (This sign applies through the first eight innings, then it becomes something else: the sign for no doubles.)

▪ No doubles: In the ninth inning a hand waved behind the head means move back even more; do not let anything land behind you. If a ball is hit over an outfielder’s head it should be a home run.

▪ Don’t dive for the ball: Two hands out in front like someone catching a football and then waving the hands back and forth in a “no thanks” gesture. After giving the no-doubles sign, the outfield coach might remind his players not to attempt a diving catch; they need to play it safe and keep the batter to a single.

▪ The runners will be going, throw the ball to second base: Used with two outs and a 3-2 count, a finger held straight up and circled in the air reminds the outfielders the runners already on base will get a good jump and throwing them out is unlikely. The runners will be going sign is followed by the throw the ball to second base sign and that signal is tapping a hand on top of the head.

▪ If you go left or right to field the ball, throw the ball to second base: Waving the fingers from side to side followed by tapping the top of the head.

▪ If it’s a deep fly ball, throw the ball to second base: Fingers pointed in the sky at a 45-degree angle, followed by tapping the top of the head.

Throwing the ball to second base ensures two things: with less than two outs it keeps the double play in order, and with two outs it keeps another runner out of scoring position.

To reach Lee Judge, call 816-234-4482 or send email to ljudge@kcstar.com.

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