Former base-thief extraordinaire Tom Goodwin has been hanging around the Red Sox's clubhouse the last two days and took a seat in the dugout for Friday night's game, offering pieces of advice he garnered through a 14-year career in which he swiped 369 bags.
The 43-year-old downplayed the effect of his presence, but Carl Crawford has praised Goodwin's work in the past, and Jacoby Ellsbury was intently listening to the speed coach during a conversation in the clubhouse on Friday.
"Just like now, we'll discuss something when it comes up," said Goodwin, who spent time with Sox players during Spring Training. "If it's something that he likes to do, or thinking about doing or did, we'll talk about it. It's almost like two teammates just having a conversation."
Goodwin said he's been impressed that Ellsbury continues to be a strong threat on the basepaths while his power numbers have skyrocketed to a career high.
"His baserunning and basestealing is obviously off the charts," Goodwin said of Ellsbury, who has 36 steals this season but was caught stealing during the first inning Friday. "He's added the home run this year, so he's actually cut down his stolen-base attempts. That's the only thing I guess that you want. If you're going to have something to cut down your stolen-base attempts, you'd like it to be the home run.
"And he's still a threat on the bases, which is really the key. The key is just being a threat. Guys know that he can run and will run, and other teams know he will run, but it doesn't seem to matter."
Goodwin thinks much of the same with Crawford, who has stolen just 17 bases this season, on pace for the lowest total of his career since his rookie season, when he played just 63 games.
"Carl is the same way," Goodwin said. "He's a guy that can impact the game. I haven't been around, so I'm really not sure what it is [that's prevented him from stealing]. Obviously I'm sure he's not having the year he wants to have at the plate, but he can still impact the game."
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.