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Thread: The Shift

  1. #1
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    The Shift

    Radio sports talk show last night had a session on the shift. Said it has changed baseball. Want some rule changes to put game back it was. What's everybody opinion of the shift?

    Some of the things they were saying took singles away from left handed batters. Former stars like Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn wouldn't be stars in today's game because of shift. Fred Lynn, of Red Sox fame, had a piece in a Shaunessy column to hit against the shift. Nobody hits against the shift to break it. Callers were saying harder to hit other way now than in Lynn's day. Pitchers throw harder and they face 3 different pitchers each game.

    Former Jay Donaldson said to hit to drive the ball. Hitters no longer hit on top of the ball.

    Another guy said no more need for good glove in centerfield. With infielder up the middle. Centerfielder handles less chances and no plays at plate. Infielder also in short right cuts off an alley. Better off with good bat in center.

    Comments?

  2. #2
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    I listened to this too. I don't love watching the shift as a viewer and a fan. As much as I wouldn't mind rules that limit the strategy, I also feel that there will be coaches and players that adapt to those new rules too in other ways. I'd be open to see what some rules to limit it would look like though.

  3. #3
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    There doesn’t need to be any rule changes to limit the shift. Just teach players how to bunt again. If bunting even became somewhat regular I’d feel very confident the shift wouldn’t be seen nearly as much.

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    Most guys just try to hit it over the wall now, so the shift is irrelevant to their game plan at the plate. However, I strongly beg to differ that guys like Gwynn and Boggs wouldn’t be hall of famers with the shift. Those guys had incredible bat control and ability to go the other way. If you gave them half an infield I think they would have been even better, not worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartron_44 View Post
    Most guys just try to hit it over the wall now, so the shift is irrelevant to their game plan at the plate. However, I strongly beg to differ that guys like Gwynn and Boggs wouldn’t be hall of famers with the shift. Those guys had incredible bat control and ability to go the other way. If you gave them half an infield I think they would have been even better, not worse.
    Going other way is harder to do than in their day

  6. #6
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    Imo the fix is to stop putting so much weight into HR when it comes to arbitration. I think it would help re-balance the game over time. Just don’t even consider them in arb. They’re accounted for in the RBI and other batting metrics.

    I like the shift. It adds something to the game. But there should be added value to players that you cannot shift against. Seems the .250 hitter that smacks bombs or strikes out has more value these days than the spray hitter who brings value in every other way.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChongInc. View Post
    Imo the fix is to stop putting so much weight into HR when it comes to arbitration. I think it would help re-balance the game over time. Just don’t even consider them in arb. They’re accounted for in the RBI and other batting metrics.

    I like the shift. It adds something to the game. But there should be added value to players that you cannot shift against. Seems the .250 hitter that smacks bombs or strikes out has more value these days than the spray hitter who brings value in every other way.
    Shift has changed the game. I hope they take it out of baseball. For years programed to see a hit off a bat. Next thing see is it hit right at shortstop standing behind 2b. Or lined at 3rd baseball standing in short right

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    Against removing the shift. We need to teach players how to be more well rounded.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raps18-19 Champ View Post
    Against removing the shift. We need to teach players how to be more well rounded.
    This. But as long as player salaries are pretty much purely tied to HR… good luck.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie View Post
    Radio sports talk show last night had a session on the shift. Said it has changed baseball. Want some rule changes to put game back it was. What's everybody opinion of the shift?

    Some of the things they were saying took singles away from left handed batters. Former stars like Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn wouldn't be stars in today's game because of shift. Fred Lynn, of Red Sox fame, had a piece in a Shaunessy column to hit against the shift. Nobody hits against the shift to break it. Callers were saying harder to hit other way now than in Lynn's day. Pitchers throw harder and they face 3 different pitchers each game.

    Former Jay Donaldson said to hit to drive the ball. Hitters no longer hit on top of the ball.

    Another guy said no more need for good glove in centerfield. With infielder up the middle. Centerfielder handles less chances and no plays at plate. Infielder also in short right cuts off an alley. Better off with good bat in center.

    Comments?

    This is a good point. Maybe you saw him on MLB Network showing off his hitting mechanics

    Look at the Dodgers, their hitting success is based on getting the ball up in the air. Their hitting philosophy - and it runs through the entire organization from A ball up - is to hit the ball over the fence by getting the bat behind and under the ball. Like hitting a baseball with a tennis racquet. They also brought in College coaches to teach it. That's one way to beat the shift

    It's really too bad we have to listen to Pat Tabler and Buck Martinez constantly telling viewers about "getting on top of the ball" big NO
    Last edited by hanton; 03-05-2022 at 12:27 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanton View Post
    This is a good point. Maybe you saw him on MLB Network showing off his hitting mechanics

    Look at the Dodgers, their hitting success is based on getting the ball up in the air. Their hitting philosophy - and it runs through the entire organization from A ball up - is to hit the ball over the fence by getting the bat behind and under the ball. Like hitting a baseball with a tennis racquet. They also brought in College coaches to teach it. That's one way to beat the shift

    It's really too bad we have to listen to Pat Tabler and Buck Martinez constantly telling viewers about "getting on top of the ball" big NO
    No I just heard them talking about Donaldson

  12. #12
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    imo the shift is the evolution of defense against the all-in approach that has been taken by hitters over the last decade. If a guy is never going to hit it somewhere, then why would you put a defender there? Most balls in play are rockets by traditional standards, so teams load up their defense where hitters like to hit the baseball. Seems pretty logical to me.

    It just really sucks for a lot of left handed hitters nowadays because they never learned to go the other way. If they could hit 30 bombs, they were promoted level after level because that was all that mattered. I think those players need to suck it up and deal with it. The elite hitters are still putting up great numbers, so it hasn't made the game impossible...just different.

  13. #13
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    I read the union put forward banning the shift? These guys are pro players who can't take it the other way. Lay the bunt down and take the easy bag. What the hell is so hard about that? Are they going to start banning pitching on the outside corner next?


    The Lost Boys of PSD

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanton View Post
    This is a good point. Maybe you saw him on MLB Network showing off his hitting mechanics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyWNCrxVzPU

    This is the video I believe.


    The Lost Boys of PSD

  15. #15
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    The players don't like it because it makes the game harder for LHB's than it does RHB's. The majority of pitchers are still right handed, and it much easier for a RHB to go the other way against a RHP than it is for a LHB. You also can't stick someone in shallow LF and still throw out most RHB's at 1B like you can in shallow right with lefties. Or play 2 guys in shallow LF and a guy up the middle and gobble up everything on the ground. Even with the shift RHB's can pull a ball through the left side of the infield when it is hit 100+ mph...but not lefties because the infielders get to play too deep. This difference makes an uneven playing field depending on what side of the plate you like to swing the bat from. So a union with a lot of both that needs to represent everyone is going to be for it.

    Who knows, maybe that difference may have been why the game was played without shifts for over hundred years. Not because the analytics didn't exist, but because players cared about fairness as well as winning...and they knew shifting like that wasn't exactly fair to both sides. You don't think coaches always knew it would work, I mean it isn't rocket science to notice that a guy really likes to pull the ball and rarely goes the other way that you have at least 1 infielder essentially defending nothing in their traditional spot. It's not like pull hitters were invented yesterday and people just figured out how to defend them, or like there has ever been a rule forcing defenders into assigned areas preventing a shift from being possible. Is the general consensus that no manager in over 100 years had a brain before Joe Maddon?

    I think it is far more likely that the Rays just didn't care and felt like they needed to do whatever the heck they could to try and win with the miniscule budget they were being forced to deal with compared to the teams not just in baseball, but directly in their own division. If they were going to compete with those lineups, they needed to even the playing field however they could. I think that is how the shift was born. Not because their analytics team was the first to figure out there are guys out there who like to pull the baseball.... ,and it is just taken a while for a CBA to be negotiated again since they started to be so widely used around the game to catch up with this loophole TB exposed in the written rules....but that is just a hunch.
    Last edited by bartron_44; 03-09-2022 at 02:44 PM.

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