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View Full Version : Ban the shift?


LITTLE NELL
06-07-2012, 11:39 AM
I was watching the Rays game last night and the broadcasting team brought up that there is some talk about banning the shift. The 3rd sacker and shortstop must play on the left side of 2nd base with the 2nd and 1st basemen having to play to the right of second base.
There was play last week with the shift on and a ball hit to where the 2nd baseman would normally be and the short stop made the play but was playing so far to the right side of the bag that Staats did not know wether to score it 6 to 3 or 4 to 3, he decided to score it 6 to 3 but with a circle around it.

soltrain21
06-07-2012, 11:40 AM
Banning it is a terrible idea. Will you also not be allowed to move around your outfielders?

jdm2662
06-07-2012, 11:42 AM
Banning it is a terrible idea. Will you also not be allowed to move around your outfielders?

Agreed. If you don't like the shift, hit the ball somewhere else on the field.

sox1970
06-07-2012, 11:45 AM
Can't do it. It's on the hitter to adjust.

LITTLE NELL
06-07-2012, 11:50 AM
Banning it is a terrible idea. Will you also not be allowed to move around your outfielders?

I've never seen outfielders moved to that extent.

gobears1987
06-07-2012, 11:51 AM
Pull hitters should learn to hit opposite field if the shift pisses them off.

amsteel
06-07-2012, 11:54 AM
Only if they also ban bunting.

TheOldRoman
06-07-2012, 12:08 PM
I've never seen outfielders moved to that extent.I have, a few times. In a tie game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth on, I have seen teams go to two outfielders and move the other one into the infield to get an extra guy to turn the double play.

SephClone89
06-07-2012, 12:32 PM
Pull hitters should learn to hit opposite field if the shift pisses them off.

You realize that precise and complex shifts in baseball today (more advanced than the traditional "Williams shift" or "Thome shift" for dead-pull lefties) are practiced most effectively by Maddon and the Rays, who have compiled information in a way that may be termed "sabermetric"?

Boondock Saint
06-07-2012, 12:40 PM
Banning it is a terrible idea. Will you also not be allowed to move around your outfielders?

Exactly. You can move your defenders wherever you want.

I've never seen outfielders moved to that extent.

There have been five infielder defenses, and while it's rare, a four-man outfield has been employed.

asindc
06-07-2012, 12:51 PM
Agreed. If you don't like the shift, hit the ball somewhere else on the field.

Preach.

Can't do it. It's on the hitter to adjust.

Exactly.

Pull hitters should learn to hit opposite field if the shift pisses them off.

:clap:

TomBradley72
06-07-2012, 12:54 PM
So....why should it be banned?

Because it confused a guy trying to keep score?

Madvora
06-07-2012, 12:58 PM
I'm sure when baseball started there were no position names. The fielders probably just lined up where they thought they could evenly cover the most ground. After a while when they realized that their positioning couldn't be improved, they came up with the position names.
But the names don't mean anything. If a shortstop catches a ball over his head in the outfield, it doesn't mean that he's the left fielder.

SI1020
06-07-2012, 01:09 PM
We are adding rules upon rules upon laws and more laws in all aspects of life. Enough already. If the manager wants to position all 7 defenders within five feet of first base then it's fine with me. The defense is adjusting to the hitter, now let the hitter do the same.

Irishsox1
06-07-2012, 01:13 PM
Bunt, bunt, bunt.

Madvora
06-07-2012, 01:15 PM
We are adding rules upon rules upon laws and more laws in all aspects of life. Enough already. If the manager wants to position all 7 defenders within five feet of first base then it's fine with me. The defense is adjusting to the hitter, now let the hitter do the same.
What they should do is create a wall around the hitter about a foot away and just leave enough space for a pitched ball to get through. Guys could be on top of other guys shoulders and they could completely block out the field. No one could ever get a hit, though someone would get nailed every time.

Moses_Scurry
06-07-2012, 01:15 PM
I wish the Sox would do more shifts. It's done wonders for the Rays, and the cub defense has supposedly improved greatly since they started shifting.

soxfanatlanta
06-07-2012, 01:23 PM
Might as well ban breaking pitches as well. Hell, just set up the ball on a tee.

SI1020
06-07-2012, 01:25 PM
Bunt, bunt, bunt. Yes the lost art of bunting would come in real handy. It would make teams think twice about the shift. Unfortunately hitters who face the shift usually can't bunt worth a damn.

DonnieDarko
06-07-2012, 01:35 PM
Yes the lost art of bunting would come in real handy. It would make teams think twice about the shift. Unfortunately hitters who face the shift usually can't bunt worth a damn.

Because power hitters should totally be bunting. :rolleyes:

soxnut1018
06-07-2012, 01:35 PM
I think they should just ban strategy altogether.

Hitmen77
06-07-2012, 01:37 PM
this sounds like a terrible idea.

So....why should it be banned?

Because it confused a guy trying to keep score?

Has a successfully used shift ever kept Minnesota from making the playoffs? If so, then we should ban it!

downstairs
06-07-2012, 01:40 PM
No. Just no. I don't want them banning anything that contributes to strategy. From that end, baseball is about as perfect as possible.

Though I do want them to either have the DH or not in both leagues.

LITTLE NELL
06-07-2012, 01:45 PM
I wish the Sox would do more shifts. It's done wonders for the Rays, and the cub defense has supposedly improved greatly since they started shifting.

Rays defense is horrible this year, 13th in the league in fielding, have made 49 errors to the Sox 25.

SI1020
06-07-2012, 01:47 PM
Because power hitters should totally be bunting. :rolleyes: Why the snark? I assume teams shift because they have data that shows it works. I like versatility in all phases of life. Why always be so predictable? If your power hitter that pulls the ball can bunt a little, and the other teams know it, they may think twice. In baseball and in life always have as many weapons in your arsenal as possible, and never be afraid to catch an opponent off guard.

Moses_Scurry
06-07-2012, 01:50 PM
Rays defense is horrible this year, 13th in the league in fielding, have made 49 errors to the Sox 25.

I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem likely that the shift would cause errors, and the Rays have been outstanding defensively the past few years.

pythons007
06-07-2012, 01:51 PM
Why the snark? I assume teams shift because they have data that shows it works. I like versatility in all phases of life. Why always be so predictable? If your power hitter that pulls the ball can bunt a little, and the other teams know it, they may think twice. In baseball and in life always have as many weapons in your arsenal as possible, and never be afraid to catch an opponent off guard.

Carlos Pena does it a lot

asindc
06-07-2012, 01:54 PM
Why the snark? I assume teams shift because they have data that shows it works. I like versatility in all phases of life. Why always be so predictable? If your power hitter that pulls the ball can bunt a little, and the other teams know it, they may think twice. In baseball and in life always have as many weapons in your arsenal as possible, and never be afraid to catch an opponent off guard.

Hulk SMASH!!

DonnieDarko
06-07-2012, 02:01 PM
Why the snark? I assume teams shift because they have data that shows it works. I like versatility in all phases of life. Why always be so predictable? If your power hitter that pulls the ball can bunt a little, and the other teams know it, they may think twice. In baseball and in life always have as many weapons in your arsenal as possible, and never be afraid to catch an opponent off guard.

Because it's not what they're paid to do. They're paid to hit 2Bs, HRs and drive in runs. NOT to bunt.

asindc
06-07-2012, 02:06 PM
Because it's not what they're paid to do. They're paid to hit 2Bs, HRs and drive in runs. NOT to bunt.

They are being paid to score runs and help their teammates score runs. Hitting 2Bs, HRs, and RBI are just a few of many ways those objectives can be achieved. If we have a man on third in the bottom of the 9th with one out in a tie game, and a team employs a shift against Dunn, you are damn right I want him bunting towards the unoccupied area on the left side.

eriqjaffe
06-07-2012, 02:07 PM
I wish the Sox would do more shifts. It's done wonders for the Rays, and the cub defense has supposedly improved greatly since they started shifting.I seem to recall hearing that the Sox and Cardinals are the only two teams who have not employed a shift this year. Both of them, interestingly enough, have first-year managers with no previous managerial experience.

Chez
06-07-2012, 02:10 PM
I think they should just ban strategy altogether.

Perfect. The idea of banning the shift is completely ridiculous.

Moses_Scurry
06-07-2012, 02:12 PM
They are being paid to score runs and help their teammates score runs. Hitting 2Bs, HRs, and RBI are just a few of many ways those objectives can be achieved. If we have a man on third in the bottom of the 9th with one out in a tie game, and a team employs a shift against Dunn, you are damn right I want him bunting towards the unoccupied area on the left side.

Only if you have confidence that he can do it successfully without hurting himself, which I don't.

SephClone89
06-07-2012, 02:12 PM
Rays defense is horrible this year, 13th in the league in fielding, have made 49 errors to the Sox 25.

If you go with "errors" as your hallmark defensive stat, sure. But that's a terrible idea.

Third in the majors in defensive runs saved above average.

doublem23
06-07-2012, 02:15 PM
They are being paid to score runs and help their teammates score runs. Hitting 2Bs, HRs, and RBI are just a few of many ways those objectives can be achieved. If we have a man on third in the bottom of the 9th with one out in a tie game, and a team employs a shift against Dunn, you are damn right I want him bunting towards the unoccupied area on the left side.

Why the **** would they put the shift on with a guy at 3B

DonnieDarko
06-07-2012, 02:18 PM
Why the **** would they put the shift on with a guy at 3B

Quite simply, you don't. Which means that Dunn would be free to try and pull the ball all he wants.

doublem23
06-07-2012, 02:21 PM
Quite simply, you don't. Which means that Dunn would be free to try and pull the ball all he wants.

Even in this hypothetical situation, with the winning run on 3B and less than 2 outs, any manager who doesn't have the IF drawn in is a complete buffoon who should be tarred and feathered on the spot. EVEN if the Dumb Dumbs (my hypothetical name for this boneheaded team) employed the shift in this situation, even if Dunn pulled a ground ball to the 2B playing in shallow RF, does anyone think there's anyway he gets the throw to the plate to cut down the winning run in time? (Answer is no, barring a miracle).

asindc
06-07-2012, 02:31 PM
Why the **** would they put the shift on with a guy at 3B

I've seen shifts employed with a runner on third, though not as pronounced as times with no runner on third. Here is more discussion on the subject: http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/should_a_great_hitter_bunt_against_the_shift/

WhiteSox5187
06-07-2012, 05:21 PM
Why the **** would they put the shift on with a guy at 3B

Depending on the score you will see the shift on but the third baseman is more or less holding the runner on third and the shortstop is on the second base side of the bag. Since the third baseman is usually playing back laying down a sort of safety squeeze from time to time might not be the worst idea in the world. That of course would require the player to actually be able to lay down a semi-decent bunt though. If you have the infield drawn in though you don't use the shift (I don't think I have ever seen it used) though.

doublem23
06-07-2012, 05:42 PM
Depending on the score you will see the shift on but the third baseman is more or less holding the runner on third and the shortstop is on the second base side of the bag. Since the third baseman is usually playing back laying down a sort of safety squeeze from time to time might not be the worst idea in the world. That of course would require the player to actually be able to lay down a semi-decent bunt though. If you have the infield drawn in though you don't use the shift (I don't think I have ever seen it used) though.

Either way, with a runner on 3B and less than 2 outs, if the opposition is going to put their 2B way the hell out into RF, hitting into that shift will probably accomplish the same goal as just dropping a bunt as there's no way any 2B is going to attempt a 100+ foot throw home over getting the easy out of a lumbering DH/1B type. The only remotely possible times it makes any sense to try and lay down a bunt and squeak out a bull**** hit is with the bases empty but then, you're talking about one of the most prolific power hitters of the past decade, so I'm fine with Adam just going up there looking to jack one. Why not?

This is all just silly nonsense. May as well just get mad everytime someone puts the ball in play and doesn't get a hit. A good player would have made sure he got a hit, AMIRITE? lololololololololol

eastchicagosoxfan
06-07-2012, 06:36 PM
Go back to 1860 or maybe 1870, when the fielders stayed on the base.

RKMeibalane
06-07-2012, 06:42 PM
Go back to 1860 or maybe 1870, when the fielders stayed on the base.

I used to play co-ed softball, and there were people doing that. It was hysterical. :cool:

TDog
06-07-2012, 07:04 PM
I am not old enough to know for sure, but I'm guessing they never employed a radical shift agaisnt Wee Willie Keeler, because if they did, he would have just hit 'em where they ain't.

In Ted Williams' autobiography, there is a picture of him bunting when he was frustrated with the shift teams were employing against him. If you don't want to hit into the shift, you adjust. Baseball is a game of adjustments. If you start hitting or bunting away from the shift with success, the shift will end. If you have every fielder playing on one side of the field, you don't need to be genius to figure out how to get on base. A bunt single is as good as a walk.

In baseball, defensive players can play whereever in fair territory their coaching staff directs them, except for the pitcher an catcher. If you have the bases loaded and nobody out, you might even see one of outfielders come in to play shallow on the infield. (I saw Ron Santo get a game-ending infield hit in one such situation.)

A shift means that there are large amounts of territory not being covered. Beat the shift, turn the shift into the defense's problem instead of yours, and you won't have to worry about the shift anymore.

Brian26
06-07-2012, 07:20 PM
I was watching the Rays game last night and the broadcasting team brought up that there is some talk about banning the shift. The 3rd sacker and shortstop must play on the left side of 2nd base with the 2nd and 1st basemen having to play to the right of second base.
There was play last week with the shift on and a ball hit to where the 2nd baseman would normally be and the short stop made the play but was playing so far to the right side of the bag that Staats did not know wether to score it 6 to 3 or 4 to 3, he decided to score it 6 to 3 but with a circle around it.
I for one would like to see it banned.

Either last night or the night before, the Blue Jays moved Lawrie from third base into short right field for Dunn's at bat. Dunn hit it right to him. I would score the out 5-3 even if Lawrie fielded the ball in right field.

From a scoring perspective, I don't understand what the issue is. Every player on the field is assigned a position. You record the out based on that assigned position, no matter where the play or out occurred. Think of run-downs or diving catches in the outfield where players end up "out of position" as examples.

Brian26
06-07-2012, 07:23 PM
I have, a few times. In a tie game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth on, I have seen teams go to two outfielders and move the other one into the infield to get an extra guy to turn the double play.

LaRussa did this with the Sox a handful of times in the 80s.

Brian26
06-07-2012, 07:26 PM
So....why should it be banned?

Because it confused a guy trying to keep score?

I'm surprise DeWayne Staats, who's been broadcasting baseball for at least 25 years, is confused by something like this.

soxinem1
06-07-2012, 08:58 PM
Banning it is a terrible idea. Will you also not be allowed to move around your outfielders?

Really. The shift really zones the hitter, who has to hit right into it in order for it to be successful.

I remember in the 80's Tony LaRussa once calling in the CF during a game to have an extra INF with the winning run at 3B.

It didn't work because he was gambling on the hitter to hit a grounder at one of them. IIRC, Dan Spillner was the pitcher and the batter hit one off the wall.

It has been stated that LHP Rube Waddell once signaled his OF to sit down, only to proceed to strike out the side.

Whatever, let teams do as they wish.

I recall teams employing a slight shift on Harold Baines in his younger days, and it helped make him into a great opposite-field hitter.

These are strategies of the game that have been around for many decades. If a team wants to put their entire defense on the right side of the INF to get Dunn out, let them. Maybe he will learn to hit it the other way for once.

pearso66
06-07-2012, 09:35 PM
I remember a game a few years back with the Sox against the Blue Jays and they employed the shift on Eric Hinske. The first pitch he bunted it down the 3rd base line barely for a foul ball which he would have had a hit. The next pitch, they still had the shift on and he bunted again getting a hit the second time. I couldn't believe that after he bunted the 1st time they wouldn't get the hint and at least play the 3rd baseman back.

Frontman
06-07-2012, 10:55 PM
Let's see,

Retribution hitting of batters
Spike high slides
Stealing signs
stealing bases, for that matter
can't wet the ball, but you can wet your fingers then touch the ball, plus blow into your hand if its too cold at the start of the game

all this and more is ok, but.....

And they want to ban the shift?

*sigh* Just play baseball, already.

LITTLE NELL
06-08-2012, 06:37 AM
I'm surprise DeWayne Staats, who's been broadcasting baseball for at least 25 years, is confused by something like this.

If you listen to him just about every night like I do, you would understand the confusion.

voodoochile
06-08-2012, 09:38 AM
Because power hitters should totally be bunting. :rolleyes:

Well a good power hitter could simply go the other way. In fact if a guy like Dunn did that 10 times against the shift in the next few weeks, teams would stop employing the shift on him.

This is a ridiculous idea.

asindc
06-08-2012, 09:41 AM
I am not old enough to know for sure, but I'm guessing they never employed a radical shift agaisnt Wee Willie Keeler, because if they did, he would have just hit 'em where they ain't.

In Ted Williams' autobiography, there is a picture of him bunting when he was frustrated with the shift teams were employing against him. If you don't want to hit into the shift, you adjust. Baseball is a game of adjustments. If you start hitting or bunting away from the shift with success, the shift will end. If you have every fielder playing on one side of the field, you don't need to be genius to figure out how to get on base. A bunt single is as good as a walk.

In baseball, defensive players can play whereever in fair territory their coaching staff directs them, except for the pitcher an catcher. If you have the bases loaded and nobody out, you might even see one of outfielders come in to play shallow on the infield. (I saw Ron Santo get a game-ending infield hit in one such situation.)

A shift means that there are large amounts of territory not being covered. Beat the shift, turn the shift into the defense's problem instead of yours, and you won't have to worry about the shift anymore.

Just what makes you think that?!

voodoochile
06-08-2012, 09:42 AM
Hulk SMASH!!

Well Hulk doesn't need anymore weapons than that one, but he's huge, green, strong enough to pick up the stadium and throw it, can leap several miles in a single jump and indestructible. When any of the baseball players who get shifted on can say that, they are free to continue to pull the ball against the shift at will.

WhiteSox5187
06-08-2012, 11:47 AM
Well a good power hitter could simply go the other way. In fact if a guy like Dunn did that 10 times against the shift in the next few weeks, teams would stop employing the shift on him.

This is a ridiculous idea.

I don't know if this is true for Dunn but if you looked at a guy like Thome his spray chart showed that he could go the other way fairly consistently but to the outfield. The outfield always played Thome pretty much straight up, but when he'd hit a grounder it was usually to the right side. I kind of forget what point it was I was trying make by pointing that stat out, but there you have it.

DSpivack
06-08-2012, 11:54 AM
Well Hulk doesn't need anymore weapons than that one, but he's huge, green, strong enough to pick up the stadium and throw it, can leap several miles in a single jump and indestructible. When any of the baseball players who get shifted on can say that, they are free to continue to pull the ball against the shift at will.

Hulk is a huge guy, though, and would have a correspondingly large strike zone.

soxinem1
06-08-2012, 12:03 PM
So....why should it be banned?

Because it confused a guy trying to keep score?

Not sure how he would be confused unless the scorer is not paying attention to the scorecard. If the 2B is playing in RF the ground out is still 4-3, even if he has to throw 100 feet to get him.

Problem solved.

getonbckthr
06-08-2012, 03:17 PM
I actually organized a shift last night in our 16" softball game. It worked great the other teams #3 hitter went 0-3.

TDog
06-08-2012, 03:26 PM
Well a good power hitter could simply go the other way. In fact if a guy like Dunn did that 10 times against the shift in the next few weeks, teams would stop employing the shift on him.

This is a ridiculous idea.

With Dunn, as with most left-handed power hitters against whom teams employ dramatic shifts, the outfielders aren't shifted. They are shaded over, but a routine fly to left would be easily handled by the leftfielder. The shift against Dunn is only there to take away singles and doubles down the line.

Zakath
06-08-2012, 04:43 PM
Yes the lost art of bunting would come in real handy. It would make teams think twice about the shift. Unfortunately hitters who face the shift usually can't bunt worth a damn.

They don't need to bunt. What they need to do is do an Ichiro-like slap hit down the third base line, right where the 3B should be. A few of those drop in, potentially for doubles, and you'll see the shift vanish. A little step towards the plate with an inside-out swing on a ball on the outer half of the plate would do the trick as well.

dickallen15
06-08-2012, 06:03 PM
So....why should it be banned?

Because it confused a guy trying to keep score?

Frank Thomas was the one who said it should be banned. Maybe KW was on to something when he said, "the man is an idiot".

WLL1855
06-08-2012, 06:37 PM
Frank Thomas was the one who said it should be banned. Maybe KW was on to something when he said, "the man is an idiot".

You've got to be kidding me.

Personally, I don't care if any manager wants to have his infielders playing euchre on second base during the inning. That's his prerogative.

Frontman
06-08-2012, 07:54 PM
Frank Thomas was the one who said it should be banned. Maybe KW was on to something when he said, "the man is an idiot".

KW's assessment of Frank's intelligence isn't really something that solid. This is the same KW who allowed Ozzie to play NL style ball in a home run ballpark, after all.......

dickallen15
06-08-2012, 09:01 PM
KW's assessment of Frank's intelligence isn't really something that solid. This is the same KW who allowed Ozzie to play NL style ball in a home run ballpark, after all.......
Frank was being totally serious. He thought position players should have to stay in certain areas. Maybe next he'll want splitters and sliders banned. If he was joking I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but he was totally serious. Apparently he brought it up during the game while watching with Garfien and Melton and was really ticked off its allowed to happen.