2021 Around MLB: Return of the Dead Ball Era

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

CalBuckeyeRob

In the Rotation
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
963
Reaction score
897
Points
93
We got these ridiculous home run numbers because they juiced the baseballs. Hopefully this will just a strike a better balance. Next change they need is limiting the shifts a bit.
 

LL3

Take comfort in your friends...
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
2,266
Reaction score
3,265
Points
113
We got these ridiculous home run numbers because they juiced the baseballs. Hopefully this will just a strike a better balance. Next change they need is limiting the shifts a bit.
Rob -- What would limiting the shifts look like for you? How do you see that working?
 

Benway

Cultural Obstacle
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
815
Reaction score
911
Points
93
I'm not aware of any negative issues caused by innovative defensive positioning.
It doesn't cause an inflation of HR or strikeouts.
It doesn't slow play or lengthen game times, in fact does the opposite.
I'm not sure why it's controversial, having already been in practice for about a century.

Rewarding good choices and out-of-the-box thinking... That's "good", isn't it?
 

LL3

Take comfort in your friends...
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
2,266
Reaction score
3,265
Points
113
At the pitch you must have 2 IFs on each side of 2B.
I do not really agree with a rule of that sort (I am ok with deploying your defense as you will), but I appreciate your answer as to how it would be managed, etc. That would be simple and straight forward...relatively easy to enforce.
 

CalBuckeyeRob

In the Rotation
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
963
Reaction score
897
Points
93
I'm not aware of any negative issues caused by innovative defensive positioning.
It doesn't cause an inflation of HR or strikeouts.
It doesn't slow play or lengthen game times, in fact does the opposite.
I'm not sure why it's controversial, having already been in practice for about a century.

Rewarding good choices and out-of-the-box thinking... That's "good", isn't it?

I believe it has contributed to the increase in HRs and strikeouts. As defensive positioning has made it harder to get hits in the field of play, it has made it more justifiable to try to hit everything in the air and try to hit it where no shift matters--over the fence. That intent to hit HRs has made it more likely for batters to swing and miss causing more strikeouts. With that said, when Eduardo Escobar hits 35 HRs and Roberto Perez hits 24, the ball is a big issue.
 

Benway

Cultural Obstacle
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
815
Reaction score
911
Points
93
Irregular defensive positioning opens larger portions of the field, exposing a greater area and opportunity for safeties.

The increase in the "shift" is a result of hitters grooving their swing and refusing to "hit 'em where they ain't".

Forbidding defensive shifts will immediately result in more baserunners, more offense, more frequent pitching changes, and slower games.

Defensive shifts are an Effect, not a Cause of the contemporary emphasis on pull-hitting.

(Not to sound overly dramatic, but you may as well try to ban "analytics".)
 

CalBuckeyeRob

In the Rotation
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
963
Reaction score
897
Points
93
Irregular defensive positioning opens larger portions of the field, exposing a greater area and opportunity for safeties.

The increase in the "shift" is a result of hitters grooving their swing and refusing to "hit 'em where they ain't".

Forbidding defensive shifts will immediately result in more baserunners, more offense, more frequent pitching changes, and slower games.

Defensive shifts are an Effect, not a Cause of the contemporary emphasis on pull-hitting.

(Not to sound overly dramatic, but you may as well try to ban "analytics".)
Agree fully that data is so good now that this is the result. But the sport could flounder even more with new fans if batting .250 becomes average. If we retrain a generation of hitters they might learn to spray the ball routinely, but just as the attempt to bunt seems more likely to break the fingers of the bunter than result in a sacrifice, it will take a long time to fix and by that time they will change the rules again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LL3

CATS44

Sixth Man
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
2,151
Points
113
I'm against banning shifts in MLB, but I'm on the verge of reversing my stance.

There is an historical precedence that changed a professional sport and made it very popular.

In the late 1940s the NBA banned zone defenses, because they were able to smother scoring. That didn't solve the problem, because once a team got the lead, it stopped trying to score.

So, in 1954 the NBA adopted the 24 second shot to go along with the ban on zone defense...and also instituted a three second rule to keep big guys from clogging the lane.

The game instantly became faster, higher scoring, and more popular.

And THEN along came the three point line, and BOOM!

Each one of these moves was denigrated by purists. Although now the zone has been partially reinstituted, nobody...not even a purist...would want to go back.

Banning the shift would have some unintended consequences, and I'd have to think about what they might be...and it would take years for players, and the folks that develop players, to fully adjust.

One thing that seems likely is that no shifting would expose infielders who lack defensive ability. Statues at the infield positions would have larger areas to cover, leaving much bigger holes. Offensively, that's a good thing.

Conversely, those statues, generally better hitters, would eventually be replaced by defensive minded infielders, who on average didn't hit so well. Offensively, that may not be so good.

As an example, a good glove-no bat 1B...which Bauers may be...becomes more valuable, and a big stick-no glove 1B...which Bradley may be...becomes less.

What ticks me off most about the shift is that there is a simple way to beat it, but few players even try.

Bunt the freaking baseball. Its simple, but not easy to do. But it gets a lot easier if a player practices it nearly every day, starting at nine years old...and if player development depts demand it.

The shift is giving a batter a base hit.

I know that it is not usually optimal for a player like JRAM to bunt. But the accumulation of base runners leads to quickly rising pitch counts, and earlier exits for pitchers.

Its the steady drip drip drip of water torture as an alternative to getting hit with a ball bat. Both work, but only one beats the shift constantly.
 

CATS44

Sixth Man
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
2,151
Points
113
I did some research. What I found is staggering, so much that I checked it three times. Even now I find it difficult to digest.

From 2017 thru 2019...three entire seasons...the Mets had the second highest team BA on the road in MLB. That in itself is hard to believe.

But at home the Mets were ranked 29th.

.235 at home. .259 on the road.

They hit 334 HR on the road and 470 doubles.

At home it was 302 and 361.

More surprises while comparing the Indians splits...

On the road the Tribe ranked sixth in BA at .255....10th at home at .259.

342 HR and 468 doubles on the road, compared to 309 and 448 at home.

A couple thoughts....

1) While most decried our popgun offense, it wasnt.

2) God bless anyone who has to bat half the time in Citi Field.

3) Amed Rosario should be in our lineup every freaking day.

Its been noted before that his road slash line is 306/334/457/791. His home slash line is 225/266/341/697. On the road he has hit a few more homers and twice as many doubles. In 2019 he had a decent year overall, but on the road his OPS was. 832. Last year he had a lousy year,, but his home OPS was. 781, not too shabby..

IMO his road numbers are much closer to the reality than his overall career numbers. If there is anybody who should benefit from a change of scenery, its ARosa...and the Tribe should take advantage.
 

RCF Reserves

Total amount
$245.00
Top