Maybe more than anyone I haven't met, Joe West had a profoundly positive impact on my life. I mean he's right up there with Sir George Cockburn.Bring back Joe West!!!
Yeah, this is the thing for me. If banning the shift meant more balls in play, more hits and fewer strikeouts, that would be good, I guess. But I don't think it will do that in any noticeable way. The problem is you can't really have a game with a lot of home runs and a game with a lot of opposite-field singles at the same time, and we all like home runs, so here we are (and on the other side, the most straightforward way to get guys out when they're swinging for the fences is to get a lot of pitchers that throw hard to try to strike them out, and you can't make a rule that pitchers throw more slowly or that they have to pitch while tired).They have adapted, they swing as hard as they can and hit dingers. Balls in play are growing rarer. I don’t know that banning the shift solves any of this, homers and strikeouts will remain ideal outcomes, but I suspect that’s the goal.
One thing I wondered about a shift ban was whether it would preclude teams from using five infielders in a walk off man-on-third-less-than-two-out situation and it looks as though that's still ok. It also looks to me that if you wanted to go with a player in short right and two other outfielders you could do it. At least under this proposal.MLB announced the rules experiments to be put in place in the minors this year. Gives us a taste of what they're thinking for the shift ban, among other things.
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Yeah that bit about infielders being able to showcase their skills is someone's BS idea to help sell this. There are no shortage of nightly highlights of plays made by middle infeilders.There wasn't a poll response that fit me. Personally I think this whole debate is premature. The extreme shift is only a few years old and it seems too soon to tell how well offenses are going to adapt to it. The whole history of baseball (really all sports) involves finding new innovation on one side of the ball and then see how well the other side adapts. Are we really sure that a new rule is needed to address this? Everything goes in waves and I suspect this might too.
It's also premature because we don't have a concrete proposal to look at, and there's a lot that will depend on that exact language and how it's enforced. Feel like it could easily be a mess in terms of having to define "infielder" and "outfielder" more precisely, what exactly the penalty would be, how it would be enforced, what happens if a fielder moves while the pitcher is still in their windup and so on. There's a certain elegance to the current rule set that I really don't want to see bogged down in exceptions, particularly when inconsistently enforced. Right now there's nothing like this except for the no-standing-in-foul-territory rule, which is pretty clear cut and easy to enforce. I don't think this one will be that simple.
And frankly if a team wants to have four OFs and three IFs (or five IFs and two OFs) I don't see why that should be micromanaged out of the game.
That said, I'm fine with experimenting with it in the minor leagues (though interesting to see MLB frame it in the context of showcasing IF's skills for their major league counterparts) but honestly this seems like overkill. If it's still a problem in three or four years, then maybe that's the time to address it.
No.If it's the former will we see defenses sprinting into shifted positions?
I was thinking more like wide receivers in CFL getting a running start on a play.No.
Fielders generally need to be set and ready on the balls of their feet when the pitch is delivered, ready to move in any direction.
Also, it takes .4 seconds for a pitch to reach home plate. Usain Bolt can move like 5 feet in that time.
It's just not feasible. What if pitcher holds ball too long because a runner is dancing off first? What if he tries to quick pitch? He's just not going to get into position in time--again, you want to be in a ready position when pitch is thrown, not sprinting somewhere and trying to get set.I was thinking more like wide receivers in CFL getting a running start on a play.
This is a strawman. Most people are not arguing that the rules are perfect and should never be touched (I am in strong favor of a pitch clock, and most of the other changes MLB has made recently are fine), they're arguing that this change isn't necessary or wouldn't have the desired effect. Also the shift isn't new, what's new is better data on every batter's tendencies, launch angles and the new balls.I’m at the point where I feel adamant that baseball leadership needs to stop being so precious, get over themselves, and make some significant changes, tradition-breaking be damned.
Every US sports league is constantly tinkering with rules in an effort to make the game more exciting for fans. Sports are entertainment, and if a style of play is making the game less entertaining it should be altered. The shift is a great strategy, that makes the game less entertaining, so it should go.
I'll take more singles, yes. I'll take anything that produces even a marginal increase in hits. What you call "aesthetics" I call "hits". I want hits. I want guys running the bases and hopefully scoring. Watching multiple outs a game due to the shift stinks, in my humble opinion. It's boring. Baseball should be doing everything in its power to be less boring.This is a strawman. Most people are not arguing that the rules are perfect and should never be touched (I am in strong favor of a pitch clock, and most of the other changes MLB has made recently are fine), they're arguing that this change isn't necessary or wouldn't have the desired effect. Also the shift isn't new, what's new is better data on every batter's tendencies, launch angles and the new balls.
Again, it's theoretically easy for batters to "stop" the shift, but you would be trading home runs and doubles for singles and batters won't make that trade -- if you ban the shift they are still going to swing for the fences every time but they will get a handful of additional singles. Is that going to be more fun, really? You'd also still have data on where people hit and fielders are going to position themselves in the optimal places within the rules, so things are still going to look "off" at times, unless you dictate that players stand in specific places.
I'd argue that the people in favor of banning the shift are the stodgy ones who want a clumsy and largely meaningless regulation to go back to the aesthetics of the game they're used to where a line drive up the middle was always a hit.