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Thread: The suicide shift

  1. #1
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    The suicide shift

    The shift isn't banned yet, so hear me out......

    First you'll need brave, replaceable, and preferably low paid ballplayers.

    While the strategy could be perfectly usable anytime, it should be employed immediately after taking a lead. But instead of all players being sacrificial lambs, you'll actually need to score. Once you have taken a lead....you replace your hitters with the suicide squad.

    These brave men who will do anything for a paycheck and victories, will form a wall around the plate, giving the pitcher a small window and where the hitter has an extremely limited view of the pitch if any. Only a lucky, well timed, blind swing will make contact. Totally within the rules as far as I know (if not let me know, I'm very curious).

    Now how much $$$ would it take for you to stand a couple of feet in front of Judge or Stanton? :P

    Imagine this happening in the bottom of the 9th with men on, and team desperate for a strikeout....it'd be a real do or die moment.

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  4. #2
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by adampad View Post
    The shift isn't banned yet, so hear me out......

    First you'll need brave, replaceable, and preferably low paid ballplayers.

    While the strategy could be perfectly usable anytime, it should be employed immediately after taking a lead. But instead of all players being sacrificial lambs, you'll actually need to score. Once you have taken a lead....you replace your hitters with the suicide squad.

    These brave men who will do anything for a paycheck and victories, will form a wall around the plate, giving the pitcher a small window and where the hitter has an extremely limited view of the pitch if any. Only a lucky, well timed, blind swing will make contact. Totally within the rules as far as I know (if not let me know, I'm very curious).

    Now how much $$$ would it take for you to stand a couple of feet in front of Judge or Stanton? :P

    Imagine this happening in the bottom of the 9th with men on, and team desperate for a strikeout....it'd be a real do or die moment.
    Wait, this could work without having to find lower quality replacement players. What's the rules on wearing Catchers equipment? Can every player on the field wear it? If not, then once you have the lead, all 8 position players take the field with chest protector, mask with chin protection, catchers mitt, shin guards and of course a cup.

  5. #3
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Hear me out.

    The outfield stands.

    On wheels.

    When your opponent is batting, you wheel the outfield stands out in front of home plate blocking the batter’s view of the pitcher and the pitcher throws the baseball into an enclosed decommissioned water slide tube that rises up above the seats and then back down and is pointed at home plate for a perfect strike every time.

    Do you think Theo would be open to this as Reds Director of baseball ops?

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  7. #4
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    Re: The suicide shift

    that would be hilarious.

    basically, i'm for anything that helps get rid of the extreme shifts we see in baseball now. it's awful. each defender should have a "zone" they are required to be in when the pitch is made. if they want to sprint to a different location when the pitch is in midair, have at it. but having 5 or 6 or 7 guys on one side of the field is terrible.

    in other sports, there are "zones" defenders must stay in. for example, in basketball there is "defensive 3 seconds" which prevents defenders from just camping in the lane and blocking the rim. they can only be in the lane for 3 seconds or more at a time if they are actively guarding someone.

    just sick of seeing a guy hit a rocket shot to short right field that would have been a hit 100 percent of the time in the past, and it's caught by the shortstop who is positioned right there. that's not real baseball. it's some stupid variation of baseball that has gotten completely out of control.

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  9. #5
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by JFLegal View Post
    that would be hilarious.

    basically, i'm for anything that helps get rid of the extreme shifts we see in baseball now. it's awful. each defender should have a "zone" they are required to be in when the pitch is made. if they want to sprint to a different location when the pitch is in midair, have at it. but having 5 or 6 or 7 guys on one side of the field is terrible.

    in other sports, there are "zones" defenders must stay in. for example, in basketball there is "defensive 3 seconds" which prevents defenders from just camping in the lane and blocking the rim. they can only be in the lane for 3 seconds or more at a time if they are actively guarding someone.

    just sick of seeing a guy hit a rocket shot to short right field that would have been a hit 100 percent of the time in the past, and it's caught by the shortstop who is positioned right there. that's not real baseball. it's some stupid variation of baseball that has gotten completely out of control.
    I agree, at minimum, they should require two infielders on each side of second base when the pitch leaves the pitcher’s hand.

    Once the pitch is thrown they can run wherever they want.

    Also agree that this would not be an impingement on the game, other sports remain viable with restrictions on player positioning.
    Last edited by Kc61; 10-14-2020 at 01:00 PM.

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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by adampad View Post
    The shift isn't banned yet, so hear me out......

    First you'll need brave, replaceable, and preferably low paid ballplayers.

    While the strategy could be perfectly usable anytime, it should be employed immediately after taking a lead. But instead of all players being sacrificial lambs, you'll actually need to score. Once you have taken a lead....you replace your hitters with the suicide squad.

    These brave men who will do anything for a paycheck and victories, will form a wall around the plate, giving the pitcher a small window and where the hitter has an extremely limited view of the pitch if any. Only a lucky, well timed, blind swing will make contact. Totally within the rules as far as I know (if not let me know, I'm very curious).

    Now how much $$$ would it take for you to stand a couple of feet in front of Judge or Stanton? :P

    Imagine this happening in the bottom of the 9th with men on, and team desperate for a strikeout....it'd be a real do or die moment.
    Have you been watching cricket?



    There's a reason the fielder's called "silly". If he wasn't before, he will be after.
    And no birds sing - Keats

    The ditch is nearer - Lowell

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  13. #7
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    Re: The suicide shift

    I've come around to the view that the shift has accelerated the drift toward three true outcomes. The reason so many teams rely on the long ball is that it is the one ball in play that can't be defensively schemed to cut off. Which then in turn makes orgs look for and value guys who hit for that kind of power over those hitters who have a more well-rounded hitting profile. For those of us who grew up watching the game in the 70s and 80s, we know that was an era where you could string hits together and score runs without needing a home run. So hard to do that now with defenses playing where they do.

    Shift has also significantly de-valued the need for really good gloves at SS and 2b. I miss that too. Nice to have, but no longer a requirement.

    To bring value back to guys who played like Billy Hatcher or even Paul O'Neill (who would have been not nearly the player he was if he had come up in the era of infield shift) types, limiting IFers to two on each side of second would be a big step toward that.

    ETA--- the hard pulled ground ball single to RF for a left-handed hitter used to be a thing (especially if you had a fast runner at first). That's so rare now. It limits what used to be an exciting play - runner streaking 1st to 3rd right fielder deciding if they can gun them or not. Etc.

    I miss it. I miss that part of the game. The shift really has changed significant ways the game is played. Probably showing my age here as I hit 50 in a few months - but I don't think the game is better for it.

    ETA---it's not just hard ground ball singles to RF that are missing. It's bloops too - check the first hit for O'Neill in the 1990 NLCS game 2 - that is caught nowadays by the deep part of the shift...(by the way, that compilation has O'Neill's throw to cut down Van Slyke at 3b...glad we didn't have replay back then. Van Slyke beat the tag...)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIs7NdkKy1A
    Last edited by membengal; 10-14-2020 at 07:29 PM.
    Well, that's what those words mean. He was here. If they don't keep him, he will have been lost/subtracted. I headed out the door today with two shoes on my feet. If I don't return with them, I have lost them. If I do return with them, I haven't added them. ---M2

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  15. #8
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by JFLegal View Post
    that would be hilarious.

    basically, i'm for anything that helps get rid of the extreme shifts we see in baseball now. it's awful. each defender should have a "zone" they are required to be in when the pitch is made. if they want to sprint to a different location when the pitch is in midair, have at it. but having 5 or 6 or 7 guys on one side of the field is terrible.

    in other sports, there are "zones" defenders must stay in. for example, in basketball there is "defensive 3 seconds" which prevents defenders from just camping in the lane and blocking the rim. they can only be in the lane for 3 seconds or more at a time if they are actively guarding someone.

    just sick of seeing a guy hit a rocket shot to short right field that would have been a hit 100 percent of the time in the past, and it's caught by the shortstop who is positioned right there. that's not real baseball. it's some stupid variation of baseball that has gotten completely out of control.
    If only professional hitters could practice; take many, many pitches in the cage, and work on slapping line-drives to the vast, wide open prairies opposite the shift. Averages might go up. Slugging percentage might go up because many of those could turn into doubles. Most importantly, the extreme shifts might change.

    But, I guess that's a pipe-dream because I'm sure hitters aren't allowed to make adjustments like fielders can.

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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBrick View Post
    If only professional hitters could practice; take many, many pitches in the cage, and work on slapping line-drives to the vast, wide open prairies opposite the shift. Averages might go up. Slugging percentage might go up because many of those could turn into doubles. Most importantly, the extreme shifts might change.

    But, I guess that's a pipe-dream because I'm sure hitters aren't allowed to make adjustments like fielders can.
    It's not that easy. Period. The shift would have radically changed the numbers for a LOT of the beloved hitters of yore (yore being the time before the shift).
    Well, that's what those words mean. He was here. If they don't keep him, he will have been lost/subtracted. I headed out the door today with two shoes on my feet. If I don't return with them, I have lost them. If I do return with them, I haven't added them. ---M2

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  18. #10
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBrick View Post
    If only professional hitters could practice; take many, many pitches in the cage, and work on slapping line-drives to the vast, wide open prairies opposite the shift. Averages might go up. Slugging percentage might go up because many of those could turn into doubles. Most importantly, the extreme shifts might change.

    But, I guess that's a pipe-dream because I'm sure hitters aren't allowed to make adjustments like fielders can.
    Pitchers don't top out at 89-91 anymore.

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  20. #11
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    Re: The suicide shift

    To expand on that, here's a quick nugget on Tony Gwynn - one of the collectively viewed best hitters ever:

    There were two strikeout specialists who got Gwynn on strikes more than a few times: Nolan Ryan and Dwight Gooden. Ryan faced Gwynn 67 times and fanned Tony nine times (the most by any pitcher), but Gwynn still managed to hit over .300 against The Express. Gooden used his fastball and curveball to keep Gwynn off-balance, actually holding Mr. Padre to a .243 mark in 77 matchups while fanning him six times.
    Today's pitcher velocities are much closer on average to what Ryan and Gooden were. And for sure the arms throwing pure gas out of a lot of bullpens now is way closer to the Gooden/Ryan range than in Gwynn's day. And Gwynn didn't have to deal with an extreme shift world (perhaps his bat control would have not allowed it but..., I bet the Rays would have tried). His combined average against those two flamethrowers was WAY below his career average. Was Gwynn someone who didn't work at his craft? Hells no. But velocity and control even gave Gwynn some issues (in the self-selected small sample size of Ryan and Gooden). But what does Gwynn's career look like now, in a league where hard throwers are everywhere and the shift is a thing? Does he even break through to get a chance to make it in the bigs? Not much power in his bat generally...
    Last edited by membengal; 10-14-2020 at 01:46 PM.
    Well, that's what those words mean. He was here. If they don't keep him, he will have been lost/subtracted. I headed out the door today with two shoes on my feet. If I don't return with them, I have lost them. If I do return with them, I haven't added them. ---M2

  21. #12
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    It's not that easy. Period. The shift would have radically changed the numbers for a LOT of the beloved hitters of yore (yore being the time before the shift).
    Of course it's not easy. It's not easy getting to the major leagues. I'm just not in favor of restricting defenses because guys would rather swing for the fences. Defenses are basically giving hitters a base hit, if they'll take it...and can do it.

    A player of yore summed it up, "I keep my eyes clear and hit 'em where they ain't".

  22. #13
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBrick View Post
    Of course it's not easy. It's not easy getting to the major leagues. I'm just not in favor of restricting defenses because guys would rather swing for the fences. Defenses are basically giving hitters a base hit, if they'll take it...and can do it.

    A player of yore summed it up, "I keep my eyes clear and hit 'em where they ain't".
    Oh good lord. Okey dokey. You are one of those guys. Will ignore. In the day of yore, they were hitting to 'aint a LOT because the radical shift did not exist. Your thesis is that the yore hitters would magically be able to have overcome shifts through their hitting wizardry rather than having fallen prey to the same forces that have changed the game now. To which I say, BS. I saw the yore hitters. I recall ground ball singles that do not exist anymore due to the extreme shift. And I no more think that the guys I saw could have across the board defeated this with their bat mastery than I think the sun comes up in the west.
    Last edited by membengal; 10-14-2020 at 01:56 PM.
    Well, that's what those words mean. He was here. If they don't keep him, he will have been lost/subtracted. I headed out the door today with two shoes on my feet. If I don't return with them, I have lost them. If I do return with them, I haven't added them. ---M2

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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    Oh good lord. Okey dokey. You are those guys. Will ignore.
    Ignore away. Issues with differing opinions?

  25. #15
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    Re: The suicide shift

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBrick View Post
    Of course it's not easy. It's not easy getting to the major leagues. I'm just not in favor of restricting defenses because guys would rather swing for the fences. Defenses are basically giving hitters a base hit, if they'll take it...and can do it.

    A player of yore summed it up, "I keep my eyes clear and hit 'em where they ain't".
    It just is not possible to go the other way consistently and make good contact in the process when most of the league can throw almost 100 in on your hands all day. You just can’t do it.
    Last edited by Wonderful Monds; 10-14-2020 at 05:36 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sheed View Post
    When it comes to crow, I'd like nothing more than to eat Dick's all season long and into the postseason.

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