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Thread: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

  1. #61
    Backup First Baseman OGB's Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sheed View Post
    I think I figured out a way to beat the shift as a left handed batter.

    Learn how to pop the ball down the 3rd base line instead of swinging out of your shoes every time.

    Nah... too much effort. Let's make some more rules instead.
    This is such an intellectually bankrupt argument.

    Baseball has become more boring to watch over the last decade in part because of the dramatic increase in shifts that turn balls in play that were formerly hits into outs.
    Instead of proposing a small rule change, my solution is to just expect hitters to start doing something at some point in the future that they have yet to do at all in the last ten plus years to try and beat the shift.
    If we wish and hope and are stubborn enough, maybe someday if we're lucky, a new generation of ballplayers will start popping up to third base and make baseball more enjoyable again.
    (Referring to Jack Hannahan signing with a Korean team)
    Since there are no teams on the moon, I guess South Korea's far enough from Cincinnati to satisfy me.
    -RichRed


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  3. #62
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by OGB View Post
    A nickel defense is when the defense subs in an extra cornerback for a linebacker because the offense subbed in a third wide receiver, not because a QB makes deep throws.
    It's not a strategic move, it's a personnel decision.
    A strategic move would be to match personnel packages and then blitz your nickel corner.

    So no, your comparison stinks.
    Use whatever analogy you want then. The point is that football defenses are free to position themselves however they want in anticipation of the offense's tendencies, and that football coaches who scheme to neutralize a particular tendency (like blitzing in your example) are generally seen as being engaged in strategy, contra the poster(s) I was replying to.

  4. #63
    Member joshua's Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Ban the shift but deaden the ball considerably.

  5. #64
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Blotto View Post
    Use whatever analogy you want then. The point is that football defenses are free to position themselves however they want in anticipation of the offense's tendencies, and that football coaches who scheme to neutralize a particular tendency (like blitzing in your example) are generally seen as being engaged in strategy, contra the poster(s) I was replying to.
    Sports are different

    - The NBA has a "defensive 3 seconds" rule and previously banned zone defenses. They have instituted hand check rules

    - Not in regards to positioning but NFL rules have changed over time. There was a time where only 1 substitution was allowed. They have changed rules regarding contact between receivers and defenders

    It is not unprecedented to make rule changes in sports

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  7. #65
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    I think that's correlation, not causation, and there was more contact because of the difference in quality of pitching between then and now, not the strike zone...
    Fair point.

    And to be clear, I'm not suggesting hitters try to fist a 95 MPH inside fastball the other way. That's silly. I just wish more hitters would be open to taking outside pitches the other way instead of trying to yank everything.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

  8. #66
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    I’m for an even-handed debate so feel free to carry on.

    But for me, it’s a fool’s errand to compare MLB to the NFL and NBA.

    Baseball is special.

  9. #67
    he/him *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    Fair point.

    And to be clear, I'm not suggesting hitters try to fist a 95 MPH inside fastball the other way. That's silly. I just wish more hitters would be open to taking outside pitches the other way instead of trying to yank everything.
    We want the same thing. I do think baseball is special and I’d rather make changes in the tradition of other changes baseball has taken in history before banning the shift. Deadening the ball (much) further and lowering the mound would result in an interesting product IMO. I’m open to anything that will bring more contact back into baseball and shifts might recede organically...

  10. #68
    Just a Fan RiverfrontRed's Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by joshua View Post
    Ban the shift but deaden the ball considerably.
    Chicks dig the long ball.

  11. #69
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    We want the same thing. I do think baseball is special and I’d rather make changes in the tradition of other changes baseball has taken in history before banning the shift. Deadening the ball (much) further and lowering the mound would result in an interesting product IMO. I’m open to anything that will bring more contact back into baseball and shifts might recede organically...
    I'm not as confident that more contact will lessen shifts; at least in the near/medium term. If guys are putting the ball into play more, defensive positioning will become even more important than it is in the "3 outcome era". Guys are using the home run to beat the shift. You take away the home run, there is a very real possibility teams will lean into the shift MORE to take away base hits.

    If the argument is "it will force guys to adjust", I think that change comes slowly. Exit velo and launch angle are being taught at the high school level. You are probably going to have to wait for the dinosaurs to die off that are currently in the majors and wait for the new wave of "line drive sprayers" to come up through the system.

    Personally, I think banning the shift encourages more contact immediately. Holes open up on the pull side so you don't need to launch the ball out of the ballpark to beat the shift. Ken Griffey Jr. always said home runs were accidents. I think guys would go back to that philosophy of hitting the ball hard rather than having to change their swing to slap a ball through an empty left side

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  13. #70
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Banning the Shift: not if, but how

    Tom Verducci has a column in today's online Sports Illustrated entitled "What Jay Bruce's Sudden Retirement Should Mean for Baseball and the Shift." He notes how the shift has particularly adversely affected left-handed hitters who do not run well. He calculated that over the last seven seasons of his career Bruce's BABIP dropped from .359 to .267, 82 points. He further calculated that while the average major league hitter bats .544 when he hits a ball 100 mph or greater, Bruce was 83 points worse than average when doing so, the fourth unluckiest such average.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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