Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Could Chase Headley break the over-shift and lead a new Yankee awareness?

WTF? Is this a dream? An acid trip? Did somebody slip me a Molly? (Or maybe an Edith?) That would explain crazy Trump, and that click-bait slideshow where the guy kisses the alligator... but it fails to explain the weirdest development, by far, of 2017: The Lenten resurrection of one Chase Headley, heretofore an officially designated IT IS HIGH Whipping Mule. (TM) What the hell is going on here? Is this real, or is it Memorex? 

Last night, batting left-handed and facing a heavily stacked right-field defensive over-shift, Headley did the following: 

Flew out left.
Lined out to left.
Homered to center.
Singled to left-center.

Thus far this season, not one of Headley's batted balls has landed in the defensive black hole that swallowed his entire 2016 season. 

Last year, it took him 12 games to record his fifth hit. This year, it came in his ninth at bat.

So, like I say, is this some salmonella delirium? Am I lying in a hospital bed, and the nurse is wondering why my fingers are twitching? Is Headley really bunting, adjusting his swing - hitting to the wide open opposite field? And if so, could other Yankees get the message?

It's almost as if Headley has been listening to John Sterling, who commonly laments the Yankees' inability to move base-runners or simply lay down gift bunts. The Master always reminds us that, if were so easy, everyone would do it. Unfortunately, that line grew stale a long time ago. In recent years, the slugging, big money Yankees simply didn't deem it worth their while to try hitting dribblers to the opposite field. The only player last year to give it a go was Brian McCann, and he only did so sparingly, to break out of slumps. A-Rod and Tex never bothered, and now both call games from the booth.

Already, we see Tampa stacking its defense against Greg Bird - amazing, considering that the guy hasn't played six weeks of major league ball. Will Bird swing harder, drive balls into the teeth of the defense, and bat .220? Or will he look at Headley and make an adjustment? Or... yeah... am I lying in a sensory deprivation tank?

Of course, The Master is right. If it were only so easy... But in this altered consciousness, Headley is hitting .625 with a homer, and at least three of his five hits have been measly trickles... that look like line drives in the box score. Can a Yankee player actually change his ways? That's the question of 2017 - that is, if it's really happening.


KD said...

The Shift is a Gift. all one has to do is adopt the Jeterian swing and accept it.

John M said...

I wonder what he's going to do when teams stop shifting against him? No more gift gaps in the defense. It's like the end of "The Candidate" when Robert Redford looks at his campaign manager and says, "What do we do now?"

Let's hope he becomes a spray hitter and doesn't revert to pulling everything in sight.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

The Shift is a Gift.


I could watch Cano's bunt double over and over.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Rare video. Cano running hard to first.