Monday, May 8, 2017

The game we won by bunting...

Let's all take a deep breath, contemplate the cooing of the pigeons, and let one momentary spring muse bewitch and betweak the curds of our existential gonads. 

The Yankees won a game by bunting.

We didn't bludgeon the Cubs with homers. We struck out 22 times - Hicks and Headley, four apiece! - and tried desperately to give away a game that Chicago sought to win with the long ball. Thus, in the end - as it was in the beginning - the Yankees won by... bunting. 

For eight years, we watched big name, big-money sluggers being regularly neutered by defensive over-shifts that they refused to acknowledge. Instead of adjusting, they just swung harder. Their averages plummeted into the .210 zone, but nobody lost his job, because they were being paid too much money to ride the bench or get banished to Scranton. In the end, a few retired before their times - talking to you, Tex - because they couldn't, or wouldn't, lay down a bunt. 

Thus far this season, we have seen Chase Headley, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and - last night's co-hero, Ronald Torreyes - change the course of games with simple bunts. We have watched major league infields disassemble while trying to field them. What's most astonishing is that it has taken eight years for some players to figure out what we dumb-as-rocks bleacher fans - (along with John and Suzyn, by the way) - have steadfastly called for: The need to adjust to over-shifts and put balls into play.

It's a long year, and some players will surely get homeritis, forget the lessons of April and May, and turn into Chris Carter (who went 2 for 2 last night in strikeouts.) But I know what I have learned: 

To win in baseball, you need a blend of young and old players who constantly remind each other of the need for adjustments. If you present an inscribed-in-concrete lineup of aging veterans, you put forth a team that is incapable of change. In this day and age, that's mediocrity. 

3 comments:

Honey Barnes said...

“It’s not the strongest of species who survive, nor the most intelligent...
but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin

BernBabyBern said...

“It’s not the strongest of species who survive, nor the most intelligent...
but the one that can advance runners and bring them around to score.”

Ken of Brooklyn said...

,,,,,, doing whatever needs to be done, in the moment, to win the game.
Amen ALL!