Friday, June 15, 2018

Ban One-Dimensional Baseball

In 1921, probably his greatest season—maybe the greatest season ever, by any baseball player not pumped full of bat urine and related performance enhancers—Babe Ruth bunted for a hit on ten different occasions.

I mention this because in one of the Paper of Record's rare articles on baseball today, we were informed that Commissioner Rob Manfred—no relation to the Mannschaft—is seriously considering banning the shift in baseball.

This is ridiculous.

There are time-honored solutions to the shift already. The main one is called learning to hit. Hitting to the opposite field, bunting—these and other skills were things that professional, major-league hitters were once expected to conquer.

The great, statistics-driven strategy to make every at-bat home-run-or-bust is taking the joy out of the game. It is also, I believe, seriously hurting the careers of any number of Yankee hitters.

When one hitter after another finds himself unable to anything beyond drive the occasional longball while his on-base and batting averages seriously deteriorate, something is wrong.

No need for a new rule. Get back to basics.

31 comments:

John M said...

First, it was "batting averages don't count," in favor of OBP. Now, it seems, OBP doesn't count, in favor of WAR, PEACE, or TOLSTOY.

Meanwhile, the game changes dramatically and becomes duller, with fewer surprises.

Stats are fine, but they really are sucking some of the life out of baseball. Too bad.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Right you are, John M.

And sadly, we're right back where we started, more or less. The game in the late 1960s had devolved into strikeouts and solo homers. At least then, though, you had epic performances by starting pitchers, thanks to the high strike.

Now the game is just as dull, but so specialized no one has more than a moment or two in the spotlight.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

How long Is this blog gonna ignore the debut of Lasagna?

KD said...

Damn right, Hoss. If the defense wants to give you a hit, take it. Instead we get to see batters swing away and set new strikeout records.

LBJ has posted a great clip of Cano beating the shift for a double against the red socks. If memory serves, they did not shift against Mr. Cano after that.

That’s how to beat the shift.

However, the shift does make games shorter, which is a major objective for the sport. Beating the shift would mean more base runners, more strategery, more scoring, and more fan interest. Who the hell wants that?

John M said...

When the Yankees ordered Lasagna, they ordered Austin to Scranton to make room. And we still have Walker.

FUBAR.

TheWinWarblist said...

LASAGNA TIME !!!!! Whheeeee-heeeeeeee !!!!!

TheWinWarblist said...

WITH AN ORDER OF STRUCK OUT THE SIDE!!

TheWinWarblist said...

And we have a brief appearance by Bird's Limitless Potential. I apologize for my absence last night. I was at a medical conference. Nah, I wasn't. I was throwing back pitchers of margaritas with two colleagues. Two blond beautiful 25 year-old women colleagues. I have a rough life.

John M said...

Speaking of hellish scenarios, Eovaldi is pitching for the Rays.

We have to win this.

TheWinWarblist said...

We have to win them all. We have to win them all.

TheWinWarblist said...

YES IN DIDI!!!!

John M said...

Lasagna ain't bad. Two hits this inning, but two outs.

KD said...

The kid looks pretty good. Getting out of that based loaded jam. Nice.

Leinstery said...

This offense makes me sick. The low batting averages across the board are a putrid sight. The feeble AB's from Stanton, Sanchez, Bird, Hicks, and Judge kill a part of my soul. And the inability to score a run without someone hitting over the fence just makes me sad.

John M said...

All true. They have the wins, but without Torres and AnDUjar...suckamundo.

TheWinWarblist said...

Hey! A couple of basehits! The Master loves loves luvs when the batter moves the runner over!

John M said...

Didi looks like he might be turning the corner. Good to see.

Anonymous said...

I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT WHERE WE WOULD BE WITHOUT ANDUJAR AND TORRES....

I HONESTLY BELIEVE WE WOULD NOT BE 10 GAMES OVER .500 RIGHT NOW.

THAT'S AT LEAST A 14 GAME DIFFERENCE, AND MAYBE EVEN MORE.

THINK ABOUT IT....

I THINK IT SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT...

John M said...

Holy shit! Sanchez!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Didi! And Sanchez! All right—though a long way to go.

And...LASAGNA!! Lasagna from Nicaragua! LASAGNA SANDINISTA!

Where are The Clash when we need them?

Really, big for Lasagna, big for us. It keeps the Hamels from the door.

13bit said...

Johnny Lasagna pulls a four-hitter in his first game!!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And you're right, ALL-CAPS. We—and by "we" I mean most of this site—were pushing it on the rookies.

"You can't have rookies start in two spots on a contender."

Which is why, yeah, the 1951 Yanks didn't win with Mantle and McDougald in 1951.

Anonymous said...

FRESH HOT LASAGNA!

EXCELLENT STUFF!

HE HAS STUFF LIKE GERMAN...

REAL GOOD FASTBALL (95-96 MPH), SHARP SLIDER, AND A GOOD LOOKING CHANGE!

3 PITCHES! HOORAY!

WE ARE FINALLY TEACHING OUR MINOR LEAGUE PITCHERS THE CHANGE UP!

AT LAST!

IF HE CAN HAVE AN OUTING ANYTHING LIKE THIS ON THE ROAD, THEN YOU KNOW WE REALLY MAY HAVE SOMETHING.

Joe F said...

Ah lawd...Just imagine Sevy,Monty,German,Loasiga, Gray/Sheffield... Oh my what a rotation in 2021...just wet myself...now back to reality

TheWinWarblist said...

Gimme a tray of Lasagna with a side of of OF OF AAAAAAAA-AAAAAA-AAAA-AA-Ahh-AHHH-AAAHHHHH-AAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Does anyone else like their Lasagna even better, cold, the next morning?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Cold laz is wonderful. The only problem (for me) is: Tough to down a bottle of red wine with the stuff when it's cold.

When it's hot, no problemo!

TheWinWarblist said...

Joe, this hurts me to say, but you are a piker. What sort of person cannot choke down a bottle of Chianti for breakfast?

TheWinWarblist said...

Cold pasta is wonderful. Tossed in a very hot pan with olive oil and a couple of beaten egss is even better. Wonderful breakfast that pairs well with any food friendly Italian red.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


WW:

Chianti for breakfast? Hey, I can recall the days of my youth -- Ripple for breakfast. But . . . I'm older than that now.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Chianti is not for breakfast, it goes best with liver and fava beans.