Legends On Deck

To Shift or Not To Shift

Let me start this post with this, I hate the shift being employed by Major League Baseball. I know hate is a strong word but every time I see a major league shifts, I feel as if I’m watching a softball game. So let me see, you want a home run hitter not to be able to hit a single so you put your 3rd baseman on the right side of the field in front of your right fielder. So now the left side of your infield is wide open and a well placed bunt will give that same player a hit. Maybe they should put the third baseman right at the fence in right field so that he can jump and catch a ball going over the fence. For over two hundred years fielders have been playing the same positions and no one has complained. Sometimes you might move a fielder right over 2nd base or adjust the outfielders for extreme pull hitters and that seemed to work.

Stats have shown that over the last three years players have averaged .298, .299 and a .300 for balls put in play against the shift. So what have the teams accomplished. It appears the players are learning how to hit against the shift. According to stats, double plays go down when the shift is employed. Also the shift aggravates pitchers, especially when the ball is hit through an open hole. We have more athletic players in the infield who have above average range who can track down baseballs that are hit in the holes. Right now shifting is causing some confusion and the players do not look very smooth fielding balls hit during the shift.

I know the heads of baseball will never outlaw the shift but they should limit how far the players can shift. Lets get back to playing the game the way it was meant to be played. With every position player in his right position and if a batter gets a hit, it will be earned and not given. Enough with Major League Baseball trying to change the game, because it’s not making it fun to watch.

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