Do you like the shift?

If you don't like it then change it. It should tell you something as a hitter when the only players on the left side of the field are the 3B playing up the middle and the LF playing LCF. Think about that. A guy can't , won't , is unable, to hit the ball against the shift? Who's fault is that? The shift or the hitter? Sorry as much as I would like the shift to be worthless until a hitter proves it's worthless not only should it be allowed your stupid for not employing it. 

Boras made an issue of how the shift is hurting Harper. It’s not just the shift. Harper’s .215 is a lot of tough luck hitting. He’s in the top 7% of MLBers in hard contact. It’s an analytic that is now kept. 

I’m guessing line outs and hard grounders to the second baseman twenty feet into right field stand out in Boras’ mind. But it’s not as big of a problem as all the balls he’s hit on the screws right at someone. 

Harper looked like a very frustrated player against the Sox this week. But he’s grown up. He handles it better than he did at twenty. 

RJM posted:

Boras made an issue of how the shift is hurting Harper. It’s not just the shift. Harper’s .215 is a lot of tough luck hitting. He’s in the top 7% of MLBers in hard contact. It’s an analytic that is now kept. 

I’m guessing line outs and hard grounders to the second baseman twenty feet into right field stand out in Boras’ mind. But it’s not as big of a problem as all the balls he’s hit on the screws right at someone. 

Harper looked like a very frustrated player against the Sox this week. But he’s grown up. He handles it better than he did at twenty. 

Maybe Harper needs to get "Rizzofied".

https://www.mlb.com/video/rizz...th-bunt/c-1296390583

 

The threat to the game is not the shift - it is the lack of action.  300+ pitch, 3:30 baseball games are generally awful.  You might get away with that in October … but not in June.

Find away to get rid of 1/4 to 1/3 of the pitches to improve the action and pace of game.  A good play in the shift on the 2nd pitch of the at bat is better than a 9 pitch BB or K. 

Except for the first week of the season and the month between the end of NHL and NBA playoffs and the All Star game - baseball is background noise.  Even October has lost its spot at Center Stage to the NFL. 

The game is an increasingly unwatchable game of homerun derby.  Eliminating the shift will only marginally address this fact of life.  Until there is more value for contact with the ball in general the trends will not change. 

luv baseball posted:

The threat to the game is not the shift - it is the lack of action.  300+ pitch, 3:30 baseball games are generally awful.  You might get away with that in October … but not in June.

Find away to get rid of 1/4 to 1/3 of the pitches to improve the action and pace of game.  A good play in the shift on the 2nd pitch of the at bat is better than a 9 pitch BB or K. 

Except for the first week of the season and the month between the end of NHL and NBA playoffs and the All Star game - baseball is background noise.  Even October has lost its spot at Center Stage to the NFL. 

The game is an increasingly unwatchable game of homerun derby.  Eliminating the shift will only marginally address this fact of life.  Until there is more value for contact with the ball in general the trends will not change. 

To me that's like saying that you only need to watch the last 5 minutes of any NBA game.  Is it true? Yeah, kinda, in terms of the result,  but if you feel that way maybe you just don't enjoy watching NBA games.  And that's fine. Nobody has to watch them. But plenty of people do, and there's no reason to keep tweaking the rules to see if this demographic or that demographic will decide to watch.  

I'm fine with watching a 300 pitch 3.5 hour,  baseball game in the middle of July.  Heck, I plan to do that tonight and I'm looking forward to it.  Maybe it will end like last night's game -- bases loaded walk off in the 11th with 5 Cubbies playing in on the IF grass!  That was an incredible game that was 1-1 into extras, and included a base runner scoring from 1st on a pick-off attempt and Belt bunting for a single against the shift.  I wish I had been there but it was cool on TV too.  Go Giants!  

https://mlb.com/giants/news/pa...-in-11th/c-285115316

(The NFL has its own issues, and personally I find it almost unwatchable.)

 

JCG - I think you missed the point of my post.  40 years ago by early May the NBA and NHL were over.  The Willis Reed game was on May 8th.  That meant just as baseball was just hitting its stride each season they had no real competition until mid September when the NFL kicked off.  That is 4 months at center stage without any meaningful competition.  That is down to about a month from mid June to the All Star game when the NFL kicks in.  The dog days of August are now 2 a days in the NFL although there is increasing evidence that the NFL may have peaked and is on the cusp of beginning a decline.

Baseball now has competition for effectively it's entire season not just with NBA, NHL and NFL but now with MLS as well.  NFL is a year round thing.  MLB can command center stage only for short stretches of what it used to.

BTW - no matter how hard you try to dress up 300 pitch home run derby's - it is unwatchable stuff IMO compared to what the game once was.  I really do Love the game - but it is losing me because it takes way too long for not much to happen.  I have about 6 hours of free time most days a day - but it is hard to justify giving up more than half of that time to a game that probably has about 2 minutes of the ball in play.  Every generalization has the exceptions - this one does too but too many games just have not much going on.

Amazingly I find myself watching 30 minutes at a time of the World Cup with interest.  Still can't watch a whole game though.  They could really make that game incredible with a few rule changes...but all that proves is that I am still an American.

Interesting take, Luv Baseball. I have learned to enjoy watching soccer, though of course I understand what makes most of us Americans not care for it.  The notion of a sport having the viewers' market to itself is just over, IMO, just like the days of the 3 broadcast networks, or newspapers and magazines.

Not to get too far into it but if you watch even a little, you realize that one of the reasons high level soccer ends in 1-1 ties and shootouts is that the defenses are just too good, which is part of the problem, if there is one, with baseball.  That comes up in this interesting piece from ESPN.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/...-why-just-beat-shift

 

JCG posted:

Interesting take, Luv Baseball. I have learned to enjoy watching soccer, though of course I understand what makes most of us Americans not care for it.  The notion of a sport having the viewers' market to itself is just over, IMO, just like the days of the 3 broadcast networks, or newspapers and magazines.

Not to get too far into it but if you watch even a little, you realize that one of the reasons high level soccer ends in 1-1 ties and shootouts is that the defenses are just too good, which is part of the problem, if there is one, with baseball.  That comes up in this interesting piece from ESPN.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/...-why-just-beat-shift

 

True about soccer except the rules of soccer are tailored to defense.  Not to get off topic of baseball but soccer should do away with off sides inside the goal box, that would make the game of soccer a little more interesting.

As for the shift, I still say leave it alone and let the players adjust to using strategy to beat it.

Not at all expert, but I have watched some pretty high level HS soccer and there you see the offsides rule being a bigger issue because the top players outrun and out-pass the rest of the field, and you also see a wider spread of talent, with lots of good players, but a relatively few elite D-1 type players, and their speed and skills really spread the field out and lead to more scoring, despite the damn offsides rule.  But in pro soccer they are ALL so fast and games often come down to a 3-second sequence in a 90 minute game.

Yes.  Darwin would be proud...adapt or hit into the shift.   There is no question in my mind that hitters will adapt, and defenses will further adapt to their adjustments.   This is what makes baseball a chess match and not a game of checkers.

As always, JMO.  

To push the soccer/baseball angle the same basic rule change would probably help both sports....remove players from the field to create more space.  If both games removed 2 or 3 defenders it would significantly alter the approach to offense and create significantly more action/scoring.  

Focusing on baseball if there were 5 defenders instead of 7 it would totally change the value of contact with the ball since contact would result in baserunners at a much higher rate than is now the case.  More contact earlier in the count means the ball is in play, baserunners are on the move and the game gets back some of what it has lost in the last 30 years.

It would also place a much higher premium on speed and athleticism as well.  Also if you take two bad hitters out of every batting order star players get more at bats and it is even harder to pitch around lineups.  6 or 7 at bats per game would not be uncommon.  Imagine A Judge getting 300 more swings per season instead of someone like N Walker.

Even taking just one defender off the field would totally change everything....but two would be better IMO.

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