logodawg

Matt Carpenter gets a double off a bunt. The death of the shift?

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The other night Matt Carpenter decided that if the defense is going to give him half the field he might as well use it and got himself a stand up double off a bunt. Honestly I hate the shift and if more players could get over their egos and use some common sense we can finally kill this thing. 

 

Link to article with video

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The fact that this isn’t tried more is baffling to me. I know I don’t watch a lot of baseball anymore, so am I missing something? It seems incredibly obvious and easy, aside from the fact that I guess bunting is hard against major league pitches? *shrug*

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I love the shift.

 

And this is the perfect rebuttal to any complaints about it - don’t like the shift?  Then hit it where they ain’t.

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5 hours ago, Gothamite said:

I love the shift.

 

And this is the perfect rebuttal to any complaints about it - don’t like the shift?  Then hit it where they ain’t.

 

I won't say that I love the shift. But I do love the principle that a manager should be able to position his players wherever he likes.

And I fully agree that the appropriate response is to exploit the gigantic flaw in that sort of positioning.

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All these people acting like the shift is an affront to the game. The shift's been around for over 60 years. As the others said, just do what Ted Williams did.

 

tedwilliamsshift1013-1.jpg?w=575

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17 minutes ago, Lafarge said:

All these people acting like the shift is an affront to the game. The shift's been around for over 60 years. As the others said, just do what Ted Williams did.

 

tedwilliamsshift1013-1.jpg?w=575

 

Actually, they should do what Ted refused to do, which is to exploit the weakness of that alignment (as Carpenter did). 

 

Ted absolutely would not compromise, and batted as normal.  However, most hitters are not Ted Williams.

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I love it. I'll never forget Daniel Murphy stealing 3rd because the shift left the bag open.

Image result for daniel murphy steals 3rd on walk

Bunting is more challenging than it looks (ask Max Scherzer) but that's why we practice before every single game. The more hitters that learn the art of bunting, the better. 

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I don't have any issue with the shift. It's up to the team whether they want to use it or not.

 

As mentioned, hitters should take advantage of it... and I LOVE it when they do. It makes for a big LOL moment.

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I work for my high school's baseball team. This is why EVERY kid needs to know how to lay down a bunt.

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3 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Actually, they should do what Ted refused to do, which is to exploit the weakness of that alignment (as Carpenter did). 

Why should a batter not take advantage of a situation presented to them?

 

EDIT: Sorry, completely misread your post.

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Ted Williams was that rare hitter who could say “you wanna stack that side of the field?  I can still find space between your guys.”

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What Carpenter did there was brilliant.  It wasn't really a bunt in the sense that you usually try to deaden the ball with a bunt.  It was a controlled way to get a good roll towards third base with a higher probability than if he had tried to swing and "hit it where they ain't".

 

I think a lot of the reason why players just don't try to exploit the shift is because they can't.  They're just not good enough... hence why the shift is used against them.  As for more players bunting, even if they bunt for singles, that plays into the shifting team's hands, since usually you're shifting against guys that you think are going to hit doubles or HRs.

 

I really hate the shift, but like Cesaro, I will defend the manager's right to employ it.  I don't think that player placement should be legislated.

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5 hours ago, Lafarge said:

All these people acting like the shift is an affront to the game. The shift's been around for over 60 years. As the others said, just do what Ted Williams did.

 

tedwilliamsshift1013-1.jpg?w=575

I personally don't view it that way. I just hate in it in the fact it's so clear how to beat and shouldn't work, yet it continues to be used and works out of pure stubbornness of the individuals it's used against. 

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9 hours ago, logodawg said:

I personally don't view it that way. I just hate in it in the fact it's so clear how to beat and shouldn't work, yet it continues to be used and works out of pure stubbornness of the individuals it's used against. 

 

But that’s the best part!  

 

Personality is a reason to keep the shift, not ban it. 

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If David Ortiz could regularly beat the shift, there's zero excuse for anyone else to not be able to.

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Ortiz was an elite hitter, one of the best of his generation.  I’m not sure we should look at anything he does and expect the average ballplayer to be able to replicate it. 

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The shift doesn't bother me. Frankly, I'm tired of baseball being dominated by "unwritten" rules. Unless the rulebook says you can't do it, I say try things. Experimenting is what makes the game interesting. Who cares if it's silly or unconventional? If it works, it's not stupid.

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29 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Ortiz was an elite hitter, one of the best of his generation.  I’m not sure we should look at anything he does and expect the average ballplayer to be able to replicate it. 

 

Still, the guy was a pull hitter all the way, his swing was basically designed to make it almost impossible to hit opposite field. But when the shift was on, he adjusted. If you're a pro baseball player, that adjustment shouldn't be hard to make with a little practice. It's not like you'd even need to make good contact.

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A. This is not the end of the shift. That's silly AF. It might be the end of the full infield shift against specifically Matt Carpenter, but that just means the third baseman will stay put with the shortstop still on the right side of second base. And now pitchers will be more prepared to play bunt defense than the guy who got surprised by this. If Carpenter can hit a ball between the third basemen and the open hole at short at will, then good job by him. The rest of major league baseball will position their guys based on the skillset of the guy at the plate, not end the practice entirely because one guy in one game bunted away from it. 

 

2. Also silly AF - "if more players could get over their egos and use some common sense we can finally kill this thing.". Why more guys don't bunt to beat the shift is not an ego thing. First of all, bunting is harder than it looks especially against major league pitching. This case it only worked because Carpenter laid down a perfect bunt for this situation, but he could've just as easily bunted it right back to the pitcher or the catcher and he would've been out. He could've bunted it foul and blown his one shot to catch the defense by surprise and then we wouldn't be talking about this. On top of that, players don't practice bunting as much as they used to because BUNTING IS STUPID. The guy at the plate facing the shift is probably more likely to reach base with an opposite field hit than he is with a bunt and when he's swinging it may also result in a home run. You can't hit a home run when you bunt, unless you butcher boy and there's been like 3 butcher boy home runs in the history baseball. 

 

iii. hitters will adapt to defenses, defenses will adapt to hitters. The shift will never be 100% effective, which is why banning the shift is stupid AF. Managers should be able to position their players where-ever they want based on the probabilities. That's part of the chess that is baseball now. That managers didn't deploy the shift at this rate throughout baseball history was dumb. What I think should be banned are those little cheat sheet notecards that players have in their pockets. Guys should either have to memorize their positioning or get signs from the dugout. 

 

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31 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

What I think should be banned are those little cheat sheet notecards that players have in their pockets. Guys should either have to memorize their positioning or get signs from the dugout. 

 

I agree with your entire post, but this specifically. Those have started popping up in the last couple years and I don't like it one bit. It's happening because everything is so hyper-specific on a batter-to-batter basis these days, but, no matter, part of the game is rooted in intelligence. If you can't remember on a batter-to-batter basis, that's either on you or your team. If there's too many signs required to cobble things together, then that's just too bad. 

 

But those note cards being on the field should be banned, I agree.

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