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  • Strikeouts continue to rise.

    An MLB epidemic. The homer or strikeout era continues. I find it hard to believe what I'm seeing especially with shifts. I'm watching games were the 4 infielders are all right of 2nd base yet the hitters are up there trying to knock down the fences instead of taking an easy hit to the left side, does batting average and OBP not matter at all anymore.

    Season of the Slump: Baseball keeps swinging and missing (apnews.com)
    Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 05-01-2021, 06:50 PM.
    Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

  • #2
    Perhaps when the next CBA is negotiated after a strike or lockout whichever comes first, eliminating shifts will be part of it. I know that has been talked about

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post
      Perhaps when the next CBA is negotiated after a strike or lockout whichever comes first, eliminating shifts will be part of it. I know that has been talked about
      HATE this idea. Never been rules about where you can place your defenders before.
      Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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      • #4
        If they eliminate shifts, the 3-outcome offense will be locked in forever. Players will sit dead pull and swing hard in case they hit forever. That scheme is designed to play against traditional baseball setups. You force teams into that defense there's no reason to ever try anything different. Right now a bunch of screaming liners and hard hit grounders to the pull side are finding gloves. A lot less will and teams will just pull everything with no reason to ever hit the other way.
        Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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        • #5
          Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
          An MLB epidemic. The homer or strikeout era continues. I find it hard to believe what I'm seeing especially with shifts. I'm watching games were the 4 infielders are all right of 2nd base yet the hitters are up there trying to knock down the fences instead of taking an easy hit to the left side, does batting average and OBP not matter at all anymore.

          Season of the Slump: Baseball keeps swinging and missing (apnews.com)
          The Sox have had enough slow left handed sluggers over the years that we were having this debate even before Joe Maddon and the Rays started doing shifts on every at-bat. Jim Thome type players are never going to hit or bunt up the left side for a similar reason as to why NBA players are never going to take free throws granny style: it would require them to totally change the mechanics of what they are trying to do each time they step up to the plate. Other guys probably should consider it. But if it were so easy, the shift wouldn't be so popular and effective and they wouldn't be seriously talking about banning it.
          "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
          -- Thucydides

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post
            Perhaps when the next CBA is negotiated after a strike or lockout whichever comes first, eliminating shifts will be part of it. I know that has been talked about
            How could eliminating shifts even remotely relate to decreasing strikeouts? In theory I could see extreme defensive shifts reducing strikeouts by forcing hitters to shorten their swings and hit against their extreme tendencies the shifts are designed to defend. But there aren't many hitters bunting toward third when the infield isn't setting up deep on the first base side of second.

            I thought the increase trend in strikeouts (which render pitchers' strikeout achievements meaningless) would dissipate about a decade ago when the Giants and Royals were having so much success -- four World Series titles in six years -- limiting their strikeouts and emphasizing contact instead of power. Unfortunately,, teams had more faith in sabermetrics than the winning baseball they were watching. Part of it is that you don't have to hit as well to be a good three-outcome hitter. As long a baseball pays and plays hitters who don't make not striking out a priority when they get two strikes on them, as long as advanced analytics are more apparent than a hitter's actual success and statistics that are organic to the game, hitters aren't going to care about striking out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TDog View Post

              How could eliminating shifts even remotely relate to decreasing strikeouts? In theory I could see extreme defensive shifts reducing strikeouts by forcing hitters to shorten their swings and hit against their extreme tendencies the shifts are designed to defend. But there aren't many hitters bunting toward third when the infield isn't setting up deep on the first base side of second.

              I thought the increase trend in strikeouts (which render pitchers' strikeout achievements meaningless) would dissipate about a decade ago when the Giants and Royals were having so much success -- four World Series titles in six years -- limiting their strikeouts and emphasizing contact instead of power. Unfortunately,, teams had more faith in sabermetrics than the winning baseball they were watching. Part of it is that you don't have to hit as well to be a good three-outcome hitter. As long a baseball pays and plays hitters who don't make not striking out a priority when they get two strikes on them, as long as advanced analytics are more apparent than a hitter's actual success and statistics that are organic to the game, hitters aren't going to care about striking out.
              It may not reduce strikeouts overall but you could start to see put more balls in actual play as hits instead of the shortstop making the grab while he's standing say to the right of second base.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post

                It may not reduce strikeouts overall but you could start to see put more balls in actual play as hits instead of the shortstop making the grab while he's standing say to the right of second base.
                If the shortstop is making plays on a ball, it is in actual play. Outlawing shifts, which have been around to some degree for decades, does nothing to change hitters' approaches.

                If a hitter is content with striking out, radical shifts do more to reduce strikeouts because any influence they would have on hitters' approaches would be to would out of their power-oriented strikeout-friendly comfort-zone to focus on putting to hit the ball -- put it in play -- away from the defense.

                If you want to reduce strikeouts, you have to address offensive tendencies. Restricting defense in a way that rewards hitters for their current tendencies does nothing to change offensive behavior -- I.e. striking out with increasing regularity. If teams employ radical shifts, hitters should be responding by hitting away from the shifts Outlawing radical shifts wouldn't reduce the number of strikeouts. It would likely increase them.

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                • #9
                  What's next on the menu? Not allowing the Infield to play in an obvious bunt situation? Will Outfielders be required to play on the track even when Nick Madrigal is up?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                    HATE this idea. Never been rules about where you can place your defenders before.
                    I agree. Only thing I might be okay with is requiring your infielders to play on the dirt. I’d still rather see the hitters adjust, but it’s harder than ever to be able to place the ball where you want when pitchers are so damn good.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post

                      I agree. Only thing I might be okay with is requiring your infielders to play on the dirt. I’d still rather see the hitters adjust, but it’s harder than ever to be able to place the ball where you want when pitchers are so damn good.
                      I disagree. If a coach wants to line up all 7 defenders on the warning track in RF right next to the foul line, let him.
                      Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                      • #12
                        So I'm watching the Rays-Astros game. Rays are having trouble scoring runs on their 9 game homestand. Bottom of th 3rd, Rays have runners on first and third with no outs. 2 quick outs and now Francisco Mejia at bat, 3 infielders to the right of second with the 3rd basemen right of where the shortstop would be, the Astros are giving Mejia all the room in the world on the left side, a lousy bunt gives the Rays the lead and he's swinging out of his shoes and goes down swinging, inning over. Who knows what would have happened after the bunt which guaranteed a run. I know I grew up in a different era but this new philosophy of strikeouts are OK but launch angles and exit velocity are very important is driving me nuts.

                        EDIT: Kevin Kiermaier has figured it out, is 2 for 2 with 2 grounders to the left side beating the shift. Hooray for him.
                        Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 05-02-2021, 01:22 PM.
                        Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
                          So I'm watching the Rays-Astros game. Rays are having trouble scoring runs on their 9 game homestand. Bottom of th 3rd, Rays have runners on first and third with no outs. 2 quick outs and now Francisco Mejia at bat, 3 infielders to the right of second with the 3rd basemen right of where the shortstop would be, the Astros are giving Mejia all the room in the world on the left side, a lousy bunt gives the Rays the lead and he's swinging out of his shoes and goes down swinging, inning over. Who knows what would have happened after the bunt which guaranteed a run. I know I grew up in a different era but this new philosophy of strikeouts are OK but launch angles and exit velocity are very important is driving me nuts.

                          EDIT: Kevin Kiermaier has figured it out, is 2 for 2 with 2 grounders to the left side beating the shift. Hooray for him.
                          Just to be picky, K's are not okay, but compared to other outs they aren't viewed as negatively as they once were. The rest is diving back down the sabermetric rabbit hole.
                          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by voodoochile View Post

                            Just to be picky, K's are not okay, but compared to other outs they aren't viewed as negatively as they once were. The rest is diving back down the sabermetric rabbit hole.
                            Talk to the "a strikeout is just another out" crowd on that.
                            Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

                              Talk to the "a strikeout is just another out" crowd on that.
                              And most of the time they are. There are specific times when a single out can be better than a strikeout. There are also times when a strikeout would be better than a double play.
                              Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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