I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no, Rich Hill is not a fan of infield shifts. And it’s hard to blame him after the #TampaBayScrewjob Thursday night. I’m right there with ya, Rich. There’s two things I hate about the shift.
1. I just hate it in general. That sounds like a stupid argument, but it’s my argument and if you don’t like it, you can let me know by following me on Twitter and subscribing to our podcast. It seems gimmicky and there’s nothing more frustrating than thinking a ball is lined into the gap, just to realize the second baseman is playing in short right-center field because some computer told the manager that’t where he should line up in a 3-1 count when they’ve gotta throw a fastball.
2. I hate how nobody exploits the shift. All it would take is a bunch of people doing exactly what happened against the Dodgers tonight. Keep laying down bunts and you’ll make the defense line up the way Yadier Molina intended them to line up when he invented the game on the banks of the Mississippi River. You might say there’s no sense in putting a guy on first with two outs, or having the 8 spot get on just to have the pitcher strike out or ground into a double play, but it’s no different than a walk and the percentage of getting a hit and getting on base is a hell of a lot higher than getting a hit when they’ve stacked 27 infielders on the first base side of the infield.
I’m all for bringing in an extra infielder from the outfield if you’re trying to keep the game alive with a play at the plate. That’s a fun, one off situation that only comes up every few weeks at best. It’s just a matter of time before there’s a rule change to eliminate or at the very least limit the shift. Until then, we’ll just have to sit here and deal with the fact that someone is gonna win their Fitbit Workweek Hustle just by changing defensive alignments throughout the game, and that’s really stupid.
Almost as stupid as someone named Richard not going by Dick. Dick Hill sounds a hell of a lot cooler than Rich Hill if you ask me.Follow @BennyMacBlog