How Much Do You Hate the Shift Ban?

How much do you hate the shift ban?

  • I like it – the game has gotten super boring partly because of shifts

    Votes: 110 22.3%
  • I am ok with it – I was fine with the shift but it was making the game less interesting

    Votes: 176 35.7%
  • I utterly hate it – hitters should learn to hit against the shift

    Votes: 180 36.5%
  • I really don’t care – baseball is awesome and always will be

    Votes: 27 5.5%

  • Total voters
    493

SoxInTheMist

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Jul 18, 2005
210
Woodinville, WA
I hate the shift. I don't mind small defensive shifts but it was getting silly. I absolutely hate it when a lefty hits a one hop bullet to right field... and gets thrown out by the 2nd baseman playing 80 feet in the outfield.

For the "players should learn to adjust" crowd. If you're a lefty and they're doing the Big Papi shift on you and the pitcher is pitching you inside do you really think it's easy to "learn to go the other way"? Going the other way is something you can do with pitches outside or over the plate. If they pitch you in it's very, very difficult to hit it the opposite way.
 

cannonball 1729

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I'm in favor. I feel like sport is at its most boring when there's a dominant strategy - it forces everyone into one or two boxes and makes all players and all games the same. I've seen waaaay too much three-true-outcomes baseball over the last couple of years for my taste.

Or basically this:

They have adapted, they swing as hard as they can and hit dingers. Balls in play are growing rarer. I don’t know that banning the shift solves any of this, homers and strikeouts will remain ideal outcomes, but I suspect that’s the goal.
At this point, players pretty much have only two options: "singles the other way" and "hitting for power over the shift." Most of them pick the second. Opening up other ways for hitters to be successful might allow hitters to find other strategies; if a lower launch angle can still land for a hit, players may not have to swing for the downs every time.

Feels like this argument could also be used to ban major-league-quality breaking balls.
Well...that's basically the reason that MLB cracked down on Spider-Tack last year, no? The foreign substance rule was originally put in place because it was dangerous to have no control over a ball, but the change last year was basically just because it's too hard to hit a breaking ball that moves like a wiffle ball.
 

54thMA

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I don't like it.

I love it.

It's one thing if you move the SS and 3rd baseman over, but when you start sticking guys in short right field, enough is enough.

This isn't softball.
 

Jimbodandy

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I voted "don't care". It won't materially impact my enjoyment of the game either way.

Whatever the rules are, learning how to maximize your chances to win within those rules is the game. If the shift is gone, trailblazers will come up with different ways to win. Adapt or die.
 
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Joe D Reid

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While both feet touching the infield was how it was put, I'll go with the assumption that they meant both feet touching the infield.
Under the current rulebook (which maybe they plan to change?) there is no minimum or maximum size of the infield dirt.* Teams could have 200' of dirt if they wanted to in order to preserve the right to play back. Teams could even have a giant finger of dirt extending behind the traditional second baseman's position. That would really fry some traditionalist brains.

*MLB Code 1.04: The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas of its playing field.
 

BaseballJones

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I hate the shift. I don't mind small defensive shifts but it was getting silly. I absolutely hate it when a lefty hits a one hop bullet to right field... and gets thrown out by the 2nd baseman playing 80 feet in the outfield.

For the "players should learn to adjust" crowd. If you're a lefty and they're doing the Big Papi shift on you and the pitcher is pitching you inside do you really think it's easy to "learn to go the other way"? Going the other way is something you can do with pitches outside or over the plate. If they pitch you in it's very, very difficult to hit it the opposite way.
Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own”: “baseball is great because it’s hard.”

Also.... location is a huge part of hitting: if you KNOW the pitch is going to be inside, maybe it’s harder to pull, but isn’t it also easier to do damage with it then?
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
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Jul 19, 2005
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This is dumb. Adjusting to batter tendencies and pitch location has always been part of the sport. Even little league coaches will adjust their fielders positioning based on whether the batter is a lefty or righty, or where they hit the ball last time. Count me in the "hit it where they ain't camp".
 

leithbones

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I imagine enforcement will not generate much in the way of controversy or emotional response.
Similar to a 3-second call in the paint, or contact inside the restricted arc resulting in mostly blocking calls rather than charges (both rules >>favoring offense),
99% of fans (the non-SoSH) will have a nebulous grasp of the new rule once instituted.
Even the astute will be unlikely to stand and yell "SHIFT!!!! The 2ndBaseman was SHIFTED!!"
 

DJnVa

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This is dumb. Adjusting to batter tendencies and pitch location has always been part of the sport. Even little league coaches will adjust their fielders positioning based on whether the batter is a lefty or righty, or where they hit the ball last time. Count me in the "hit it where they ain't camp".
Do you see any difference from what teams do now and a SS shading a guy up the middle because a lefty is hitting in little league? You can't honestly say this looks the same as when you played little league.

58,000 balls were hit into the shift last season. In 2013 there were 6,900.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
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Jul 19, 2005
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Do you see any difference from what teams do now and a SS shading a guy up the middle because a lefty is hitting in little league? You can't honestly say this looks the same as when you played little league.

58,000 balls were hit into the shift last season. In 2013 there were 6,900.
It might not look exactly the same, but the spirit of it sure is. Use the information you have available to put your team in the best position to win. Like all things, MLB is light years ahead of everything in LL.

What's next? Pitchers can't throw into the blue boxes in the strike zone that ESPN throws up on the screen?
 

OCD SS

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Under the current rulebook (which maybe they plan to change?) there is no minimum or maximum size of the infield dirt.* Teams could have 200' of dirt if they wanted to in order to preserve the right to play back. Teams could even have a giant finger of dirt extending behind the traditional second baseman's position. That would really fry some traditionalist brains.
Given modern infield construction and drainage requirements, I think some groundskeepers might quit in protest as well...

I'd hate to lose unique defensive alignments (6 infielders pulled in to hold the winning run at 3rd, Maddon playing 4 evenly spaced OFers against Ortiz), but the current implementation of the shift is rote and unfun. If a rule adjustment limiting defensive positioning is done with an eye towards making the game more interesting to watch (ie favoring balls in play), I can live with it.
 

Devizier

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It would kinda be like if NFL offenses and players wouldn’t adapt to the 46 defense, so the NFL simply outlaws the 46 defense. (Except I liked the 46 defense, contrary to my feelings about the shift.)
Football is an interesting choice, because so much of the contemporary rule set originated from when Pop Warner was bending every rule around to stake an advantage.
 

Murderer's Crow

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None of these changes are permanent. Ban the shift in some form, see what happens for a couple of seasons, and if it has no material change on the game, un-ban it.
 

YTF

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Under the current rulebook (which maybe they plan to change?) there is no minimum or maximum size of the infield dirt.* Teams could have 200' of dirt if they wanted to in order to preserve the right to play back. Teams could even have a giant finger of dirt extending behind the traditional second baseman's position. That would really fry some traditionalist brains.

*MLB Code 1.04: The grass lines and dimensions shown on the diagrams are those used in many fields, but they are not mandatory and each club shall determine the size and shape of the grassed and bare areas of its playing field.
Yeah, except none of that's going to happen.
 

Joe D Reid

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Yeah, except none of that's going to happen.
I hear that, and I agree. But it's more pointing out that implementing this thing that is intended to bring things back into "traditional" baseball will actually require a dramatic rewriting of the rulebook including things as fundamental as the dimensions of the field. As radical as the shift is, banning it is more radical.
 

cornwalls@6

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Do you see any difference from what teams do now and a SS shading a guy up the middle because a lefty is hitting in little league? You can't honestly say this looks the same as when you played little league.

58,000 balls were hit into the shift last season. In 2013 there were 6,900.
This is it exactly. It’s choking the excitement out of the game. I understand, and kind of agree with those saying, that ideally, batters would hit it where they ain’t. But they’re not doing that. And I’m fine with making a rule change to give the game more entertainment value. I view it in the same light as the NFL circa 1978, when liberalized pass blocking rules and the 5 yard bump rule opened up the passing game, and made the game better and more exciting. More hits and base runners are a good thing.
 

YTF

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I hear that, and I agree. But it's more pointing out that implementing this thing that is intended to bring things back into "traditional" baseball will actually require a dramatic rewriting of the rulebook including things as fundamental as the dimensions of the field. As radical as the shift is, banning it is more radical.
I'm not sure what's so dramatic about it. I don't think defining rules that aren't written is any more radical than rewriting existing rules which is something that has happened throughout the evolution of the game. .
 

Obscure Name

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I'm basically a casual fan at this point, and I'm all for banning shifts. Computer says stand there, you stand there. Nice work, coach, great strategy you've devised. Yawn.
 

chrisfont9

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Yes, there's already a rule that fielders (other than the C) cannot set up in foul territory. Adding the requirement that infielders cannot set up in the outfield grass isn't that radical a change.
Huh, and you are correct. Rule 5.02. Never heard of that before. I guess it doesn't come up much, since there isn't a good argument for putting a fielder in foul territory.
 

Devizier

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I view it in the same light as the NFL circa 1978, when liberalized pass blocking rules and the 5 yard bump rule opened up the passing game, and made the game better and more exciting. More hits and base runners are a good thing.
The NBA’s illegal defense, handcheck changes of ~20 years ago were absolutely essential in reviving the product and allowing the fast flowing offense of today.
 

Leather

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Jul 18, 2005
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We have banned contact by the defensive backs in football, have defensive 3 seconds in the NBA, and opened up the ice in hockey. All sports want more offense and have changed rules to make it happen.
I think the closest analogue are off sides rules. I mean, having blue lines in hockey is an artificial slowdown of the action. Same for soccer. I do t have a problem with it.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I’m just happy that MLB took a look at the NFL’s popularity and said “It must be all the illegal formation penalties!”
I would assume they said, "It must be all the exciting offense!" Three true outcomes baseball has become such a bore.

Some people act like changing the rules is a desecration of the game, as if baseball has never moved the mound or changed its height, outlawed the spit ball, introduced the DH, etc... Those things were all done in reaction to a perception that the game was out of whack, just as it is today.

The other problem I'd love to see changed is the current fancy for 4-5 inning starts followed by a parade of faceless relievers for the rest of the game. It's another facet of current baseball that apparently statistically increases the probability of winning but suppresses offense and reduces excitement. I've no idea how to fix this though.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Limit the # of pitchers on a roster. Adding more position players at the expense of a few relievers would make the game more interesting, IMO.

If hitters give up the launch angle stuff and stop swinging for the fences on every pitch because there’s no shift, it would be a better game but I’m skeptical that will happen.
 

BaseballJones

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I mean in terms of the on field action, it will just look like what baseball was 20 years ago in terms of fielder placement. Which was wonderful. I just don’t like mandating it as a rule.
 

SumnerH

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Yes, there's already a rule that fielders (other than the C) cannot set up in foul territory. Adding the requirement that infielders cannot set up in the outfield grass isn't that radical a change.
It does require some substantial changes. Whether you're an infielder vs. outfielder is defined by where you set up: if you set up in the outfield grass, you're an outfielder. If you set up in the infield, you're an infielder.

The ancient move of shortstops from normally being positioned in the OF to normally being stationed in the IF is the last time this affected the general game, but it still applies in specific cases: a LF who's brought in as a 6th infielder in the 9th is by rule an actual infielder, not an outfielder positioned in the infield.

That impacts the infield fly rule, for instance: if an infielder can catch it with normal effort, IF fly is in effect (assuming the other criteria are met).

That can all be dealt with, but it's a little more complex than saying “infielders cannot set up in the outfield” (which would currently be a meaningless restriction).
 

Mighty Joe Young

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The Launch Angle revolution is the key to this. To fix that they have to go back to the baseball used 5 or six years ago. That would result in far fewer HRs and Ks. Once batters realize that pop flys are no longer going out of the yard they will go back to a more contact/line drive hitting style … a style in which going the other way is a lot easier. I mentioned upthread that , if the normal baseball was restored, then they wouldn’t even need to ban the shift. The shift is merely an artifact of that fundamental change in baseball
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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58,000 balls were hit into the shift last season. In 2013 there were 6,900.
I read the article that published that stat (can't remember where). The author didn't make clear if that was 58,000 balls literally hit at shifted fielders, or if it was 58,000 balls put in play when the team in the field had a shift on. But I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

Justin Choi at FanGraphs has an article up about banning the shift (it doesn't mention that stat). https://blogs.fangraphs.com/what-banning-the-shift-does-and-does-not-accomplish/. Here are some conclusions:

"The hitters with a tendency to pull their grounders often record the lowest groundball rates. In other words, the hitter who seem like beneficiaries of a shift-less environment don’t actually have much to gain. If anything, removing the shift also removes the downside in adopting a pull-heavy, air-oriented approach, and if we’re to believe that strikeouts go hand-in-hand with “launch angle” swings, a ban on the shift likely won’t have the desired effect.

So are shifts irrelevant to strikeout rates? Not at all! In fact, the shift’s ability to influence them might be its greatest strength — and weakness. Russell Carleton of Baseball Prospectus is the foremost expert on the shift, and one of his many discoveries is how it disproportionately affects left- and right-handed batters. To provide a brief summary: the shift produces an unintentional “walk penalty” due to pitchers’ tendencies to nibble around the edges with a shift behind them. Lefties swing more often with the shift on, though, and see an increase in strikeouts from chasing outside the zone. But righties swing less often with the shift on, leading to fewer strikeouts and more walks.

All in all, it’s safe to assume the shift is a responsible for a slight increase in strikeouts, since lefties and righties don’t cancel each other out completely. But the emphasis is on “slight.” While writing this article, Carleton published his own thoughts on the proposed shift ban, in which he estimated the league-wide reduction in strikeouts to be a “per PA rate of 0.4 percent.” That’s an extremely small decrease, one that no human would notice unless it were pointed out to them. It tracks with the data on batted balls from earlier. BABIP has gone down, but to an extent only visible on a spreadsheet.

So what a ban on the infield shift accomplishes is two things. One, it restores a sense of normalcy to the game. No longer is a ball yanked past the three hole an automatic out, and no longer is a bunt against a shift an automatic single or double. Two, it buoys the production of a specific group of hitters, which probably includes at least one lefty from your favorite team. What it won’t accomplish is becoming a cure-all for MLB’s strikeout or pace-of-play ailments. Even with those pesky shifts gone, the game should hum along as usual. Sounds like a lot of hoopla about a strategic choice."
 

reggiecleveland

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I like at least trying to limit it.

The analysis revolution means games need to change. The NBA can probably save itself by just calling the rules, and tweaking the reffing. Calling more fouls on the D in th epost. Making it a bit easier to guard the dribbler, call travel, carry more often. Butthey may need to change the 3 point line, etc. Football has rules where players can be, and the rules aame from unfair advantages to one side or the other.
 

The Mort Report

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Just because it's part of the rules doesn't make it good for the game. Let's say a hockey team figured out how to lay a goalie and 4 players on top of each other, completely covering 100% of the net. Its within the rules, but is it good for the sport? Maybe they are in a shit division where 1 point every game gets them in the playoffs, do we want to see that? You can't expect players to adjust to everything just because they are pros either
 

patinorange

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I’m a recent convert to banning the shift. As a player in my glory years of little league, babe Ruth, and slow pitch softball, I always figured, hit em where they ain’t. I thought it was pretty easy to go the other way. Of course I have never seen a 100 mph fastball. I get furious when a base runner is needed and there is no one on one side of the infield and a pro can’t lay down a bunt or go oppo. But the math says swing for the fences. Hit em where they ain’t don’t work no more. I guess.
 

simplicio

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The other problem I'd love to see changed is the current fancy for 4-5 inning starts followed by a parade of faceless relievers for the rest of the game. It's another facet of current baseball that apparently statistically increases the probability of winning but suppresses offense and reduces excitement. I've no idea how to fix this though.
The robot umps slightly expand the strike zone for a pitcher each time they've been through the order?
 

cannonball 1729

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Huh, and you are correct. Rule 5.02. Never heard of that before. I guess it doesn't come up much, since there isn't a good argument for putting a fielder in foul territory.
The only time I've ever seen this come up is if the shortstop or left fielder tries to back up third base on an appeal play (or likewise with a second baseman/right fielder backing up first). Appealing a previous play is still "putting the ball in play," so if someone stands in foul ground behind third or first in case of an overthrow on an appeal, it's a balk.

I remember Jerry Remy pointing this rule out in a broadcast about ten years ago - apparently he once did exactly this while playing for the Sox and was called for a balk that he didn't know was a balk.
 

jtn46

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I like at least trying to limit it.

The analysis revolution means games need to change. The NBA can probably save itself by just calling the rules, and tweaking the reffing. Calling more fouls on the D in th epost. Making it a bit easier to guard the dribbler, call travel, carry more often. Butthey may need to change the 3 point line, etc. Football has rules where players can be, and the rules aame from unfair advantages to one side or the other.
The difference is, the NBA is still an appealing entertainment product with half-court 3's. I love baseball and am entertained highly by the current state of it, but MLB as an entertainment product seems to be in decline generally and maybe that has very little or nothing to do with balls in play but if the sport is going to go the way of the NHL and become a niche interest it ought to go down fighting. I don't know that this is going to fix it, but baseball front offices are very smart and perhaps one of them corners the market on athletic left-handed hitters that hit the ball on the ground.
 

sodenj5

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The NFL changed the rules to make the passing game more dominant which lead to more yards and more touchdowns than we’ve ever seen and the game exploded in popularity as a result.

When was baseball popular? In the late 90s and early 2000s before PED testing was in place and we had Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa clubbing the hell out of the ball.

This message board likes and appreciates the numbers and the strategy behind baseball, but the facts are we a minority of the fan base. Most people want to see hits, runs, home runs, and to be entertained. People aren’t showing up to the ballpark to see Kevin Cash deploy a new 7 man infield.

Ban the shifts. Make the bases a little bigger. Make baseball fun.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The only time I've ever seen this come up is if the shortstop or left fielder tries to back up third base on an appeal play (or likewise with a second baseman/right fielder backing up first). Appealing a previous play is still "putting the ball in play," so if someone stands in foul ground behind third or first in case of an overthrow on an appeal, it's a balk.

I remember Jerry Remy pointing this rule out in a broadcast about ten years ago - apparently he once did exactly this while playing for the Sox and was called for a balk that he didn't know was a balk.
One of the most common application of no fielders in foul territory actually occurs when a first baseman is holding a runner on. He has to keep both feet on the fair side of the line, which puts right-handed 1B at a bit of a disadvantage. On a pick-off attempt, they usually have to sweep a tag across their body or backhand a throw closer to the runner/bag, whereas a left-hander can just drop his glove straight down. If they could straddle the bag with at least one foot in foul territory, the righty would be able to drop the tag down faster like a lefty can.
 

bankshot1

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I think it will put more baseball into baseball and make the game more like the game we grew up loving. More singles, more stolen bases, more hit and run, more 1st to 3rd on a ball to right, and then the throw from right to 3rd. etc.

Although a game of ground out to short RF, and Ks and HRs are fun too.
 

brs3

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It seems like the strategists have determined that whatever increase in obp you'd get by bunting doesn't make up for the loss in power. Seems messed up to me, but I'm not the math geek to figure that out.
I'm on board with this. I think the analytics have likely determined the value of hitting opposite field does not ultimately equate to success, and the launch angle/HR approach is more successful and worth the dreg of Ks and low averages. Winning overcomes everything, essentially.
This is silly. The league BA in 2021 was .244. It might not be the hardest overall, but it is one of them
I think the lowering of BA is a side effect of focusing on HRs and sacrificing the small ball approach. Maybe it's because pitchers are throwing harder and there are more fresh arms in baseball, but I haven't heard anything about bat speed decreasing or not being able to catch up with the fastballs. Hitters approach the game as they're told. They no doubt could hit opposite field, or focus on hitting anywhere they want to, but I think the one dimensional focus is widespread and results in winning, so it's the way.
I like the idea that one of the ways hitters demonstrate their intelligence and ability to adjust is learning to defeat the shift. Going oppo can be a beautiful thing. Why not?
I suspect many hitters can, but do not, because they're not given the green light to do so. We will prob see a small market team try small ball eventually and win the whole dang thing, likely when small ball is totally dead, and things will swing back that way.

Basically I think fundamentally the game is messed up because at the little league or beer league level, hitting opposite field can create a hilarious trip around the bases for those caught flat footed too far over. Whereas at the professional level, they don't see the value because they have a few chances for a multi-run homer rather than a few at bats to maybe move people over, maybe score a run. Little ball sounds lame compared to homers, but it can be more interesting than a typical inning. In a tale of 2 runs, in LL or beer league games, you might get an inning of BB, DP, 1B, 2B, 1B, K and a MLB inning of K, K, BB, HR, BB, K that often occurs. That LL inning might not be as exciting as the MLB with an HR, but at least things are happening. I like the HR inning. It's boring when it's every single inning and especially during an inning when you know the 3 guys coming up are unlikely to create that HR scenario.
 

chrisfont9

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The only time I've ever seen this come up is if the shortstop or left fielder tries to back up third base on an appeal play (or likewise with a second baseman/right fielder backing up first). Appealing a previous play is still "putting the ball in play," so if someone stands in foul ground behind third or first in case of an overthrow on an appeal, it's a balk.

I remember Jerry Remy pointing this rule out in a broadcast about ten years ago - apparently he once did exactly this while playing for the Sox and was called for a balk that he didn't know was a balk.
Wow. I love baseball rules. And therefore I am completely against banning the shift.
 

RG33

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I think it is unnecessary. The game has evolved many times in the last 140 years. Dead balls, live balls, bunting, high mounds, lower mounds, pitchers hitting, pitchers not hitting, designated hitters, starters throwing 250 innings, complete games, closers going 1 inning, lefty specialists, defensive replacements, stealing bases/not stealing bases, sacrifice bunts going the way of the dodo, etc. Baseball adapts — let it happen, the game is usually better for it.
 

Van Everyman

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For my money, the pitch clock is way less in the spirit of the game than the shift ban. For years, pitchers dicking on the mound and hitters stepping out has slowed the game down. Instead of adding a clock to one of the only major sports without one, I feel like they could’ve handled this by simply instructing the umpires to manage this more aggressively. Award balls or bases when pitchers step off egregiously, don’t grant batters time. Yes, the idea of granting CV Bucknor more power (instead of launching him into space) terrifies me a bit. But it feels more manageable and consistent with how you’d handle this in Little League. This is what I thought was so ridiculous about the All-Star game that Bud ceiling called off because they ran out of pictures. Not every decision needs to be a NATO summit.

As for the shift, well, it’s not like the owners overreacted and banned it in year 1 or anything. When did Maddon start employing it as manager of the Rays, 2008 or so? I feel like we had legions of Morgans and Cafardos moaning about computers and Moneyball for a bunch of years after that and people resisted legislating a fix. As a result, more and more teams started doing the same thing.

Now, most of those guys are gone and the game? Well, it’s not exactly bringing in fans off the street. I’m not ready to concede that Joe Morgan was right or anything but there’s no question the game is more turgid compared to, say, college softball. And like pitchers channeling Dice-K for their sense of pace, the shift is def. one of the reasons.
 

m0ckduck

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It feels like there's an extra degree of intensity to the hatred around positioning infielders in short right/left to turn line drives into outs, vs the more conventional shift implementation of simply over-loading infielders onto the pull side of second base.

So, maybe a more measured, widely-acceptable rule change would be to ban the former (infielders in the outfield) while allowing the latter. As someone pointed out above, there is so strict rule restriction on how where the outfield grass must start, so the rule would probably have to be written in terms of 'all infielders must be within X steps or feet of the base path'
 

YTF

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For my money, the pitch clock is way less in the spirit of the game than the shift ban. For years, pitchers dicking on the mound and hitters stepping out has slowed the game down. Instead of adding a clock to one of the only major sports without one, I feel like they could’ve handled this by simply instructing the umpires to manage this more aggressively. Award balls or bases when pitchers step off egregiously, don’t grant batters time. Yes, the idea of granting CV Bucknor more power (instead of launching him into space) terrifies me a bit. But it feels more manageable and consistent with how you’d handle this in Little League. This is what I thought was so ridiculous about the All-Star game that Bud ceiling called off because they ran out of pictures. Not every decision needs to be a NATO summit.

As for the shift, well, it’s not like the owners overreacted and banned it in year 1 or anything. When did Maddon start employing it as manager of the Rays, 2008 or so? I feel like we had legions of Morgans and Cafardos moaning about computers and Moneyball for a bunch of years after that and people resisted legislating a fix. As a result, more and more teams started doing the same thing.

Now, most of those guys are gone and the game? Well, it’s not exactly bringing in fans off the street. I’m not ready to concede that Joe Morgan was right or anything but there’s no question the game is more turgid compared to, say, college softball. And like pitchers channeling Dice-K for their sense of pace, the shift is def. one of the reasons.
I think the issue with this is this is that it's going to be inconsistent depending on the umpire.
 

chawson

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SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,672
I voted ok with it. I think the technological advancements in pitch(er) development have outpaced anything comparable on the hitting end, and that coupled with shifts have made a kind of imbalance bad for the game.

The league was evolving a kind of bias based on handedness — left-handed hitters leaguewide were fairly consistently at 99-100 wRC+ over the last 10 years. They fell to 96 wRC+ in 2020-21, and that’s even after instituting the 3-batter minimum meant to cut down on LOOGYs. (100 wRC+ is the benchmark, obviously).

It’s interesting trying to work through the downstream effects. I think it’ll be a lifeline for Moreland/Smoak types, who are not that interesting, but overall we’ll get more dynamic players in the middle infield.