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Jim Furtado
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Baseball making big shift in defensive strategy | The Sacramento Bee

Meulens is blunt about his feelings on the shift.

“It should be illegal, really,” he said. “Why should there be a guy standing in (shallow) right field?”

Well, for a defense, because it works. Baseball Info Solutions calculates shifts saved 267 runs last season and already have saved 194 this year. But while it’s easy for defenses to reposition an infielder or two, Meulens argues, it’s not so easy for hitters to adjust.

“It’s hard for guys to change their swings on 90-plus-mph fastballs, or on cutters inside,” Meulens said. “How are you going to hit that the other way? You’re going to pull it as a left-hander.”

Somewhat resignedly, Meulens said, that’s how the game has changed. Hitters may try to beat the shift with the occasional bunt, but many don’t feel comfortable doing so. Mostly, Meulens said, changing your approach against the shift is “the last thing you want to do.”

His advice to those hitters, then?

“Just hit the ball as hard as you can.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, strategy

Monday, March 28, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-28-2016

Toledo News-Bee, March 28, 1916:

DUKE, CRANK ON BONERS, SAYS INSIDE BASEBALL IS A JOKE

It may sound extravagant, a declaration that inside baseball is a joke, but that’s what Roger Bresnahan contends. And we admit he ought to know what he is talking about.
...
[The old Baltimore club,] of which Bresnahan was a member, used to pull off the stuff, but according to Bresnahan, everything was accomplished without the aid of signs. The athletes knew each other’s style and they worked together.
...
Bresnahan doesn’t believe that a manager should do all the thinking for his players…Intelligence is inside play, argues the Duke. He isn’t a bit cranky on errors, but he’s certainly a grouch on mental boots.

In reading about old baseball, I’ve come to really like Bresnahan. He was a thinker, never the sort of guy to just accept “because that’s how it’s done” as a reason to do something.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, roger bresnahan, strategy

 

 

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