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Saturday, July 19, 2014

MLB.COM - Toman: Lewis takes exception with Rasmus’ bunt

Rasmus, who singled and later scored off Lewis in the fourth, laid down a bunt with two outs and Toronto up, 2-0, in the fifth, with the Rangers playing the shift on him. Lewis fielded the ball, but Rasmus reached first base safely and was credited with an infield single.

“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”

When pressed further on what the problem with Rasmus’ bunt was, Lewis insinuated that the outfielder put himself before his team.

“I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you’re up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average,” Lewis said.

The bunt itself wasn’t the only thing that bothered Lewis, who threw five innings of two-run ball, falling to 6-7 on the season. Lewis felt that if Rasmus was going to bunt in that situation, he should have been taking off for second once he reached base.

“[Rasmus] didn’t steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position,” Lewis said. “That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn’t appreciate it.”

Does someone want to play devil’s advocate here?  Because I’m lost.

Lassus Posted: July 19, 2014 at 08:44 PM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: unmitigated gall, unwritten rules

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   101. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4755510)
Carlton Fisk was 19 for 28 for a .679 average. He had a .696 success rate before 1987 and actually got on base 78.3% of the time via a bunt attempt with the bases empty prior to 1987.
   102. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4755512)
Carlton Fisk was 19 for 28 for a .679 average. He had a .696 success rate before 1987 and actually got on base 78.3% of the time via a bunt attempt with the bases empty prior to 1987.

Look for someone whose prime spans the 1987 divide. How about Brett Butler?
   103. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4755513)
Perhaps there's a different definition of "bunt attempt". Maybe pre-1987, they're only tracking hit or out, where afterwards, they include fouls?

They don't count bunt foul strikeouts as a bunt attempt period. For instance in April Marte was out on a bunt attempt when the ball went foul against the Cubs but it isn't marked down as a bunt. So there is no change over time because of the strikeout but it does show another piece of information that all of these bunt attempt articles failed to pick up on.
   104. Rob_Wood Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4755514)
I wouldn't be shocked that record keepers were taking note of successful bunt attempts prior to 1987 while not really tracking failed attempts all that reliably.


Bingo.
   105. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4755516)
Brett Butler went 30 for 60 in bunt attempts from 1981 to 1986 and then went 157 for 322 from 1987 to 1997. He had about 3000 PA in the first part and about 6400 PA in the second part.
   106. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4755517)
Billy Butler went 30 for 60 in bunt attempts from 1981 to 1986 and then went 157 for 322 from 1987 to 1997. He had about 3000 PA in the first part and about 6400 PA in the second part.


Surely the data isn't that bad. (-:
   107. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4755520)
Brett Butler!
   108. bjhanke Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4755522)
I do know that bunting started coming back in the game in the mid-1950s or thereabouts. Before then, from the mid-1930s through the early 1950s, bunting went way out of fashion, except for sacrifices by lousy hitters (mostly pitchers). So did stolen base attempts. My guess is that half of what seem to be SB and CS were the results of hit and runs where the batter missed the ball. In the late 1950s, a bunter had good reasons to expect success, if the other team was not expecting a bunt. 1B, 3B, and pitchers were not being taught to deal with bunts, and 3B and 1B were inhabited by much slower players than they were through the 1930s. So, you had a bunch of bad infielders to bunt to. My guess is that this increased to the more sophisticated level of bunting towards the worst fielder of the 3B and 1B. Even now, you can usually find a corner infielder who is just bad at bunts, either because he is too slow, or because he's just not good at handling that kind of ground ball. Excessive success rates are the result of bunting only in good bunt situations, and bunting at the infielder who is worst at it. Since it is the bunter who gets to pick when he will bunt, I'm not surprised by a huge success rate. You take a slow 3B, or a REALLY slow 1B, and you bunt on him by surprise, you're going to have a lot of success. - Brock Hanke
   109. Rob_Wood Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4755523)
If anybody cares, Aaron Boone said on today's Rangers-Yankees telecast that he agrees with Lewis. I only point that out so that people can understand that ballplayers may have different views on this subject than non-ballplaying baseball fans.
   110. Rob_Wood Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4755526)
Wait a minute, I remember being quite impressed (aka intimidated) when I first saw the Project Scoresheet scorecard that volunteers had to use to track seemingly every possible eventuality that could occur in a baseball game. Are you saying that they did not have a code for strikeout-via-fouled-two-strike-bunt? I honestly do not believe that, especially since NL pitchers do this quite routinely.
   111. Lassus Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4755528)
If anybody cares, Aaron Boone said on today's Rangers-Yankees telecast that he agrees with Lewis. I only point that out so that people can understand that ballplayers may have different views on this subject than non-ballplaying baseball fans.

Boone agreeing is probably proof everyone else is correct in their confusion.
   112. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4755531)
Wait a minute, I remember being quite impressed (aka intimidated) when I first saw the Project Scoresheet scorecard that volunteers had to use to track seemingly every possible eventuality that could occur in a baseball game. Are you saying that they did not have a code for strikeout-via-fouled-two-strike-bunt? I honestly do not believe that, especially since NL pitchers do this quite routinely.

They do but it isn't transferring over to what BRef is using and I don't know if they have it for pre 1987.
   113. Nasty Nate Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4755533)
If anybody cares, Aaron Boone said on today's Rangers-Yankees telecast that he agrees with Lewis. I only point that out so that people can understand that ballplayers may have different views on this subject than non-ballplaying baseball fans.


He agreed with Lewis, but it was a lukewarm agreement and he even conceded that the shift complicated matters.
   114. Rob_Wood Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4755540)
Boone's broadcast partner set it up this way. He reviewed the facts of what happened. Then he said that fans and everyone in the media were like "What is Lewis talking about? It's a close game and the batter bunts for a hit." Then he said that as a former ballplayer, specifically a former third baseman, you (Boone) have a unique perspective on the incident.

Boone then said, as Nate points out, absent the shift Boone would agree 100% with Lewis and he'd be yelling over to Rasmus too. With the defensive positioning, Boone said that maybe Rasmus was doing it to make the defense get out of the shift.

The general point is that ballplayers live/think with a different code of what is appropriate than what fans do.
   115. Lassus Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4755545)
The general point is that ballplayers live/think with a different code of what is appropriate than what fans do.

While I agree with this, it doesn't make it any less an idiotic complaint. Did Boone say WHY he'd be yelling over? What his unwritten rule logic was?

I would also have to hear from a LOT more ballplayers than Aaron Boone to think that they disagree as a majority, en masse, with those who find the complaint foolish.
   116. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4755549)
Lewis' complaint is so confused that I can't just call it the result of a different perspective. It's profoundly nonsensical.
   117. Baldrick Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4755558)
Lewis' complaint is so confused that I can't just call it the result of a different perspective. It's profoundly nonsensical.

It's really quite simple. As people have said, he's pissed that he's terrible and his team is terrible and he's apparently the sort of guy who needs to project that anger onto other people. So he flipped out over nothing and then spouted some semi-coherent baseballese. It has the form of a standard dumb complaint but lacks even the tenuous attachment to reality that they usually offer. So it's just a total, stupid, incoherent mishmash.
   118. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 22, 2014 at 07:46 AM (#4755577)
Colby Lewis can go eff himself, and I'd say that even if I was a Rangers fan and not a Jays fan.
   119. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4755588)
Brett Butler went 30 for 60 in bunt attempts from 1981 to 1986 and then went 157 for 322 from 1987 to 1997. He had about 3000 PA in the first part and about 6400 PA in the second part.

Now that's even more confusing. He has the same success rate in both periods, despite the radically different number of recorded attempts.

So, in 1981-86, they're not only missing bunt attempts, but also bunt hits. Odd.
   120. Nasty Nate Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4755594)
So it's just a total, stupid, incoherent mishmash.


A single doesn't help the Blue Jays but we were in a shift to prevent a single which would help the Blue Jays.

I'm surprised Colby Lewis can tie his own shoes in the morning.
   121. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4755606)
If getting a single was so harmful to the Blue Jays, why didn't Lewis just walk him?
   122. Ron J2 Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4755696)
McCoy I have Stats bunting data at home. Be interesting to compare what Stats has with Retrosheet.
   123. McCoy Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4755762)
Yes it would
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