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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Papke: Twins angry after Orioles bunt against shift in 9th

It’s never too early in the season for the “unwritten rules” to rear its ugly head…

We already knew that bunting for a hit with a no-hitter in progress is against baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules.” This, however, was only a one-hitter.

What’s more, the Twins were putting their shift in action against Sisco, meaning they clearly still saw merit in going out of their way defensively to prevent the catcher from getting on base. If Minnesota feels justified in doing that, why is Sisco in the wrong for taking advantage of their defensive alignment and getting himself an easy single? You don’t get to employ a certain strategy in a blowout and then get upset when an opponent exploits it instead of rolling over and playing dead. It’s a silly controversy, and the Twins don’t look good for whining about it afterward.

Stormy JE Posted: April 01, 2018 at 08:44 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bunting, idiotic philosophies, orioles, shift, twins, unwritten rules

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   1. shoelesjoe Posted: April 01, 2018 at 10:46 PM (#5646613)
Apparently the Twins believe having your cleanup hitter bunt against the shift in the first inning of a 1-0 game is okay, but when the other team does it in the 9th down 7 it’s somehow “not good for baseball in that situation.”

Hard to believe a team run by Paul Molitor has turned into such a low class outfit.
   2. JAHV Posted: April 01, 2018 at 10:56 PM (#5646616)
The point of offense is still to score runs, right? And getting guys on base helps score runs? Conversely, the point of defense is to prevent runs?

So if the defense is allowed to employ a non-conventional method to prevent runs in a 7-run blowout, why is it "bad for baseball" for the offense to employ a non-conventional method to get guys on base (in order to score runs)? This seems like a really dumb thing to be upset about.
   3. adenzeno Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:09 PM (#5646617)
If you don't want them to bunt, don't give it to them...the hitter's job is to not make outs..
   4. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5646618)
What’s more, the Twins were putting their shift in action against Sisco, meaning they clearly still saw merit in going out of their way defensively to prevent the catcher from getting on base. If Minnesota feels justified in doing that, why is Sisco in the wrong for taking advantage of their defensive alignment and getting himself an easy single?

Shifting is the current standard procedure, so this is tantamount to asking in 1983 why a team with a big lead bothers having its center fielder shaded toward left. Meanwhile, transparent stat-padding is transparent stat-padding, and will always be called out for what it is.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:12 PM (#5646619)
I'm more interested to see if the Twins sober up in the next couple of days - or double down on this nonsense.

why were they employing a shift in a blowout? also, this seems like a golden opportunity for the batter to practice - if he blows it, no relevance to the game. if not, maybe another quiver in the arrows in a more important spot down the road. it would have been stupid for him not to try this.
   6. DanG Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5646623)
In that situation the Orioles need baserunners, lots of them. The Twins employing of the shift in that situation is flawed strategy; they might just have well given the batter an intentional walk. Stupid.
   7. JAHV Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:43 PM (#5646625)
Meanwhile, transparent stat-padding is transparent stat-padding, and will always be called out for what it is.


I assume this is sarcastic because it's ridiculous, but I'll bite anyway. Is bunting against the shift not considered a legitimate means of getting on base?
   8. Bhaakon Posted: April 01, 2018 at 11:47 PM (#5646626)
Shifting is the current standard procedure, so this is tantamount to asking in 1983 why a team with a big lead bothers having its center fielder shaded toward left. Meanwhile, transparent stat-padding is transparent stat-padding, and will always be called out for what it is.


Or, to look at it from another perspective, showing the league that you're able to bunt to beat the shift will make them think twice about doing it going forward.
   9. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:55 AM (#5646631)

Meanwhile, transparent stat-padding is transparent stat-padding, and will always be called out for what it is.
Hey, stupid: doing this when you're winning might be considered "stat padding," but doing it when you're losing is, you know, trying to win.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: April 02, 2018 at 06:07 AM (#5646641)
I'm more interested to see if the Twins sober up in the next couple of days

Minneapolis is getting a half a foot of snow over the next couple of days. Just in time for the home opener on Thursday. That’s pretty sobering. No warm up in sight either.

I guess the field is heated, so the grass will be fine. It’s going to be cold out there for the platers and fans though.
   11. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: April 02, 2018 at 06:09 AM (#5646642)
If you don't want the batter to bunt in that situation, then don't INVITE the batter to bunt in that situation.
   12. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 02, 2018 at 06:25 AM (#5646643)
I assumed this was an "April Fools" post.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 02, 2018 at 08:07 AM (#5646649)
I'm probably in the 10th (or 90th, whatever) percentile among primates when it comes to unwritten rules. There are a lot of things that get done that I don't care for and if that makes me an old fogey so be it. But this is unbelievably stupid. If the score was reversed I could understand it, it would have an element of running up the score but when you are losing you do everything you can to come back. To me this is the batting equivalent of defensive indifference.
   14. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 02, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5646653)
Big Twins fan, watched the game and yeah ... get over it dudes. The other team gets to try to win. And whining about stuff when you win looks terrible in any event. Just shut up and win some more games (please).
   15. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 02, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5646667)
What a bunch of clowns. If the game is over at this point and the unwritten rules say it's unacceptable to be putting in effort or using strategy anymore, then stop shifting. This is like intentionally walking someone and then getting mad when he steals second.
   16. dejarouehg Posted: April 02, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5646670)
I'm probably in the 10th (or 90th, whatever) percentile among primates when it comes to unwritten rules. There are a lot of things that get done that I don't care for and if that makes me an old fogey so be it. But this is unbelievably stupid.


Couldn't agree more. I'm still a firm believer in the unwritten rules and instilled them into my teams when I coached. Then again, I like the old fashion slash line - though I'd add OPS at the end.

Makes Molitor and his team look pathetic. Why bother playing the 9th? I've never even heard of this as an unwritten rule, when there's not a no-hitter on the line. Was there a new edition (not) put out to address the influx of shifts? If so, I didn't get to (not) read it.

Is this about the glory of a one-hitter? Serious question....I'm not sure what their irritated over.

(Ironically, last week was asked by my son and his team's announcer for my top 5 managers and I put Molitor -barely ahead of Counsell- in over Madden and was ridiculed over that. (Cubs fan but I'm not big on shtick or bad post-season managing.) The others we agreed on being Francona, Buck, Bochy and Scioscia.)

   17. PreservedFish Posted: April 02, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5646673)
Meanwhile, transparent stat-padding is transparent stat-padding, and will always be called out for what it is.


Stat-padding stats get you paid just as much as clutch performance stats. I feel like all players should understand this and be cool with it. Would they be mad if he swung really hard too?
   18. BDC Posted: April 02, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5646674)
Just to pile on: one assumes that the Twins are shifting in the ninth because they see it as the quickest way to make an out. In other words, not much different from "just throwing strikes," which is an accepted tactic when you're way ahead. When you just throw strikes, you take the risk that somebody might drive a harmless single somewhere – and you don't get mad when someone does.
   19. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: April 02, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5646685)
This is SO deeply stupid given the situation that it makes me wonder if it's entirely unrelated to the situation, and in actuality they would be ######## about any bunt at any time to beat the shift.
   20. DL from MN Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5646705)
Doubt it, Eddie Rosario bunted successfully against the shift earlier in the game and the Twins put up a big inning. I don't think they're actually that upset. It looks like the unwritten rule here is actually "this is a long season and for games that are already decided we all agree to phone it in at the end so nobody gets hurt".
   21. PreservedFish Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5646714)
That is the interesting question here: is the shift now so common that you can shift and still be considered to be phoning it in?
   22. Zonk was SHOCKED by #6! Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5646824)
Getting angry about this might very well end up being the most ridiculous thing all season. Down 7 and Molly and the Twins are upset that a guy tries to get on base?

Even up 7 - it still makes all kind of sense for a guy facing a lot of shifts to use it as practice.

   23. manchestermets Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5646869)
"Put the Twins game on, their pitcher is working on a one-hitter in the 9th!" said nobody ever.
   24. bunyon Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5646877)
Even up 7 - it still makes all kind of sense for a guy facing a lot of shifts to use it as practice.

But bunting for a hit against the shift is stupid! The Twins should be happy about it.
   25. aberg Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5646894)
These headlines are click-bait. Dozier said, "Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at 2nd base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there." Berrios said, “I don’t care if he’s bunting. I just know it’s not good for baseball in that situation. That’s it.” Dozier kinda/sorta got close to alluding to an unwritten rule. In both cases, it sounds like they were more annoyed that he's prolonging a game that was mostly already decided in a way that wouldn't really have an effect on the outcome. It's annoying AND he's allowed to do it. It can be both things.
   26. Stormy JE Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5646898)
Joey Gallo is unavailable for comment.
   27. . . . . . . Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5646903)
"Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at 2nd base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there."


This would be my response: "hey #######, I'm making the minimum trying to look good enough to get paid and you're making $9 million bucks this year. How bout you pay me $50K not to bunt. Or shove it up your ass."
   28. aberg Posted: April 02, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5646905)
Joey Gallo is unavailable for comment.


Does anybody know if the Rangers ever use Zeppelin's "Gallows Pole" as walk-up music for him? If not, they should. The lyrics would fit very well.
   29. Batman Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5646914)
Buxton stole a base with a six run lead earlier in the game. That means both teams are worse than the unwritten Hitler.
   30. Cris E Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5646921)
I'm with berg, and this is an early season non-story by a writer trying to make something out of a low event game. You want to write a story about how awesome the Twins rotation is and end up looking like a moron by May 1, or maybe about another terrible hitting performance from BAL and tick off their locker room, or split the difference and do the unwritten rules story again? I'll take template #3, Alex.
   31. Eddo Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5646951)
These headlines are click-bait. Dozier said, "Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at 2nd base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there." Berrios said, “I don’t care if he’s bunting. I just know it’s not good for baseball in that situation. That’s it.” Dozier kinda/sorta got close to alluding to an unwritten rule. In both cases, it sounds like they were more annoyed that he's prolonging a game that was mostly already decided in a way that wouldn't really have an effect on the outcome. It's annoying AND he's allowed to do it. It can be both things.

Dozier's doubled down since then, it was not just about prolonging a game.

From this article on twincities.com:

"When they didn’t hold our runner on, they conceded to the fact they didn’t want us to steal, so we didn’t steal," Dozier said. "We could have very easily stolen and put up more runs, so therefore in return you don’t bunt. That’s what everybody is missing in this whole thing."

"Everyone just thinks, 'He's whining because they bunted against the shift,'" Dozier said. "That's how baseball is played. That's just how the game is played. That's just how it is."


When you find yourself using the phrase "that's just how" in consecutive sentences, your argument is ####.

EDIT: Also, Berrios's "not good for baseball" quote is a pretty strong value judgement of the bunt, and it takes a lot of mental gymnastics to spin it to mean "because it prolongs the game".
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5646969)
When you find yourself using the phrase "that's just how" in consecutive sentences, your argument is ####.
I dunno, I found Bruce Hornsby & the Range pretty persuasive.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5646989)
"When they didn’t hold our runner on, they conceded to the fact they didn’t want us to steal, so we didn’t steal,"
Isn't that conceding the opposite of what he thinks?
   34. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 02, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5646998)
Baseball players aren't known for their intelligence. Dozier did attend college, but it was in Mississippi.
   35. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: April 02, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5647029)
I could’ve said something at 2nd base


"Nice bunt, kid."
   36. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 02, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5647069)
In both cases, it sounds like they were more annoyed that he's prolonging a game that was mostly already decided in a way that wouldn't really have an effect on the outcome.


His bunt was the first in a series of at bats that immediately loaded the bases as the heart of their order was coming to bat. One of those guys gets into a granny and you're sitting at a 7-4 game with a starter who's just been rocked (finally) in the 9th, and a pen that hasn't really been up and warming. Which is to say, it's not a good bet, but if I'm playing a baseball game to win, I play it that way every time. Dozier seems to think that the O's not holding a runner means they have to stop trying to get runs themselves. That's not only stupid from a practical standpoint, it's also stupid from "the unwritten rules" standpoint. If you're not playing to get hits, you need to get a job selling cars.

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