Author Topic: Harper reflections at the Zimmerman retirement  (Read 371 times)

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Offline Senatorswin

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One rule I am looking forward to next year is abolishing the defensive shifts. I look forward to a requirement for two infield defenders to be on each side of second base on the dirt.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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One rule I am looking forward to next year is abolishing the defensive shifts. I look forward to a requirement for two infield defenders to be on each side of second base on the dirt.
I don't mind shifts at all.  Defensive positioning has always been a part of the game.  It's just now it can be done more accurately rather than on gut.  It's the same as bunting to me.  They are just tactics that depart from the normal defensive / offensive approach.  It's a strategy call to deploy either tactic, and there are counter tactics available for the opponent. 

I suspect the shifting will be cut back once players and managers figure out more counter tactics.   I like it when the big power hitter bunts against the shift when, for example, there are no outs or one out and there is a man on, or even leading off a late inning in a game where his team is down a couple of runs (that is, you can't hit a 2 run homer with no one on, but the next guy can). At least you can put the thought in the D's head with that tactic occasionally just to get them to spread the d and open up holes.  There's even stat-head articles on this. Mitchell Lichtman (I believe that is his name) wrote a piece on fangraphs making the point that you have to occasionally bunt in situations where 90% of the time the right move is to swing away in order to have the defense not overplay the likelihood you are swinging away (making swinging away less effective than it should be).

My impression on the shifting and countertactics is it is not thought through yet.  There are teams that shift because good teams do it and it has been effective, and there are teams that probably take a hard core analytic approach to when and how to shift.  I also find it interesting to see that managers, Davey included, will change the player alignment depending on the count (sometimes Franco is on the right side, sometimes Garcia).  It's not dangerous, like maple bats or spit balls, which needed to be banned. It's more like the cutter or the split-fingered fastball.  It's a current rage that the game eventually figures out.

Offline imref

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at Saturday's game a guy behind me was arguing with another fan (not in his group) about the shift, it got pretty heated (it was during a Soto AB).

I have no issue with banning the shift, it does seem to make the game more boring.

Offline HalfSmokes

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I hate solutions that result in more rules that make the game more rigid

Offline imref

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I hate solutions that result in more rules that make the game more rigid

Banning the shift would open up offense a bit. I don't recall if they are doing in the minors this year but it would be worth trying.

I really want to see a pitch clock.

Offline Senatorswin

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I don't mind shifts at all.  Defensive positioning has always been a part of the game.  It's just now it can be done more accurately rather than on gut.  It's the same as bunting to me.  They are just tactics that depart from the normal defensive / offensive approach.  It's a strategy call to deploy either tactic, and there are counter tactics available for the opponent. 

I suspect the shifting will be cut back once players and managers figure out more counter tactics.   I like it when the big power hitter bunts against the shift when, for example, there are no outs or one out and there is a man on, or even leading off a late inning in a game where his team is down a couple of runs (that is, you can't hit a 2 run homer with no one on, but the next guy can). At least you can put the thought in the D's head with that tactic occasionally just to get them to spread the d and open up holes.  There's even stat-head articles on this. Mitchell Lichtman (I believe that is his name) wrote a piece on fangraphs making the point that you have to occasionally bunt in situations where 90% of the time the right move is to swing away in order to have the defense not overplay the likelihood you are swinging away (making swinging away less effective than it should be).

My impression on the shifting and countertactics is it is not thought through yet.  There are teams that shift because good teams do it and it has been effective, and there are teams that probably take a hard core analytic approach to when and how to shift.  I also find it interesting to see that managers, Davey included, will change the player alignment depending on the count (sometimes Franco is on the right side, sometimes Garcia).  It's not dangerous, like maple bats or spit balls, which needed to be banned. It's more like the cutter or the split-fingered fastball.  It's a current rage that the game eventually figures out.

If batters would try to beat the shift by hitting the other way or bunting I wouldn't mind the shift so much. The power hitters very rarely try to beat it and even the non-power hitters rarely try to hit the other way. What ends up happening a batter will smoke a shot that would of been a hit in the old days and it's a routine out. Some teams were slow to use the shift but now as far as I know all teams use it routinely. The result is less offense and excitement.

Online Kevrock

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Sure, but not many kids are playing baseball and none of them are wearing his branded shoes casually

It's hard to wear cleats to school

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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It's hard to wear cleats to school
need more to have class on the grass more often



Offline nfotiu

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lol... yep.

I doubt baseball shoes will ever be worn by the cool kids.

Harper and Trout dominate the endorsed baseball cleats, so it's hard to argue that he isn't a big marketing presence within baseball.   Yeah, he doesn't transcend sports or anything, but he's up there as one of the biggest baseball names.

Offline Senatorswin

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I guess I can't criticize somebody for making as much money as they can but if I am making a ton of money selling shoes I might go to a city other than Philadelphia and be more likely to win a World Series or two and maybe take a couple of dollars less in salary while still making a couple of hundred million. Also, if you're playing in a higher profile city like New York, Boston, Chicago or L.A. you might make up that money by selling even more shoes.