I know that the shift has already been touched on, but let’s go from a different angle.
Teams are doing a phenomenal job regarding scouting reports, hitting tendencies, and playing percentages as a way to gain a strategic edge. As far as I know, it’s more extensive than the game of baseball has ever seen. I am certain that the front offices of professional baseball organizations are ecstatic over the ability of a non-athletic, Statistics major to navigate his or her way around a computer program that records who hit which pitch where, and in what count.
Kudos to those who can navigate a computer mouse and also relay the acquired information to those in need.
However, the real issue lies within the batter’s box. While shifts have proven to be an extraordinary tool for defenses, they should be irrelevant.
Major League Baseball is supposed to have the absolute cream of the crop in terms of talent. The best hitters in the world are in the league. Yet, so many of these guys have fallen into such a predictable trend that defenses are vacating entire quadrants of a baseball field and have so much success by doing so, that shifts are now an epidemic.
If you are a professional baseball player, you have no business being a “pull-hitter”. You should not have a spray chart that leaves you so ridiculously vulnerable that you have the entire defense on one side of an entire baseball diamond.
Hitters learn from a very young age that you pull inside pitches, drive pitches down the middle up the middle, and you let outside pitches get deep in the zone and you drive them the other way.
HIT IT WHERE IT IS PITCHED!
HOW DO WE HAVE THE BEST HITTERS IN THE WORLD ROLLING OVER OUTSIDE FASTBALLS INTO THE SHIFT?!?!?
I get that pitchers obviously are trying to pitch in relation to how their defenses are positioned, but the fact is that the defense should not be in a position to be able to do so.
Have a sporadic spray chart by not being a one dimensional hitter and your batting average will increase. Stop hitting piss-rods over the first baseman into shallow right field that are being caught by a shifted second baseman. And DON’T go back to the dugout with an astonished look saying, “Man, the next one will fall.”
NO IT WONT! Because you’re a predictable hitter and you keep hitting it right at them. Make an adjustment and hit the ball where it is pitched.
The game is as simple as throw, catch, and hit it where they aren’t.