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Bunting... Develop the next Brett Butler

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#21 Boom Boom

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 02:48 PM

Gardy made it sound like there could be no reasonable case made for not bunting in that situation.I think that's a large part of the heat he's taking on this. 

 

The guy's batting .310 or something and he's been red hot... asking him to bunt almost completely eliminates the possibility that he could hit a double or even a triple, driving in one or two and putting another runner in scoring position.

 

Gardy's big into lefty/righty splits, I understand, but he really should have looked more closely at Rzepcyznski's numbers against right-handed hitters (spoiler alert, they're terrible).Santana was in a great position to make a big inning out of it.

 

It's been my opinion that 95% of all situations that call for a sac bunt occur in National League parks.I could get in to the probability of scoring runs via swinging vs. bunting, but other people have done that quite extensively.In this one situation, Gardy made the wrong choice, and what's worse he made it sound like he'd make that wrong choice 100% of the time.

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#22 SD Buhr

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 03:51 PM

Gardy made it sound like there could be no reasonable case made for not bunting in that situation.I think that's a large part of the heat he's taking on this. 

 

The guy's batting .310 or something and he's been red hot... asking him to bunt almost completely eliminates the possibility that he could hit a double or even a triple, driving in one or two and putting another runner in scoring position.

 

... Gardy made the wrong choice, and what's worse he made it sound like he'd make that wrong choice 100% of the time.

 

Actually, I think you can remove "almost" from that second paragraph. Asking him to bunt does eliminate doubles or triples. Of course, it "almost" eliminates GIDP, too, which is one reason managers will "almost" always bunt in that situation.

 

I believe he would, indeed, make that choice 100% of the time. While many of us see that as one example of how the game has passed Gardy by and he should be replaced, the thing is, I'd be willing to bet that almost every potential replacement (whether from inside or outside the Twins organization) would do exactly the same thing.

 

There is gradually more open minded thinking seeping in to front offices, but I see far less willingness to set aside long-established conventional "wisdom" among field managers/coaches in the dugouts. If others are seeing more of it, I'd welcome being enlightened.

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#23 DocBauer

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:35 PM

Not sure how many recall this, but when Revere was with us, he proved to be a solid bunted and had it as part of his normal game plan. And I remember a few snarky comments from the opposition about bunting for hits. And I've heard similar reactions a time or two over the past few years in regard to other players and teams.

The bunt can be a very effective weapon, and not just as a sacrifice or bunt hit. But it can also mess with the opposition's pitcher and defense. Play back, I'll surprise you at times. Play up, I'll slap something over your head or past you down the line. Between Carew on a part-time basis and Molitor on a full-time basis, we have a couple excellent resources to draw from. And there are a number of players on the Twins now, and coming up, where bunting well could be a nice weapon, and should be stressed.

Further, the game is transitioning away from the big HR era to more situational hitting, more of the speed and defense with power mixed in game baseball used to be about. I'd rather be ahead of the curve instead of following it, or worse, being behind it.

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#24 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 11:44 PM

If you like bunting, or if you hate it (E Rolf, I'm looking at you) make sure to check out the new Talk to Contact podcast when it hits the airwaves later today. E Rolf goes on a bunting rant to end all bunting rants.

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