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To bunt, or not to bunt? That is the question.

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#61 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:46 AM

 

I have to believe a LH hitter should be able to average .500 on fair bunts against a shift.And a foul bunt is simply a strike, not an out.

 

And once again, the bunt doesn't have to be perfect.It doesn't even have to be good.

 

It has to be fair, past the pitcher, and not both too hard and directly at the only fielder on that side of the infield.

 

I gotta believe just about every LH hitting major league player can get that bunt down more often than not.  

 

Soooo...why don't they?

And if you screw up the first bunt with no strikes and send it foul, there's a good chance you may not break the shift but you've moved the fielders over a step or two, opening up more space to swing away with one strike.

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#62 jimmer

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:52 AM

I spent a decade complaining that Ortiz didn't bunt to break the shift with a bunt on a regular basis so it's pretty clear where I stand on this topic.

Go ahead and shift but be warned that a smart player will hurt you for it.

teams should absolutely be working on this and trying to beat the shift by bunting. Not sure how well it will work because most people look absolutely ridiculous trying to bunt for a single, but a lot of times these excessive shifts are against power lefties and maybe teams deploying those shifts will take the trade-off of a bunt versus giving ng up more. Kind of like the manager who would rather walk Bonds even with bases loaded than let him swing away.

Edited by jimmer, 04 April 2018 - 08:53 AM.

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#63 Platoon

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:07 AM

teams should absolutely be working on this and trying to beat the shift by bunting. Not sure how well it will work because most people look absolutely ridiculous trying to bunt for a single, but a lot of times these excessive shifts are against power lefties and maybe teams deploying those shifts will take the trade-off of a bunt versus giving ng up more. Kind of like the manager who would rather walk Bonds even with bases loaded than let him swing away.

Some valid points. But like all things, circumstances need to be taken into consideration. Down 3, leading off the bottom of ninth. Morrison AB. Bunt for a baserunner, or the slight chance of a HR, or a single against the shift? (No Morrison jokes please). Same situation 2 on, 2 out? I know these are simplistic variables, but one can see how each AB does not call for a cut and dried action.
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#64 SockNet

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:10 AM

First I am for getting rid of unwritten rules. But plain and simple, not holding runners is a concession by the Orioles that the game is out of hand and they are looking to get it over with sooner rather than later. The Twins acknowledged that concession by not stealing. Had a Twin stolen a base then, the Orioles would be up in arms the other direction and we are still having this discussion.

 

If the reason for bunting was that the Twins were still trying by shifting fine, maybe unwritten rules around the shift still need to be felt out across the league to know how to respond in those situations as they are still new (it's not about hurt feelings at all, ever). Maybe Sisco is just an agitator. But it would not surprise me the next time the Orioles are down big and start making concessions, that their opponent does not "call off the dogs" because the next inning or at bat they may reverse course. 

 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

 


#65 jimmer

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:11 AM

Some valid points. But like all things, circumstances need to be taken into consideration. Down 3, leading off the bottom of ninth. Morrison AB. Bunt for a baserunner, or the slight chance of a HR, or a single against the shift? (No Morrison jokes please). Same situation 2 on, 2 out? I know these are simplistic variables, but one can see how each AB does not call for a cut and dried action.

true. Like most things, the situation has to be taken into account. Cookie cutter approaches rarely work for all situations.

#66 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:35 AM

 

I have no doubt that players will need to swallow a little pride to bunt.

 

It's not manly. It's too easy. It's what pitchers are asked to do, ferpetesakes.  

 

You could either ask 13 batters to swallow their pride and do it.

 

Or one manager. It would probably go over better if the choice was not left up to the batters themselves.

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#67 USAFChief

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:43 AM

 

You could either ask 13 batters to swallow their pride and do it.

 

Or one manager. It would probably go over better if the choice was not left up to the batters themselves.

well, it's really only the LH hitters we're talking about.And we know left handed people are a bit...different to start with.  

 

:)

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#68 Tibs

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:48 AM

#NeverBunt

 

 

ever

 

 

Not even if there's a fire.

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#69 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 10:23 AM

 

And if you screw up the first bunt with no strikes and send it foul, there's a good chance you may not break the shift but you've moved the fielders over a step or two, opening up more space to swing away with one strike.

I am going to assume you know about Joey Gallo getting shifted with 4 outfielders.

 

Those bunts would very likely bring the 3B back into the infield.


#70 Craig Arko

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 10:43 AM

 

Greensleeves. :)

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#71 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 10:56 AM

It does, but getting on base might not even be the biggest benefit of bunting against a shift. The larger prize may be to get teams to stop shifting.


But against some hitters, opposing teams will gladly give up just the one base. Like an intentional walk, but better for the opposing team, because the batter will sometimes make an out.

#72 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:00 AM

 

But against some hitters, opposing teams will gladly give up just the one base. Like an intentional walk, but better for the opposing team, because the batter will sometimes make an out.

 

I don't think the Twins have any of those kinds of left handed hitters.


#73 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:11 AM

 

I don't think the Twins have any of those kinds of left handed hitters.

 

In addition, how many are there in all of baseball right now?A handful?

 

For the vast majority of hitters, the pitching team wants them out and wouldn't be content with constantly putting them on base.So I'm not sure how much weight that counter-argument should really get.

 

Yes, Bryce Harper can bunt and teams will be ok with that.Most guys aren't Bryce Harper.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 04 April 2018 - 11:11 AM.


#74 ashbury

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:30 AM

Yes, Bryce Harper can bunt and teams will be ok with that.Most guys aren't Bryce Harper.

Definitely. Our rules of thumb generally are geared toward the vast mass of players in the middle. Barry Bonds and Bryce Harper are examples at one end of the spectrum far from the middle. In the other direction, if your typical pitcher is up to bat with no one on base, and the other team puts on an asinine shift, even the most ardent adversary of bunting would probably say go for it. None of these moot exceptions change the overall conclusions regarding the question.

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#75 Craig Arko

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:33 AM

 

None of these moot exceptions change the overall conclusions regarding the question.

You misspelled contradictions.

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#76 jkcarew

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:39 AM

This is not an 'unwritten rule' discussion IMO.Plain and simple, this was never in the book...and shifting existed back in the day, though not nearly as often.40 years ago, most observers/players would have disagreed with Dozier, same as today.(For example, Blyleven's immediate reaction was that it was a fine play.)There have always been many unwritten rules/opinions on bunting...but none that align with what Dozier's talking about.Giving up the option of advancing a base is not the same as giving up the option to avoid an out.And it never has been.

 

Bunting is a skill that any major-league batter can master with some effort.Beating the shift does not require the skill of Rod Carew, especially the shift as deployed against lefties.This too shall pass...or at least evolve.The batters will eventually get better at taking advantage of the shift, and teams will probably eventually be forced to play it less often...or at least more selectively by game situation.

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#77 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:41 AM

I am going to assume you know about Joey Gallo getting shifted with 4 outfielders.

Those bunts would very likely bring the 3B back into the infield.

A fringe case for sure but definitely the time to bunt. His OPS would be near 1.000 without a third baseman present because the easiest thing to do is bunt too hard. Normally, that will cause you problems but not if there isn’t a fielder within 100 feet.
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#78 USAFChief

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 11:50 AM

 

But against some hitters, opposing teams will gladly give up just the one base. Like an intentional walk, but better for the opposing team, because the batter will sometimes make an out.

Teams give up one base via an intentional walk occasionally, in rare situations.No team regularly gives up first base "gladly."

 

Teams pitched to Barry Bonds, they pitch to Bryce Harper.

 

 

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#79 ashbury

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:10 PM

 

Teams pitched to Barry Bonds, they pitch to Bryce Harper.

The seasons Bonds received 177, 198 and 232 walks begin to warp most definitions of "pitch to". :)

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#80 Nine of twelve

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:23 PM

Do you have any basis for that number, or are you just making it up?
It's common for people to celebrate their accomplishments. It doesn't mean they are always intending to ONLY disrespect someone.

Just making it up, of course. But there is a 100% chance that it's poor sportsmanship.