For Baseball Nuts...

Discussion in 'Sports' started by DGS49, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    6,302
    Thanks Received:
    1,331
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +5,495
    ESPN recently published an interview with Albert Pujols that exposed an uncomfortable side of the game.

    Pujols will one day be in the HOF, and his production has been outstanding for a long, long time. But his numbers are falling steadily over the past five years or so, even though it seems like he is still hitting the ball very well.

    In this case perception is reality. Among the giant cornucopia of statistics that are kept on MLB players is the percentage of times when the ball is struck at over 100mph. Crazy, right? But when you hit the ball at that velocity, you are going to get a hit about half the time. Pujols' stats in this area remain near the top of the game. He still hits the ball hard as often as anyone else in the game. But his results are much worse than the others with his consistency.

    You see, Pujols learned how to hit focusing on trying to hit line drives up the middle, which historically have turned into base hits. But in recent years, teams playing against Pujols have started playing the second baseman behind the pitcher, thus "robbing" him of a considerable number of hits every year. Balls that would have been clear base hits in the first decade-plus of his career are now routine outs. His batting average has dropped fifty points, in spite of the fact that he is actually hitting the ball as hard, and as often as he ever did. His career BA goes down 5 or so points every year.

    Surprisingly, he is adamant that he will not change his swing or his approach to hitting in order to defeat The Shift, and surprisingly, his only complaint is that sometimes the second baseman stands in a position that distracts him from seeing the pitcher release the ball, and he thinks something should be done about that.

    You may be aware that the basic hitting philosophy of MLB has change dramatically over the past five years or so. They no long focus on hitting the "top half of the ball with a slightly downward swing," but rather they focus on the bottom half of the ball, trying to hit long fly balls. Statistically it works out better, although the number of strikeouts is exploding (a new record every year for the past six seasons).

    What do you think about The Shift? Should MLB require that the second baseman and shortstop stand in their traditional positions when the ball is pitched? Is it helping the game or hurting it. Is it fair?
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Compost
    Offline

    Compost Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    6,628
    Thanks Received:
    1,493
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +7,256
    I'm not a big fan of the shift. Some teams do it excessively. There is nothing unfair about it, however. Batters unwilling to adjust their swing to defeat the shift are no longer being competitive. It it may be time for them to retire.
     
  3. Dogmaphobe
    Online

    Dogmaphobe Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Messages:
    9,801
    Thanks Received:
    2,401
    Trophy Points:
    1,095
    Location:
    Or uh gun
    Ratings:
    +13,366
    When I was a kid, teams used to put on an extreme shift for Willy McCovey, often times leaving nearly the entire left side of the field open. He usually just hit the way he always hit, but I remember one time when he bunted -- for a double.

    It was so cool.
     
  4. rightwinger
    Online

    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    166,998
    Thanks Received:
    25,593
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Ratings:
    +82,174
    I hate the shift

    But if batters can’t adapt, maybe they should be replaced by someone who can
     
  5. rightwinger
    Online

    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    166,998
    Thanks Received:
    25,593
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Ratings:
    +82,174
    Pujols is one of the best hitters I have ever seen. But like all great hitters (except maybe Ted Williams) their skills decline with age

    Most have a peak period of around eight years and then hang around
     
  6. martybegan
    Offline

    martybegan Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    43,357
    Thanks Received:
    6,136
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Ratings:
    +23,124

    Most of them are being told by the STATNERDS that they are better off trying to power past it than to hit the other way.

    I blame the beancounters more than the hitters. The saber-geeks have taken over a lot of what used to be the Manager's job.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. martybegan
    Offline

    martybegan Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Messages:
    43,357
    Thanks Received:
    6,136
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Ratings:
    +23,124
    If I was getting paid what he is getting paid per year I would hang on for dear life as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. rightwinger
    Online

    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    166,998
    Thanks Received:
    25,593
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Ratings:
    +82,174
    That is how Baseball works.

    You are tied up and underpaid for your first eight (prime) years

    By the time you reach free agency, you are on your downside
     
  9. Jarlaxle
    Offline

    Jarlaxle Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    15,090
    Thanks Received:
    1,273
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Location:
    New England
    Ratings:
    +3,451
    Free agency is six years, not eight.

    Pujols has been going downhill for a while...he hasn't broken .280 in 5 seasons.
     
  10. Natural Citizen
    Offline

    Natural Citizen Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,695
    Thanks Received:
    962
    Trophy Points:
    345
    Ratings:
    +3,923
    Side note, our boys just won the American Legion world Series.
     

Share This Page