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Monday, May 5, 2014

Would The Three Stooges bunt against the shift?

The Three Stooges, you know, Moe, Larry, Curly, the three guys who played morons in their movie personas.  Would their dumb characters have enough common sense to bunt for a hit when the defense is handing it to them?

This question is meant to emphasize just how dumb batters are.  Last I heard batters in 2014 were 12 for 17 bunting against the shift.  That's 17 bunts for all batters, not for one batter like Brian McCann.  McCann does remind of Curly in more than one way.
Brian McCann

Baseball Prospectus
Overthinking It
This Week in Bunting to Beat the Shift, 5/2
by Ben Lindbergh

Teams are shifting more often; they're shifting not only at higher rates against the usual slow-footed, southpaw sluggers who are classic shift candidates, but also against more marginal hitters whom they wouldn't have bothered to defend before ...

Inside Edge tracks defensive shifts and bunts with the shift in effect, so they’ll be supplying the data for this series. According to IE, there were 40 bunts against the shift in 2012, and 50 in 2013. Of those 90 bunts, 56 led to hits, so you can see why the bunt is so smart: At that success rate, it makes sense for any hitter who can get a bunt down to do so with the bases empty, and the worse the hitter and the emptier the left side of the infield, the better a play it becomes...

The nice thing about bunting against the shift is that there are two possible payoffs for the hitter who attempts it: not only might he get an easy single (or more), but he might discourage teams from shifting against him again, which would allow him to go back to pulling the ball to his heart’s content.


Brian McCann, bunt it into that ocean at third base! Geez, how stupid are you? And how cowardly is your manager, Joe Girardi?  Friday, April 11, 2014

Shift fear: why are managers afraid to order their batters to bunt against the shift?  Thursday, April 10, 2014

Batters are dumber than usual this season, hitting into the shift most of the time.  Monday, April 7, 2014

Mantle won triple crown by bunting.  Friday, February 24, 2012

Mickey Mantle led AL in 1956: 130 RBI, 52 HR, .353 BA.  Ted Williams was second in BA: .345.

Mantle had 188 hits in 533 AB.  Mantle attempted the most bunts in his career: 21 PA; 12 hits in 20 AB.  Without the bunts: 176 hits in 513 AB: .343.  Williams leads in BA and Mantle does not win the triple crown.

Supposedly David Ortiz claims that he's lost 350 hits over the years because of the shift.  Ortiz must be a moron.

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