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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bunt against the shift? “I’m not going to ask you to do something that you’re not comfortable doing,” Manager Joe Girardi said.

Say what?  The manager of the once mighty New York Yankees is not going to ask his first baseman Mark Teixeira to do what obviously makes sense: bunt into an open area along the third base line for a sure single?  What?

How about demanding?  How about issuing a direct order?  How about fines and suspensions?  Who's running this show anyway?

Mark Teixeira, John Smoltz says lefty batters can easily bunt for hits against the extreme shift.  Sunday, March 1, 2015

The New York Times:

... Teixeira’s eagerness to alter his habits does not extend to the batter’s box...

“Every time I try to slap the ball the other way, it doesn’t go well for everybody,” ... “That’s what the other team wants. They want to take the middle-of-the-order power hitter and turn him into a slap hitter.” ...

Joe Girardi April 24, 2011
by Keith Allison via
Wikimedia Commons
“I’m not going to ask you to do something that you’re not comfortable doing,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “But it’s something we need to have conversations about and see how we attack it.” ...

Mickey Mantle is number 11 (.977) in OPS, number 6 in OPS+ (172: 72 percent above average).  Mantle is not one of the eight over 1.000 in OPS.  However, when Mantle bunted:

Batting Average (BA): .527 (87 for 165)
On Base average: .527
Slugging average: .527

OPS: 1.054  ...

Ted Williams against unknown fielding alignments bunted 11 for 12 (.917); Williams was 1 for 1 bunting in his only World Series.

Mantle and Williams were much better hitters overall and better home run hitters than Mark Teixeira.  Mantle and Williams had better home run rates in eras when there were far fewer home runs per at bat...

So what's the deal with Teixeira and Girardi?  If Teixeira won't make the decision on his own, why won't Girardi make it for him? ...

So what the heck?  What are we all missing here?  Managers employ the shift against opposing batters but then sit there like dopes and let their own batters bang away hitting into the teeth of the shift deployed against them.  Is there something obvious that I'm missing, because it's driving me nuts.  Who can watch this?

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