The shift and MLB

I was reading today about MLB testing elimination of the shift. It’s being tested this year in A, AA and AAA leagues. As an old school guy I’d like to see that implemented in college baseball. I’ve not heard of any talk about that at all. Any thoughts?

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Oh yeah.

I hate the idea.

Teach kids to hit to all fields instead of selling out for power and that’ll end the shift


I’d like to see it eliminated.

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I would love to see the shift go away. As mentioned, coach, develop and teach your players to utilize the field.


Teach hitters to adjust by bunting and going the opposite way. Teams shifted on Williams and they did not change the game.

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I guess I don’t understand. Would you eliminate the press in basketball or the nickel in football? The shift is just a form of defense. Like the press and the nickel, good coaches find ways to beat them.


No…both have been used since I was young. The shift is new. I’m old and don’t like new. My wife says I’m a “Crazy old man”. I think she’s right.


LD you are right!!

I’m dead against it. And want it to just disappear…


There is illegal defense in the NBA. Basically the zone is outlawed.

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Rules are tweaked all the time in every sport to help balance the results. Baseball seems to have less because it’s already pretty well balanced, but it happens there, too. As Williams Baptist points out, there’s no zone D in the NBA. Three point lines were added to basketball several years ago. It has been moved several times since. Bats & balls have been made deader/more lively. Fences get moved in or out. I’d have no problem whatsoever with making the shift illegal.

John Smoltz recently said he’d like some changes to be made.

He said the shift has resulted in more players swinging for the
fence which has resulted in more strikeouts and a more boring game.

I don’t care whether it stays or goes either. But to me, the shift is just like a zone defense in basketball or a half court trap or a full court press. Likewise, a zone, cover 2 or blitz in football. In each of these instances, good coaches find ways to beat them.

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I’m not sure if I’m in favor of eliminating it through rules changes or not, but those strategies in other sports don’t limit the action as much as the shift in baseball. In many cases the press forces more action in basketball.

Hitting the other way or bunting (or preaching for it) isn’t likely to change it much either. The defense is already giving that up and would rather most of those hitters do or try to do just that. Analytics have already made strike outs of little concern so hitting in to the shift isn’t much different. You’re more likely to score more runs over the entire season by using your strength (pull power) than by dropping a bunt. I don’t like to make rules to limit defenses but if hitting the other way hasn’t been used a widely used strategy to this point, it’s unlikely to change in the future.

Apparently there are no good baseball coaches then. Fact is everyone knows how to beat the shift. It’s called having a batter who has so much control of his swing that he hits away from it more than he hits into it.

The shift is effective, but it’s hurting the game. If it could be easily defeated, it’d be gone in no time.

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The zone defense is banned In the NBA

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Paid millions and can’t learn to hit the other way? Take a look at Houston’s Alavarez…hits to all fields and with power…just got big contract

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NBA can play zone now. Golden State played some zone in the playoffs. Teams just don’t play it much.

This is one of those things that really hard to answer.
It’s kind of strange you’re telling a team they can’t play defense a certain way,but at the same time if you know a guy is going to pull the ball all the time they’re going to pitch him inside, very hard to go the other way and beat the shift with a pitch that’s on the inner half of the plate. That takes a lot of practice of getting your hands inside the ball so it can be done, I totally understand that. Freddie Freeman has made a living of doing it…
I see the dilemma, very few people can do what Freddie Freeman and those who have mastered that can do so it really hurts the rest of the hitters and makes it easier for the defense to defend the offense by pitching them a certain way to where they have a hard time hitting it anywhere but where their players are positioned. So for the good of the game they’re thinking about making some changes.

I think they will do something to change the way it is right now, not sure exactly what it will be, but I do think they will do something.

As on old school guy myself, MLB pretty much already ruined with the free agency and DH and other rule changes like base runners having no contact w the catcher, etc. Why not, I ain’t watchin’ :sunglasses:

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I ain’t watching either….so moot point.