Nate and Chris got together to discuss some under the radar news in the baseball world that you probably haven’t heard – The lockout is over! They hashed out what we learned today, the state of the league, what’s next for the Reds, and some legendary viewer mail questions (spoiler alert, Bernie Mac gets a shout out). Heck, they even had a pretty good time doing it.

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12 Responses

  1. Bob Purkey

    Hate the shift, but I have a massive problem with banning a defensive strategy that allows PROFESSIONAL players the luxury of not having to adapt their skills to defeat it.

    The way to beat the shift is to get runners on base to make sure that the D can’t use it.

    • Rod Andrews

      Why do hitters hit into a shift, it seems, almost every time? I understand pitchers try to make you do it, but at least attempts should be made to hit the other way, or bunt
      Hitters could not only get on base, but discourage further shifts. Hitter want to go for the fences, and smart defense knows it!

      • David

        Teams have been playing a shift for a long time.
        Teams played a shift against Ted Williams.
        They played a shift against Johnny Bench.

        It happens. There should not be rules micro-managing the game.
        For years, the NBA “outlawed” the zone defense. In actuality, a lot of NBA teams played a kind of zone defense, but they term of art was “switching”, in terms of a player switching off another (offensive) player when they moved out of their “zone” on the floor. There was even an occasion during a playoff game years ago, when Bill Fitch, late head coach of the Cavaliers, was miked up, and actually told his players to use the “X Zone” during the next defensive exchange.

      • Mark Moore

        I get that they are relying on muscle memory at the highest level possible, but they are also professional hitters. The attempt to jerk everything to the moon doesn’t excite me. I think they can adjust if they choose to do so. I hate the shift, but to beat it, go the other way a couple of times. Get guys on base so the defense CAN’T shift.

        Play Ball!!

      • Old-school

        I struggled with this. Taught my son to hit the ball where its pitched and he was really good hitting the opposite way. Got to travel ball and tourneys and it was about exit velocity and prospect camps and power. Hitting a 265 foot line drive over the 2nd baseman head for a single wasnt valued. It was about 98 mph exit velocity off a batting practice pitcher over the left field fence

        I support the ban on shifts because every player is taught the wrong things at 14 to get to the next level. They arent taught to hit . They are taught NFL combine garbage

      • greenmtred

        It might be more easily said than done against MLB pitchers, for one thing. And maybe hitters aren’t enthusiastic about messing with their mechanics.

  2. Jim t

    Bob Purkey enjoyed your response almost as much as I enjoyed watching you pitch

  3. Josh G

    IN vintage baseball, you can not do the drastic shifts that have been happening, so seems like they are just re-establishing an old rule, to an extent
    you put your SS wherever you want but you have to have a player within 3 steps of each base

  4. GARY

    I’m 65 years old and have followed this team since 1955. I hate just sound of the words “ban the shift”. These guys allegedly are “professional” hitters who got to the big leagues by having great hand and eye coordination and the ability to handle the bat. Granted, back then there wasn’t a plethora of pitchers throwing triple digits up there, and if there were we really didn’t know as the technology just wasn’t there yet. And I realize not every single hitter bumped up to the majors was proficient enough to “hit to the opposite field” with any consistency or success. So, in my
    humble opinion banning the shift would be one of more stupid notions to ever come in baseball. The rules say eight defensive players must be within but not standing or straddling the foul lines. That’s the way this game has been played for hundreds and hundreds of years and was just fine. Like they “DON’T FIX IT IF IT’S NOT BROKEN.”

    One of the commenters in a much earlier post mentioned shifts were used against Ted Williams. He was slightly before my time so I really don’t remember much about his days as a player, obviously. The very first time I remember seeing an exaggerated defensive shift was in the late 60s-early 70’s. Gene Mauch was the
    manager of the Montreal Expos in those years. Hall Of Fame catcher Johnny Bench broke onto the scene around 1968, and back then he was a dead pull hitter. Even if the pitch was 6 inches off the plate, he pulled the ball, thanks to lightning fast reflexes at such a young age. The Expos manager put the shift on Bench like that and wow, I had never seen anything like that. But it worked. Over the years JB did
    indeed learn to go with the pitch and in later years became rather decent at it. He was no longer the power hitting pull hitter, but could go in any direction with authority on the ball. That’s what it should take from today’s bunch of prima dona holier than thou baseball players, they’re going to be for anything that makes it
    easier for them to succeed, eventually asking for bigger and bigger contracts. Stolen bases? Bunts? Don’t even get me started on those items. It’s just unreal how today’s “stars” are for the most part not doing those things. This game once upon a time was our National Pastime, but is no longer. The game has changed in so many, many ways and NOT for the better. How I long for the days when baseball was baseball.