So, shortly after I wrote in this space yesterday that my stomach was angry at me and I was going to power through … I got sick as a dog. I was out of commission, laid up with the worst hangover ever (except it wasn’t actually a hangover, as I didn’t even get the fun part the night before). As of this morning, I’m feeling better; good enough to proceed with a normal day. Knock on wood.
- Folks are talking about the shift, and the possibility of banning it, once again. The discussion started with this Jayson Stark piece:
Could The End be near for The Shift?
I'm told support is building for that idea. So what would happen if there were no more shifts?
More singles..Fewer LH hitters hitting .182..But would it be worth it?
I broke down numbers & surveyed coaches & execs!https://t.co/jmNfZOBz1C
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 5, 2018
- There are WILDLY varying opinions on both the wisdom of trying to kill the extreme shift and what exactly it would accomplish, almost all of which is theoretical – there is no one “right” answer. Although I don’t have a strong opinion either way, I do think you could do something simple like you have to have two infielders on each side of second base and not have too many implementation problems. That would probably increase base hits and action in the field a little bit (and it would also possibly increase the impressive defensive play opportunities), but I don’t think we know that for sure. I also am of the mind that the real issue when it comes to decreased activity on the field is the improvement and specialization of pitchers. It’s easy to say “ooh, see, it’s better to put the ball in play now!” or “ooh, you don’t need to kill the shift, guys just need to go the other way”, but this is what batters are facing:
Thor, 97mph Two Seamer (with motion tail). 😯😂 pic.twitter.com/ZcRe7FSiXL
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 5, 2018
- Since you can’t realistically legislate that pitchers have to stop pitching over 93 mph and limit the movement on their pitches, I am still thinking that a slight change to the height of the mound and/or the distance to home plate would be a better solution to baseball’s lack-of-action-on-the-field problem. From there, you could do other things, too, like limiting one-batter relievers, employ a pitch clock, and add the DH to the NL. Long-term, I do think baseball needs to think about how to get more balls in play.
- Local politics once again arrive on the Cubs’ doorstep:
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) December 5, 2018
- Cubs ownership hasn’t really flexed a lot of muscle to oust Alderman Tunney just yet, but he really can’t be surprised that after a near decade of roadblocks (whether you supported them or not), the organization would prefer to have a more team-friendly Alderman in place. That said, I’m not sure bouncing Tunney is going to be realistic, as he’s extremely well-entrenched at this point, having already been re-elected three times to four-year terms.
- Day 5 of the 12 days of deals at Amazon is all about the home, which means robot vacuums, sheets and blankets, tools, puzzles, and much more.