Monday, April 23, 2007

This Question Is Possibly Dumb, But I'm Gonna Ask It Anyway

I don't care if this makes me look stupid. It needs to be asked.

Why don't baseball teams ever put an obvious overshift on for righthanded hitters?

It's a serious question (in that I don't have an actual answer). One reason might be the limited range of the first base position - he has to be able to get to the back easily, so you don't want to pull the second baseman too far off and leave a gaping hole on the right side - but doesn't the overshift create a huge hole for lefthanded hitters as well?

Personally, I think the overshift variance stems from the "knowledge" that all lefties are dead pull hitters. I played organized baseball for ten years, and every at-bat started the same way: with the opposing team yelling "LEFTY!!!" and collectively sliding twenty feet to the left. It's the reason most of us learned to hit the ball the opposite way - guaranteed double.

Anyone got any better ideas?


Zach Landres-Schnur said...

good question. maybe the first base problem.

check out this post at Larry Brown Sports with a pic of the hafner shift. it's nuts.

Anonymous said...

You answered your own question - you can't pull the first baseman 40 feet from first base and expect him to be able to get back to the bag on a grounder hit to the left side. Or maybe worse, if a grounder is hit right at him (halfway between first and second), the first baseman has wait to field it and then run 40' to the bag (or make the pitcher run 30' to the bag and catch his toss) before the runner gets there. Would lead to a lot of infield singles.