Friday, May 09, 2014


If the legend is true, Knute Rockne got the idea for his famous shift from watching a female dance troupe performing on a stage. He adapted it to his football ream, having his four setbacks shift from a T-formation to a box formation, confusing opposing teams for a few years.

I don't know who the Yankees set up their defensive shifts after, but I think they better find a new dance troupe. Shifts can work, but you can't be so locked in that you end up hurting the team. As I see it, there are three problems.

1) When you shift because a hitter has a huge tendency to pull the ball, why do the pitchers continue to pitch them away, inviting them to hit to the opposite field. For left-handed hitters, a shift invites them to bunt or slap the ball the other way. Teams say they will give up the single to prevent the extra-base hit. How does letting a hitter go 4 for 4 help your team?

2) When they shift to the left field side for a right-handed hitter, again a bunt is a certain base hit, even if the bunt goes to the first-baseman. Neither he or the pitcher will have anyone to throw to once they pick it up.

3) With men on base, if there is a double play grounder hit, you have infielders throwing to guys coming to second from an unusual angle, which is tough on the fielder trying to catch the ball, too.

Why do the shifts have to be so extreme? Sure, they get to balls they normally wouldn't, but they also give hits that they normally wouldn't. Seems like a wash to me. Pitchers don't appear to like them, infielders aren't too crazy about them, so who does like them?

Nolan Arenado, the Colorado Rockies 23-year old third-baseman, has hit in 28 straight games. He's hitting .322 with 6 home runs. He doesn't strike out much or walk much, which means he puts the ball in play and balls-in-play means hits. It appears he has a good chance to reach Joe DiMaggio's record, but remember, he's only half way there.

Some talk going around to change the bases in baseball. The current ones are so stationary, they might as well be sunk in cement. They are also hard and slippery. They is a type of base available called the Rogers Breakaway base that was tested and proved to eliminate a whopping 98% of injuries caused by a standard base. It's easier to breakaway and is easily replaced. MLB has known about this type of base for 40 years. That's no typo - 40 years! Why isn't it in use? Well, the powers that be...they think that...The problem? I have no idea and neither do they. MLB won't even talk about it. They're not sitting on their hands, though. They have come up with one improvement. They are now selling advertising space on the top of the base.

"California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby. Even more good news for the champion horse. He just had a shoe contract nailed down." -- Alan Ray
"The Bowling Proprietors Association of America has canceled the sport's 2015 U.S. Open, citing a lack of interest from sponsors. Apparently no one had money to spare." -- Dwight Perry
"The University of Utah says it will tweak the lyrics in the school fight song. In fact, when done, it will be more of a mild disagreement song." -- Tim Hunter
"Donald Trump wants to buy the Buffalo Bills and keep the team in Buffalo. That's the good news, Buffalo. The bad news: He'll be changing the team's name to the Trump Titans." -- Brad Dickson
" A Cincinnati Reds fan snagged a line drive barehanded while cradling an infant in his other arm. He got a 20-second ovation from the crowd and a $20-million trial offer from the Yankees."-- RJ Currie
" In the Single A Midwest League, the Burlington Bees were leading the Clinton LumberKings after five innings. Clinton won 20-17 in 12. On a brighter note assume some of those Burlington relievers have already been offered jobs in the Mets bullpen."  -- Janice Hough

"NBA analyst Charles Barkley is in hot water for sayingTheres some big olwomen in San Antonio and its a gold mine for Weight Watchers”. Of course this comes from someone nicknamedThe Round Mound”.-- TC Chong
"Warriors owner Joe Lacob said Mark Jackson - fired as the team's coach despite a 51-31 record this season - "probably could do a little better job of managing up and sideways." Coincidence? Jackson's reaction to that comment probably included the words "up" and "sideways," too." -- Dwight Perry
"Miami Marlins pitcher Brad Hand enters games to Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." Isn't attendance at Marlins games bad enough without this?" -- Brad Dickson


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