Carleton: Long live the shift

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on December 13, 2018:

According to recent reports, Major League Baseball is considering banning the infield shift.


Let’s take this one part at a time.

1. How do you enforce the rule?

There already are positioning rules in baseball. The pitcher is restricted to the pitching rubber. The catcher must be in the catching box behind home plate. No fielders may position themselves in foul territory. I guess we can’t claim restricting the shift violates some sort of purity in the game. I’m assuming no one is proposing we draw four circles on the infield dirt and mandate each of the four infielders stands within their assigned spot. The obvious way to do it would be a policy that there must be two infielders to the left of the imaginary line that runs from home plate to second base, and two on its right as the pitch is thrown.

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Originally published: December 13, 2018. Last Updated: December 13, 2018.