Carleton: Why saber-savvy teams might want a ban on shifts

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on January 27, 2015:

Well, congrats go out to Rob Manfred on assuming the post of Commissioner of Major League Baseball. And congratulations go out to Rob Manfred on igniting his first Twitter controversy about three hours into his lifetime term. In an interview that he gave to ESPN’s Karl Ravech, Manfred spoke of his desire to introduce “the clock” into the game, but then continued on to this tasty nugget:

“I think the second set of changes that I would look at is related, and that relates to injecting additional offense into the game. For example, things like eliminating defensive shifts, I would be open to those sorts of ideas.” Ravech picked up on the opening and asked “The forward-thinking, Sabermetric defensive shifts?” Manfred nodded in agreement.

Exactly 4.63 seconds later, #BaseballTwitter officially susploded. Again. And Ned Yost wasn’t even involved.

It’s easy to cast Manfred as an instant villain or as an old fuddy-duddy who is against creativity and innovation. Maybe a little too easy. That’s what Twitter is for, I guess. And yeah, the soundbite made it sound like he blames the nerds for ruining the game. Well, now that everyone’s had a chance to sleep on it, let’s look at this one all the way through.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 27, 2015. Last Updated: January 27, 2015.