Thanks for the hit

Matt Carpenter gave the biggest middle finger to the shift the Miami Marlins put on him on Monday night

June 18, 2019

One of the biggest arguments against defensive shifting in baseball is that it takes away hits. Hits are action. More action on the base-paths is good. Nobody wants to watch a line drive to right get scooped up by a second baseman who playing 10 yards deep into the outfield. But the fact of the matter is it's allowed, and outlawing it would be giving into the stubborn hitters who refuse to lay down a bunt.

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Some would counter that bunts are boring, and that the sluggers who defenses shift for have no idea how to lay one down. That's A. embarrassing, since it's a fundamental of baseball that every player should be required to practice, and B. that's it, I don't have a B. The other argument is that these big hitters should be swinging for the fences at all times, and laying down a bunt for a measly single doesn't compute in some dumb analytical formula. This line of thinking could not be more stubborn.

Enter Matt Carpenter, the St. Louis Cardinals' do-it-all leadoff hitter who has made a living off doing all the little things while also producing slugger-type numbers in the latter part of his career. You think Carpenter is too stubborn to lay down a bunt when he gets shifted on? Hell nah. He didn't make it to the MLB by being stubborn (though his current batting average would suggest otherwise). Here is Carpenter laying down a bunt on Monday night against the Miami Marlins with the shift on, and getting a double out of it. A nice big middle finger to the shift:

Honestly, will you see a more electric double this year in baseball? Just listen to the crowd again. It's almost like a hit, followed by some A+ base running produces excitement. What a concept! But hey, let's sign Kendrys Morales and hope he turns on one instead of ground out to second base or strike out for the billionth time. By the way, Carpenter later scored.

You want to beat the shift? This is the way to do it. Crying and trying to ban the shift is not the way to go about it at all. Lay down the bunt. TAKE THE HIT. It's literally being given to you. Baseball needs more Matt Carpenters. Hopping off the soapbox now.

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