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Yankees OF Joey Gallo Says Baseball Needs To Do Something About The Shift

There’s no denying baseball has changed mostly for the worse, and we’d all like the sport to return back to the way it was played not too long ago. But Yankees slugger Joey Gallo wants to see major changes, especially as regards the shift.

We’re all tired of this shift ourselves, however Gallo offers an interesting take that goes beyond just banning it.

“I think at some point, you have to fix the game a little bit. I don’t understand how I’m supposed to hit a double or triple when I have six guys standing in the outfield.”

It seems Gallo is more self-aware than people in the “go the other way” crowd would believe. He’s not saying players should have to stand in their traditional location in the field so hitters can flourish again — he’s making an obvious observation that five or six players shouldn’t be standing in the outfield.

Sure, one could argue the rules of baseball always allowed defenders freedom of movement, but it’s never been utilized the way it is today. Not 50 years ago and not during the Yankees’ dynasty run of the late 90s. Only now.

The slugger appears to be saying that this style of defense completely neutralizes the power game — a game he has been paid to master. He’s objectively correct. Trying to hit the ball in the gap or smoke a ball to the pull side will lead to outs more often than not, so an offense’s only play for extra bases is over the fence. HR-or-bust has led to one-dimensional hitting, and Joey Gallo is a victim of it today.

Had the left-handed slugger said it’s not fair for the shortstop to play up the middle, then maybe he’d look narrow-minded. He’s just saying that an offense is forced into a box when hitters have to slap a single the other way or hit a homer to the pull side. There are literally only two things for hitters to attempt at the plate today, and analytics suggest slapping a single the other way is a waste of Joey Gallo’s time.

Baseball needs to find a solution that incentivizes hitters to make adjustments at the plate and that also allows defenders some type of freedom the way baseball always intended.

 

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

7 Comments

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  1. The shift and the strategy that going the other way at the plate is a waste of time are both born of analytics. Both have given rise to record-level strikeouts and the stagnation of offense. Its not the seams of the baseball, or pitchers’ spin rate, or goop, or whatever the excuse de jour is. If one team is going to swing for the fences every time, the opposition would be foolish to not implement the shift. Banning the shift would only encourage every game to turn into a home run derby.

    Personally, I hate the shift. Its not baseball, its beer league slow pitch softball. But equally bad is watching a player step up to the plate, see nobody playing the infield from second base to his opposite field foul line, then line one straight into the rover’s glove. If you want an easy double, slap one the opposite way and they will stop shifting

  2. Joey Gallow is 1000% right…but here is the problem…when it comes from fucking Joey I can’t hit to any other field but fly open and try to pull everything it kind of fall on deaf ears. It has though completely destroyed the strategy and purity of the sport for the sake of analytics. Which let’s be honest have not improved any sport they’ve been embraced in remotely instead they’ve just provided a new avenue for the nerds in sports media to act like they can talk Xs and Os with some of the greatest to ever do it.

    The simple solution here is limit how many shifts each team gets to use a game or inning but Rob manfred won’t do that because he probably sucks off every nerd baseball writer there is and actually has convinced himself that analytics is what really has made Baseball better…even though all the ratings say otherwise.

  3. As stated by others on this piece, the power to “beat” the shift is totally, 100% in the hands of the batter. Be a hitter instead of a slugger. You are never going to convince me that a hitter that can put the ball, consistently, in all fields is not a valuable commodity in baseball.

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