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BCB After Dark: The shift and the fans

The secret party for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks you about banning defensive shifts.

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Minnesota Twins v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the nightclub for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Also, if the owners and the Players Association wish to hold talks here, there are welcome. The owners need to pay the cover charge. It’s waived for everyone else. But please come on in out of the cold. Pour yourself a beverage to drown your sorrows in. Take a seat near the stage. The show will start shortly.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be having any major league baseball anytime soon, I asked you last night how closely you followed the minor leagues. Thirty-eight percent of you said that you just follow the recaps and the stats—and believe me, I’m grateful for that. Forty-two of you said that you try to go to a game in person, but that was split between 18 percent saying that you try to go to several games a year and 24 percent saying that you might catch a game now and then.

Last night we also learned another lesson about putting our faith in what Bob Nightengale writes. Baseball fans are like Charlie Brown and the football in that sense.

I don’t do any movie stuff on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, but I always have time for some tunes. Especially on Fat Tuesday. So those of you who want to skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

In honor of Mardi Gras, tonight we have trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, who was born and raised in the ninth ward of New Orleans. Tonight he’s inviting you to “Do the Fat Tuesday.”

Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.

Tonight I’m going to ask you about one of the minor things being debated in the collective bargaining talks. Why? Because I’m really sick of hearing about the bigger issues.

So tonight we’re going to talk about defensive shifts, which has been among the various rules questions that have been on the periphery of the talks. As far as I know, no rules change has been agreed to other than the designated hitter coming to the National League and I’m having trouble thinking that any other rule will be agreed to in the talks. At this point, they’ve got too many other things to argue about.

But is banning shifting a good idea? Jayson Stark wrote a really good article for The Athletic last week on defensive shifts (The Athletic sub. req.) and the answer is that there is still a lot that we don’t know. We do know that shifts work, however. Teams wouldn’t keep doing it if they didn’t.

So do you think MLB should ban the defensive infield shift? As far as I can tell, there are three separate proposals to ban shifting. The first is that teams have to have two infielders on each side of second base at all times. The second idea to ban shifting is that you can position the infielders anywhere on the infield, but they have to be standing on the infield dirt when the pitch is thrown. The third proposal incorporates both tactics: two infielders on each side of second base and feet on the infield dirt.

So are any of these proposals a good idea in your opinion? Vote here and explain your thoughts in the comments.


Should MLB ban defensive shifts and if so, how?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    No. Leave the rules the way they are now.
    (50 votes)
  • 23%
    Yes, two infielders on each side of second base.
    (27 votes)
  • 4%
    Yes, infielders should be on the infield dirt
    (5 votes)
  • 27%
    Yes, both of the previous two choices
    (31 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Thank you again so much for stopping by. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. Recommend us to your friends. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.