Thursday, October 17, 2013

MLB Smallball is a Lost Art Form

Former NL MVP--Willie McGee
In the playoffs, runs have been hard to come by at times.  What I have noticed is that managers are choosing not to change strategy and continue to play status quo ball.  They are sticking with the long ball and not extending counts on pitchers often enough.

Hitters are popping up or hitting into numerous double play balls.  The bunts, walks, hit and runs and stolen bases have almost disappeared completely.

The best teams should be able to adapt and manufacture runs, when necessary.  It's as if rally baseball has lost its way and players can't seem to get beyond their egos.

Players are not remembering a golden rule of baseball, that a 'walk is as good as a hit'.  It seems like they all want to be the hero.  Strikeouts are on the rise because of this mentality.

During his recent hitting struggles, I can't even count how many times I thought Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers should have tried to bunt to get on base and help the team.  I don't think he has tried yet.

And, it's not just Jackson.  Each team left in these American and National League Championship Series has multiple players that could force the action.

Why not leave it up to the defense to make the play?  See what happens and maybe that extra base and other bases will suddenly appear.

MLB is still recovering from the steroid era in terms of learning again how the game is supposed to be played.  It's like teams have forgotten the essence of baseball and the difference one run per inning can mean-Duh, that's nine runs a game.

How is it a gifted athlete and leadoff man like Jackson has only eight stolen bases all season?

The best offensive teams are able to combine power baseball with rally baseball and it doesn't seem like any of the remaining teams are willing to give it a try.  The baseball is too conservative and not courageous enough.

Where have you gone former NL MVP Willie McGee and can you come back and teach these guys a few lessons?

Addendum:  Speaking of smallball, I just found out that the Miami Marlins hired Brett Butler to teach them smallball.

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