I've got some awful news to share with you from the MLB:
There it is, folks. The defensive shift is gone.
The defensive team must have a minimum of four players on the infield, with at least two infielders completely on either side of second base. These restrictions are intended to increase the batting average on balls in play, to allow infielders to better showcase their athleticism and to restore more traditional outcomes on batted balls.
"Intended to increase the batting average on balls in play."
The MLB wants to make the game easier on batters while simultaneously providing more action for the fans.
So now defenses will not be allowed to strategically position their infield in order to force a groundout.
Here's an example of a beautifully set up defense that you'll never see again in the MLB after the current season is up:
That play ended in an easy out, by the way.
I told you a few weeks ago that this rule was coming. And now, sadly, it's here.
- The four infielders must be within the outer boundary of the infield (i.e. cleats in the dirt) when the pitcher is on the rubber.
- Infielders may not switch sides. In other words, a team cannot reposition its best defender on the side of the infield the batter is more likely to hit the ball.
- If the infielders are not aligned properly at the time of the pitch, the offense can choose an automatic ball or the result of the play.
- This rule does not preclude a team from positioning an outfielder in the infield or in the shallow outfield grass in certain situations. But it does prohibit four-outfielder alignments.
Hey MLB, while we're at it here why don't we also ban curveballs and sliders? Those are pretty unfair to the batter as well.
For the record, I agree with the pitch clock rule. Nobody wants to hang out at a ballpark all afternoon and watch the pitcher play with his hat for minutes at a time.
But IMO the shift is a necessary part of the game. Don't like it? Learn to hit to the opposite field!
Don't tread on me, MLB!
P.S. Now check out our latest video: "Highlights from Biden's speech last night" 👇