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Shifting the Blame: If Major League Baseball wants more offense, it needs to think bigger


Major League Baseball has identified a problem: The game lacks movement. The league wants to see more hits, more baserunners, more action, more chaos.

MLB has also identified a culprit, a defensive system that regularly absorbs the impact of its more fearsome hitters like a tai chi master gracefully neutralizing a punch: the shift. In a typical shift, three infielders crowd into one half of the field to cover the areas where a given batter is most likely to hit the ball—almost invariably the pull side. The maneuver has a long history, famously tormenting Ted Williams, but has become more popular in the last half-decade.


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