But of course he does. Although it seems at first that maybe he is endorsing them only for “your weakest hitters and the kids who are still scared of the ball,” because obviously the best thing to do to a small child who’s scared of the ball is to tell him to move his body so that he’s standing directly in the path of the ball and attempt to hit it with his bat held in two hands.
Anyway, no, he’s endorsing them for everybody — in the totally-not-hackneyed-and-unoriginal context of caring for your family.
As you progress through various levels of the game—from little league to high school to college and into the major leagues—the bunt grows in value and becomes an incredible strategic asset.
No. It’s an incredibly wrong strategic asset filled with wrongness. I can’t tell you how wrong that is. I really wish Mark Schlereth could come close to understanding how wrong that is. There’s a reason you bunt with “your smallest, puniest, absolutely most pitiful hitter, really just the saddest little child on your team” — I’m paraphrasing a little here — and that’s because he’s pretty much an automatic out, so you’d rather have him move a runner up than just flail at the ball three times and strike out. Lesser of two evils and all that.
Here’s the magic of it: Once we proceed out of little league and into advanced levels of baseball, guys can hit. That makes the value of the sacrifice bunt fall because the hitters are capable of doing more than just standing there and striking out.
“Small ball” they call it and when it’s well-executed it can provide more excitement than a rocket ship launched over the fences by your clean up hitter!
I know what you’re thinking: This is low-hanging fruit. And you are so right.
Imagine this scenario: it’s the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie game. The lead-off man draws a walk, you’re up to bat and you get the sign to lay down a sacrifice bunt in order to move the runner over a base and into scoring position.
Imagine this scenario: Your coach hates winning.
(Needs more tiger blood.)
(Fuck, sorry for being topical.)
If you’re the batter it might be tempting to think, no coach, I can hit this guy. I’ll be the hero when I crush a walk-off home run! But those illusions of grandeur quickly fade when you dig into the batter’s box because you realize that a sacrifice bunt is the right call. It’s about the team, not about you.
It’s not. It is not the right call. It is the wrong call. It has been proven that it is the wrong call unless you absolutely suck at hitting — like if you’re a pitcher or Luis Castillo.
My god, illusions of grandeur. This fruit is on the ground.
Oh, the sacrifice that Mark Schlereth and his family made was going to his son’s baseball games.