That’s the one-two punch that could lead the Cubs back to the promised land.
For Bryce Harper, Anthony Rizzo & Kyle Schwarber – the elimination of the defensive shift would do wonders. Suddenly, the Cubs would have 3 monster left-handed sluggers combining for over 100 homers per year. Schwarber instantly becomes an All-Star if the shift goes away. I know Jayson Stark of The Athletic wrote a very well-researched piece (unlike my pieces) in which the numbers showed a shift ban would only produce 3 extra hits per team per month. But I don’t believe the numbers tell the entire story, in this case. Math doesn’t take the human element into account. Lefty sluggers like Schwarber approach the plate with the shift on their mind. It’s another layer of thought going into an activity best executed when not overthinking. When a power lefty’s natural pull swing produces too many sharp lineouts to the 2nd baseman standing in right field, the wheels start turning, the hitting coach start chirping and approaches change. Not every batter is meant to be a spread hitter. Rizzo can go oppo with consistency. But I don’t believe it’s in Schwarber’s best interest. Use that power and yank the fuck outta the ball. Ditto Harper. This is all based on my intake of Cubs games and what I notice. Not very scientific or mathematic. But my gut tell me I’m right. I hope Rob Manfred sees the light and follows through on his inkling to eliminate the shift, thus improving the product. And I hope TheoJed is just fucking with everybody and fully intends to land Harper no matter the cost. Here’s some math for you: The Cubs attendance was 3.1 million. Multiply that by average ticket cost of $58 and you get $179.8 million. And that’s not accounting for beer & Hot Doug’s sales, Rickettsville Amusement Park & Ricketts Ticketts Resale Emporium. Stop crying poor. Sign him.
Lineup next year without the shift:
Bring it on, Brewers & Cardinals.
Please let this happen, MLB & TheoJed.