I've been reading "Watching Baseball Smarter". With only 40 pages left, only one thing had left me mystified about Major League Baseball. Then, earlier today on my afternoon break, the question I had around page 30 was answered a little over 100 pages later.
My question: If bunting is such a terrific batting technique for bringing in a run and throwing the fielding team into a tizzy, why isn't it done more often in the Majors ?
The answer: bunts quite frequently end in the bunting batter adding an "out" to the tally (search this article for Padres' 2nd baseman David Eckstein, who is leading the League in sacrifice bunts). This then tends to affect their at-bat average negatively, which in turn may affect their salaries at the time of their next contract negotiation (after all, would a team want to pay a batter who has better than a .300 average or one with less than a .250 average).
So, the choice is -- bunt when it permits a run to be scored . . maybe even a game-winning run (and a 9 - 6 win/loss record to date - wtg Padres!)
bunt? really?!? that's hilarious! now, I need to warm up for my next big out-of-the-park hit -- out of the way!
Interestingly, as I had this "aha!" moment this afternoon, the "to bunt or not to bunt" conundrum brings to mind the differences between our country's last Administration and our current one.
We had a "bunt? are you kidding me?!?" Executive branch these past eight years. Seemingly, more and more decisions were made based on what could best benefit the decision makers, not the "team" (Americans as a whole). And, talk about a major payday AND a heckuva four year contract renewal that 2004 Election gave to Bush!
Now, we have a "bunt when it permits the team to score" Administration. And, for those of us who had stopped fighting the tide of 8 years of "it's all about me!", having to see what happens in our government when its Executive branch does and says (or does not say) some things toward changing our country's course is both encouraging and confounding.
For now, I'm squarely in the "our ultimate goal is for the team to win" camp. We've seen a fair share of political "bunting" this past week. Scoring the winning run cannot come soon enough for me!