Sportress of Blogitude

Terry Collins doesn’t agree with Joe Girardi’s opinion on shifts


New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi made some waves this week when he not only bemoaned the increasingly prevalent use of defensive shifts in Major League Baseball, he called for an outright ban on them.

“It’s illegal defense, just like basketball,” Girardi said Tuesday. “Guard your man. Guard your spot. If I were commissioner, they’d be illegal. As long as it’s legal, I’m gonna play it. I just think the field was built this way for a reason,” Girardi said. “Two on one side, two on the other.”

When asked Wednesday for a reaction to Girardi’s comments, New York Mets skipper Terry Collins wasn’t buying what his crosstown colleague was selling.

“There’s a lot of parts to the game today that have come about, whether you like them or not, they’re part of the game and that’s one of them,” Collins said, via’s Ryan Hatch. “If Joe was commissioner, he’d veto it. So would Brian McCann, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson. There’d be a lot of votes. Unfortunately, they’re not the commissioner.”

What makes Girardi’s diatribe against the shift confusing in some respects is how much the Yankees use it, ranking second in major league baseball last season. As of Tuesday, the Yankees rank fifth with 185 shifts on balls in play this year, on pace for their highest season ever, per an report.

On the other hand, there’s this:

Collins also suggested instead of complaining about the shift, adapt to it.

“There’s ways to attack the shift now,” he said. “I read a thing in spring training where Matt Adams said he’d bunt every time they shift on him. (Manager) Joe Maddon was my bench coach in Anaheim when we put the first shift on Ken Griffey, Jr. and Junior tried to bunt. I went to him the next day and I said, You have to understand something: You can have that bunt any day you want it. I’d rather see you try to beat out a bunt than hit one over the stinkin’ fence or rip one into right.”