Monday May 22, 2006 9:11 am
Oakland A’s Third Baseman Eric Chavez Hates the Shift
Eric Chavez has been a middle of the order threat for the Oakland A’s since the 1999 season. The sweet-swinging lefty has a problem against the over-shift of putting the defensive fielders on the right side of the diamond to prevent Chavez from pulling the ball. Only a select few of the elite sluggers in the game right now get this treatment. Some of the players are Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, Carlos Delgado, and Jason Giambi. The other sluggers don’t complain about the shift, Chavez has the opportunity to hit the ball the other way for an opposite field doubles. Heck, he could even bunt the ball and make it to first base safely.
For years, teams have been overshifting their defenses against A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, expecting him to pull the ball hard. Chavez is not a big fan of the strategy. “I hate that. I hate the whole numbers thing,” Chavez said. “You should play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. If a guy’s a pull hitter, you play him to pull a little bit. It’s ridiculous, it shouldn’t be played like that.”—Oakland Tribune
For Chavez to make these comments of frustration makes me question how he handles pressure situations and his overall mental make-up. He hates the numbers game? Well then he must hate the entire philosophy of the Oakland A’s strategy of Moneyball.
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