The Angels lost another game yesterday. That was not surprising the way things have been going over there. But something did happen in the game that made me have a new hero. Hank Conger beat the shift. And he provided one of the sillier moments of the season while doing so.
Here is the video in case you missed it. Click this link if the video does not work:
Every team is now doing the shift thing against hitters known to pull the ball. Rarely if ever do you see a player just put a ball down the third base line to beat the shift. It drives me crazy. Do that five times or so and make the defense pay for their positioning. They are basically giving you a free hit. Why not take it?
Hank Conger did. And it figured it would be Conger. He is not a big power guy. His slugging percentage is never going to wow anyone. So there is no pride that gets in the way. The argument against a power guy trying to beat a shift is that you could get four bases instead of one. But that argument makes no sense to me. The chance of hitting a homer is what, one out of fifteen even with a big slugger? So taking away his chance for a homer is negligible. But make the defense play honest now could increase your BABIP later. At least that is my argument.
Hank Conger beat the shift. Hooray! He squared up like he was hitting a sacrifice bunt and put it down the third base way when nobody was there. Even an elder Molina would have beat that out.
But Conger almost did not beat it out. He started running. His feet were so excited about getting a base hit that they were beside themselves. I loved the first announcing team saying that he had happy feet. That was perfect. Conger tripped over himself and went sprawling to the ground. He still beat the play and was rewarded not only for his comedy, but for beating that darned shift.
Gosh, I wish more players would do it. Not the falling down part. That was fun. But I do not want anyone getting hurt. Hank Conger is my new hero because he beat the mighty shift. Watch and learn all you pull hitters.