Must-click link: Catching up with Matt Sosnick

3 Comments

Fresh off negotiating multi-year contract extensions for clients Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco, agent Matt Sosnick fielded some questions from Jason Rosenberg of It’s About the Money.

The entire interview is worth a gander, as is Rosenberg’s first — and much lengthier — interview with Sosnick from 2008. However, I found this succinct answer to be rather entertaining.

IIATMS: More of a macro question… it has been quite the memorable offseason with Boston’s two huge acquisitions, Phillies’ surprise acquisition of Cliff Lee and the WhiteSox double dip of Dunn and Konerko. Detroit, too, has been aggressive while the Yanks have come up uncharacteristically empty. What takeaways do you have from the 2010 offseason?

MS: I think this off-season shows that the game is very healthy from a financial standpoint.

You know, sometimes you don’t need an emoticon. You can bet Sosnick was smiling ear-to-ear when he wrote that.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

Getty Images
4 Comments

The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.