Not only did Curt Schilling’s company go belly-up and lay everyone off, it allegedly boned some of them via a relocation program that apparently didn’t do what it was supposed to do:
Some of the hundreds of 38 Studios employees laid off yesterday were hit with a second round of bad news this week when they were told by banks that homes they thought the company had sold for them hadn’t been and that they may be stuck with a second mortgage, Polygon has learned … One former employee said they discovered this week that their Massachusetts home, which they had been told was sold last year, actually hadn’t been. The bank contacted them this week to ask why they mortgage wasn’t being paid.
When stuff like this happens, investigators really start going over a company’s books. And when investigators start going over a company’s books, boy howdy do things get ugly. Because a lot of companies have fishy stuff on the books. If everything else is fine, no one ever knows.
But fired employees getting caught up in mortgages they thought their company disposed of? Watch out.
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.