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Philosophical Bunting Vol. IV

Anaximander slugged .671 as a second baseman before introducing cosmology to The West

Anaximander (610 – 546 BC) with a sundial. Roman mosaic. 3rd century. Photo by: PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Myles Straw squares around.

Earlier this week he missed. He muscled the next pitch past an unsuspecting third baseman who remained scooted up. You know. In case of bunts.

Yesterday, Steven Kwan fouled off a bunt. He roped the next pitch more or less where a third baseman could have been. But bunts, man. What if he bunted?

Hit ‘em where they aren’t.

On this collection of clay tablets, prior discourse focused on the value of successful bunts. Those following the Guardians are aware of third basemen cruelly manipulated into ludicrous places just because somebody held a bat parallel to the ground and then pulled it back.

How much is it worth to move a third basemen? And how far? Is it worth a strike?

Sometimes the pitch will be a ball. Sometimes it will become a foul ball, and hitters will have lost a strike. Sometimes hitters will bunt directly into an out and look like an idiot.

So did Mickey.

I still think one boosts their overall on-base percentage by attempting (or pretending to attempt) a bunt every so often.

At the very least, somebody on the team needs to bunt every game. Early. I want Scooter Quaday thinking about errors early and often at the hot corner. He’ll know when he would have had that one at normal depth, too.

Colliding with the pitcher is neat, but sometimes a guy get so flustered that he throws to the wrong base and still misses. It’s hilarious, and I suspect it’s worth a tasty chunk of Runs Created.

What we are really after are the runs that are attributed to something else but were influenced by the bunt. Of all the future Kwans and Straws to score a run, how many will have reached base due to poor positioning, awareness, or grip strength? How many singles the other way would have met leather if not for coach waving a Bunt Warning flag?

It is up to them. How often should they bunt? One answer is “in whatever way maximizes their contribution to the Run Scoring Department (lineup)”. Like many ideals, it isn’t actually a practical way to approach the situation.

In reality, it must be part of a lineup that operates in two modes — one that involves reaching base and advancing runners, and another that drives them home.

You can do that with a bunt, too. You don’t even have to make contact.