Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are AL Teams More Vulnerable to the Bunt?

There has been some discussion on the blog recently about Joe Morgan's suggestion that the Yankees are more susceptible to the bunt because they are an AL team, and AL teams don't bunt. We thought we should investigate this claim. We sent out our team of intrepid under cover reporters, but it turns out eleven of them were Russian spies. Who knew? We still got plenty of great material for our report though. We asked Andy Pettitte, the player most victimized by the Dodger's bunting, whether he thought AL teams are more susceptible to the bunt.

"Look, it's like this. I go through my pitching motion, and all of a sudden the batter takes his top hand off the handle and places it on the barrel. I'm looking in at the ump like, 'What the #%*& is that?' I thought he was stepping out or something. Then the ball makes contact and rolls down the line. I go over to pick it up all casual, you know, Hanley Ramirez-like. Next thing I know Girardi is all, 'Throw to first! Throw to first!' I didn't know what was going on. I totally panicked. Turns out, it was a bunt. I'd heard of it, but I'd never seen one before. I thought it was one of those old-timey things that aren't allowed in the game anymore, like spitters and screw balls. But I guess not."

"It really caught all of us off-guard," explained Alex Rodriguez, who witnessed the bunts from third base. "It's like when you're thinking fastball, and they throw the hook. You just freeze. Nothing you can do. This guy hit the ball so gently, like a baby would. I wanted to laugh, but now I know that bunts are no laughing matter."

We were shocked that two of the Yankees' biggest stars were completely unfamiliar with what a bunt was. We talked to Joe Torre to find out whether he was aware of this profound ignorance.

"Oh yeah, definitely," explained Torre. "I was there for twelve years and I never bunted. I knew the Steinbrenner brothers would try to screw me over with an incentive laden contract one day, so I just kept the whole team in the dark about bunts. The whole organization even. Cashman didn't even know what they were. One time he came into my office all, 'Torre, what's this I hear about bunts. What is that?' I just played dumb. Then, when they came to LA, I pulled it out of my back pocket at the perfect time. They were totally confused. They're all, 'What is this strange new hitting motion? Why have we never seen this?' I'm why you've never seen this! Suck it Hal! Bwahahaha."


lady gaganonymous said...

Uh oh, Jesus wouldn't approve of that language, Andy.

(No, seriously, this was hysterical.)

Rich Mahogany said...

Joe Morgan is cleary on to something here. The bunt is an alien concept to the Yankees. Pettitte has not spent three years pitching for a National League team (during which time he laid down 28 sacrifice bunts), and the Yankees do not play against National League during a stretches of Interleague games that occur every year. The Yankees have never made it to the World Series, so they have never played against a NL team in the postseason when every strategic decision is heavily scrutinized. In fact, none of the players on the Yankees has ever played for a NL team or watched a NL team play on TV.

Thus, the bunt is as surprising to the Yankees as it was to the Vulcans in that baseball-themed episode of Deep Space Nine. This analogy is especially apt, as the Yankees are the Vulcans of the AL.

Dylan Murphy said...

I refuse to trust/believe Joe Morgan, regardless of what he says. Ever since he ruined Sunday Night Baseball (when he came on as a broadcaster), I have been soured.

Rob B said...

I'm not sure any of you know this, so I'll throw it out there.

Did you all know that Joe Morgan is a Hall-of-famer?

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

He was, apparently, an excellent second baseman for the big red machine. Personally, I don't remember the soviets even having a baseball team, but what do I know. He still says some insane things as a broadcaster.

Rich Mahogany said...

Joe Morgan was my favorite broadcaster circa 2000. I found his voice soothing and he seemed to be full of great baseball stories. I don't know if he changed or I did (such as by taking massive doses of steroids to be more like Giambi), but now he fills me with rage.