Small ball is a lost art form in Major League Baseball

In the 2013 Major League Baseball playoffs, runs have been hard to come by at times. What I have noticed is that managers are choosing not to change their strategy and they continue to play status quo ball. They are sticking with trying for the long ball and not extending counts on pitchers often enough.

Willie McGeeHitters are popping up or hitting into numerous double play balls. Bunts, walks, hit and runs and stolen bases have almost completely disappeared from this year’s postseason.

The best teams in baseball should be able to adapt and manufacture runs when necessary. It’s as if baseball has lost its way and players can’t seem to get beyond their egos.

Players are not remembering a golden rule of baseball: that a walk is as good as a hit. It seems like they all want to be the hero. Strikeouts are on the rise because of that mentality.

During his recent hitting struggles, I can’t even count how many times I thought Austin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers should have tried to bunt to get on base and help the team. I don’t think he has even tried once yet.

It’s not just Jackson. Each team left in the American and National League Championship series’ has multiple players who could force the action by doing the little things.

Why not leave it up to the defense to make a play? They should be trying to see what happens and maybe an extra base or bases will suddenly appear.

MLB is still recovering from the steroid era in terms of learning again how the game is supposed to be played. It’s like teams have forgotten the essence of baseball and the difference one run per inning can mean. Duh, that would be nine runs per game.

How is it a gifted athlete and leadoff man like Jackson has only eight stolen bases all season?

The best offensive teams in the league are able to combine power baseball with rally baseball and it doesn’t seem like any of the remaining teams are willing to give that a try. The baseball in this year’s playoffs has been too conservative and not courageous enough.

Where have you gone former NL MVP Willie McGee? Can you come back and teach these guys a few lessons?

Addendum:  Speaking of small ball, I just found out that the Miami Marlins hired former big leaguer Brett Butler to teach them small ball.

Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of

About the Author

Howard M Alperin

Husband, Father, Teacher, Planner, Advisor, Counselor, Social Worker, Businessman, Consultant, Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur, Inventor, YMCA Coach, Marketer, Innovator, Advertiser, Promoter, Court Appointed Special Advocate to children, Volunteer, Runner, Athlete, Spanish Speaker, Non-Sports Card Collector, Dog Agility Enthusiast and OIF Veteran.