Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-12-03 19:12
by Alex Belth

Here is a good passage from "On the Run," Maury Wills' autobiography:

I refuse to get upset with modern ballplayers who can't bunt or run the bases. They said the same things when I was playing.

So it doesn't drive me nuts to got to a game and see players who can't execute fundamentals. There were only a handful of players when I played who could do the little things like bunting properly. The game hasn't really changed that way. Managers get made because someone didn't sacrifice a man over, but very few managers insist that their players learn to bunt.

...They don't have a column in the papers to tell who's leading the league in sacrifice bunts. You don't see guys demand that their salaries be doubled because they lead the league in sacrifice bunts. There's not glory for bunters. All bunting does is win ballgames.

...Learning to bunt takes a lot of time. The manager ends up assuming that some guys can do it and others can't and he leaves it at that. You have to have time for infield practice. You have to have time for batting practice, the great priority. You have time for all that other stuff, but you don't have time for bunting.

If Wills wasn't a great bunter, odds are that he would not have lasted in the big leagues too long, no matter how fast he was. I think he makes a good point about bunting. Think Frank Howard or Rocky Colavito were ace bunters?

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.