By Brian Leddo
The shift has become a much talked about part of baseball over the last several seasons. As the onslaught of statistics bombard us with endlessly parsed numerical depictions of the game, of course, of course, we get to hear about the statistical effectiveness of “the shift.” I despise baseball guys who LOVE the shift, but I don’t mind baseball guys that LIKE the shift. However, baseball writers that love the shift and cannot write one baseball article without going into great detail about how many fucking shifts there are this year (and there are quite a few) are about as annoying as Bryce Harper’s GQ-wanna-be, Macklemore-imitating, I’m-a-prominent-young-white-male-in-entertainment haircut.
With that out of the way, here are three situations that “the shift” can be utilized in everyday life, for far greater impact than on the diamond.
1. Belligerent Guy on the Post-Game Bus Shift
This is a pretty obvious shift in my opinion. If belligerent man on bus (BMOB, we’ll call him) is sitting at the back of the bus, the shift would be towards the front. If BMOB is on the right side of the bus, the shift would be to the left side. Stay with me here. If BMOB is on the left side, the shift would be to the right side of the bus. And, finally, if BMOB is sitting in the front of the bus, the shift would be to the back of the bus. Some of the more astute readers may have noticed a pattern here.
Shift Value: 5/10. BMOB is a known hurler of things (slurred insults, fences, stomach contents). Best to steer clear of his target radius.
2. Middle Seat on a Road Trip Shift
This shift has interesting variables at play. There is a lot of strategic thinking that must go into this shift. Co-rider smell, body size, and car foot space carry critical value, and a false move could leave you as the recipient of a rough elbow during a sharp turn. This shift requires some thought and planning. The risk-reward contrast of making the correct shift is immense.
Shift Value: 8/10. The downside here is drastic. Hours of hunched forward seating are worth a carefully considered shift.
3. Shift Shift
Shifting your shift might could yield prime baseball viewing hours if you work in a different time zone than your favorite team. If you currently work a standard 9-5 on the west coast and your favorite team plays most of its games in the eastern time zone, ask if an 8pm-4am shift is available. That way you roll into work on a high, right after your team plays. It shows your boss that you’re flexible, that you have owl-like instincts, and that you’re so dedicated that you can succeed in a totally self-motivated work environment. BOOM. Win-win-win-win. If that’s not a Russell Crowe running through the tulips moment for ya, I’m not sure what is.
Shift Value: 9/10. The shift shift could ultimately revolutionize your schedule, rendering your sports obsession the ordering principle of your life, as it deserves to be.
Leddo’s Idea of the Week to Save Baseball
Five games a year, baseball is played in a dome with the lights off.
Glow in the dark cleats, glow in the dark hats and uniforms, glow in the dark balls, glow in the dark mitts.
The pitcher wears orange glow in the dark tape around his fingers for the batter to pick up the yellow glow in the dark baseball out of the pitcher’s hand.
After the game, a free Planetarium show is held.