Up first, the stupidest rule in baseball, next to the DH of course, the sacrifice fly.
I love the sacrifice bunt, both strategically and in spirit. You need to advance that baserunner so instead of swinging away, you drop one down, conceding the out and your chance of a base hit, literally sacrificing your glory and your stats for the good of the team. But wait, you didn’t sacrifice your stats because baseball rules celebrate your unselfishness by not only pretending you never came to the plate, but by giving you positive check in the “sacrifice bunt” category. It makes perfect sense. It’s a rule that is good for the player, good for the game and good for young children who can learn the value of team over individual.
The sacrifice fly, on the other hand, is a freaking joke. There is a runner on third that needs to get home so you swing as hard as you can and jack one to deep center, but not quite far enough and the outfielder tracks it down at the wall. The runner trots home and you, like the noble bunter, is rewarded with forgotten at-bat and a place in the box score next to “Sac Fly.” Problem is, rarely is there ever any sacrificing involved in a “sacrifice fly.” It’s a bullshit stat that has been plaguing the game for years. Consider this:
- The “sacrifice fly” is only given when a runner advances from third to home. Apparently, you can’t “give yourself up” through the air to get a runner to third. No, that would be silly.
- If a bunter is determined to have been attempting to get a base hit with his bunt and the advancement of the runner was merely coincidental, or a side effect of the bunt, the batter is not given a “sacrifice bunt.” Have you ever seen a “sac fly” not given because the official scorer deems that the batter was actually trying for a hit? That would be preposterous because the fact is, almost every “sac fly” is the result of a batter trying for a hit. Sure, batters will attempt to “get the ball in the air” or “hit one hard somewhere” but hardly ever does a batter say, “I’m just going to lift one to center about 375 feet, not too far so that it goes over the fence, but far enough that the runner can score.”
So, in summary, the” sacrifice fly” is crap. It is merely a convenient result of an otherwise typical approach and should be A)banished from the record book or 2)expanded to include advancement to other bases along with the addition of the “sacrifice grounder” to make it consistent with established “sacrifice” rules. At least, that is what I think.