Baseball seems like a fairly simple game . . . until you try to explain it to someone. Even ignoring the infield-fly rule, there’s a surprising amount of complexity packed into a few pages of guidelines.
Case in point: baseball’s part-rule, part-event, part quantum physics experiment, the fourth out. Most fans have never heard of it, although they’ve probably seen it in action. But not understanding the ins-and-outs of this technical twist can cost games.
Bunting, says Bill James of Sabermetrics fame, is “the only play in baseball that both sides applaud.” But years ago, every player – even sluggers like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle – used bunting as a fundamental part of the game, and some coaches still prefer the bankable bunt when it comes to advancing runners, especially when a weak hitter steps to the plate.
Whatever your viewpoint, there’s little doubt that bunting is an art. Read on for the ins-and-outs of this venerable and controversial technique.