FIRE JOE MORGAN: Smallball: A Definition


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Sunday, July 16, 2006


Smallball: A Definition

Reader Chris points to this article from the AP, of all places, which helps us define the elusive term "Smallball." It's a recap of the Yankees' 14-3 drubbing of the ChiSox yesterday. The first paragraph reads:

Instead of swinging for the fences, the New York Yankees put down a string of splendid bunts and beat Ozzie Guillen's White Sox at their own game of small ball.

Then it talks about how the Yankees bunted a few times. It also includes these sentences:

Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams each doubled twice...

Andy Phillips homered and knocked in four runs...

Even little Bubba Crosby got in on it, hitting his first home run since a game-winning shot last Sept. 19 against Baltimore.

See? Smallball! It's about doing the little things, like scoring 14 runs on 14 hits, including five doubles and two dingers. It's also, apparently, somehow about having the other team play bad baseball:

Jason Giambi hit a two-run single, leadoff batter Johnny Damon scored three times and the Yankees took advantage of some shoddy Chicago defense to build an 8-0 lead for Mussina (11-3). the fourth...[n]obody covered first base on Miguel Cairo's bunt single, leaving runners at first and second. Damon followed with a hard, short-hop bunt to Konerko. He wheeled and threw wide to third, where the ball glanced off the glove of fill-in third baseman Alex Cintron, who was charged with an error that loaded the bases.

That's what makes Smallball such a great approach to the game: all you have to do is keep bunting, and the other team will make a lot of errors, and win!

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