Granderson on shift: Keep it simple

Ever wonder what a lefty hitter's thinking when he faces the shift?

Ever ask yourself, "Why doesn't he just poke one down the third-base line already?"

We know you have; we've heard you screaming it from the stands.

So we decided to ask All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson for his take.

Granderson, before Sunday's first-half finale, criticized himself for his strikeouts this season (90 in 86 games coming in; he would strike out once on Sunday) and for pulling the ball too much -- which is why, he admitted, teams are putting the shift on for him.

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson

#14 CF
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM87
  • HR25

  • RBI63

  • R79

  • OBP.361

  • AVG.269

"It's interesting to see teams shift on me ... (but) I don't go up there trying to pull, it just kind of happens," Granderson said. "I've never had that happen before. I had that once in the minor leagues and that was it. So to see that's one of the things that has changed on the defensive side of things (is) not necessarily a good thing. You always want to have the ability to go to all sides of the field, which I feel like I can, but at the same time teams are acknowledging that a lot of balls have been hit to the right side of the field."

So why doesn't he try to poke a few to the left side and get 'em scrambling?

"I spoke to (Mark Teixeira) to see how he approaches it," said Granderson. "And I spoke to Kevin Long."

The consensus?

"You have to see how they're approaching you," he said.

In other words, Granderson said, if you get a pitch you can go with, go with it.

Otherwise -- "if they're pitching you into the shift" is how he put it -- it's best to stick to your typical approach, which will yield the best results in the long run, Granderson said.

Sounds like a pretty reasonable, professional explanation -- which we suspect won't change what you'll be calling out from the bleachers next time you're at the Stadium one bit.