LAS VEGAS -- The shift, and the possibility of legislating against it, has been a topic at baseball's winter meetings all week. A hot topic? Perhaps, if you're comparing it to the slow trickle of the transaction wire. So let's call it lukewarm.
Every year at the meetings, every manager gets a half-hour with the media, and it's pretty easy to see what people are working on because they ask the same question of every skipper. This year, many managers were asked if they were in favor of baseball going shiftless. Two consensus points emerged:
1. Most of the managers who hazarded an opinion are decidedly not in favor of banning the shift.
2. It's up to baseball's launch-angling, dead-pulling batsmen to adjust to the new reality, lest their species become endangered.
There's also a third point that a couple of managers made, which was basically that this discussion is not necessarily a "real discussion," as Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle put it. Certainly Hurdle and his fellow managers should know, but the fact is that the discussion didn't begin with the media. It began with the sport's commissioner, Rob Manfred, who has floated the ban as a possibility on a few occasions. So, Mr. Hurdle, please indulge us this one question on yet another slow day of actual news.