The stolen base is a lost art, bunting a baseball is the ugliest thing to watch big league ball players do. The bunting has gotten worse with the years of the Designated Hitter firmly rooted in the game. The excuse was American League batters don’t work on bunting because of the DH. What is the National League excuse? They look awful trying to bunt, (Not talking about the pitchers). One use to bunt for two reasons…surprise the defense if they played far back on the infield especially if you had speed. And second to get out of a hitting slump nothing gets you out of hitting slump quicker than a bunt hit. Bunting for a sacrifice or moving the running over is still painful to watch on the big league level so the question is do they even work on this in the minor leagues?
If memory serves correct two of the best bunters I remember watching was …Rod Carew and Brett Butler. In fact Butler approached Carew about bunting, worked on it and got better. Currently Ichiro Suzuki is one of the best bunters in the Major Leagues. But beyond him I don’t see much of that anymore. Part of my youth growing up was learning all phases of Baseball which included bunting a baseball, simple yet so lacking today. Maybe part of the problem is the way General Managers evaluate players with crazy matrix that looks at certain numbers and not the skill, bunting is becoming like the stolen base a lost art of the game.
Swing for the fences, make the big money, get recognized on Sportcenter. That’s what sells. Sadly.