OXFORD |: Mike Bianco may be a new man when it comes to his Rebels defensive end.
Ole Miss opens its national title defense on Feb. 17 against Delaware, and the head coach, entering his 23rd season at Oxford, is looking to use that rotation for the first time. More and more teams around the country have embraced it in recent seasons, and the Rebels experimented with it in the fall.
The shift, which usually adds defenders to the hitter, has become a staple of Major League Baseball over the past seven seasons, and that league now bans the shift, stating that all four infielders must now have two legs. the pitch and the two infielders must be on either side of second base when the pitch is delivered.
The rule change in professional baseball is partly because Bianco is sometimes more interested in using it. Here is his full response to his change of mindset.
“We are going to change. I was convinced. We talked about it and one of the things, and it’s kind of weird, that convinced me is that if Major League Baseball is thinking about changing the rules because it makes a difference, then maybe we should do it. When you watch, there is no doubt. In college or MLB, it makes a difference.
“It bothered me to do that when we play Delaware and we face a kid that’s never been hit or had 27 at-bats, but we talk about how the kid changes over time, how we change what we do. : For 150 years of baseball, and this is where Abner Doubleday put them, we put them somewhere else. I get it in professional baseball when they get 500 bases. They’ve been in the minor leagues for four years and that’s 2,000 at-bats. You can look back at the information and say: “Hey, I know he’s a rookie, but in 2,000 at-bats in the minor leagues, that’s where he hits the ball.”
“I understand it and I believe it. I think we have that information?” I assured. We’re not going to be super crazy with it, and there are times when we’ll play normal baseball and times when we’ll switch.
“For us, the game situation is more difficult when you change. It’s not about which player to move on or where to position, it’s about who takes second and third. How do we get a guy in there and who’s guarding? These are things none of us, even as coaches, were taught or learned. It’s a different baseball. We have to learn on the fly.
“Hey Chase, you’ve got to duplicate this throw, and then when we talk about it more in the intramurals, we see, no, it’s not good if you do that, Parrish, you do that and duplicate that throw : It’s just unusual and a different way to play the game.
“Some of the defenses after the ball is hit, if it’s a single and the guy goes from first to third, where are people running? I’m more worried about that than whether or not to move. We’re going to switch and a guy is going to hit where we would in a normal game and vice versa, we didn’t switch on this guy and that’s going to happen. But I hope not more than not.”