Tsuyoshi Shinjo riding a hover craft onto the field.
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Two-Run Suicide Squeeze

I spend a good chunk of my time on this site writing about things happening in baseball that I find to be fun. It’s time yet again for me to highlight a baseball moment that was lots of fun. Look below and marvel at what took place,

The particulars of who was involved with this play don’t particularly matter. What does matter is that it was a play engineered by Tsuyoshi Shinjo, the heavily eccentric manager (also known affectionately and now professionally as Big Boss) of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League Hokkaido Nippon-ham Fighters. When I say eccentric, I really mean that. He’s come out to the field on a rocket before, has allowed his players to decide the lineup on their own, and more. Some of his ideas are massive misses, but others end up working really well. What he does that I enjoy the most is that he takes chances. He’s not concerned so much with if something will go wrong but rather the fruit of his idea going very well.

That’s how you get a play like the one above. Runners on second and third, one out, two strikes on the batter, and Shinjo orders a suicide squeeze. This wasn’t your typical suicide squeeze mind you, he sent the runner from second as well and had said runner keep going right through third base. This resulted in two runs scoring on a suicide squeeze bunt. It’s a small moment in the grand scheme of things, but I’m glad Shinjo attempted it, that I got to see it, and that it worked.

As much as Shinjo may not care about whether his ideas work or not, I want more of them to work than not. Yes, some of this is due to me being a Fighters fan, but it’s mainly because I want Shinjo to keep trying things. Baseball is so much more fun when it’s not a stationary game and when managers are willing to cut their players loose. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Shinjo is great at letting his players cut loose and I want as much of that in my baseball as is humanly possible.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – MLB.com

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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