MLB's incoming commissioner, Rob Manfred, says in a new video on ESPN that he's interested in eliminating defensive shifting:
I think the second set of changes I would look at is related, and that relates to injecting additional offense in the game. For example, things like eliminating shifts -- I would be open to those sorts of ideas. ...
We have really smart people working in the game, and they're going to figure out ways to get a competitive advantage. I think it's incumbent upon us in the commissioner's office to look at the advantages that are produced, and say, "Is this what we want to happen in the game?"
No. Just no. The guy is just starting on the job, and already he makes me want Bud Selig back. Shifts are a key reason the Pirates have been able to compete over the past couple of years, and a key reason why the gap between the haves and the have-nots in baseball has shrunk. But hey, they'll just create some asinine, arbitrary system where fielders can only stand in prescribed areas. Maybe they'll just draw an X on the infield between second and third so the shortstop knows where he's allowed to stand. Then perhaps Commissioner Manfred can eliminate the rule that allows teams to control player salaries for the first six years, and just make everyone a free agent off the bat. Anything to prevent big-market teams from having to get creative to win.
I don't think the lack of offense in baseball is a problem, but maybe there are ways to increase the amount of offense in the game, and we just don't know what they are yet. Let baseball's brightest minds figure it out, rather than punishing them for being smart.