Yankees manager Joe Girardi would like to ban shift from baseball

April 26, 2016, 7:54 PM

— -- ARLINGTON, Texas -- If New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi were the commissioner of baseball, he says he would ban the shift.

"It is an illegal defense, like basketball," said Girardi, referring to defensive three seconds in the NBA. "Guard your man, guard your spot. If I were commissioner, they would be illegal."

The subject came up during Girardi's pregame media session in part because Yankee starter Nathan Eovaldi lost his no-hitter in the seventh inning Monday on a ground ball that went through the area where the shortstop traditionally plays.

The Yankees had the shift on, and the no-hitter came to an end.

"As long as it is legal, I'm going to play it," said Girardi, whose team routinely aligns untraditionally.

That doesn't mean he has to like it. Girardi said he feels as if the shift takes away from the original intent of the setup of baseball.

"I just think the field was built this way for a reason, with two on one side and two on the other," Girardi said.

The MLB's actual commissioner, Rob Manfred, talked about possibly banning the shift when he first came into office in 2014, but he since has walked back from those comments.

"When I talked about the defensive shifts, I let myself get into a situation where I speculated about a change I wasn't serious about," Manfred told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick in January.

Girardi said it "maybe" bothers him a little more that Eovaldi lost his no-hitter on a shift-aided play. During the normal course of action, though, he said he doesn't really think about hits that go through because of the new age alignments.

The game has changed, and Girardi has noticed that infielders are now adjusting to being on both sides of second base.