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Bunt [UPD]

A bunt is a batting technique in baseball or fastpitch softball. Official Baseball Rules define a bunt as follows: "A BUNT is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly within the infield." To bunt, the batter loosely holds the bat in front of home plate and intentionally taps the ball into play. A properly executed bunt will create weak contact with the ball and/or strategically direct it, forcing the infielders to make a difficult defensive play to record an out.


The strategy in bunting is to ground the ball into fair territory, as far from the fielders as possible but within the infield. This requires not only physical dexterity and concentration, but also an awareness of the fielders' positions in relation to the baserunner or baserunners, their likely reactions to the bunt, and knowledge of the pitcher's most likely pitches.

The bunt is typically executed by the batter turning his body toward the pitcher and sliding one hand up the barrel of the bat to help steady it. This is called squaring up. Depending on the situation, the batter might square up either before the pitcher winds up, or as the pitched ball approaches the plate. Sometimes, a batter may square up, then quickly retract the bat and take a full swing as the pitch is delivered.

In a sacrifice bunt, the batter will put the ball into play with the intention of advancing a baserunner, in exchange for the batter being thrown out. The sacrifice bunt is most often used to advance a runner from first to second base, though the runner may also be advanced from second to third base, or from third to home. The sacrifice bunt is most often used in close, low-scoring games, and it is usually performed by weaker hitters. A sacrifice bunt is not counted as an at-bat. In general, when sacrifice bunting, a batter will square to bunt well before the pitcher releases the ball.[1]

The squeeze play occurs when the batter sacrifices with the purpose of scoring a runner from third base. In the suicide squeeze, in which the runner on third base starts running for home plate as soon as the pitcher starts to pitch the ball, it is integral that the batter bunt the ball successfully, or the runner will likely be tagged out easily. Due to the high-risk nature of this play, it is not often executed, but can often be an exciting moment within the game. Alternatively, in the lower-risk safety squeeze, the runner on third waits for the ball to be bunted before breaking for home. If a runner scores in a squeeze play, the batter may be credited with an RBI.[2]

A batter may also bunt for a base hit. This is not a sacrifice play, because the batter is trying to reach base safely, without any intention of advancing a runner. A batter may try to bunt for a base hit while there are runners on base. In this case, if the runner advances and the batter is thrown out, and if the official scorer judges that the intention of the batter was to bunt for a base hit, then the batter will not receive credit for a sacrifice bunt. A batter bunting for a base hit will often hold back his bunt while the pitcher begins delivering the ball, in order to surprise the fielders. If successful, the bunt is scored as a hit single. Rarely does a bunt result in a double,[3] and never has one resulted in a triple or home run in MLB.[1][failed verification]

Often when attempting to bunt for a base hit, the batter will begin running as he is bunting the ball. This is called a drag bunt. Left-handed batters perform this more often than right-handed hitters, because their stance in the batter's box is closer to first base, and they do not need to run across home plate, where the ball will be pitched, as they bunt.[4]

The action of squaring to bunt is compromised during a drag bunt, as the feet are not set. Players sometimes get one hand up the barrel, and other times bunt with both hands at the base of the bat. There have been instances of one-handed drag bunts as well; Rafael Furcal has been known to try such a bunt.[4]

A swinging bunt occurs when a poorly hit ball rolls a short distance into play, much like a bunt. A swinging bunt is often the result of a checked swing, and only has the appearance of a bunt. It is not a true bunt, and if the scorer judges that the batter intended to hit the ball, it cannot be counted as a sacrifice. There is also a "slug" bunt that is intended to surprise the opposing defense, as the desired effect is a hard-hit ball into the infield defense that is expecting a standard bunt.[5]

A foul bunt that is not caught in flight is always counted as a strike, even if it is a third strike and thus results in a strikeout of the batter. This is distinct from all other foul balls which, if not caught in flight, are only counted as a strike if not a third strike. This special exception applies only to true bunts, not on any bunt-like contacts that might occur during a full swing or check-swing. If a batter bunts the ball and his bat hits the ball again after initial contact, it is a dead ball even if by accident.[7]

It is not known when the bunt was introduced; the earliest known reference to a bunt-like hit appears in the account of a game played in 1864 between the junior squads ("muffins") of the Brooklyn Excelsior and Enterprise clubs: "The feature of the play was the batting of Prof. Bassler of the Enterprise team...Being an original of the first water, he adopted an original theory in reference to batting, which we are obliged to confess is not of the most striking character. His idea is not a bad one though, it being to hit the ball slightly so as to have it drop near the home base, therefore necessitating the employment of considerable skill on the part of the pitcher to get at the ball, pick it up and throw it accurately to first base."[8] But the batting technique now known as the bunt was almost certainly perfected by Dickey Pearce, one of baseball's early stars. For much of his career, Pearce used his 'tricky hit' to tremendous effect as the rules permitted it to roll foul and still be counted as a hit. The bunt was not common until the 1880s, and was not an accepted part of baseball strategy until the 20th century. The bunt has enjoyed periodic waves of popularity throughout baseball history, coinciding with the periodic shifts of dominance between pitching and hitting over the decades.[9]

From Middle High German bunt, probably from Latin punctus, whence English point. Dutch bont seems to have somewhat earlier attestations in the relevant sense, but the phonetic form (b- for p- and Dutch -o- for -u-) could hint at Middle High German origin. It is therefore unsettled which of the two borrowed from which.

Karnal bunt spreads by spores through the movement of infected wheat seed, plants or straw or even through soil carried on agricultural equipment. Spores can even be carried on the wind, although they are relatively heavy and are not believed to be carried long distances.

Spores can live in the soil five years or more until conditions favor growth, usually a period of cool, wet weather. A fungal mat grows on the surface of the soil, and this growth sheds secondary spores. If these spores are released during the flowering stage of wheat and come in contact with the wheat ovary, bunted kernels are produced.

If a Karnal bunt-positive shipment of grain has been in your storage facility, then all conveyances, equipment and structures used for storing the grain must be cleaned and disinfected in the presence of a USDA or TDA inspector. First remove all soil and plant debris and then disinfect by one of the following methods:

While wheat with Karnal bunt is not harmful to humans or livestock, it cannot be sold as grain and must be heat-treated and used for livestock feed or for flour. However, flour made from bunted kernels is discolored and has an unpleasant, though harmless, odor and taste. Generally, wheat containing more than 3 percent bunted kernels is considered unfit for human consumption.

The major impact of Karnal bunt is to our export market since many countries will not allow imports of Karnal bunt-positive wheat, virtually closing some markets. The United States is the world's leading wheat exporter, accounting for 25 to 30 percent of world wheat exports. In 1999, Texas ranked fifth in the nation in wheat exports with a total of $209.1 million.

If Karnal bunt is found in a field, USDA will place the entire county or a portion of the county under quarantine which restricts the movement of regulated items such as wheat grain, plants, seed and straw; soil; equipment including trucks and railroad cars used to move wheat; and farm implements and equipment used in planting, harvesting and wheat processing. The quarantine also covers cleaning of storage facilities.

A sacrifice bunt occurs when a player is successful in his attempt to advance a runner (or multiple runners) at least one base with a bunt. In this vein, the batter is sacrificing himself (giving up an out) in order to move another runner closer to scoring. When a batter bunts with a runner on third base, it is called a squeeze play and, if successful, is still recorded as a sacrifice.

A sacrifice bunt does not count against a player's batting average or on-base percentage, as the decision to sacrifice often isn't made by the player. Typically, a player will be given a sign by the third-base coach, instructing a bunt attempt. In National League ballparks, pitchers are frequently called upon to sacrifice bunt.

If an error is committed and the batter reaches base, he is still credited with a sacrifice. However, if the sacrifice bunt attempt turns into a single, the batter is simply credited with a hit and no sacrifice is given. An official scorer may determine that a batter was exclusively trying to bunt for a base hit and choose not to give him credit for a sacrifice. However, this is rare in sacrifice situations (with less than two outs and men on base). 041b061a72


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