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millerforrest67

Angle vs Distance

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From the April 2018 issue of Referee magazine--

In the two-umpire system, the ability to obtain good angles on plays is paramount. Angle beats distance every time when covering a play. You’ll work to get an angle where all the elements of the play will be in front of you. The elements of plays usually include the ball and the fielder, often the runner and the base, and sometimes the location where all the elements come together.

When covering a play, work toward getting your best possible angle first and then continue hustling to reduce your distance to the play. The old adage, “There is a close correlation between closeness to the play and correctness of the call,” is an effective method of covering a play.

…It cannot be overstated: Angle is more important than distance.

 

From the 2017-18 NFHS Baseball Umpire’s Manual

…but keep in mind having the proper angle is more important than the distance from the play. Again, the umpire should take a position at an angle where the umpire can see the area between the base and the runner.

TAG PLAYS. Do not try to outrun the players to the bases. Know the available shortcuts and move to get as close to a right angle as you can. Move quickly, get set, then watch the whole play and wait for the play to end before making your call…Also, be careful not to get too close to the play; stay far enough back to see the entire play as it develops.

 

 

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Yes. Angle supersedes distance because we can see tag/no tag from a long distance if we have the right angle, and if we have the wrong angle being close won't help.

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Also, I dont believe it has been mentioned. But in two man with multiple runner responsibilities. We can not gain to much distance as we may have to then turn and make a call all the way across the diamond on another runner.

I.e. R2 and a bunt, play at first, throw back to 3rd. This would be the BU's call all the way around. And if you gain to much distance to 1st, it puts you out of position for that play into 3rd.

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Anecdotally, the vast vast majority of "misses" - whether it's an umpire, or a coach/someone in stands, missing an out/safe - it's a miss that would have been fixed by a different angle.  There are calls you can see from 200 feet away if you have the right angle.

You can also be too close sometimes, providing not enough field of vision, which also goes to angle (eg. hand on bag, tag on foot six feet away)

Why else would a PU three feet away defer a swing/no swing call to a BU 100 feet away?

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4 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Why else would a PU three feet away defer a swing/no swing call to a BU 100 feet away?

Because he was tracking a breaking ball that was falling below the zone, which took his eyes off the swing of the bat.

That is different than being too close to make the correct call.

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7 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

Because he was tracking a breaking ball that was falling below the zone, which took his eyes off the swing of the bat.

That is different than being too close to make the correct call.

Perhaps, but the general rule is the BU has the better angle, the better view.  He may not see a swing either, but if he sees a swing it probably was a swing.   The fact is, on that same pitch, the PU isn't going to miss  a full swing (Mexican umpire videos from this summer aside), but on a check swing he's deferring to the better angle/view.

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3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Perhaps, but the general rule is the BU has the better angle, the better view.  He may not see a swing either, but if he sees a swing it probably was a swing.   The fact is, on that same pitch, the PU isn't going to miss  a full swing (Mexican umpire videos from this summer aside), but on a check swing he's deferring to the better angle/view.

I have never asked for help on a check swing because of angle.  Catcher blocks me, tracking all the way on the aforementioned low breaking ball. Never because I have a bad angle.

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9 hours ago, umpstu said:

I have never asked for help on a check swing because of angle.  Catcher blocks me, tracking all the way on the aforementioned low breaking ball. Never because I have a bad angle.

...but you would agree that the line umpire has a better angle, yes?

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4 hours ago, Gfoley4 said:

...but you would agree that the line umpire has a better angle, yes?

No, I won't.

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48 minutes ago, umpstu said:

No, I won't.

Well, he does.  For the purposes of identifying a swing.  The PU, and even the catcher, are effectively straightlined to determine how far that barrel really went, and whether he really did check his swing.   Oftentimes the catcher doesn't "know" if the batter swung, he just knows it's worth a second look.  Many times the call for an appeal first comes from the benches, or the corner fielders, who have the better angle than the catcher or pitcher or PU.  The BU, especially one on the line, has a far superior angle than the PU.

 

14 hours ago, umpstu said:

I have never asked for help on a check swing because of angle.  Catcher blocks me, tracking all the way on the aforementioned low breaking ball. Never because I have a bad angle.

You're honestly saying you never had a case where you balled a pitch, and ruled, in your mind, no swing, where you had a clear view of said check swing,  were certain of your call, and then have the BU see something different?   Or are you saying you would rather not accept the BU's determination if you the had the choice to do so, because you had the superior position to determine swing/no swing, and in those cases the BU was wrong and you grudgingly accept their ruling?

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

Well, he does.  For the purposes of identifying a swing.  The PU, and even the catcher, are effectively straightlined to determine how far that barrel really went, and whether he really did check his swing.   Oftentimes the catcher doesn't "know" if the batter swung, he just knows it's worth a second look.  Many times the call for an appeal first comes from the benches, or the corner fielders, who have the better angle than the catcher or pitcher or PU.  The BU, especially one on the line, has a far superior angle than the PU.

 

You're honestly saying you never had a case where you balled a pitch, and ruled, in your mind, no swing, where you had a clear view of said check swing,  were certain of your call, and then have the BU see something different?   Or are you saying you would rather not accept the BU's determination if you the had the choice to do so, because you had the superior position to determine swing/no swing, and in those cases the BU was wrong and you grudgingly accept their ruling?

Angle has nothing to do with a checked swing.

 

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Agreed. There is a thread on Facebook with a still shot from the 1B dugout of Gary Sanchez (#YoSoyGary #IAmGary lol) with a check swing from either Game 3 or Game 4 (I cant recall). The still looks a whole heck of a lot like he should have been rung up. But he wasnt. Neither the plate umpire nor U1 thought it was a swing.

The best angle to see this is in the dugout. Not on the field. But here we are. Having to make this call from less than optimal position.

The PU has just as much of an angle as U1 or U3 on a check swing. The only difference is that PU has other responsibilities first and more people directly in his vicinity to get in the way.

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13 minutes ago, UMP45 said:

Angle has nothing to do with a checked swing.

 

I don't see how you can say that.

I would submit if you sat behind the plate and watched nothing but the batter swinging, checking his swing every time, with no catcher (hell, no ball), you would see a lot of "no swings" that a base ump would see as swings.  Unless you think I'm grossly wrong on that speculation (I won't rule out the possibility I'm wrong - just talk with my wife).  If I'm not, I just can't see how that can be explained by anything other than the different angles (most of the time).

8 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

The best angle to see this is in the dugout.

I agree.  That does not preclude that there are other angles, even on the field, that are better than the one the PU has - even if none of them are the best angle.   Degrees.   It's not on or off.   I've always said that the BU will probably miss swings like the PU did, but even at the worst position if the BU saw a swing, it probably was.

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4 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

I don't see how you can say that.

I would submit if you sat behind the plate and watched nothing but the batter swinging, checking his swing every time, with no catcher (hell, no ball), you would see a lot of "no swings" that a base ump would see as swings.  Unless you think I'm grossly wrong on that speculation (I won't rule out the possibility I'm wrong - just talk with my wife).  If I'm not, I just can't see how that can be explained by anything other than the different angles (most of the time).

I agree.  That does not preclude that there are other angles, even on the field, that are better than the one the PU has - even if none of them are the best angle.   Degrees.   It's not on or off.   I've always said that the BU will probably miss swings like the PU did, but even at the worst position if the BU saw a swing, it probably was.

What is the main component of the half swing rule?

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1 hour ago, UMP45 said:

What is the main component of the half swing rule?

It depends a bit on the code, but it's "attempt to hit the ball" not "how far did the bat move" -- although if it moves far enough, that's also sufficient.

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17 hours ago, UMP45 said:

What is the main component of the half swing rule?

Not sure what you mean.  Is there a "half swing" rule, outside the instructions/directions for a PU to defer to a BU when asked, including whether or not they must?  The umpire is to determine if the batter struck at the ball.   I know of no hard and fast rule to what "strike" and "at" in that context truly mean.  All other notion of breaking the wrists, passing the plane of the plate, etc, are myths, per se - though I suspect they are used as loose guidelines, by certainly the greenest of umpires and likely even the most experienced umpires, in determining "how far the bat went", in deciding if it was a swing or not.   Ultimately, how far the bat went (whatever imaginary line you think that is, in the moment, on a batter by batter basis) will, typically, determine if you think the batter struck at the ball.   THough it is possible to strike at a ball (bunting aside) with a true half swing that never comes close to crossing the plate.  But, 99.9999% of the time we're talking about where the batter has changed their mind and is trying to stop their swing - the ump is deciding if they did it soon enough.

Edit: keeping in mind that outside of bunts and 100% red light takes, most batters, especially MLB batters, are starting their swing on every single pitch, because math...so, "starting a swing" isn't the standard.  Nor is attempting to hit, nor intent...as the batter's intent is always to not swing in these cases - his intent WAS to try to hit the ball...then he changed his mind.  So, to me, it's kind of like the guy who slams his breaks at a red light and slides into the intersection - less about his intent and more about where he ended up.

 

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