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Ump gets shown up by batter, batter doesn't like ump's response


beerguy55

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

On height - I'm thinking 24 inches is too high....21 inches is probably more accurate.  Might even be able to drop the low end a couple of inches.

Same scenario on the zone height. 2+ inches to top and bottom to account for the ball. Lawrie is 6' tall, 24" isn't that much. 

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4 minutes ago, Mister B said:

Same scenario on the zone height. 2+ inches to top and bottom to account for the ball. Lawrie is 6' tall, 24" isn't that much. 

Is the graph meant to show the actual strike zone, meaning the outside of the ball can touch the outside of the zone...or is it meant to show the entirety of the area that accounts for the width of the ball that is touching the outside edge of the strike zone...meaning to be a strike the entire ball would have to fall inside the box.   Or something in between?

I see three possible ways to draw a strike zone in two dimensions.   (I know a ball isn't quite 3 inches wide - using 3 inches for ease of illustration)

Box 1 that allows the outside edge of the ball to touch the outside edge of the box (approx. 17x21)

Box 2 that requires the entire ball to be inside the box. (approx 23x27)

Box 3 that allows half the ball to be outside the box - ie. the centre of the ball can touch the outside edge of the box (approx 20x24)

Which of these boxes do these graphs typically represent?  And do the marks represent the centre of the ball - because I've seen graphs that try to represent the full ball.

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Exactly, and this is why the strike zone isn't easily solved by a computer. That and that the strike zone is 4 dimensional. It's a 3 dimensional space that changes over time, due to changes in the batter and how each PU interprets the zone for that batter based on the rules provided. 

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6 minutes ago, Mister B said:

Exactly, and this is why the strike zone isn't easily solved by a computer. That and that the strike zone is 4 dimensional. It's a 3 dimensional space that changes over time, due to changes in the batter and how each PU interprets the zone for that batter based on the rules provided. 

I disagree that we should each be intrepreting the strike zone differently for each batter. IMO, that just says that some are better at reading the pitch location in regards to the zone than others.

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1 hour ago, basejester said:

In my humble opinion, there's never been any context in which a FYC is appropriate.  It's the antithesis of the role of umpire.  

  

What is FYC? Saw it earlier ITT, but couldn't pick it out of the context.

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1 minute ago, udbrky said:

What is FYC? Saw it earlier ITT, but couldn't pick it out of the context.

Screw-you call.  So, the umpire has some sort of beef (e.g., like in the this thread, the batter draws a line).  And instead of warning or ejecting, the umpire just makes the next call against that player, regardless of the facts.  I had never heard the term except from Carl Childress, rest his soul.

 

 

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Just now, basejester said:

Screw-you call.  So, the umpire has some sort of beef (e.g., like in the this thread, the batter draws a line).  And instead of warning or ejecting, the umpire just makes the next call against that player, regardless of the facts.  I had never heard the term except from Carl Childress, rest his soul.

 

 

Gotcha - that was about the only thing I could think of for it.

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1 hour ago, udbrky said:

I disagree that we should each be intrepreting the strike zone differently for each batter. IMO, that just says that some are better at reading the pitch location in regards to the zone than others.

Each batter has a different zone. Not everyone has the same knee height, some people have longer torsos than others, etc. 

More to the point, it drives me nuts when we see all these models of the K-zone that are simply a rectangle. Now, I'm not saying anything bad about Brooks. It's quite admirable. But the plate isn't a line in the dirt, it's a pentagon that has a length and width that we need to consider. Pitches move, and we just need any part of the ball to touch the zone. So what happens with the backdoor slider that's barely off the plate at the front edge, but cuts back over the last 3/4 of the plate? Pitch trackers will show this pitch being outside, when in fact it came back over the plate. Then the umpire takes crap for "missing" the call and the Robo-Ump advocates use it to build their case. Again, nothing against the aforementioned system, we just need to realize what the strike zone actually is. :2cents:

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1 hour ago, udbrky said:

I disagree that we should each be intrepreting the strike zone differently for each batter. IMO, that just says that some are better at reading the pitch location in regards to the zone than others.

How about, "define the space based on the PU interpretation." ? Each batter is going to have a slightly different space based on their size and normal stance. We as umpires define that space based on our interpretation of the rules and how we visualize it. For me, I visualize a slightly larger zone and base it roughly off of the center of the ball. Others may base their zone on the entire ball. etc. 

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Just now, Stk004 said:

Each batter has a different zone. Not everyone has the same knee height, some people have longer torsos than others, etc. 

More to the point, it drives me nuts when we see all these models of the K-zone that are simply a rectangle. Now, I'm not saying anything bad about this pitch tracking program (can't recall the name). It's quite admirable. But the plate isn't a line in the dirt, it's a pentagon that has a length and width that we need to consider. Pitches move, and we just need any part of the ball to touch the zone. So what happens with the backdoor slider that's barely off the plate at the front edge, but cuts back over the last 3/4 of the plate? Pitch trackers will show this pitch being outside, when in fact it came back over the plate. Then the umpire takes crap for "missing" the call and the Robo-Ump advocates use it to build their case. Again, nothing against the aforementioned system, we just need to realize what the strike zone actually is. :2cents:

I know they do, but the zone is relative to a batter's height. 

 

I agree on what you are saying on the rest and why I think the robo ump people are nuts.

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Just now, Mister B said:

How about, "define the space based on the PU interpretation." ? Each batter is going to have a slightly different space based on their size and normal stance. We as umpires define that space based on our interpretation of the rules and how we visualize it. For me, I visualize a slightly larger zone and base it roughly off of the center of the ball. Others may base their zone on the entire ball. etc. 

It is based on their stance, right? We should visualize it the same, based on if the ball passes through the zone. 
 

I'm not talking about times when you might expand the zone, or different age levels. I'm saying that we should strive to have a more uniform zone - a zone that is indeed particular to that player. I won't have the same zone as Kevin Durant. I'm way shorter. But if STK and you are working a DH, my strike zone shouldn't be much different from game 1 to game 2.

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20 minutes ago, Stk004 said:

Each batter has a different zone. Not everyone has the same knee height, some people have longer torsos than others, etc. 

More to the point, it drives me nuts when we see all these models of the K-zone that are simply a rectangle. Now, I'm not saying anything bad about Brooks. It's quite admirable. But the plate isn't a line in the dirt, it's a pentagon that has a length and width that we need to consider. Pitches move, and we just need any part of the ball to touch the zone. So what happens with the backdoor slider that's barely off the plate at the front edge, but cuts back over the last 3/4 of the plate? Pitch trackers will show this pitch being outside, when in fact it came back over the plate. Then the umpire takes crap for "missing" the call and the Robo-Ump advocates use it to build their case. Again, nothing against the aforementioned system, we just need to realize what the strike zone actually is. :2cents:

Exactly - which is why I asked before about drawing a strike zone "in two dimensions".  Three dimensions is another level of complexity.

I'm curious, does the three dimensional strike zone take the shape of the plate (ie. does it chop off the two back corners), or is it a full 17 inch square when considering those back door sliders?

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26 minutes ago, udbrky said:

It is based on their stance, right? We should visualize it the same, based on if the ball passes through the zone. 
 

I'm not talking about times when you might expand the zone, or different age levels. I'm saying that we should strive to have a more uniform zone - a zone that is indeed particular to that player. I won't have the same zone as Kevin Durant. I'm way shorter. But if STK and you are working a DH, my strike zone shouldn't be much different from game 1 to game 2.

I'm not saying that it changes every time, but it changes and evolves over periods of time. If a batter is going thru a slump he may change his stance, that will modify his zone. As umpires, we are constantly trying to improve and my refine our zone or how we visualize. It's all evolution. Then add the rules. What happens when they say 60% of the way from the belt to the armpits? Your 60% might be different than mine, they should be close, but they won't be exact. And there is the problem, the strike zone isn't exact and pitches don't go straight thru the zone. I've seen some breaking balls that seem to drop about 3-5 inches from just before they enter the zone, until they hit the catcher's mitt. 

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27 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Exactly - which is why I asked before about drawing a strike zone "in two dimensions".  Three dimensions is another level of complexity.

I'm curious, does the three dimensional strike zone take the shape of the plate (ie. does it chop off the two back corners), or is it a full 17 inch square when considering those back door sliders?

In theory it would take the shape of the plate. 

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When a catcher "pulls" a pitch, regardless of which direction, he is announcing to the PU that he thought it missed ... but it was really close.

The great Steve Yeager made an excellent video with John McSherry where McSherry and Yeager taught plate mechanics and catcher skills in unison.  It was a work of genius.  Yeager freely admitted on one pitch, "Did you see what I did there?  I tried to buy him one.  I yanked that high pitch down.  You may as well tell the ump, "Yeah .. I know ... missed high ... "  Yeager had been stressing the importance of NOT doing just that.

I've always told HS catchers (when they ask) that no matter where the pitch is ... catching it firmly and holding it for one second will ALWAYS look better than yanking it.  If we call 300 pitches per game, there are 50-75 borderline pitches.  The best way to get some good strike calls on the borderline pitches is to not "tip your hand" by yanking them.

On the other hand ... Realize that McSherry called in a different era.  He spoke of balls that "nick" the strike zone ... and that they shouldn't be called strikes.  Managers will freely tell you they want those pitches called strikes.  2" off the plate either in or out ... they WANT those pitches called strikes.  Bobby Cox actually said 3" in or out is a strike all day long (after the now infamous Eric Gregg incident).  "It speeds the game up!" was his quote.  We are taught (with video instruction) that from the outside of the ball on either side of the plate, the width of the zone is about 27" according to what most MLB managers prefer.  That means the inside of the ball is about 2.5" off the plate.

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1 hour ago, BT_Blue said:

someone get @Gil Imber in here to explain the Brooks graph... there is a reason it is like that.

Not going to speak for Gil, but the graph is not always accurate for zone height.  The width is correct since the plate never changes, but the height represented in the graph is essentially the average zone height.  You have to look at the actual data to see if those borderline pitches at the top and bottom were called correctly.

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3 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

Not going to speak for Gil, but the graph is not always accurate for zone height.  The width is correct since the plate never changes, but the height represented in the graph is essentially the average zone height.  You have to look at the actual data to see if those borderline pitches at the top and bottom were called correctly.

What is the top of the MLB zone?  By the book?  By tradition?

If the zone has been changed in the last 5 years because of Questech or any of the other digital systems, I'd like to know if MLB umpires have been given a mandate to call the top of the zone according to the book.  I just don't believe they do.  If they do, it's a HUGE advantage to the pitcher.  Not wrong ... just a fact.

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Just now, VolUmp said:

What is the top of the zone?  By the book?  By tradition?

If the zone has been changed in the last 5 years because of Questech or any of the other digital systems, I'd like to know if MLP umpires have been given a mandate to call the top of the zone according to the book.  I just don't believe they do.  If they do, it's a HUGE advantage to the pitcher.  Not wrong ... just a fact.

I think you'll find that the book zone is being called in MLB - even that high strike.  NCAA absolutely expects it's umpires to call that pitch as well.

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5 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I think you'll find that the book zone is being called in MLB - even that high strike.  NCAA absolutely expects it's umpires to call that pitch as well.

OK.  I believe you ... but as recently as 6-8 years ago, I was told that if you call a strike above the belt in NCAA, the catcher will be quite vocal about it because the vast majority of PUs wouldn't give the high strike.  Since the grading system came into play in MLB, I can imagine there's been a sudden and drastic shift there.

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41 minutes ago, VolUmp said:

OK.  I believe you ... but as recently as 6-8 years ago, I was told that if you call a strike above the belt in NCAA, the catcher will be quite vocal about it because the vast majority of PUs wouldn't give the high strike.  Since the grading system came into play in MLB, I can imagine there's been a sudden and drastic shift there.

I haven't been around the umpire world nearly as long as you gentlemen, but I still hear people who aren't willing to go very far above the belt; a baseball at most. However, to me at least, it seems that more and more groups (MiLB, NCAA, etc.) are advocating for that high strike to get called. 

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1 hour ago, VolUmp said:

What is the top of the MLB zone?  By the book?  By tradition?

If the zone has been changed in the last 5 years because of Questech or any of the other digital systems, I'd like to know if MLB umpires have been given a mandate to call the top of the zone according to the book.  I just don't believe they do.  If they do, it's a HUGE advantage to the pitcher.  Not wrong ... just a fact.

 

The last 2 changes to the strike zone in MLB. 

 

1996 - The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.

1988 - "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

 

Just a couple of variables. Midpoint and when exactly is the batter prepared to swing. Before the load, after the load, after the stride? Does the ball have to stay under that top line to be a strike or just pass thru it? This is why batters learn an umpire's strike zone. 

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1 minute ago, Mister B said:

 

The last 2 changes to the strike zone in MLB. 

 

1996 - The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.

1988 - "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

I think you may be missing my point, but I'll assume otherwise.

I know what the book says.  I also know what tradition says.

My question is ... somewhere in the last 6-8 years, has there been a mandate (coming down from the Commissioner) to the MLB Umpires ... that states something to the effect of, "We expect you guys to start calling the strike zone by the book.  The top is the most egregiously miscalled area.  We want the high strike called, and you will be graded."

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