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To see or not to see


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Guest D- money

If the RH batter is standing with both feet on the inside line of the batter's box ( not touching the plate) and the catcher is set up on the inside part of the plate, the view in the "slot" is limited or non existent. I'v been told that its not correct mechanically to move above the catcher's head, or to his outside shoulder. Others have suggested to call any pitch thats not viewable a ball and ask the catcher to "give you a window" to see the pitch. Can the umpire ask the batter to move back so that his feet are entirely within the lines of the batters box?

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18 minutes ago, Guest D- money said:

I'v been told that its not correct mechanically to move above the catcher's head, or to his outside shoulder.

Never move to the outside shoulder of the catcher unless you are willing to make a permanent career change to finger painting. Moving out puts you in the kill zone for foul balls.

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I have been taught to move up. Sometimes you will not see a pitch until F2 catches it. Use all the information you have at that point to call the pitch. If F2 catches it like a strike call it a strike. At first, it is hard to trust yourself when the pitch is not visible, but all the other aspects of calling pitches, especially timing and tracking, will give your calls legitimacy. Only you will know whether or not you saw the entire pitch and no one will squawk if you do everything the way you should.

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As long as the batter is legally in the box, then you can't very well tell him to move. The batter 's feet must be entirely in the box, and the lines are considered part of the box. 

Sometimes the slot does get smaller, but you have to do your best to see the pitch. There are two schools of thought when dealing with this situation. Always stay in the slot, do not move over to see the pitch. At pro school they teach to move up in the slot to get a better look, so yes, you may certainly be above the catchers head. The other school of thought is to move lower and try to look through that area below the batters arms. I've tried both ways and prefer going higher, but I will make adjustments depending on the situation.

YMMV, use whatever method works better for you.

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From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.7, p. 43):

When the batter assumes a batting stance in the batter’s box, he shall have both feet entirely within the batter’s box, i.e., no part of either foot may extend beyond the outer edge of the lines defining the box when the batter assumes a position in the box. There is no penalty specified for violation other than the batter shall be instructed to stay within the batter’s box…If a player, after so directed by the umpire, blatantly refuses to comply, he is subject to ejection.

2018 OBR rule 5.04 (b)(5) The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box.

APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter’s box.

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On 3/10/2019 at 1:25 PM, SouthJerseyK said:

I go into my scissors plate stance in these situations, and find that little window I can position my head at. 

I actually will do the same thing. I prefer to try and get under the batters hands to see the pitch vs going higher.

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