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Pitch Framing

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Pitch Framing..  Been around forever, and now they have stats for it.  My question...are umpires actually duped into calling a ball a strike?  From the plate umpire's position, can he see the catcher's glove, and if so, see it move out/in and up/down?
 

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Framing and pulling are different.

Framing is positioning the glove to highlight the "strike-ishness" of the pitch. Catch the breaking pitch closer to the plate, set up on the outside corner instead of diving across the plate to catch that pitch on the black. These are not deceptive, so umpires aren't "duped" by them. Indeed, proper catching technique requires framing.

Pulling a pitch is moving the glove back into the zone after receiving a pitch not in it. I warn catchers that pulling pitches tells everyone that they think the pitch was a ball, and that I plan to defer to their judgment on those pitches. If they hold it still, there's a better chance that they'll get the pitch on the black.

Have I been duped? Probably, but not often I hope, and compared to the pros I'm not that good. 

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No, most umpires with any experience cannot be "duped" by a catcher framing a pitch.  And yes,  100% an umpire can see the catchers glove, you watch the ball with your eyes all the way into the mitt.  And yes, he can see it being moved.

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Personally, it feels like catchers lose a lot more strikes from bad framing than getting strikes from good framing. Umpires are definitely affected by framing, but they WANT strikes, so until they've seen that it can't be a strike (on borderline pitches, this happens when the catcher butchers the frame), they're gonna call it a strike.  

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At my level of LL I have not been duped. I have however given the batter a laugh a time or two when I say out loud "Ball"  but then lower "nice frame job though."

A lot of the 12 yr olds  will chuckle at that, even the catchers themselves.   Sadly its what they are taught to do to try and steal a call. Does it work. No not at this level.

 

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I'm always amused when young catchers--maybe 10, 11, 12 y/o--pull pitches into the strike zone by 12-18 inches, then hold the glove there! 

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28 minutes ago, LRZ said:

I'm always amused when young catchers--maybe 10, 11, 12 y/o--pull pitches into the strike zone by 12-18 inches, then hold the glove there! 

Amused, sure, but were you duped? Answer the question, man! :hopmad:

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Nope, not duped. I was going to say in my post, similar to your "deference" response, "Son, you just signaled to me that pitch was WAY outside!"

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Less experienced umps can and do get duped (or sold) into a strike...and experienced catchers exploit that.  Pitchers, catchers and coaches do keep tabs on which umps fall for the "move the glove six inches"...and which umps will give you a strike if you hit the glove without it moving...even if it's six inches outside.

 

At the MLB level it's a different story - the glove position is a tool that is necessary because of the speed of the pitch...a ball moving 98 mph appears to "jump" through space and so the location of the glove is a final piece of information to help you determine the flight of the pitch...because simple physics dictates that you will not actually see the entire path of the pitch.  Your brain is filling in gaps and guessing as best as it can.

It's also common to see either a bad frame, or a total cross up where the pitcher misses his target by 15 inches, where the ump misses a strike...that miss will occur much more frequently at 95 mph than 55 mph.

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Unfortunately, yes, there are umpires who buy in.

Like @maven, I don’t believe in calling that “framing”.  Moving the glove around is “selling” in my terminology (though I like “pulling” as maven called it).  Framing, IMO, is along the lines maven described, but I add a bit to my definition.  It is the whole setup of the catcher and the “frame” that the catcher builds for the umpire to look at/through ... including where the mitt is, how far out the arm extends, where the catcher sets up (forward/backward and side-to-side), etc.

Moving your glove around is not framing.  Picture frames don’t move around on the wall and try to convince you grandma is a bikini model.

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Framing and pulling pitches are 2 entirely different things as others have said.  Catchers that pull pitches usually get a "don't do that" from me.

 

Have you ever noticed that the best catchers at framing have the "quietest" hand/mitt?  Not much movement, the pitch is just stuck where it's caught.

 

I just love it when, about the 4th inning, when the catcher catches one off the river on the line, and says out loud, "that's too far" and throws it back to the pitcher.  Love it.

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For any of you who actually know me, saying that my brain operates in peculiar ways should come as no surprise. So....

I would like to see how a game would go if I gave a strike to every pitch that F2 butchers ,  frames, yanks , transplants into the strike zone. It is apparent to me that their coaches teach and/or approve of this silliness. Why should I not give them what they want?

If only.....

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Guest Guest

Thanks for the responses, and explaining the difference between "Framing" and "Pulling".  I admit that I don't notice a pitch being framed as much as one being pulled.  You see so many pitches being pulled, even at the higher levels, and that was the purpose of my question.  Duped might not have been the best choice of words, but you all got my point, as it was used with a little sarcasm.

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As far as I'm aware, I've never been duped. I miss pitches all on my own, without a catcher's help. [Self-deprecating emoticon goes here.]

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On 10/17/2019 at 7:20 AM, maven said:

...I warn catchers that pulling pitches tells everyone that they think the pitch was a ball, and that I plan to defer to their judgment on those pitches. If they hold it still, there's a better chance that they'll get the pitch on the black.

Have I been duped? Probably, but not often I hope, and compared to the pros I'm not that good. 

I get great satisfaction with having the same thought process as @maven :yippie:

 

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:30 AM, LRZ said:

I'm always amused when young catchers--maybe 10, 11, 12 y/o--pull pitches into the strike zone by 12-18 inches, then hold the glove there! 

I remember a AAA Fall Ball game where a catcher was really trying to frame the pitches, and I was NOT giving him the strikes.  Once, he pulled one over by a great deal and held it for many seconds after I had called a "Ball!"  He just held it there.  Then I said, "Hey kid!  While you were trying to frame that pitch and show me up, the runner just stole second base!  Way to go!"

Mike

Las Vegas

 

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22 hours ago, Vegas_Ump said:

I remember a AAA Fall Ball game where a catcher was really trying to frame the pitches, and I was NOT giving him the strikes.  Once, he pulled one over by a great deal and held it for many seconds after I had called a "Ball!"  He just held it there.  Then I said, "Hey kid!  While you were trying to frame that pitch and show me up, the runner just stole second base!  Way to go!"

Mike

Las Vegas

 

I coached a few teams where this was the difference between our starting catcher and the backup - even on a standard "frame" (ie. not pulling it eight inches), the "lower quality" catcher holds that frame  without awareness to what's going on on the bases.   OR...they're popping up and blocking any chance of the umpire seeing the pitch...even with no runners on base.  Used to drive me nuts.

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On 10/17/2019 at 7:20 AM, maven said:

Framing and pulling are different.

Framing is positioning the glove to highlight the "strike-ishness" of the pitch. Catch the breaking pitch closer to the plate, set up on the outside corner instead of diving across the plate to catch that pitch on the black. These are not deceptive, so umpires aren't "duped" by them. Indeed, proper catching technique requires framing.

Pulling a pitch is moving the glove back into the zone after receiving a pitch not in it. I warn catchers that pulling pitches tells everyone that they think the pitch was a ball, and that I plan to defer to their judgment on those pitches. If they hold it still, there's a better chance that they'll get the pitch on the black.

Have I been duped? Probably, but not often I hope, and compared to the pros I'm not that good. 

As many times before I have marked Maven's response as the "Best Answer"...

Umpire's love catchers who can properly frame a pitch. And yes, if they can make a pitch that is technically not a strike look really good sometimes they'll get it. So a good catcher who knows how to frame well can buy strikes for their team. 

On the flip side, pulling pitches only hurts. I've had borderline pitches I want to call a strike, but thee catcher pulls it hard and makes it look bad and loses the strike. 

True framing and knowing how to catch the ball well as a catcher is a dying art. 

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Following up on this. I noticed both catchers jerking pitches. Porter did a great job of calling the pitches. 

At the MLB level, they are certainly more strict about calling the literal zone vs allowing the catcher to buy some strikes. So unfortunately they can jerk pitches all they want and it has no effect on the call.

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As it should be.

 

Do you think part of the problem may be in how we train umpires to watch pitches?  At clinics, camps, etc. I have always heard “Watch the ball to the catcher’s mitt.”  Personally, I feel we should be saying “Track the ball through the strike zone.”  
 

The focus should be on the zone, not the last thing you see.  Umpires who are sold by the catcher’s mitt are either not watching the pitch all the way in or are suffering from recency bias and defaulting to the last thing they see.

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Do you think part of the problem may be in how we train umpires to watch pitches?  At clinics, camps, etc. I have always heard “Watch the ball to the catcher’s mitt.”  Personally, I feel we should be saying “Track the ball through the strike zone.”  
 

The focus should be on the zone, not the last thing you see.  Umpires who are sold by the catcher’s mitt are either not watching the pitch all the way in or are suffering from recency bias and defaulting to the last thing they see.

Just my opinion from personal experience... "watch the ball to the catcher's mitt" helps with timing more than anything. At levels like LL majors I find myself looking for strikes at the bottom of the zone, and if I'm thinking "track the ball through the zone" I end up with way too quick timing and calling the pitch too soon... and then the catcher is scooping it out of the dirt. :smachhead:In kinda the same way, I get in trouble with the outside corner when I'm too quick like that and it ends up being the batter's box line instead of the corner of the plate. <_<

"Watch the ball to the mitt" has kept me from some pretty crappy strike calls... and kept the coaches from asking if I need a map to find the strike zone. :cool:

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17 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

As it should be.

 

Do you think part of the problem may be in how we train umpires to watch pitches?  At clinics, camps, etc. I have always heard “Watch the ball to the catcher’s mitt.”  Personally, I feel we should be saying “Track the ball through the strike zone.”  
 

The focus should be on the zone, not the last thing you see.  Umpires who are sold by the catcher’s mitt are either not watching the pitch all the way in or are suffering from recency bias and defaulting to the last thing they see.

The strike zone is abstract (or, at best, invisible)...the mitt is real.  The lesson is about getting young umpires to ensure the pitch has indeed gone through the zone before making any call - otherwise they tend to verbalize their call before the pitch even reaches the plate...or even if they don't say it they've made their decision before the pitch reaches the plate.   The mitt is something real they can rely on - watch the pitch to that point before you make the call...you gotta be really good to focus on an invisible piece of mid-air several inches in front of the mitt as the termination point.    Much like pitchers want a mitt (or knee, or something) for a target...only the real best can truly visualize their target without something concrete behind it.

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