I don’t know if it just seems this way, but the strike zone is getting out of hand. There seems to be more managers and players getting tossed for arguing with the umpires about called strikes. Case in point: Tori Hunter got so mad at a strike call in June that he started to strip off his clothing.
Rob Neyer wrote a wonderful article about how umpires are doing. Are they perfect? No, but they are set to very high standards — so high that they may be out of a job. With modern technology, there is really no need for the umpire. Computer models can show where the balls and strikes are called, and they are perfect.
Perfect is a dangerous notion in a game where not being perfect is what makes the game great. A bunt can turn into a hit and win the game. A diving catch might be a way to make up for a mistake (not seeing the ball in time, getting a slow jump on the ball). These imperfections make the game of baseball so great.
I am not saying umpires need a free pass. They need to be held accountable. There are tools out there to show how an umpire is doing.
Here is a graphic of the pitches being called the day Tori Hunter got thrown out. Reds are strikes, and greens are balls. Squares are the Twins, and triangles are the Royals. You can find a further explanation here.
Now, I don’t claim I understand all this. It looks to me that the majority of pitches being called strikes are strikes and the majority of pitches being called balls are balls. This is what the pitches were like for left-handed batters. Now let’s look at the right-handed batters.
Now here are some issues with the outside part of the strike zone. But again, for the most part, most of the pitches were called what they were supposed to be called.
The next time there is a bad call, let’s remember all the good calls. And let’s keep our shirts on.
It was really awesome today to open up the link: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/mailbag-bryce-harper-marcus-semien-dan-jennings-pete-rose-marlins-indians-athletics-052215
and see my name (correctly spelled too I might add) as one of the questions answered for your amusement my part of the JABO mailbag
Do you think the Marlins have set up Dan Jennings to fail?
– Hollie Hamilton
You mean on purpose? No, I don’t think so. I think this is one of those utterly personal decisions that so often defies any sort of logical analysis. Did it make sense for the Angels to sign Josh Hamilton for all those years and all that money? No, of course not. The Angels’ owner made what sure looks like an emotional decision. Does it make sense for the Angels to pay Hamilton to play for the Rangers for these next few seasons? No, probably not. The Angels’ owner made what sure looks like an emotional decision.
I think the Marlins’ owner wanted a new manager and wanted someone he really liked a lot, personally. And he looked around and hey, there’s Dan! But there’s not much reason to think Jennings will be there a year from now, and I’ll be mildly surprised if he’s still there in September. Seems like a good interim job for a minor-league manager or a trusty third-base coach.
Let’s start off hoping Adam Wainwright has a full and speedy recovery. That being said, Rob Neyer discusses an argument about whether Wainwright should have been running the bases and whether pitchers should bat. A call for the DH in the NL.
I am a AL loving kind of girl but we have talked about my love for traditional baseball.
I love the NL and its time honored history of no DH. Now Wainwright has been hurt by running the bases and Max Scherzer has been hurt by batting. Scherzer is even being quoted that people don’t want to see the pitchers hit.
Well sorry Max but this fan loves watching the pitchers hit! I love to see the unexpected and while most of the time the pitcher is an easy out there are some surprises. Having the pitchers hit creates a different game. You take that away and you take away some of the game. There other thing to realize, is the AL is the only place pitchers don’t hit. Little league and college ball all have their pitchers hitting. In the minors the NL clubs the pitchers hit. This from milb.com:
Q. Do pitchers hit in the Minor Leagues?
A. Pitchers only bat at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Here are the rules for the individual leagues at those levels:
International: Pitchers only hit when both clubs are NL affiliates
Pacific Coast: Pitchers only hit when both clubs are NL affiliates and both clubs agree to have their pitchers hit
Eastern: Pitchers only hit when both clubs are NL affiliates
Southern: Pitchers only hit when both clubs are NL affiliates
Texas: Pitchers only hit when both clubs are NL affiliates
its a long standing tradition. Yes, Wainwright got hurt but he got hurt running something he could have done fielding his position. The AL has plenty of hurt pitchers and batting had nothing to do with it. I personally think there is a pitcher epidemic going on. It just seems that a lot of good pitchers are getting very injured. If the hope that the DH will preserve pitching its an argument that has been discredited in the AL.