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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 08:52am
Gee Gee is offline
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I don't see how Joe West ruled that Manny didn't go on that pitch. I realize Manny was not making an attempt to hit the ball but that is not part of the equation and West showed that he didn't make it part of the equation when he animated the swing to show that Manny held the bat back which he clearly didn't do.

I Guess Randy Marsh didn't like the call either and burned Ortez on a subsequent questionable third strike checked swing. Whuzup? G.

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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 09:22am
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If nothing else, by watching baseball on TV I've learned one thing about checked swings: If in doubt, he WENT!

I'm surprised how often I think the batter checked his swing only to see in slow motion that he definitely swung.

In real time, it frequently looks like he checked up. In slow motion, the truth is revealed. Almost all of them go too far.

David Emerling
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 09:44am
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Funny thing is ... the rule doesn't say anything about how far the bat goes - the wording is more along the lines of "attempted to hit the pitch", yet both the posts above, and the general perception from both announcers and fans, is along the lines of whether the bat crossed the plate.

I thought Manny's was DEFINITELY not an effort to hit the ball.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 09:49am
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The only thing that bothered me about that Manny Ramirez check swing is that I have seen that type of check swing before and it has always been called a swing and a strike.

If he wasn't attempting to hit the ball, how come he turned his body all the way around?

Should have been a strike...
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 09:50am
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mccrowder is right, it has NOTHING to do with "how far he went" or "did he break his wrists" or a number of other baseball myths.

The ONLY criterium to be used is: did he offer at the pitch? If yes, ring him up. And yes, I err on the side of STRIKE. If you weren't offering at the pitch, then you shouldn't have had the bat out there where there might be a question about it.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 10:02am
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mccrowder,

Of course, the essence of ANY checked swing is an aborted attempt to hit the ball. So, in that regard, you could say that ANY checked swing should not be ruled a strike since the batter clearly indicated a desire NOT to hit the ball.

The question really comes down to: Did the batter abort his attempt to hit the ball SOON ENOUGH? Could his bat have made contact with the ball despite his attempt NOT to hit it?

You're right - there is no "rule" that describes what constitutes a swing. He either offered at the ball or he didn't and it all comes down to umpire judgment.

All these thumbrules that are bantered about by umpires are nothing more than that ... thumbrules.

Over the years, I have just developed a "feel" for what looks like a swing and what doesn't. I don't try to describe it and I have not consciously adopted any of the common "rules" about breaking the wrist, crossing the plate, bat moving forward, or anything else - although I'm sure all of those have some effect on my final visceral feeling.

If it looked like a swing - it was. If didn't look like a swing - then it wasn't.

It's kind of like what Justice Potter Stewart once said when he was trying to develop a legal description of what constitutes hardcore pornography. "I know it when I see it."

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 10:08am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaliix
The only thing that bothered me about that Manny Ramirez check swing is that I have seen that type of check swing before and it has always been called a swing and a strike.

If he wasn't attempting to hit the ball, how come he turned his body all the way around?

Should have been a strike...
Because he was getting out of the way of the ball and he turned his body in the process.

This was a really difficult call because Ramirez started to swing and tried to hold up. At the same time, the ball was coming at him and he tried to get out of the way. West had to rule on whether his intitial swing was a strike. How he bailed out after is irrelevant.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 10:27am
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Maybe my recollection of the swing is different than yours, but I don't remember him having to get out of the way of the ball.

I just thought he tried to stop his swing by holding the bat back and letting his body twist around practically as far as he could twist it without falling over.

All I'm saying is that I have seen that move a number of times before in MLB games and it has always been called a strike. West's call was inconsistent with how I have seen every other MLB umpire call it.

And I personally thought it should have been a strike.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay R
Quote:
Originally posted by Kaliix
The only thing that bothered me about that Manny Ramirez check swing is that I have seen that type of check swing before and it has always been called a swing and a strike.

If he wasn't attempting to hit the ball, how come he turned his body all the way around?

Should have been a strike...
Because he was getting out of the way of the ball and he turned his body in the process.

This was a really difficult call because Ramirez started to swing and tried to hold up. At the same time, the ball was coming at him and he tried to get out of the way. West had to rule on whether his intitial swing was a strike. How he bailed out after is irrelevant.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 10:43am
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Originally posted by Gee

I don't see how Joe West ruled that Manny didn't go on that pitch. I realize Manny was not making an attempt to hit the ball but that is not part of the equation and West showed that he didn't make it part of the equation when he animated the swing to show that Manny held the bat back which he clearly didn't do.

I Guess Randy Marsh didn't like the call either and burned Ortez on a subsequent questionable third strike checked swing. Whuzup? G.


Gee If memory serves I think it was TEE who mentioned that there was some form of videotape etc. I apologize as I can't remember all the details (perhaps TEE will fill us in) showing that in most instances the player indeed went. However, that is with slo-mo etc. at one's disposal.

Also, in my opinion the Super-Stars no matter what sport you talk about get the benefit of the calls.

Pete Booth
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 11:11am
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"I realize Manny was not making an attempt to hit the ball but that is not part of the equation..."

The attempt is the only criteria to use. Did he attempt to strike at a pitch in flight to the catcher? Yes, strike. No, judge it on location. All the rest is nonsense for announcers, fans and managers to jaw about.
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Old Tue Oct 19, 2004, 12:14pm
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Did he attempt to strike at a pitch in flight to the catcher?

Doesn't even have to be "in flight". If he attempts to hit a pitch that has already bounced, it's still a strike.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 20, 2004, 08:02am
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Here are two things I look for to determine if a batter swung on a checked swing:

1) how far did the bat come out/around
2) location of the batter's hands (close to body, away from body)

The position of the hands in my opinion is crucial. A batter can swing/torque his upper body all the way around and the bat may technically have crossed home plate, however, if his hands are in close to his body then the bat though "swung around" will have remained at or near his shoulder area. In my opinion this is not "offering at the pitch".


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Old Wed Oct 20, 2004, 08:26am
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Quote:
Originally posted by copeaus
Here are two things I look for to determine if a batter swung on a checked swing:

1) how far did the bat come out/around
2) location of the batter's hands (close to body, away from body)

The position of the hands in my opinion is crucial. A batter can swing/torque his upper body all the way around and the bat may technically have crossed home plate, however, if his hands are in close to his body then the bat though "swung around" will have remained at or near his shoulder area. In my opinion this is not "offering at the pitch".


I hope you aren't using "technically crosed the plate" as a definitive indicator because there's nothing in the rules or interpretations that says "crossong the plate = attempt."
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Old Wed Oct 20, 2004, 08:26am
Gee Gee is offline
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I agree with your discription and your resulting conclusion. The way I remember it was that when Manny finished his turn he was facing third base with his hands very close to his hips while holding the bat in a vertical position.

What confused me was when Joe West animated the checked swing by holding his hands back and not breaking the plane which Manny clearly did.

I think it was the right call but for the wrong reason. That's a good example of why umpires shouldn't try to explain their calls. G.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 20, 2004, 08:40am
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The problem I have with trying to check a swing the way Manny did is this. You can, by freezing the bat and letting your body catch up to it, not look like you were going to swing at the pitch. The problem is that your body ends up "catching" the bat and then you allow you body to twist around so you end up facing the third base dugout.

To me, if you weren't offering at the pitch, your body shouldn't be twisting all the way around. The only reason a body will twist that way is if you meant to offer at the pitch. Sure you may have held the bat from going around, but to have to twist your body around so it's facing third, means that you really couldn't hold up your momentum and that you really were intending to offer at the pitch. IMHO it should be a strike.
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