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Old Sun Apr 28, 2002, 10:15am
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I've thought about posting this question for a couple of days. I even reviewed the postings over the last year to see if the subject has been addressed. Well, here it goes! Is it EVER acceptable to expand the strike zone to hurry a game along to conclusion? I've done it a couple of times and it always seems to come back to bite me in the fanny (maybe I've answered my own question). THANKS! Porch Dog
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Old Sun Apr 28, 2002, 01:27pm
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15 to nothing. Home team ahead, No mercy run rule. Home team at bat in 5th inning. Batters are looking for walks and taking pitches because the pitcher cant hit the backstop. You better be expanding that zone. Is it acceptable? Absolutly not. Is it tolerable? I would certainly hope so. This does not apply to any semi-pro or pro game. And yes it does happen there too!!!

You may not be hurrying that game along to conclusion because chances are it should have already been concluded.
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Old Sun Apr 28, 2002, 02:32pm
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Originally posted by Porch Dog

I've thought about posting this question for a couple of days. I even reviewed the postings over the last year to see if the subject has been addressed. Well, here it goes! Is it EVER acceptable to expand the strike zone to hurry a game along to conclusion? I've done it a couple of times and it always seems to come back to bite me in the fanny (maybe I've answered my own question). THANKS! Porch Dog

First question - what level are we talking about?

Generally speaking, it is best to have an EXPANDED zone right from inning one so one will not have any problems.

Also, if the score is a blow-out - no mercy rule, most good coaches realize what's going on and want the game to get over themselves.

You have to have an awareness of what type of teams you are dealing with. For example in the "rugrats" you better have an expanded zone or you will still be out there.

The problem I'm surmizing is that you have a "tight" zone to start out with, but then the game is dragging or a blow-out etc. and now you want to expand. As suggested, EXPAND from inning one and IMO you will not be bitten.

Pete Booth

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Old Sun Apr 28, 2002, 03:28pm
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Thanks for your replies. The game that prompted my posting was a five inning 17 to 3 score JV game. I expanded the strike zone in the top of the fifth when the visitors went ahead 13 to 3. I told the coach to have the boys come up swinging. The game was the first game of a double header (2x5). The temperature was around forty with a 25+ mph wind, and we still had another game to play. What got my goat was when the winning manager came out on the field and complained that I had expanded the zone more for his team than other team. I know the coach was/is an idiot that really isn't my point. I just wondered what the opinions of the contributors to this forum were in general to the idea of expanding the zone. Thanks! Porch Dog

[Edited by Porch Dog on Apr 28th, 2002 at 05:26 PM]
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Old Mon Apr 29, 2002, 06:54am
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At lower levels, I do expand the zone, but not all that much. A little bit all around. The ball has to be hittable, but you certainly don't squeeze the pitcher. And strike 1 has a larger zone than strike 3. I confess that I sometimes get sadistic pleasure from staying within that slightly expanded zone no matter what. Since virtually all lower level games have a time limit, and since you're going to be out there until the time limit whether the game goes 7 innings or 2 . . .

The attempts I made when I was younger to speed the game up just caused problems. No matter what the score, nobody wants to see his kid called out on a bad pitch. When you call a neck-high strike, all everybody focuses on is the bad call, not the situation. If you're staying within a proper zone, fans may grumble at the ninth straight walk, but there's not much they can get on you about.

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Old Mon Apr 29, 2002, 09:17am
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Talking

This is my rookie year doing HS and Babe Ruth summer ball. I have received all kinds of great advice from my association and from this forum on how to deal with the "expanding strike zone".

Rule #1, never, ever, ever, tell the coach to come out swinging. After a couple of times of having this bite me in the buttocks, I learned that the coaches don't have to be told that your strike zone is getting bigger. (They're really not as dumb as we sometimes think).

Greymule pointed out another rule that I have incorporated into my game. . .strike 1 has a larger zone than strike 3. . .this is VERY true.

Pete Booth also had a good point with "Start Big". It's always easier to tighten your zone during the game than to try to expand it. I don't know why, it just is.

The last rule I go by is, if I am going to "expand" the zone during the game, I am going to do it side to side, NOT up and down. Coaches (and those idiotic parents) can see a ball that is at the shoe laces or at the throat. The only people that see a strike on the corners are me, the catcher and the batter. And 2 of the 3 aren't telling anyone if that pitch was just a bit outside. One more note on this subject, when my catchers are batting, they NEVER get an expanded zone, see they protect me from those bad pitches. See the article in this forum - "Your free protector".

Good luck and I hope my rookie "lessons learned" help you out.

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Old Mon Apr 29, 2002, 09:47am
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I go with the same big strike zone from the begining of the game to the end. Strike 1, 2 or 3. Inside or outside. Catcher, pitcher, it doesnt matter. Swing the bat or sit down. I will give extra on both sides of the plate but it has to be hitable.

The size of the strikezone has been controversal for the past several years. It is pretty much still the same size. Learn that size and stick with it, unless they change the book and start allowing us to call a strikezone based upon individual feelings or the presence of a particular player. CONSISTENCY THROUGHOUT

Now if this was a perfect world, this would be much easier to do than what i just said.!!!!
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Old Mon Apr 29, 2002, 09:28pm
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Expanding The Strike Zone

Quote:
Originally posted by Porch Dog
Thanks for your replies. The game that prompted my posting was a five inning 17 to 3 score JV game. I expanded the strike zone in the top of the fifth when the visitors went ahead 13 to 3. I told the coach to have the boys come up swinging. The game was the first game of a double header (2x5). The temperature was around forty with a 25+ mph wind, and we still had another game to play. What got my goat was when the winning manager came out on the field and complained that I had expanded the zone more for his team than other team. I know the coach was/is an idiot that really isn't my point. I just wondered what the opinions of the contributors to this forum were in general to the idea of expanding the zone. Thanks! Porch Dog

[Edited by Porch Dog on Apr 28th, 2002 at 05:26 PM]
I think you make a mistake when you effectively "announce" that the strike zone has changed for the team that is winning big. Why give the impression that you don't want to work a blowout? A knowledgeable coach who is winning a game big with no run-rule will be smart enough to let his players know "anything close" they better be swinging. The expanded strike zone should still be reasonable. Bigger on that first called strike but not outrageous such as balls that bounce as strikes, especially on a called strike three. jim/NYC
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