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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 16, 2003, 08:37pm
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Hey guys... trust the season is going well. Had a play situation the other day I want you guys to ponder. I'm working the dish, and I always have, and always will have a tight zone. This coach had been chirping all game. I called a pitch a ball that his pitcher tossed and he didn't like it. He said" Oh c'mon Umpie, You're killing both teams out there".I turned, looked and realized this coach was standing amongst a group of fans and I believe this comment was intended to incitie a negative reaction from the crow. I at that point called time, removed my mask and informed him his night was over. My assignor, and prez both thought it was a great call.I hate it when people try and show me up like this.

Would you guys have done the same thing?

TR
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Old Mon Jun 16, 2003, 08:57pm
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No, I wouldn't have called a tight zone


Depending on the level of play, I call a nice wide zone. Keeps the hitters swinging, the game moving, and the coaches/fans quieter.
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Old Mon Jun 16, 2003, 09:00pm
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This is a very talented ladies leauge with a lot of players of college/university potential. i tend to have a wider zone with the younger kids, but these ones can hit the target.

TR
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Old Mon Jun 16, 2003, 10:12pm
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I know some will not receive this well, but....the strike zone is the strike zone and should be called as the strike zone.

The fact that NCAA, NFHS, ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, ISC, AFA, M-O-U-S-E!!! all give clinics which tell the umpire how they want the strike zone to be interpreted which, in some cases, does nothing more than cloud the issue, not only among the coaches, but the umpires! And the bad part is one year it is a car logo, the next a balloon and I wouldn't doubt we see a zepellin above the plate in the near future.

However you choose to call it, just don't move it around. Keep it simple and consistant.

JMHO,

Mike
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Old Tue Jun 17, 2003, 12:18am
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA
I know some will not receive this well, but....the strike zone is the strike zone and should be called as the strike zone.
Thank You Mike......And yes I would have tossed the coach
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Old Tue Jun 17, 2003, 08:44am
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Talking

I probably would have warned him first. "That's enough coach, we are not going to discuss my strike zone today", then toss him if continues.

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Old Tue Jun 17, 2003, 10:32am
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He was a three-time loser with one comment, so ejection was a good call without a warning...

Quote:
He said" Oh c'mon Umpie, You're killing both teams out there".
Violation of ASA 4-9B

Quote:
I turned, looked and realized this coach was standing amongst a group of fans
Violation of ASA 5-12

Quote:
and I believe this comment was intended to incite a negative reaction from the crowd
Violation of ASA 10-9A
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Old Tue Jun 17, 2003, 11:01am
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I agree that consistancy is key, for sure.


Now, if you tell me that you're going to call the same strike zone for a beginning 10U game that you'd call in an advanced 18U game, I'll tell you that you're going to be in for a long night and a ton of crap from the coaches.

Now I don't give them anything high or low, but I do call pitches off the plate, especially if the catcher makes 'em look good.

Watch MLB long enough and you'll see an overhead view of a called strike that's 4 inches off the outside of the plate. You almost have to call that pitch if the catcher helps you out with it.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jun 23, 2003, 10:13pm
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keep your strike zone consistent

I've heard rational umpires argue that there is, and should be, one strike zone for social play, another for tournament play; one for the kids, another for the grownups; one for the men, the women, and the co-eds; and so on. And if PU calls a strike zone differently than the players for that particular league/tournament/age group/gender expect, he/she is in for a tournament full of strife and hurt.

These are intelligent umpires, but on this point I think they're mistaken.

Like Mike says, the strike zone is defined and that should be it. I haven't got time to sort politics, player skill levels, the directly conflicting desires of both teams, and their many varied expectations through my calling filter; hell, I'm doing good to keep it consistent to my own standards.

It took me five years to get my slow-pitch strike zone consistent to the point I was comfortable and confident with it. During that time I acquired a rep for calling strikes on so-called "deep" pitches (those whose arc doesn't come down until behind the strike zone, and I know the purists will howl at me for using the forbidden term "deep"). It wasn't long in most games before my batters were all back in the catchers' box with me and using garden implements and bass fiddles instead of bats to reach up and try to smack the so-called 'strikes' sailing over their heads. And of course the pitchers, once they knew I'd let them get away with this out of my inexperience, lobbed high-arching mortar rounds the likes of which haven't been seen since the siege of Kosovo.

Well, everybody's gotta be a rook sometime, but in my more experienced years I may have gone the other way. My serviceable strike zone in social leagues gets criticized by these same mortar-lobbing pitchers during tournaments. They don't like to put a pitch where Crusher can hit it.

I don't care. Part of the game for a pitcher is finding out how to pitch the game that will get the best calls and adapting to the umpire's style. We've had fun here in my city having switched from ASA to NSA and taken two feet off the max arc height for pitches. Many of the local hurlers unduly smitten with their own so-called superior technique were already pitching too high even by ASA standards. It tickles me when they don't get why their 13-foot-arc pitches are balls even when they plunk perfectly down an inch behind the point of the plate. (In NSA, we don't have to say "illegal", don't have to hold the left fist out, and don't even have to say why the pitch is a ball unless they ask.)

And, the heck with catchers pulling a ball into the zone; when I see this I call a ball automatically. (Moose wouldn't have to pull it in unless it was out to begin with.) No umpire I know who's been calling for more than two weeks is taken in by this corrupt little catchers' game.

One exception to my unchanging strike zone: In social situations only, when a team is holding back on an inexperienced or less-skilled pitcher to draw walks, I will give the pitcher an unearned strike now and then on a near miss, just to get the bats swinging. It's embarrassing and unenjoyable for players to trot around the bases while some poor pitcher dies of embarrassment in the middle of the carousel.

But there are 100 ways to feel. Evolve a philosophy that works for you and be consistent in its application.

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Old Tue Jun 24, 2003, 07:14am
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Strike Zone

I just have to throw this out there, but what do you think the reaction would be in a good NCAA game if you were to call the pitch that just catches the armpits a strike? The rulebook says it's a strike, but with a 12" ball the pitch that just catches the armpits is also going to be catching part of the chin on most of the batters.
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Old Tue Jun 24, 2003, 09:08am
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Re: Strike Zone

Quote:
Originally posted by AlabamaBlue
I just have to throw this out there, but what do you think the reaction would be in a good NCAA game if you were to call the pitch that just catches the armpits a strike? The rulebook says it's a strike, but with a 12" ball the pitch that just catches the armpits is also going to be catching part of the chin on most of the batters.
I believe the NCAA wants the entire ball below that line to be included in the strike zone, therefore no balls at the chin will be strikes.
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Old Tue Jun 24, 2003, 01:41pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by moose69
He said" Oh c'mon Umpie, You're killing both teams out there".
TR
I think I would have had to toss him. I don't want anybody calling me an "Umpie" ever! (Though I have been called worse!)
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Old Tue Jun 24, 2003, 02:13pm
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I doubt whether the two sides will ever reconcile this issue, but to me, the strike zone does change with the level of play.

I believe that in high-level FP, a pitch can be completely below the armpits and still be a ball, because everybody on both teams expects it to be called a ball. The book zone high is too high, just as in MLB, even with the recent change. I just saw Juan Gonzalez called out on a pitch not two inches above the belt. Gonzalez argued, and the announcers thought it was a bad call. But when they saw the replay, they figured that with the new "higher" zone, it was a good call. This supposed borderline pitch "new" strike was several inches below what the book says is a strike.

When a slower pitch in a rec league makes it under the armpits, it's a strike. I don't know a coach that doesn't expect, for kids, a larger zone than for professionals.

Does anybody really call a MLB strike zone in LL? I don't do LL, but in every game I've ever seen, the ump stretches the zone low.
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Old Fri Jun 27, 2003, 11:20am
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Strike Zone elementary question

As a coach I say the strike zone is the strike zone is the strike zone and I have had this discussion before.

Who is any umpire to change the rules on a pitcher who practice throwing the strike zone 500 to 1000 times a week.

You might be slightly more liberal with younger players, meaning give them the close ones especially if they are ahead of the count and don't appear to have any intention of swinging. Some of the umpires who say "I have a small Zone" kill me.

What does that mean. Anybody who says they have a tight zone explain to me what that means. Does it mean 2 inches above the knees rather than above the knees. Does it mean 4 inches below the armpit and 2 inches on the inside of the plate.

What is your tight or small zone, and then defend it with a rule! They say coaches can be jerks, but aren't umpires setting themselves up by calling a "tight zone" and making parents and coaches on both teams upset.
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Old Fri Jun 27, 2003, 11:44am
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Quite frankly, coach, I have had much more agitated coaches and fans because I call the "book" zone than other umpires who call a more compact zone seem to have. It seems no actual coach on the field wants the high strike called against his batters.

Think about it... would you complain if you see the pitch come in clearly at your batter's chin called a strike? Probably you would (even if you didn't voice the complaint, you would think it), yet that same pitch probably was also hitting the arm pits for the young ones, especially if the pitch has a bit of an arc. Even more so if your batter is forward in the box.
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