buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Here's one that's always annoyed me: Why is it just accepted for the rules of the game not to be followed or consistent? What I mean, is, why is it just accepted that each ump has their own strike zone?
I guess it's all media BS again. It is not accepted, but umpires are human too, and humans are not droids.
The strike zone is different for every batter too.
Where you can expect some sort of consistency is inside and outside cause that is established by the plate.
But, the umpire's view sometimes is blocked by the catcher, so he has to reposition himself, and from that angle he might see borderline a pitch a ball or a strike.
Or actually sometimes the catcher blocks the view so much that the umpire can't even see a pitch right down the middle.
A small umpire behind a tall catcher is a nightmare. The pitcher should forget the low strikes.
And there is the 'bad pitch', when the catcher sets up inside, so the umpire has to move more inside, and the pitcher misses badly but the ball actually goes through the zone outside. Theres no way that the umpire can see that. He is positioned to have the best view to see a pitch on the inside.
Every umpire has their own strike zone. That's a hard fact to dispute if you look at umpire calls statistically though PitchFX.
Whether or not it's "intentional" or "accepted" is a different question. I do agree with you that it is impossible (or at least humanly impossible) to get every call correct when umpiring home plate (I umped little league for a few years back in high school, it's why I quit). But to me, the fact that you see the same guys have "small" or "large" strike zones year after year tells me that maybe it's not "intentional", but it is accepted. Somebody should be critiquing the umps, and the umpires ought to be responding (making better calls) as a result of this criticism. I don't see that though.
buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Why is the "neighborhood" play allowed?
It is not allowed.
Middle infielders do a toe drag to touch the base, while trying to complete a double play.
But it's real hard to see if a shortstop touches the base or not when he runs to the base while recieving the throw.
It is quite impossible to see if the toe drag is real good.
Umpires must accept the it was a touch.
Technically, it isn't allowed, and umps aren't supposed to allow it. It certainly used to occur though and be an accepted part of the game (this has gotten better in the past few years). But I personally know umpires who intentionally allow it (below the Major League level, they allow it because it's a safety issue if they don't), and from watching games it seems like it certainly is generally allowed as long as the infielder gets close to the base at around the time that they receive the ball, and everything "looks" smooth. To be fair though, this may be a situation where the "spirit of the rule" overrides if the umpire can't conclusively tell it was an out [but I'm willing to believe that there are still umps in MLB who knowingly call the "neighborhood" play, unfortunately there's no way to prove or disprove this].
buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:Why do some umps call tag plays differently than others ( I swear some umps don't actually pay attention to whether or not a player is tagged).
I don't have true "evidence" that the phantom tag play occurs intentionally, at least at the major-league level. I do have a quote from a former head of NCAA officiating that I found though; here it is.
on Bible, NCAA/CWS/Former NCAA Umpire Coordinator, in My Referee-online via TheArbiter.net, article for newer umpires. From 2002.
"The same approach applies to the "neighborhood play," on which the infielder turns a double play by cutting across the bag a second before getting the throw, or straddling it without tagging it. If the throw is accurate and the fielder could have made the play properly, he will get an out call from me, because the offense has not been harmed and enforcing the rule literally increases the chances of the fielder being injured by a sliding runner. By contrast, if the throw is off-target and the fielder has to stretch for it, I will make him touch the bag, for giving him the call in that case would put the offense at a clear disadvantage.
What about the first baseman who pulls his foot off the bag a split-second before catching the throw? Same philosophy. If the throw is accurate and it is not a bang-bang play, I don't care if he cheats a bit because no one is hurt. But if the toss is off-line or the play is a whacker, he must do things correctly. That also applies to fielders tagging runners. If the ball beats a runner who slides straight into the bag and the fielder makes a decent tag attempt, I don't worry whether the glove touched the runner. If, however, the runner makes a great slide away from the bag and the fielder has to chase him with the glove, he must make contact; otherwise, the runner will be unfairly deprived of the results of his good effort."
I have a real problem with this "guesstimating" type of calling. Call the game by the rules, so that everyone knows what the rules actually are. Otherwise it's way too confusing. That applies to the balk rules as well. I think what annoys me the most honestly is the arrogance of some umps, acting as if their call is always the right call...