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Five Bull@#$% traditions that annoy me about Baseball.

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Re: Five Bull@#$% traditions that annoy me about Baseball.

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Sun May 06, 2012 2:26 am

ABA316 wrote:
Syfo-Dyas wrote:1. I'd take 3 HRs instead of a cycle any day. But we all know that hitting 3 HRs in a game is impossible..

I'm going to take a stab that you didn't notice Braun doing it 2 days before this post..

I'm going to take a stab that you didn't notice that there's a thing going around here about impossible things like hitting a ball out of the ballpark, or hitting 3 HRs in a game.
BTW I noticed Braun's 3 HR game since he is on one of my teams, and I noticed Shawn Green's 4 HR game in Milwaukee in 2002 and and Mike Cameron's 4 HR game in Chicago, also in 2002. And I didn't have to look that up since Green was my 1st round pick that year, while Cameron played against me on that terrible day.
Still, we all know that hitting 3 HRs in a game is impossible, not to mention 4 HRs :-D
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Re: Five Bull@#$% traditions that annoy me about Baseball.

Postby Izenhart » Sun May 06, 2012 7:01 am

I'm going to take a stab and say hitting 5 home runs in a major league game is indeed impossible. :-)
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Re: Five Bull@#$% traditions that annoy me about Baseball.

Postby Syfo-Dyas » Sun May 06, 2012 1:39 pm

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:
Syfo-Dyas wrote:
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.

I don't know where to look up umpire's PitchFX, but umpires are flawed as everybody else, so all you can ask is consistency. Im sure most of them try to do their best, and all you can do is accept.
There was a debate here at the cafe that umps should be replaced by technology, but the way I see it, umpires should use advanced technology that tells them if a pitch was a ball or strike.

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:
Syfo-Dyas wrote:
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].

Those umpires you know are breaking the rules. Safety or not the rule allows that the runner can slide to the base.
If the fielder is concerned about his safety than he can avoid the base and allow the baserunner to reach base.
It's his decision, not the umpire's.
Im watching many games, but never occured to me that umpires call 'neighbourhood' play consistently because it is 'generally accepted'.
I would say that they think that the fielder touched the base, like the first base ump the other day called the runner out while Todd Helton was off the base by a mile. He was in a bad position to make that call. So it's more like human error than anything else. But in his defense, umpires were taught to get that angle on that throw. I made that mistake too, when I started to do some umpiring, but realized that this teaching was wrong, for this exact reason. The umpires in the Majors are old school and old habits die slowly I guess.

If the fielder misses the base by an inch or two, thats really hard to tell, so I guess it is accepted to give an out on that, but I don't think the umpires knowingly call that an out, if they clearly see that the fielder didn't touch the base.
But with television replay, and super slomo, it is easy to see what really happened. And than comes the usual media crap, when the are trying to read things into it.
There was a study about umpire's calls on close plays, after the Jim Joyce incident. Balls-strikes were exluded, and If I remember correctly, like 35% of the calls were wrong.
So it really depends how you wanna interpret that. Knowingly making bad calls, or they are just humans.

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote:
Syfo-Dyas wrote:
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, 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.

In 2002 it was accepted, but a couple of years ago MLB decided that it can not be accepted.
It was wrong and it was corrected.

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote: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."

Its nearly impossible to tell if a first baseman pulled off before he has the ball, or after he caught the throw.
The umpire is looking at is the batter-runner's feet and listening to the ball hit the glove, than check the ball.
If he sees that the fielder pulled off, and calls the runner safe, although the batter-runner wasn't even close when the ball got there, than the whole bench will shout at him, the stadium will chant a..hole, and the media will crucify him.
So sometimes for the sake of the game it is better just to let it go.
On the other hand on a bang-bang play, if he sees that the 1st baseman pulls off early, than the umpire has to make a fool out of the first baseman, and call the runner safe, by indicating that the fielder was pulled off the base, than indicating safe.

buffalobillsrul2002 wrote: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...

The thing is that sometimes you are only guessing. But it's an experienced guess, and most of the times it's right.
And sometimes it's not.
But nobody is perfect. A pitcher can't hit the spot every time. A batter is good if he hits 30%. A football QB is good if he has a completion rate over 65%, and a basketball player is a good if he shoots 50%.
Sports is about failing a lot.
But seems like when an umpire fails thats unacceptable.

Could you clarify what exactly applies to the balk rule? When is it not called?

And I agree, it annoys me too, that many of the MLB umpires are arrogant, and think they always make the right calls. And they refuse to ask for help.
But maybe that will change too.
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"You should be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the
moment." - Qui-Gon Jinn (keeper league expert?)
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