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The Shrinking Strike Zone


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It seems to me like the strike zone gets smaller every year. I feel like high school umps today are calling it almost as tight as the major league umpires.

 

Here is the MLB rule:

 

Rule 2.00 - The Strike Zone

The Strike Zone is defined as that area over homeplate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

 

If you read that, the one area that I think is clearly not called today is the high strike. When was the last time you saw a high school umpire call a strike on a pitch at "the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants". It seems to me that the majority of umpires seldom call a strike above the waist line. Agree or disagree? Umpires, please jump in.

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From my observations I too think that high school umpires are squeezing the pitchers and splitting the atom on called strikes.

 

I umpired for years and my philosophy was "Called strikes for the preservation and encouragement of the fine art of swinging the bat at pitched balls."

 

I didn't want a parade of hitters coming to the plate in hopes of attaining free passes via walks.

 

If a pitcher is wild and distinctly out of the strike zone that is a whole different matter, but to not call perfectly hittable pitches strikes makes the pitcher's and the umpire's job doubly tough.

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Was there a certain game that lead to this post?

 

Nope. Just what I have observed throughout the season. I would like to hear some umpires give their view on the strike zone.

 

I agree with Mustang. I think a small strike zone is bad for baseball. It turns hitters into lookers and it slows the game down dramatically.

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It seems to me like the strike zone gets smaller every year. I feel like high school umps today are calling it almost as tight as the major league umpires.

 

Here is the MLB rule:

 

Rule 2.00 - The Strike Zone

The Strike Zone is defined as that area over homeplate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

 

If you read that, the one area that I think is clearly not called today is the high strike. When was the last time you saw a high school umpire call a strike on a pitch at "the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants". It seems to me that the majority of umpires seldom call a strike above the waist line. Agree or disagree? Umpires, please jump in.

 

I have to agree with you, especially on the corners, but alot of times I have to tell you the strike zones in general this year have been hard to define from batter to batter! :idunno:

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I have to agree with you, especially on the corners, but alot of times I have to tell you the strike zones in general this year have been hard to define from batter to batter! :idunno:

 

As far as consistency, I think the umpires I have seen have been good in that area. Sure, there are a few borderline calls that may be missed but they have been very consistent in their calls. It is the strike zone itself that I have questions about.

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There are high school umps in NKY that don't know how to call a curve ball. They call it where it lands in the catchers mitt vs where it crosses the plate. And yes they do seem to squeeze the pitchers more these days ...JMO.

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As far as consistency, I think the umpires I have seen have been good in that area. Sure, there are a few borderline calls that may be missed but they have been very consistent in their calls. It is the strike zone itself that I have questions about.

 

Every Ump has their own strike zone, pitchers and batters just have to adjust. It's part of the game! Though I am in agreement that some of these umps are getting inconsistent.

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I was watching a classic rewind game last month - Reds vs. Phillies, 1976 National League playoffs. Its a good thing that Gary Nolan and Pedro Borbon didn't have the same strike zone as this year's 9th region zone or the Reds would have one less banner at GABP. On the other hand, I'm not sure Steve Carlton could have pitched to this strike zone either.

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Correct.

 

The Al men in Blue were their proctors outside their shirts and they were more like shield that Roman warriors carried to protect them from attackers. Those shields prevented the AL Blue from calling low ball strikes. I must say though, that those shields protected them better than what the current chest protectors they wear today!

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