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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    I think my Cardinals are in need of a house cleaning. Top to bottom and I'm not talking about just the players. The manager and President of Operations need to go first and then hitting coaches. Then a close look at the players.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    In the Cardinals 7-5 loss to the Mets last night, catcher Willson Contreras suffered a fractured left forearm. He was hit by JD Martinez when Contreras interfered with his swing. During the off season, the Cardinals had their catchers move closer to the plate in order to get low pitches called for strikes. Other teams have done the same thing and it's led to an increase of interference calls this season. The Cardinals confirmed that the negative is a higher probability of catchers getting injured. If baseball had automated balls and strikes it wouldn't be necessary for teams to do this. But that's another topic. Contreras is expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks. He was the leading hitter on a team that is struggling to score runs.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    In the Cardinals 7-5 loss to the Mets last night, catcher Willson Contreras suffered a fractured left forearm. He was hit by JD Martinez when Contreras interfered with his swing. During the off season, the Cardinals had their catchers move closer to the plate in order to get low pitches called for strikes. Other teams have done the same thing and it's led to an increase of interference calls this season. The Cardinals confirmed that the negative is a higher probability of catchers getting injured. If baseball had automated balls and strikes it wouldn't be necessary for teams to do this. But that's another topic. Contreras is expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks. He was the leading hitter on a team that is struggling to score runs.
    Ugh. That is terrible.

    I have a new appreciation for the process of how strikes and balls are called. My 8 year old is playing kid pitch for the first time and our umps are 13ish, I would guess. I keep score for the team (which is way harder than I thought it would be when I volunteered), so watch every pitch of every game and log every ball and strike.

    First of all, it is very hard to call balls and strikes. And this is with 8 year olds pitching.

    Second of all, young umps are amazingly susceptible to things like the batter jumping out of the way of a pitch that catches the inside corner (or sometimes is middle middle) or the catcher simply holding onto the pitch.

    But a catcher than can both hold onto the pitch and frame it gets his teams several extra outs a game, which can be very meaningful.

    At any rate, it is amazing to me that a major league organization would make this kind of change, but I assume the data was persuasive on the placement of the catcher influencing called strikes.
    Carolina delenda est

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    ...I have a new appreciation for the process of how strikes and balls are called. My 8 year old is playing kid pitch for the first time and our umps are 13ish, I would guess. I keep score for the team (which is way harder than I thought it would be when I volunteered), so watch every pitch of every game and log every ball and strike.

    First of all, it is very hard to call balls and strikes. And this is with 8 year olds pitching.
    It's made all the more difficult by young catchers who back up about 8 feet behind the plate, so the 13-year-old ump (of which we have one in our household) can't see anything. And exacerbated even more by some of the pitchers throwing about 35 mph so the ball is crossing the plate at about a 150 degree angle. Some kids throw so slowly the ball literally drops all the way through the strike zone vertically, over the horizontal distance of the batter's box, so the ball can bounce before getting to the catcher but still be a strike!

    Re: the Cardinals moving their catchers forward, is the idea to actually get more balls that are at the bottom of the zone correctly called strikes, or are they trying to bait umps into incorrectly calling low balls strikes because they're used to seeing a bottom of the zone strike hit the mitt at a certain height? If the latter, then I'm not really a fan of that sort of gamesmanship.

    In any event, I feel like we're not far from a robot ump telling the human ump behind the plate whether a pitch was a strike or a ball. My conspiracy theory is that MLB is trying to astroturf the impression there's some sort of unprecedented epidemic of bad balls and strikes umping going on in order to manufacture support for reform before announcing something. It just feels like someone's trying to socialize the "we need to remove the human factor behind the plate" point of view - my feeds are suddenly chock full of "look at this egregiously bad call" clips now, and it feels like announcers and studio people spend more time analyzing it than they used to. Umps miss calls, frequently, but I really doubt umpiring has suddenly gotten much worse.

    Not that I'm not in favor of technology taking over on balls and strikes, because I am. While having idiosyncratic styles and strike zones that pitchers have to adjust to game-to-game is quaint, it's also a little bit offensive to the idea of fair play and consistency. The strike zone should be the same from day to day and pitcher to pitcher. And even the best umps will sometimes call the same pitch two different things at different times during the same game. I'll be glad to see the extreme, not at all subtle anymore pitch framing go away. We could perhaps lose the white outlined boxes on telecasts, too. The K Zone thing is bollocks and fools viewers into thinking every third called strike was four inches outside.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    It's made all the more difficult by young catchers who back up about 8 feet behind the plate, so the 13-year-old ump (of which we have one in our household) can't see anything. And exacerbated even more by some of the pitchers throwing about 35 mph so the ball is crossing the plate at about a 150 degree angle. Some kids throw so slowly the ball literally drops all the way through the strike zone vertically, over the horizontal distance of the batter's box, so the ball can bounce before getting to the catcher but still be a strike!

    Re: the Cardinals moving their catchers forward, is the idea to actually get more balls that are at the bottom of the zone correctly called strikes, or are they trying to bait umps into incorrectly calling low balls strikes because they're used to seeing a bottom of the zone strike hit the mitt at a certain height? If the latter, then I'm not really a fan of that sort of gamesmanship.

    In any event, I feel like we're not far from a robot ump telling the human ump behind the plate whether a pitch was a strike or a ball. My conspiracy theory is that MLB is trying to astroturf the impression there's some sort of unprecedented epidemic of bad balls and strikes umping going on in order to manufacture support for reform before announcing something. It just feels like someone's trying to socialize the "we need to remove the human factor behind the plate" point of view - my feeds are suddenly chock full of "look at this egregiously bad call" clips now, and it feels like announcers and studio people spend more time analyzing it than they used to. Umps miss calls, frequently, but I really doubt umpiring has suddenly gotten much worse.

    Not that I'm not in favor of technology taking over on balls and strikes, because I am. While having idiosyncratic styles and strike zones that pitchers have to adjust to game-to-game is quaint, it's also a little bit offensive to the idea of fair play and consistency. The strike zone should be the same from day to day and pitcher to pitcher. And even the best umps will sometimes call the same pitch two different things at different times during the same game. I'll be glad to see the extreme, not at all subtle anymore pitch framing go away. We could perhaps lose the white outlined boxes on telecasts, too. The K Zone thing is bollocks and fools viewers into thinking every third called strike was four inches outside.
    I don't know if the Cardinals are trying to steal some outside and low pitches into being called strikes. However, the article I read said several other teams have moved their catchers up closer to the batter. JD Martinez who was the hitter that struck Contreras said he couldn't believe he was that close to him when he swung. He also said that he knew Contreras was hurt as soon as the bat made contact.
    As for technology taking over called balls and strikes, I'm for it. I think it would help the pitchers and hitters because there would be consistency. Some games an umpire will call a pitch a ball and two pitches later the same pitch is called a strike. One thing for sure, Angel Hernandez needs to retire.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I hope I don’t jinx it, but is any team having a more surprising bad start than the Astros?! Only the White Sox are worse in the AL.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I don't know if the Cardinals are trying to steal some outside and low pitches into being called strikes. However, the article I read said several other teams have moved their catchers up closer to the batter. JD Martinez who was the hitter that struck Contreras said he couldn't believe he was that close to him when he swung. He also said that he knew Contreras was hurt as soon as the bat made contact.
    As for technology taking over called balls and strikes, I'm for it. I think it would help the pitchers and hitters because there would be consistency. Some games an umpire will call a pitch a ball and two pitches later the same pitch is called a strike. One thing for sure, Angel Hernandez needs to retire.
    This was a topic during the Padres radio broadcast yesterday. Apparently, catchers’ interference calls have gone from somewhere in the 60s in 2021, in the 70s in 2022, in the 90s in 2023 and were on track to well exceed 100 this year.

    I say *were* because Tony Gwynn Jr. made what I thought was a good point: what catcher is going to agree to set up too close to a batter to get a few extra strikes now that Contreras has been hurt like this?
    Carolina delenda est

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wilmington
    Dodgers visit the Padres this Mothers Day Weekend. A chance for the Friars to gain some ground on the stacked dodgers..
    Will Luis Arraez be the missing cog to get the Padres back, at least into the Wild Card Race.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by AGDukesky View Post
    I hope I don’t jinx it, but is any team having a more surprising bad start than the Astros?! Only the White Sox are worse in the AL.
    As someone whose first favorite athlete was Dusty Baker, I'll note that they are going through a similar drop-off that his 2 prior teams, the Reds and Nats, experienced the year after he left.

  10. #90
    Ronald Acuña Jr tore his ACL (the other one) vs Pittsburgh and will miss the rest of the 2024 season.

    Absolutely devastating for the Braves, who already lost Spencer Strider for the year and currently are playing without their starting C and 3B.

    Hope Acuña makes a full recovery, but it sucks so hard that he has to go through this again.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    Ronald Acuña Jr tore his ACL (the other one) vs Pittsburgh and will miss the rest of the 2024 season.

    Absolutely devastating for the Braves, who already lost Spencer Strider for the year and currently are playing without their starting C and 3B.

    Hope Acuña makes a full recovery, but it sucks so hard that he has to go through this again.
    Terrible news for Braves fans. He's the heart and soul for them. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham

    Angel Hernandez

    Angel Hernandez is retiring, effective immediately. Good riddance. What a clown.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/...andez-retiring

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Terrible news for Braves fans. He's the heart and soul for them. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
    This has been a day where I have felt so low about events concerning people who I have never met:

    1. Acuna’s injury. I am a big Braves fan and Acuna fan. His game is going all out. He is such a thrilling and exciting player. To be cut down like this as he enters his prime is so sad. I fear he may never be the great player he is after his second ACL surgery.

    2. Bill Walton’s death. He was such a unique person. I will miss him a lot.

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I don't know if the Cardinals are trying to steal some outside and low pitches into being called strikes. However, the article I read said several other teams have moved their catchers up closer to the batter. JD Martinez who was the hitter that struck Contreras said he couldn't believe he was that close to him when he swung. He also said that he knew Contreras was hurt as soon as the bat made contact.
    As for technology taking over called balls and strikes, I'm for it. I think it would help the pitchers and hitters because there would be consistency. Some games an umpire will call a pitch a ball and two pitches later the same pitch is called a strike. One thing for sure, Angel Hernandez needs to retire.
    Ask and you shall receive.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    Terrible news for Braves fans. He's the heart and soul for them. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
    As a diehard Braves fan this is devastating. Entering the season it looked like on paper at least they had the strongest team since maybe the 90's. To have a Cy Young favorite and last years MVP go down before June is just heartbreaking. I wish them both the best and truly hope they can make full and complete recoveries. Injuries suck.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DUKIECB View Post
    As a diehard Braves fan this is devastating. Entering the season it looked like on paper at least they had the strongest team since maybe the 90's. To have a Cy Young favorite and last years MVP go down before June is just heartbreaking. I wish them both the best and truly hope they can make full and complete recoveries. Injuries suck.
    Not only Acuna and Strider, but the Braves also lost their number one prospect, SP, AJ Smith-Shawver for about 2 months with a left oblique strain. I think he had just made his first start last week when he was injured.

    Yeh, I'm glad to see ump, Angel Hernandez retire. He had been the worst umpire in the major leagues for a long time. I always thought he had something on the people that paid his salary.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by acdevil View Post
    Ask and you shall receive.
    Haha! Funny timing. I would imagine the constant focus on Hernandez as MLB's "worst" ump from the day Country Joe West retired until now had to weigh on him.

    Related note: I'd never thought of this before, and I can think of some potential issues with it, but I read last week that Carlos Correa has posed the interesting idea of having home plate umps wired in to PitchCom so they know what type of pitch is coming. Would advance knowledge of the intended trajectory of a pitch help? Theoretically, it makes sense, but I could see it leading to some subconscious bias effects, too.

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Karma is all over Steve Cohen and his Mets...he escaped a proper legal outcome, but karma is all over the Mets and will be until he finds something else to stroke his ego.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    Haha! Funny timing. I would imagine the constant focus on Hernandez as MLB's "worst" ump from the day Country Joe West retired until now had to weigh on him.

    Related note: I'd never thought of this before, and I can think of some potential issues with it, but I read last week that Carlos Correa has posed the interesting idea of having home plate umps wired in to PitchCom so they know what type of pitch is coming. Would advance knowledge of the intended trajectory of a pitch help? Theoretically, it makes sense, but I could see it leading to some subconscious bias effects, too.
    Speaking of dubious umps, and Durham, someone mentioned Durham Athletic Park recently...we used to go there for Raleigh Durham Triangle (Angles!) baseball WAY back when, high Single A at the time. The eminent Shag Crawford's son was an ump in the league then, and one evening he was just atrocious and we let him know it. We followed him to the very basic ump changing room post game where he sought refuge except there as a glass transom over the door, and one of our party got on a friend's back and pushed it open so Shag Junior could better hear our constructive comments. Then the transom fell in and broke, Shag Junior was a bit rattled.

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