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That was a Strike?

Here's an interesting article discussing the strike zone. It uses modern technology to analyze a professional umpire's (Angel Hernandez's) strike zone. Take a look and see what you think. The following link takes you directly to the article ...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/that-was-a-strike/

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Hernandez's Zone

Gary W Namisnik - I once worked a National Tournament at Cleveland
with an umpire named Angel Hernandez, who looks very much like this umpire.
This umpire stood out as the best of the 26 men there. This was mostly because of his business like but friendly attitude and his professional
appearance and presentation. His zone then seemed higher and wider then most. He seldom called a strike below the front knee. When I asked him about his big zone, he replied that no player ever got a scholarship or contract by walking a lot. I tried to adopt this zone and soon found that my games were faster, easier, with fewer complaints about balls and strikes. For what its worth. Namisnik (knowledge,attitude, skills, and habits = levels of excellance.)

MikeMcKone's picture

More grist for the mill.

The rule book says the top of the strike zone is a point half way between the shoulders and the belt of a batter when he assumes his natural stance. (Natural stance is not defined, but I've been using the batter's stance while waiting for a pitch and before he takes a step toward the pitcher while swinging. I've heard others say it's when he's taken his step toward the pitcher) That point is an inch or two (or more) north of a batters belly button. Is that the same point used by NCOA in varsity games? I've heard that pitches higher than the top of the belt buckle are "expected to be balls". I also realize there are several other factors at work, particularly in freshman or jv games where the quality of pitching is less than the usual varsity game. However, let's assume a varsity game with two pitchers who are throwing well and fast. Do you give them that pitch which is at the midpoint between the shoulders and the belt? Do you give them the pitch if the bottom of the ball just ticks the northern border of the defined zone? If not, why? Thanks for your input. Mike

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