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Monday, June 27, 2016

Pitching has devolved to nibbling at the knees.

Aren't you tired of watching your batters taking most of their swings at pitches at or below their knees? It's even annoying to watch opposing batters do it against your pitchers. Who finds that interesting? They're not golfers, who swing at a stationary ball on the ground. And we've let ourselves become brain washed into thinking that this, along with other nonsense, is an integral and essential part of the game.

Catchers: squat to give signs, then stand to receive the pitch? Is that the evolution? Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why isn't the strike zone shoulders to belt? Thursday, May 26, 2016

The current strike zone is basically belt to knees. If you were going to cut it in half, why not use the top half, which is also closer to the eyes?

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Watching from the only live perspective shown in recent decades, we now take for granted that the catcher must get as low to the ground as inhumanly possible and that the plate umpire will follow along.

In the 1950s and into the 1960s the default camera orientation for live (this was before replay) pitches was from behind and above home plate. Then cameras were placed in center field at differing angles to provide a different perspective. Gradually, the center field view became the default and finally the view from behind the plate disappeared.

This change influences our understanding. As much as pitching has evolved into a high power activity with velocities in excess of 95 miles per hour (mph) common, even these flame throwers try to throw at or below the batter's knees. They nibble at the knees.

Touch your body at the top of the strike zone. Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A couple of months ago Alex Rodriguez told teammate Nathan Eovaldi that throwing his 98 mph fastball at the knees was like throwing 92, that the batter could simply drop the bat head. Eovaldi ignored Rodriguez.

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Nathan Eovaldi; high velocity, low strike outs. What, if anything, do the Yankees have in mind? Thursday, December 25, 2014

Aside from whether batters would have more difficulty hitting high v. low pitches, the point here is that until the strike zone is automated, it makes more sense for it to be high rather than low. It should be much easier for the plate umpire to call strikes from belt to shoulders, than belt to knees. After all, the umpires eyes are also up there. And batters may now have trouble with high pitches because:
- they are not required to swing at them
- they must protect against those ridiculous low pitches.

With the belt as the bottom, not the top of the strike zone, if the pitch is low, the batter still has a fighting chance of hitting it anyway, instead of flailing away as we see far too often now at pitches diving down into the dirt from the knees. Who likes that?

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