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It's probably still a strike anyway. Left is the 3-0 pitch, right is the 3-2 slider he whiffed on.
Umpiring is not supposed to be a thought experiment. The ump is instructed by the rules to call the pitch relative to the batter in his stance in the box, not relative to where he would imagine the batter would be if he were in the box.
Pitch FX is far more trustworthy than a single still image from a dubious angle.
Even with parallax, how do we reconcile your picture with the PitchFX declaration that it was 6" above the zone?
This is wrong. By rule. As I quoted in #29.
Instead of thinking of the pitch as 6" above the zone, think of it as 4' off the ground. I'll leave it to someone else to figure out if a pitch 4' off the ground is a strike for a man of Ortiz's height and stance.
Edit: As an aside, the TV strike zones do attempt to adjust based on height/stance while the pitchf/x strike zone is set at a constant height of 1.5' to 3.5' (at least on the Brooks Baseball site). That's why the ball looks much closer to being a strike on the TV strike zone box thingy than it does in the pitchf/x plot.
I did another screen capture from a NESN cam that zooms in on a pitch as it crosses the plate. Again, it doesn't look 6" above the zone. As Ortiz's batting stance covers roughly the same area as his I'm trying to call time and work a walk stance (since he doesn't bend his knees), it's clear the pitch was a strike.
Which means the TV strike zone is correct and PitchFX is wrong
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I'm reluctant to dig myself even deeper with yet another wrong statement, but that's not going to stop me: Frankly, it looks to me like he was stepping out before the pitch was even released -- or at best simultaneous with it -- let alone "before it even crosses the strike zone".
What? Here are Laz Diaz's calls from the previous game in the series. Here are tonight's by Mike Estabrook. To verify your claim,
If you honestly can't differentiate between that call on Ortiz and a typical bad ball/strike call, then I think we're done here.
Not Ortiz related, but why the hell did Miguel Cabrera get tossed yesterday? That looked like run of the mill grumbling to me.
The explanation I heard on MLBTV was that he crossed a line. Apparently you're allowed to say 'that's horrible' as in the call was horrible but not allowed to say 'you're horrible' as in the umpire is horrible at his job more generally.
I don't like what Ortiz did before the call. The ump should and will call that a strike 100% of the time. There's no reason or excuse for stepping out like that when the pitch is being thrown.
What if it was an even worse pitch, in the dirt or over his head? Should it still be a strike because Ortiz stepped out early?
Old fashioned? Since time immemorial, if you start heading to first, or throw away the bat before the strike/ball call, it has been a strike.
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