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My recollection was that it was a terribly wide strike zone, but called the same for both teams. Unfair to both - the new neutrality.
Umpire Eric Gregg’s strike zone in this 1997 NL playoff matchup had viewers outraged. Pitches that sailed high over the heads of players were called strikes.
Shitty umpiring? Sure. But unfair? No.
I am a lifelong Braves fan, and would be the first to acknowledge that Glavine made a living on the outside corner. But the calls were not his to make - your complaint is with the folks who had the job of calling balls and strikes, not the guy throwing the pitch.
That doesn't constitute unfairness. The Braves were free to replace their LHB. Maddux was free to throw outside curveballs to LHB.
I'm sure Maddux was capable of throwing the same kind of curve if he wanted to.
I was always baffled that hitters stood so far away from the plate in the late 1980's and early 1990's and consistently got killed by outside corner pitches - especially when the umps extended the zone outward like Gregg here. Then later in the decade the hitters started moving closer to the plate, with good results.
how does this track with aluminum bats in college and certain minors?
Didn't the Braves' catchers get cited, around that time, for setting up outside the catchers' box?
As a Braves fan, I can readily admit that Maddux got a ridiculous zone from Gregg as well. I don't think Gregg was biased against the Braves (though he may have been influenced some by the crowd), he was just a horrible umpire. And what we got that day didn't really resemble a baseball game, just an unfortunate spectacle.
As long as the zone is the same for both teams, you can't claim unfairness.
They (maple) also allowed hitters to drive balls down and away hard, due to increased bat speed from the scooped out bats and the density of maple over ash.
i think that's when you started getting hitters crowding the plate. didn't we also see the arbiters of the game clamping down on pitchers throwing at batters in the 90s and aughts? i don't remember it so much before that. part of it was about hitters and managers angry at pitchers possibly hurting their players as salaries climbed, but could it also be because hitters gradually wanted to get closer to the plate so they could go opposite field on the outside pitch?
I, to this day, think that Barry Bonds' elbow protector had more to do with his late career power spike than any PED he may have taken.
as much as i liked bonds, i have to say that infuriated me, esp. during the 2002 nlcs ... seriously, his elbow looked like it was over the plate.
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