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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

‘Badass’ is bringing nasty streak back to Mets’ pitching staff | New York Post

Uh oh.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:04 AM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5637290)
“Not because we are trying to hit guys, we’re not head-hunting,’’ Eiland said. “It’s because we are pitching them off the plate.

“And they’re diving,’’ Eiland added. “Is there anybody who doesn’t have body armor now? You see a lot of guys who are hitting good pitches that are down and away, that’s because they don’t have a fear of the ball in.

“I am not saying we are going to throw at people’s heads because we’re not. We are not going to throw behind them. We’re going to go in and when we go in, if we miss, we are going to miss in off the plate and we are going to hit some guys.


I literally can't find anything wrong with this quote. He's right on the facts. He's right on the correct strategy to combat the current hitters' tendencies. This is Baseball 101.
   2. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5637303)
Agreed. I feel like people say this stuff all the time. I do however highly doubt that the pitching coach of the Royals conceded a World Series game after the first pitch because it was high and tight. Perhaps he felt some of the crowd's emotion or something, but if he actually vocalized "we aren't going to win tonight" to another coach, that is pretty strange.
   3. Batman Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5637309)
I wouldn't want any kind of ass bringing a nasty streak to where I work.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5637310)
I do however highly doubt that the pitching coach of the Royals conceded a World Series game after the first pitch because it was high and tight. Perhaps he felt some of the crowd's emotion or something, but if he actually vocalized "we aren't going to win tonight" to another coach, that is pretty strange.
Wait, what?? I'm tempted to RTFA just so I can fulminate about how dumb this story is on so many levels, but nah.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5637323)
I literally can't find anything wrong with this quote. He's right on the facts. He's right on the correct strategy to combat the current hitters' tendencies. This is Baseball 101.

Exactly. If you refuse to pitch inside and hit batters, you're giving up a big part of the strike zone, and letting hitters focus.
   6. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5637340)
Wait, what?? I'm tempted to RTFA just so I can fulminate about how dumb this story is on so many levels, but nah.


Don't waste your time it is junk.
   7. Leroy Kincaid Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5637343)
Maybe he just needs to do some squats.
   8. bfan Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5637347)
"We are going to slide hard, spikes up, and late, too. We will be in the base-path and all will be by the rule book. But if you think you can hang in at second base waiting for a late throw, without consequence, you are wrong, because I do not want the runner going to first to be out, and if you are knocked to the ground, then he will be. And, the next time on a close play at second, I may have your attention, and your eyes may stray off of the ball coming from your shortstop."

Is this okay too?
   9. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5637349)
Is this okay too?


No. I don't think pitching inside is the same thing as sliding into 2nd base with the intention of hurting the pivot man on a double play.
   10. bfan Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5637363)
"We’re going to go in and when we go in, if we miss, we are going to miss in off the plate and we are going to hit some guys."

I am going to go into second base hard, and if the guy is still there, we are going to hit some guys.
   11. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5637364)
"We are going to slide hard, spikes up, and late, too. We will be in the base-path and all will be by the rule book.


This is a false comparison. Going in spikes up and late is the equivalent of head-hunting, which Eiland explicitly says they're not going to do. If a baserunning coach said something to the order of "we're going to be aggressive in taking the extra bag, stealing, stretching singles into doubles; there are going to plays at the bag, and we're going to make the defender uncomfortable on the pivot. We're not sliding late or spikes high, we're not going out of the paths to take out the pivot man. We're staying within the rules. But we are going to make them make that play..." that would be similar. And perfectly fine.
   12. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5637365)
I am going to go into second base hard, and if the guy is still there, we are going to hit some guys.


This is a perfectly fine sentiment, and notably different from your original statement of going in late, spikes high.
   13. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5637372)
Some guys are going to get hit by pitches, that doesn't mean they are hitting people on purpose. Hitting batters with pitches purposely all year is pretty counterproductive because it's basically intentionally walking people repeatedly. Pitching inside to establish the inside part of the plate and prevent hitters from sitting on the outside pitch is, and should be, part of baseball. Throwing baseballs at hitters on purpose for any reason is dirty and wrong and not at all what Dave Eiland is talking about.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 13, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5637419)
He is clearly stating that they want to prevent hitters from being able to his the low-and-away pitch, because they fear getting hit with the ball. You can dance around it all you want, but they are using the fear of a baseball hitting them at 95mph to prevent them from covering one portion of the plate.


Not because we are trying to hit guys, we’re not head-hunting,’’ Eiland said. “It’s because we are pitching them off the plate.

“And they’re diving,’’ Eiland added. “Is there anybody who doesn’t have body armor now? You see a lot of guys who are hitting good pitches that are down and away, that’s because they don’t have a fear of the ball in.


He is a real "badass" to sit on his ass in the dugout and pompously talk about hitting guys.
   15. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5637422)
The plate belongs to everyone. Pitchers should be allowed to throw inside. Hitters are allowed to dive if they want, and if they get hit, they are awarded a free base. Hitters don't really need to attempt to get out of the way when pitchers come inside because umpires don't enforce that rule, and every time a guy gets hit everyone has hysterics which leads to warnings etc. I don't endorse hitting people on purpose or throwing purpose pitches or anything to intimidate a hitter with the fear getting beaned; but a batter should fear the threat of an inside strike and have to cover the inside part of the plate in addition to the outside part.
   16. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5637441)
The plate belongs to everyone. Pitchers should be allowed to throw inside. Hitters are allowed to dive if they want, and if they get hit, they are awarded a free base.


Technically, if they get hit *while diving over the plate* they should have a strike called on them and not be awarded first.
   17. eddieot Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5637442)
Another nothing-burger story from the NYPost. Is there some reason the site is linking to so many vacuous Post stories lately?
   18. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5637443)
He is clearly stating that they want to prevent hitters from being able to his the low-and-away pitch, because they fear getting hit with the ball. You can dance around it all you want, but they are using the fear of a baseball hitting them at 95mph to prevent them from covering one portion of the plate.


He is saying part of baseball is pitching inside. The idea that pitchers must be constrained in their ability to get batters out because batters are crowding the plate and diving into outside pitches is absurd. He's explicitly saying no to headhunting. You're acting like pitching effectively is assault and battery.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5637444)
Baseballs hurt when they hit your body at high speed. Batters need to be careful lest they get hurt. That's part of the game - you cannot sanitize that element away.
   20. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5637445)
Technically, if they get hit *while diving over the plate* they should have a strike called on them and not be awarded first.


Nobody enforces that, which is a pity. I like Anthony Rizzo but I feel like he is poster boy for this.
   21. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5637448)
Nobody enforces that, which is a pity.


I know, and I agree. Craig Biggio was the *worst* about that ####. Just stuck his (armored) elbow over the plate and trotted to first. Should have been a strike every time.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5637450)
I know, and I agree. Craig Biggio was the *worst* about that ####. Just stuck his (armored) elbow over the plate and trotted to first. Should have been a strike every time.


No question.

HBP rules should be pretty damn simple:

If you get hit with a ball that's thrown inside the batter's box, you get first. You don't have to pretend to get out of the way to bail out the pitcher.

If you get hit outside the box, it's a ball if it's not over the plate, a strike if it is.

   23. PreservedFish Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5637454)
That makes a lot of damn sense.

I mean, I don't think the umps are in a great position to determine what is or isn't in the batter's box, but it's probably still easier than trying to judge intent.
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5637463)
The plate belongs to everyone. Pitchers should be allowed to throw inside. Hitters are allowed to dive if they want, and if they get hit, they are awarded a free base.


They're specifically stating they are pitching inside, not in the strike zone, to prevent batters from being able to protect the outer half. And stating that HBP are "woops!"

"Diving" is what crybaby coaches and pitchers call it whenever a batter actually tries to protect the outer half. Players are rarely being HBP when the ball is in the strike zone.

   25. Astroenteritis Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5637465)
I can just picture Bob Gibson laughing at this whole argument.
   26. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5637469)

They're specifically stating they are pitching inside, not in the strike zone, to prevent batters from being able to protect the outer half. And stating that HBP are "woops!"

"Diving" is what crybaby coaches and pitchers call it whenever a batter actually tries to protect the outer half. Players are rarely being HBP when the ball is in the strike zone.


I will say again that I think pitchers hitting batters on purpose repeatedly is not a good strategy to win baseball games because it amounts to a walk when a batter gets hit. There are guys who consistently get hit by pitches more often than others, and that's not a coincidence. There are pitchers who tend to hit more batters than others, and THAT is not a coincidence. The batters who get hit more often are the ones crowding the plate, and the pitchers who hit more guys are the guys who pitch inside more often. Accidents happen. Headhunting is wrong, nobody should ever hit anyone on purpose. There is no reason a pitcher should have to be more careful on the inside part of the plate than on the outside part of the plate, though.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5637470)
They're specifically stating they are pitching inside, not in the strike zone, to prevent batters from being able to protect the outer half. And stating that HBP are "woops!"


But you are allowed to aim outside the strike zone. And HBPs will occur if you pitch inside off the plate, because sometimes pitchers miss their spots.
   28. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5637477)
But you are allowed to aim outside the strike zone. And HBPs will occur if you pitch inside off the plate, because sometimes pitchers miss their spots.


Exactly. I can't state emphatically enough that nobody should ever get hit on purpose and I am in favor of steep suspensions for beanballs if intent is obvious; but pitching to the inside part of the plate is essential. On an 0-2 count if a pitcher wants to waste a pitch and aims a few inches inside, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you hit him, he gets his base and it sucks for the pitcher because he was way ahead in the count. That is part of the peril of throwing inside.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5637479)
The problem here is that Eiland's statements could mean "hitters better not get too comfy, wink wink, nudge nudge" or they could be describing a totally legal and innocent pitching strategy.
   30. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5637485)
The problem here is that Eiland's statements could mean "hitters better not get too comfy, wink wink, nudge nudge" or they could be describing a totally legal and innocent pitching strategy.


It seems like a dumb thing to say either way honestly. If you're planning on hunting heads, as it were, why would you wave a red flag and announce your intentions in advance? I can see where it would be interpreted like you said, for sure. It just seems counterproductive to give people an early scouting report if you intend to pitch hitters differently. If you don't plan to pitch hitters differently, it will be apparent early on in the season. Anyway, as a Met fan, I hope they aren't seriously going to be hitting people on purpose, a) because it's barbaric and stupid, and b) because I don't want extra people on base.
   31. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5637517)
"Diving" is what crybaby coaches and pitchers call it whenever a batter actually tries to protect the outer half.


No, diving is what hitters do when they need to get coverage on the lower half of the outside corner. They do that by dipping their shoulder and arms into the zone proper, so the barrel of the bat is on the outer half (rather than the cup of the end of the bad.) What "crybabies" do is ##### and moan because they are mad that pitchers sometimes throw the ball on the inner half, and their fee-fees get all knotted up inside.
   32. Morty Causa Posted: March 13, 2018 at 07:36 PM (#5637547)
I can just picture Bob Gibson laughing at this whole argument.

It has to be said: Bob Gibson was an assshole.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5637574)
No, diving is what hitters do when they need to get coverage on the lower half of the outside corner. They do that by dipping their shoulder and arms into the zone proper, so the barrel of the bat is on the outer half (rather than the cup of the end of the bad.) What "crybabies" do is ##### and moan because they are mad that pitchers sometimes throw the ball on the inner half, and their fee-fees get all knotted up inside.

This is scary. I'm in complete agreement with Rickey! today ;-)
   34. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5637750)
If you get hit outside the box, it's a ball if it's not over the plate, a strike if it is.


This would be a good use of replay, although I know that you cannot legally challenge balls and strikes.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5637755)
This would be a good use of replay, although I know that you cannot legally challenge balls and strikes.


Obviously, if we ever go to the automated zone, that would be one obvious advantage for this system.

But, even without it, the nice thing is the home plate umpire is already tracking the location of the ball, rather than the actions of the batter, so he should have some idea where a ball was when it hit the batter.

   36. Astroenteritis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5637764)
It has to be said: Bob Gibson was an assshole.

That may be, but in fairness, he only hit one batter every 36 innings, and ranks 82nd all-time in HBP. He was very clear, though, that if a hitter tried to claim the outer half of the plate, he was going to move him back. To me, that's just an essential part of pitching. A pitcher only has to throw a few inches off the inside of the plate to accomplish the goal.
   37. Rusty Priske Posted: March 16, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5639110)
Jeter did that 'dive over the plate' thing so often that he when he did get called on it, he just kind of shrugged.

He knew exactly what he was doing.

I will say that 'fear of the inside pitch' doesn't JUST mean fear of getting hit. It can also mean fear of getting beat inside because they are only concentrating on the outside half of the plate.

Pitchers should use the whole plate. That does NOT mean that they should throw at batters.
   38. Morty Causa Posted: March 16, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5639190)
He was very clear, though, that if a hitter tried to claim the outer half of the plate, he was going to move him back. To me, that's just an essential part of pitching. A pitcher only has to throw a few inches off the inside of the plate to accomplish the goal.

That ain't in the rules. What's moving a hitter off compared to throwing at the hitter. We just take the pitcher's word for what he's doing. In another venue, that is arguably a crime. One of the things that tee me off when pitchers sanctimoniously issue righteous proclamations like this is that the batter has no corresponding recourse. Can he accidentally let loose of his bat toward the pitcher on the mound?

   39. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5639355)
In another venue, that is arguably a crime.


And punching someone in the face, in another venue, is inarguably a crime.

And clotheslining someone running past you, in another venue, is inarguably a crime.

The sports venue does allow for conduct that, removed from the context of the arena, is seen very differently.
   40. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5639381)
Do you really think all those are equivalent? Clotheslining is against the rules, I suspect (or is that just for quarterbacks, haven't kept up with football for decades). And a punching contest is--well, it's the very nature and point of the endeavor and the guy you are punching is allowed to punch you back. Throwing at batters, and that's what pitching inside is (although there is a spectrum of wrong if you want to quibble), not specifically and technically according to the rules the nature of the endeavor. Nothing in the rules say a pitcher can throw at a batter or euphemistically throw inside to intimidate him. In fact, like with clotheslining the quarterback, it's a) against the rules; furthermore, b) the batter has no way to reciprocate. It's not part of the game. No batter has formally agreed to participate on the terms that the pitcher gets to throw at you and you just suck up. It's against the rules, goddamit. And it's cheating.

EDIt
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: March 17, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5639390)

Nothing in the rules say a pitcher can throw at a batter or euphemistically throw inside to intimidate him.


Show me where it says that.

In fact, like with clotheslining the quarterback, it's a) against the rules; furthermore, b) the batter has no way to reciprocate.


You can clothesline the running back. He has no way to reciprocate.

I'm not really advocating for or against (though batters should have a healthy fear of the fastball. The unintentional HBP hurts just as much as the intentional one). Just that pointing to whether it would be a crime outside the context of sport is not a compelling line of argument.

It's not part of the game.


That's a hard case to make, given it's been part of the game almost as long as the game has been.

   42. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5639394)
No batter has formally agreed to participate on the terms that the pitcher gets to throw at you and you just suck up


It seems to me that they all have. Furthermore, baseball has its own traditions dictating what type of revenge is and isn't allowed, but typically the agreed-upon vengeance is your own teammate plunking one of the other guys' teammates in response. Very often that will complete the circle and everyone is cool with what's happened.
   43. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5639398)
Just think about how conceptually odious that is.
   44. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5639400)
Like I say, if the batter thrown at had direct personal reciprocal recourse (say, he's allowed to let loose when swinging his bat, maybe yelling "slipsies", I might think differently.)
   45. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5639403)
It’s messed up but it exists and they’ve been ok with it for many decades. It is absolutely part of the game.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5639407)
This reminds me of our discussion on OT:P. Vengeance is Ours
   47. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5639409)
Many repugnant things have been part of the game. Doesn't mean they can't, or shouldn't, be removed.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5639417)
Many repugnant things have been part of the game. Doesn't mean they can't, or shouldn't, be removed.

Beanballs are repugnant. Throwing inside and expecting the batter to get out of the way is pitching 101.

The batter has no right to lunge. He has the responsibility to avoid pitches. His recourse is that he gets a free base if he gets hit.
   49. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5639469)
Of course the batter can lunge. There's nothing in the rules prohibiting that. Throwing at batters is prohibited. (A pitcher saying that he is only throwing inside is trying to have your cake and eat it, too. And we have to take that pitcher at his word that he's just throwing inside--why should we? Moreover, throwing at someone or throwing inside is trafficking in fear--that's Shithead 101. Both batter and pitcher are entitled to all of the plate, and that's all they are entitled to, and one-sided intimidation has no place in sports.
   50. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2018 at 09:48 PM (#5639471)
This reminds me of our discussion on OT:P. Vengeance is Ours

I first read that when it came out, and probably a couple of times thereafter within a year or so of its appearance in the magazine. Great essay. Makes excellent points. I think the main character later disavowed his claims and actions. Said he was putting Diamond on. Hmmm. I don't know what came of all that. (Nieporent has promised to research it for me.)
   51. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 18, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5639518)
I think that it is repugnant to throw at hitters on purpose, I think it's repugnant to do so and lie about it afterwards. Aiming inside (not at the hitter) is just fine. If a hitter sits on a fastball and gets a curve, he is most often beaten. Why should it be different for hitters who sit on outside pitches? There is no rule, written or otherwise, that the pitcher needs to work on the outside part of the plate and the outside part of the plate exclusively. It is usually pretty obvious when someone gets drilled on purpose as opposed to getting hit with a two seamer that ran a little too far inside.
   52. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5639521)
There is not a rule that pitchers have to work on the outside of the plate exclusively. He should just work within the parameters of the plate. And if he doesn't do that, it's he who should incur blame. Now, if the hitter is hit by a pitch that is within the parameters of the plate, that's his look-out. But, no one has some sort of natural de facto right to make a portion of the plate exclusively his.
   53. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 18, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5639527)
And if he doesn't do that, it's he who should incur blame


And it is he who does. If a batter gets hit by a pitch, regardless of fault, the batter takes first base. It's not like if a pitcher hits a batter, the batter is struck out. There is a negative result for the pitcher.

But, no one has some sort of natural de facto right to make a portion of the plate exclusively his.


Exactly why pitching inside is a perfectly acceptable strategy. Both the pitcher and the hitter have a right to the plate. Pitching inside is not the same thing as hitting people or throwing at people deliberately.

Look I wasn't alive in the 60's or the 70's for baseball watching purposes. I only know what I see now, and that is that a lot of guys make barely cursory efforts to get out of the way of pitched baseballs that are not very far off the inside of the plate. You see guys get hit by pitches that are barely out of the strike zone, and in some extreme cases by pitches that are IN the strike zone; and those guys are still awarded first base even though the pitcher made a good pitch. Headhunting is stupid and barbaric and should be punished with stiff suspensions. If you've watched enough baseball, as I (perhaps stupidly) assume that everyone on this page has, then you can tell when someone is deliberately throwing at someone to hurt them and when a pitch has gotten away. The inside part of the plate and the 3-6 inches off the inside part of the plate belong to the hitter in today's game and that isn't necessarily fair. As you said quite right(ly), those areas shouldn't belong to anyone exclusively. You see warnings issued for no reason sometimes which further conditions a pitcher not to pitch inside, you see guys basically leaning into pitches to again condition a pitcher not to pitch inside, and you see guys get bent out of shape and practically charge the mound if a pitch runs inside a little bit inside to try to provoke the umpire to issue said warnings.

I have to believe that we are talking past each other here. I have no desire to see people get hit with pitches on purpose and I hate the fact that we even have to say out loud that anything close to a batter's head is off limits. But honestly, this battle at this point in time is very slanted to the hitter's benefit and that is unfair. Let pitchers throw inside so that they have to respect the threat of that pitch as an out pitch, but also so that a pitcher can make a good pitch on the outside part of the plate that is an actual threat. That is all that I'm saying. You can set up that slider on the outside part of the plate very effectively with a good fastball 3 inches inside.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5639529)
Of course the batter can lunge. There's nothing in the rules prohibiting that.

Yes there is. If the batter is in the strikezone when he gets hit, it's a strike. But umpires never call this. So, batters are free to lunge.

If you want to dangle your arms in the strikezone, you really have no grounds for complaint if you get hit.
   55. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5639545)
You see guys get hit by pitches that are barely out of the strike zone, and in some extreme cases by pitches that are IN the strike zone; and those guys are still awarded first base even though the pitcher made a good pitch.

Batters have to stay in close to the strike zone if they are to have any chance at success. And they have only a split-second to react.

But, as you (and others) say, it's probably just a matter of taste. But, as people like to say with sexism, the two parties are not of equal standing when it comes to power. One risks getting hurt, sometimes badly hurt; the other risks awarding the player first base (boo hoo).
   56. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5639547)
Let me make it even clearer: I resent the implication that the batter by sticking close to the strike zone is "asking for it." And that his remedy is to simply bail out. Of course, that's what the pitcher wants, and I will not validate that attitude.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5639549)
Let me make it even clearer: I resent the implication that the batter by sticking close to the strike zone is "asking for it."

He's not asking for it, he's assuming the risk.

In order to do his job, the pitcher has to aim a high velocity projectile at a very small area. That's the way the sport works.

And, given human limitations, the pitcher will not always place the pitch exactly where he wants it. If he could, the batter would never reach base.

The pitcher (while aiming at the strike-zone) always has the possibility that the pitch will end up a foot away from its intended target. The batter has to be prepared for this. 12 inches of error on a max effort throw is very small, but it's enough to take it from a strike to a HBP.

As long as the pitcher stays below the shoulders, the risk of life altering injury is infinitessimal.
   58. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 18, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5639552)
I don't think anyone could object to the statement that a pitches is allowed to aim at any portion of the strike zone. Is the question really, how far off the inside of the plate is legitimate, and does the answer in part depend on how high the pitch is and how close the batter stands to the plate? I have a very hard time with the idea that the pitcher is not allowed to aim at least a few inches off the inside of the plate.
   59. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5639557)
I'm inclined to see it more in terms of strict liability, if not absolute liability. If a pitcher is going to be allowed to pitch close, if he insists on doing that, even to the extent of going out the strike zone with the excuse that he has to be allowed to own the outside of the plate, and especially if he uses that pretext to intimidate the hitter, he is totally responsible if something goes wrong. He has no excuse. He's like the lumber company that uses dynamite to remove stumps. Fine. But if something goes wrong, he is not excused by claiming that he tried to act for the best, took all precautions, and he didn't know that kid was on the property yadda yadda yadda,. He assumes all risks and responsibility for his own behavior in that context.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5639565)
I'm inclined to see it more in terms of strict liability, if not absolute liability. If a pitcher is going to be allowed to pitch close, if he insists on doing that, even to the extent of going out the strike zone with the excuse that he has to be allowed to own the outside of the plate, and especially if he uses that pretext to intimidate the hitter, he is totally responsible if something goes wrong.

He is totally responsible. If the guy gets hit, he gets first base, no matter what. That's the sport's agreed on penalty for a HB. What more do you want? Ejecting a guy for a mistake is dumb. Makes no more sense than ejecting a batter for hitting the pitcher with a line drive.

Any kind of legal liability is absolutely ludicrous. Both parties are highly paid professionals, covered by excellent medical and disability insurance.
   61. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5639576)
Well, good. Just, as fans, let's try not to preen about how the pitcher has a right to brush back the batter and it's the batter's fault for leaning over the plate and into the pitch, anyway, because the pitcher owns half the plate. The game is simple in conception and rules. The pitcher should throw the ball over the plate, and shoot for doing that and only doing that, and the batter should hit it if it's a strike and shouldn't be fearing getting hit. All that psychological gamesmanship is hooey, and, as I said, odious and repugnant.
   62. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5639689)
let's try not to preen about how the pitcher has a right to brush back the batter


the pitcher does not have the right to brush back a hitter, but he does have the right to throw a ball a few inches inside. the plate is located where it is for a reason. the hitter has to respect the possibility of an inside pitch. inside pitch does not equal brushback.

The pitcher should throw the ball over the plate, and shoot for doing that and only doing that


This is beer league softball stuff. If a pitcher has to throw the ball down the middle all the time or locate a pitch predictably, he will not be a pitcher for long. Just as if a hitter has a fear of getting hit by a pitch, he will not be a hitter for long.

All that psychological gamesmanship is hooey, and, as I said, odious and repugnant.


Couldn't agree more.
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5639693)
Just stumbled on an amazing factoid. Mickey Mantle only got hit by a pitch 13 times in his entire career. Craig Biggio has 10 seasons with more HBP.

Methinks the batter has a lot of control over whether he gets hit or not. We shouldn't put it all on the pitcher.
   64. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5639715)
Just stumbled on an amazing factoid. Mickey Mantle only got hit by a pitch 13 times in his entire career. Craig Biggio has 10 seasons with more HBP.


Interestingly I've read that there are more HBP's now than there were in the past. I would like to see why that is, but I do suspect it is because guys don't/can't get out of the way.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5639729)
Interestingly I've read that there are more HBP's now than there were in the past. I would like to see why that is, but I do suspect it is because guys don't/can't get out of the way.

Don't know if that's true. But, there are still a bunch of modern guys who didn't get hit.

Chipper Jones had 18 HBP for his career. Ortiz 38. Beltran 51. Thome 69.

Compare that to Biggio at 285. ARod at 176. Jeter at 170.
   66. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5639734)
ARod at 176.
Well yeah, but he was an unusually large target.
   67. PreservedFish Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5639740)
That's just good baseball. If they throw the ball at you, you make hay with it, and trot down to first like a man.
   68. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5639741)
Don't know if that's true. But, there are still a bunch of modern guys who didn't get hit.

Chipper Jones had 18 HBP for his career. Ortiz 38. Beltran 51. Thome 69.

Compare that to Biggio at 285. ARod at 176. Jeter at 170.


That's fair. In the 60s and 70s there was Don Baylor or Ron Hunt who got hit a bunch. There are guys who will give up their body to get hit and that's their right. If the pitch is in the zone though it should be called a strike. Pitchers have to know who those hitters are and be wary about coming inside when they're ahead in the count.
   69. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 19, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5639743)
Well yeah, but he was an unusually large target.


Especially as a centaur.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: March 19, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5639775)
Methinks the batter has a lot of control over whether he gets hit or not. We shouldn't put it all on the pitcher.


There's no question about that. I'd be shocked if the batter HBP leaderboard didn't have more year-to-year correlation than the pitcher one.

Some players simply don't like to get hit, and take great steps to avoid it.

David Ortiz didn't get hit a lot, despite the fact pitchers most definitely tried to pitch him inside and he had a lot of surface area for pitches to find purchase. But he was extremely adept at getting out of the way, particularly for a man his size.

The most interesting example of how the batter is clearly responsible for a large share of the HBP was Shane Victorino's first season in Boston. He began to struggle against RHP, so at midyear he abandoned switch hitting to hit exclusively righthanded.

He had three HBPs at the end of July. He finished with a league-leading 18, 11 of them as a righty batting against a RHP in just 115 PA.

He simply wasn't accustomed to seeing the ball coming from that hand batting from that side of the plate. Couple that with the fact he stood close to the plate all the time, and it was a recipe for HBPs.

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