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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Catcher trips to the mound? It’s becoming an issue baseball needs to address

Yes, yes, yes.

Does it drive you crazy when the catcher constantly goes to the mound to talk to the pitcher about who knows what?

It’s not just aggravating to fans and the media. It’s also aggravating to Major League Baseball, managers, and coaches. At some time this offseason this will become a front-burner issue, if it isn’t already.

For someone who hates changes in baseball, even I would admit there has to be a limit on catcher/pitcher conferences, doesn’t there?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2017 at 09:15 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. RMc and the Respective Punishments Posted: June 18, 2017 at 09:51 AM (#5478240)
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5478245)
I still support a mic/earphone system between the coach, catcher and pitcher.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2017 at 11:41 AM (#5478249)
Is it just me, or has it gotten a lot worse in the last few years? It's like there was a Players' Association meeting at which they said, "OK, so we're all agreed that we're never going to go over the 'runner on second' signs until there's actually a runner on second. All in favor? OK, passed unanimously. Good."
   4. Voodoo Posted: June 18, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5478254)
Is it just me, or has it gotten a lot worse in the last few years?


It's not you, it's Willson Contreras. He loves him some mound visits.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5478261)
Is it just me, or has it gotten a lot worse in the last few years? It's like there was a Players' Association meeting at which they said, "OK, so we're all agreed that we're never going to go over the 'runner on second' signs until there's actually a runner on second. All in favor? OK, passed unanimously. Good."


I blame Yadier Molina, he is one of the more regarded catchers at handling a pitching staff in baseball, and probably averages 10 mound visits a game.
   6. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 18, 2017 at 12:28 PM (#5478262)
I hate the idea of a microphone system. Just figure it out without the visit. If that means more wild pitches then you'd better get your #### together. I think teams are just so risk averse, they don't trust putting down a side fan, they need the catcher to visit. Hell everytime a runner gets on second there is a mound visit. There is no reason changing the signs can't be figured out before the game.
   7. Bote Man Posted: June 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5478263)
MLB (or their surrogates in the press) is nibbling around the edges so that it can avoid confronting the umpires on enforcing the pitch clock and keeping batters in the box.
   8. DFA Posted: June 18, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5478270)
I for one don't care.
   9. Pirate Joe Posted: June 18, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5478272)
If managers and coaches are so aggravated by catchers going out to the mound to talk to pitchers wouldn't they tell their catchers to stop it? Or is this just one of those things that's only aggravating when the other guys are doing it, not when your guys are doing it?


   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5478278)
MLB (or their surrogates in the press) is nibbling around the edges so that it can avoid confronting the umpires on enforcing the pitch clock and keeping batters in the box.

True, but that doesn't mean getting rid of this sort of thing isn't also a good idea.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5478296)
I'm probably the only person advocating for a microphone system, it's just that I'm not a fan of just taking away something that there might be value, such as catcher visits, but if some of it can be done with a mic system, and it reduces the number of visits, then it's something that I think needs to be considered.
   12. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 18, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5478301)
I watch two or three games most days, and I'm somehow missing this epidemic. I imagine this is akin to the mid-inning pitching change, where people get aggravated about isolated egregious examples, then convince themselves those instances "happen all the time."
   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 18, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5478305)
I watch two or three games most days, and I'm somehow missing this epidemic.


It's probably a function of what teams you watch. I think there's a huge variation across catchers in terms of how often this happens. I'm a Cubs fan, so, I'm kind of with #3 - this seems like a huge problem that mostly came out of nowhere and has gotten out of hand in the past two seasons. But, as #4 points out, that corresponds exactly with Willson Contreras's career and he's among the worst at this.
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 18, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5478345)
Is it just me, or has it gotten a lot worse in the last few years?


in the last year of his career, Del Crandall played for the Indians and he and Sudden Sam had a conference after every fucking pitch

(OK, so I exaggerated a little)
   15. DavidFoss Posted: June 18, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5478368)
people get aggravated about isolated egregious examples, then convince themselves those instances "happen all the time.

We're in the age of analytics. Couldn't someone be tracking this stuff? A simple time-stamp on every pitch or pickoff attempt would be a good start.
   16. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 18, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5478379)
Cfb - I actually don't think it's a bad solution but there is something a little too perfect about it. It's like some team (Dodgers?) last year wanting to use lasers to position their players. In theory if everyone has access it makes no difference but I like some imprecision in sport. I think one reason I've fallen out of love or even like with football is the headphone system. I mean it's one thing to have calls signaled from the sideline but to me it just feels a little to video gamey to allow that degree of communication.

I think Lance has a point too. I suspect it may not be as big an issue as it seems but much like multi reliever innings even if it doesn't happen often it just "feels" painful. With Price pitching to Vazquez tonight on the heels of last weeks four hour marathon I suspect we will hear a lot about it tonight.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: June 18, 2017 at 08:21 PM (#5478408)
A bit like mid-inning changes, the annoyance factor probably arises from how often it happens at an annoying time rather than how often it happens. The visits go through the roof in a close game with runners on base. We're tense, we want to know whether our team is going to tie/break the game. And here's the C on his 3rd trip to the mound this PA -- the first to change the signs, the second to say "hey dummy, I said the 3rd signal was the sign unless the first signal is a 2, then it's the second sign" and the third to say "boy we got lucky on that one, don't throw it down the middle again."

It's like looking forward to your 3-day weekend but then getting stuck in the two-hour traffic jam on the single lane road to the beach -- some people have been known to get frustrated (it's true!).

So Yadier is welcome to go out there as much as he wants when the Cards have a 9-run lead on the Cubs -- I'm probably not watching anymore anyway. But for god's sake man, stay back there when the bases are loaded with nobody out and the Cubs are down 1. I'm going to be miserable enough after they don't score, let me at least get it over with.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: June 18, 2017 at 10:35 PM (#5478438)
Cfb - I actually don't think it's a bad solution but there is something a little too perfect about it. It's like some team (Dodgers?) last year wanting to use lasers to position their players. In theory if everyone has access it makes no difference but I like some imprecision in sport. I think one reason I've fallen out of love or even like with football is the headphone system. I mean it's one thing to have calls signaled from the sideline but to me it just feels a little to video gamey to allow that degree of communication.


I just think taking advantage of technology in a changing world isn't a bad sign, and embracing it is great. I despise the NFL, but their microphone system is one of the few things about them I like they immediately set up rules for competitive reason(if there is an issue on one side, then the other side doesn't have the microphone....which is good... it acknowledges the advantage of the system, but also acknowledges that when problem arises, they have to revert to the old ways, which is perfectly acceptable and teams plan for that so it's not a huge hindrance) I think in the baseball world, the same concept applies.

Of course, many times the catcher visit to the mound is a delaying tactic to warm up a pitcher in the pen and give them more time... simple rule of course would be that barring any injury that if there is a catcher visit to the mound that the pitcher still has to pitch to the current batter (or some basic rule like that)

A bit like mid-inning changes, the annoyance factor probably arises from how often it happens at an annoying time rather than how often it happens. The visits go through the roof in a close game with runners on base. We're tense, we want to know whether our team is going to tie/break the game. And here's the C on his 3rd trip to the mound this PA -- the first to change the signs, the second to say "hey dummy, I said the 3rd signal was the sign unless the first signal is a 2, then it's the second sign" and the third to say "boy we got lucky on that one, don't throw it down the middle again."


That is the real issue, nobody cares about catcher visits to the mound in the first 6 or so innings of the game, it's when it becomes excessive at the crucial moments that gets a few people's hair up in a dander. Of course those crucial moments are exactly when the catcher visits matter the most...nobody wants to lose a game in the 9th inning because of a mix-up in signs... In a perfect world we would want perfect execution by both sides as often as possible, with minimal interruption to the game.... at some point we have to acknowledge that there is going to be one side of the equation weakened... currently it might feel like we are suffering from more interruptions to the game than is necessary to produce the most enjoyable results for fans.
   19. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 18, 2017 at 11:08 PM (#5478443)
Catcher trips


This seems to provide its own answer - just put some obstacles between the catcher and the mound. Maybe a bull.
   20. ReggieThomasLives Posted: June 19, 2017 at 12:41 AM (#5478456)
No microphone needed, just a 20 second pitch clock.
   21. Baldrick Posted: June 19, 2017 at 01:05 AM (#5478459)
I'd be fine with just completely banning catcher visits to the mound entirely. But as a compromise, I'd go with: one person who is not the pitcher is allowed to visit the mound once per inning. Manager, catcher, shortstop, whatever. You want to communicate beyond your one visit? Shout.
   22. ptodd Posted: June 19, 2017 at 02:47 AM (#5478467)
No mound visits for anyone except for pitching changes and then no warm ups for the new pitcher (thats what bullpens are for). After the 6th pitch fouls are strikes even with 2 strikes. Das it.

Also whats to stop teams especially home teams from relaying signs from someone watching on Tv to a person placed near the plate in the stands who then communicates that to the hitter via some code words. Looking at some of the H-A splits some teams have you got to wonder if this is behind the paranoia
   23. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 19, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5478525)
We're in the age of analytics. Couldn't someone be tracking this stuff? A simple time-stamp on every pitch or pickoff attempt would be a good start.

Some young whipper snapper needs to make a name for themselves in tracking all mound visits, pickoff attempts, throws to first, etc. Total number, duration, inning/game situation, etc.

I want to be able to complain with accurate data backing my complaints.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 19, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5478529)
No microphone needed, just a 20 second pitch clock.

I'd go with maybe 15-18 seconds, but yeah, this is a simple, elegant solution - you want to have a mound visit? Fine, as long as you do it before you would have had to pitch anyway. Not enough time, you say? Put your pitching coach on a diet.

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