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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Video: Player’s Weird Batting Stance Goes Viral During LLWS

On Saturday afternoon, the Little League World Series rolled on with a contest between Venezuela and Australia in an elimination game.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, a player from the Venezuelan team came up to bat as the team held a 1-0 lead.

In an apparent attempt to throw the pitcher off of his game, the player crouched down in the batters box. He made his strike zone as small as possible by squatting down to his heels, but still maintained a batter’s stance – kind of.

Bill Veeck would have been proud.

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:21 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: batting stance, llws

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   1. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5872282)
Looks like the ump called that a strike, and that this is not the kid's normal batting stance. Worth a shot!
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5872285)

Looks like the ump called that a strike, and that this is not the kid's normal batting stance. Worth a shot!


The ump wouldn't have known this was not the kid's normal batting stance, given it was a 0-0 count. Good for him for not allowing it.

If the robo umps are designed to measure a player's strike zone from a standing position, rather than incorporate any crouch into the proceedings, that will be one big argument in their favor.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5872288)
But you couldn't just measure a player standing ramrod straight, could you? This image is from the official rulebook, apparently.
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5872295)
He's not trying to fool the ump, he's trying to distract the pitcher.

(Edited)
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5872297)

He's not trying to fool the ump, he's trying to rattle the pitcher.


I suspect you're right.


But you couldn't just measure a player standing ramrod straight, could you? This image is from the official rulebook, apparently.


Of course you could, and you should. Where you set the strike zone on the body can be adjusted, but forcing everyone to stand ramrod straight for the measurement would guarantee that each player's zone is determined by his height, not by his stance. As it stands, the strike zone's definition is vague (ready to swing, or something like that).
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5872298)
He's not trying to fool the ump, he's trying to distract the pitcher.

Yes, and in response, the ump should give the pitcher a big zone, vertically. If you're going to try and obscure the strike-zone, it should be interpreted against your interest.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5872299)
He's not trying to fool the ump, he's trying to distract the pitcher.
I hope his coach told him that if he didn’t knock it off immediately with that obnoxiousness, he would ride the bench for the rest of the series.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: August 18, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5872313)
Kid's from Venezuela. Cut him some slack!
   9. puck Posted: August 18, 2019 at 12:01 PM (#5872315)
Didn't one of the kids in the Bad News Bears do this?
   10. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 18, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5872326)
Phil Plantier!
   11. manchestermets Posted: August 18, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5872353)
This image is from the official rulebook, apparently.


Why is the midpoint nearer one of the things it's supposed to be the midpoint between than the other?
   12. My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected Posted: August 18, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5872367)
He made his strike zone as small as possible

Eddie Gaedel says hi.
   13. The Duke Posted: August 18, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5872390)
Was he wearing the uniform number 1/8?
   14. Sunday silence Posted: August 18, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5872392)
this kid needs to be plonked.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5872403)
Looks like the ump called that a strike, and that this is not the kid's normal batting stance. Worth a shot!


Worth a shot? My arse. It's bush league and is why so many don't like the LLWS any more. It's morphed into this win at all costs/massive money making machine when you witness cr@p like this.
I don't think the kid is doing it for kicks and goes against the spirit of the competition. The coach should be banned for 1 game for allowing stuff like this.

this kid needs to be plonked.


Couldn't agree more. If Australia had been up or down by 7 or so runs, I would've instructed my pitcher to just lob one right at the kid. Like a 30mph eephus pitch and see if the kid got out of the way. Nice to see the Aussie pitcher just coast a strike right down the middle. It makes the other kid look like an idiot.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:48 PM (#5872405)
Yasiel Puig used the stance today.
   17. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 18, 2019 at 06:56 PM (#5872409)
Yasiel Puig used the stance today.


Why am I not surprised? As far as we can tell, Yasiel is a douche.

They plunk guys for staring at a homer for more then 2 seconds and they let this ride? Hey, I'm all for bat flips, Harper's sprint around the bases the other day, pitchers going the big glove punch/primal scream thing...but squatting in the box? You just look like the douche that you are.
   18. DFA Posted: August 19, 2019 at 12:47 AM (#5872457)
I swear with this whole let the kids play thing. What next, snowballs after the game?
   19. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:08 AM (#5872459)
As far as we can tell, Yasiel is a douche.
The #### he is. Yasiel is awesome.
   20. Bote Man Posted: August 19, 2019 at 02:04 AM (#5872465)
but squatting in the box? You just look like the douche that you are.

*enema, in that particular position.
   21. BrianBrianson Posted: August 19, 2019 at 03:13 AM (#5872466)
Worth a shot? My arse. It's bush league and is why so many don't like the LLWS any more. It's morphed into this win at all costs/massive money making machine when you witness cr@p like this.


Jeez, were you born 98 years old? Seems like a spot of fun and exactly the kind of foolishness we'd engage in when I was a kid.
   22. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:18 AM (#5872473)
I too am angry that 12-year-olds who don’t get a dime of the millions of dollars the LLWS generates don’t Respect The Game.
   23. Rally Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5872479)
The ump wouldn't have known this was not the kid's normal batting stance, given it was a 0-0 count.


I'm going out on a limb here and presume that the umpire was not working his first game, and had at some point seen baseball played before. Nobody could possibly hit with that stance, ergo it was not the kid's normal batting stance.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5872485)
There's only one douche here, and it's neither Puig not the kid.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5872536)
I'm going out on a limb here and presume that the umpire was not working his first game, and had at some point seen baseball played before. Nobody could possibly hit with that stance, ergo it was not the kid's normal batting stance.


It's little league. There are an awful lot of kids who step up to the plate with absolutely no intention of hitting. Usually not in the LLWS, but it can't be ruled out. And given what we've previously seen in this event, it doesn't really require a stretch of the imagination to think some kid just stands that way trying to get a walk every AB.



   26. Paul D(uda) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5872548)
We had a guy on our team do this in little league, and the ump told him he was going to call the strike zone based on how he walked into the box (i can't remember ifnhe ever squat walked into the box after that)
   27. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 19, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5872550)
The MLB definition uses the phrase "the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball." A batter can't really swing from that ultra-crouch, and any remotely competent ump would figure that out instantly. Even if the batter only ever gets in that crouch and makes the occasional floppy noodle wave with the bat from it, the ump still has to think that it's not a stance from which one can make a good faith attempt to actually hit the ball. In a sense the batter is never "prepared to swing at a pitched ball". But that's by the batter's choice.

I think it's fine that the batter tried it (and it's funny that Puig did the same thing), and I'm also impressed that the pitcher just chucked it in there without seeming to get too rattled.

   28. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5872559)
Rickey Henderson had an exaggerated crouch, and it wasn't just something that he showed the umpire/pitcher before getting upright. He was very prepared to swing at a pitched ball while still in the exaggerated crouch.

The letters are about 2 inches above the belt.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5872563)
The MLB definition uses the phrase "the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball." A batter can't really swing from that ultra-crouch, and any remotely competent ump would figure that out instantly. Even if the batter only ever gets in that crouch and makes the occasional floppy noodle wave with the bat from it, the ump still has to think that it's not a stance from which one can make a good faith attempt to actually hit the ball. In a sense the batter is never "prepared to swing at a pitched ball". But that's by the batter's choice.


Sure, but my point is, the strike zone should never be dictated by any kind of crouch. It should be based on the given parameters that exist when the player is standing straight up. Otherwise you can get into this silliness of allowing a certain of amount of crouch, (Rickey and the aforementioner Phil Plantier are OK), but not too much (this kid's zone would be based on what exactly?).

This kid's 0-0 stance just highlights the absurdity of allowing any kind of crouch to determine the zone.

   30. Baldrick Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5872584)
This kid's 0-0 stance just highlights the absurdity of allowing any kind of crouch to determine the zone.

It doesn't, though, for the reasons people have already explained.

I'd be fine with setting the strike zone based on standing up straight, but it's extremely obvious that 'you let Rickey hit in a crouch' doesn't require allowing nonsense like this.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5872589)
I'd be fine with setting the strike zone based on standing up straight, but it's extremely obvious that 'you let Rickey hit in a crouch' doesn't require allowing nonsense like this.


So where is the line on crouching drawn, particularly given the definition of the strike zone is already so vague (preparing to hit - when is one preparing to hit: when the pitch is thrown, when he starts his bat forward, just before impact)?

Hell, we've had debates on this site from people who believe that the next Eddie Gaedel could crouch his way to a near 1.000 OBP, and the umpires are powerless to do anything about it.

I'll stick with this exaggeration highlights the absurdity of the existing situation, even if very few, if any, umpires would grant this kid the knees to armpits zone.

   32. SandyRiver Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5872590)
The ump wouldn't have known this was not the kid's normal batting stance, given it was a 0-0 count.


I'm going out on a limb here and presume that the umpire was not working his first game, and had at some point seen baseball played before. Nobody could possibly hit with that stance, ergo it was not the kid's normal batting stance.

Was the kid pinch-hitting? Otherwise, by the 5th inning the ump would've already seen him once. And maybe in batting practice as well.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:44 PM (#5872591)

Was the kid pinch-hitting?


That was how I understood it. Obviously, if this was his third trip to the plate, then the ump would have already seen him.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5872593)
Should Rickey's strike zone be smaller than a equally tall player that doesn't do the crouch?
   35. Rusty Priske Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5872596)
If you click through the various links you will see that what Puig did was not what the kid did.

The intended effect is the same, though. Distract the pitcher.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5872604)
Should Rickey's strike zone be smaller than a equally tall player that doesn't do the crouch?


I don't see why it should. It's a choice to hit that way, and it creates a situation where players can artificially lower their zone.

This kid clearly couldn't hit that way. But he could actually be in that position up until the pitcher began his windup, and then pop up into his normal zone. So what is his zone then? Is it where someone starts, where he would be if he were swinging or some point in between?

And look at the problems with that. If Jeff Bagwell is taking all the way, he can stay in a crouch, rather than spring out of it the way he would were he trying to hit the ball. But players aren't necessarily ever preparing to hit when they're taking a pitch, so does the umpire have to remember where the top of the zone would be were the player actually swinging the bat? And there's no way umpires are all treating "preparing to swing" the same way, so I'm sure some guys get more a beneficial zone from the crouch than others.

As I said, if they actually measure guys standing straight up to determine the zone, it's the one way even I'll welcome the robo umps.

   37. Greg Pope Posted: August 19, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5872612)
But you couldn't just measure a player standing ramrod straight, could you?

Of course not. You don't have him stand up and measure from below his knee cap. You analyze a couple hundred batters. You figure out where the average strike zone is while the player is in a crouch. Then you figure it out as a percentage of their standing height. Then you measure each player standing straight up right and assign them the strike zone. Heck, analyze a couple thousand batters, it's trivial work for the computer.
   38. Baldrick Posted: August 19, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5872625)
So where is the line on crouching drawn, particularly given the definition of the strike zone is already so vague (preparing to hit - when is one preparing to hit: when the pitch is thrown, when he starts his bat forward, just before impact)?

You assess what is a reasonable hitting position and assign the strike zone that way.

This is like saying that prohibiting someone shouting fire in a crowded theater is ultimately indistinguishable from someone giving a political speech in a public square. It's obviously impossible to draw a perfectly-distinct line that resolves every future case. Fortunately, that's not a standard that we actually demand for 99.9% of things we encounter in the world.

In cases like this, I think everyone acknowledges that it requires some discretionary judgment from the umpire about what is really legitimate and what is not. And that umpires are unlikely to want to reward hitters trying to game the system. And that's just fine. It would also be fine to set official parameters that ARE perfectly distinct and do not depend on a batter's stance. We have the technology now to do something like that (as Greg P. notes). But a world without that kind of precision is nowhere close to the anarchy you're suggesting.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: August 19, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5872691)
But a world without that kind of precision is nowhere close to the anarchy you're suggesting.


I didn't say the umpires couldn't deal with this kind of stance. My point was that this stance merely highlights the ridiculous fact that for all the talk about the zones and robo-umps, we don't even know what the hell the top of the zone is. No one can explain just where the top of the rulebook zone was for Rickey compared to a player of a similar height, and I doubt very highly, based on the vague description in the rulebook, that the top of the zone for Rickey was the same from ump to ump (even independent of how their zones differed from player to player).
   40. Baldrick Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5872707)
I didn't say the umpires couldn't deal with this kind of stance. My point was that this stance merely highlights the ridiculous fact that for all the talk about the zones and robo-umps, we don't even know what the hell the top of the zone is. No one can explain just where the top of the rulebook zone was for Rickey compared to a player of a similar height, and I doubt very highly, based on the vague description in the rulebook, that the top of the zone for Rickey was the same from ump to ump (even independent of how their zones differed from player to player).

And your (correct) point in the other thread about 'personalized strike zones' is...who cares? So what if the zones are slightly different?

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