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MississippiRed
05-31-2006, 02:05 PM
This question is not particularly Reds related, but is baseball related. I have been impressed with the accumulated baseball knowledge here and can't find an answer anywhere else. So here goes.

One of our local teams was playing in the state playoffs the other day and the opposing coach was calling pitches by flashing three numbers to the catcher. The catcher would then look at his wristband, which tells him the pitch and location. Then the catcher signals the pitch to the pitcher, then moves to the desired location. My coaching partner for the past several years in youth baseball was interested and asked the coach after the game about this system. The coach said he has 125 options (five fingers cubed, I guess) so he can call the same pitch many times in a game without using the same three numbers. For example, a fastball inside and high might be 2-3-2 one time and the next time he calls a fastball inside and high it might be 4-2-5. The coach said he knows several high schools and many colleges are using the system, but didn't think any MLB teams were.

Does anyone have more knowledge about this that they can share? I have googled pitch calling, location, pitching zones, etc. and can't find any site on the Web with this information.

Team Clark
05-31-2006, 02:11 PM
Most of the big league teams have a far different set up. Most high schools and colleges do not have full access to the type of scouting reports that the bigs use. Having said that I know we used the system you are speaking of while coaching at Moeller. It's not complex to those using it but can be to those trying to "pick" your signs. I actually had a really good conversation with Bob Boone one time about delivering signs. He had a pretty complex way of delivering based on the number of pumps vs. fingers.

flyer85
05-31-2006, 02:13 PM
I actually had a really good conversation with Bob Boone one time about delivering signs. He had a pretty complex way of delivering based on the number of pumps vs. fingers.Why does that not surpise me. :help:

MississippiRed
05-31-2006, 02:19 PM
. . .I know we used the system you are speaking of while coaching at Moeller.

When you were at Moeller, would the coach just flash the numbers so everyone could see them? That is what this coach was doing--he wasn't worried about the other team stealing the signs because he had so many of them.

BCubb2003
05-31-2006, 02:20 PM
There's a way to count to 31 on one hand, and 1,023 on two hands, but your catcher would probably have to be Moe Berg to get the signs that way.

MississippiRed
05-31-2006, 02:49 PM
I kept searching and found two sites that had what I was trying to describe. Probably not anything an MLB club would use, since I believe most pitches are called by the catcher with the pitcher having final say.

Anyway, if any of you are interested, here are the sites:

http://www.ownthezonesports.com/Purchase.php

http://catchthesign.com/

dabvu2498
05-31-2006, 02:55 PM
Be careful using 4 and 5... easily confusable. Consider "wiggles" and "fist" instead.

redsmetz
05-31-2006, 03:00 PM
There's a way to count to 31 on one hand, and 1,023 on two hands, but your catcher would probably have to be Moe Berg to get the signs that way.

I'm trying to work out a joke about not being able to hit and do all that calculating, but it's not coming to me. :cry:

westofyou
05-31-2006, 03:06 PM
Whitey Ford used to call his own pitches, Berra would go through the indicator and then the flashes, then Ford would wipe his glove on part of his body to tell Berra what pitch he was going to throw.

Once when he was with the Yankees Bob Turley told Whitey that he figured out that Whitey called his own stuff. Ford was astonished, apparently he was the first guy to pick it up.

Roy Tucker
05-31-2006, 04:32 PM
There's a way to count to 31 on one hand, and 1,023 on two hands, but your catcher would probably have to be Moe Berg to get the signs that way.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

Team Clark
05-31-2006, 05:03 PM
When you were at Moeller, would the coach just flash the numbers so everyone could see them? That is what this coach was doing--he wasn't worried about the other team stealing the signs because he had so many of them.

No , we would call out 2-1-4 or 1-3-3. To shake it up we could do a 1-3-8. Any number like 6 or 8 would be divided in half. 2-2-2 and 3-2-2 were a pitchout. Actually was a lot of fun to just call the sequence out so everyone could hear.

In my entire time at Moeller I'd say we called maybe 30 pitches the entire season. Typically when a guy was 0-2, 1-2, 2-2 and we were in a tight spot we'd make a suggeston or the call. We just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. Young catchers and young pitchers have a tendency to "fall in love" with sequences or even single pitches. They forget that all eyes are on them and not everyone is as dumb as they think they are.

Spitball
06-01-2006, 11:37 AM
Hmmm...I don't like the wristband thing. I'm much more old school than most, but I think it is much more important to pre-establish preferred sequences with both the pitcher and catcher understanding the strategic plan. That way the pitcher can establish a quick tempo and throw pitches that he is confident throwing. Educate the pitcher/catcher on pitch selection because it is the athlete who has to perform, react, and know the game.

paintmered
06-01-2006, 11:45 AM
Hmmm...I don't like the wristband thing. I'm much more old school than most, but I think it is much more important to pre-establish preferred sequences with both the pitcher and catcher understanding the strategic plan. That way the pitcher can establish a quick tempo and throw pitches that he is confident throwing. Educate the pitcher/catcher on pitch selection because it is the athlete who has to perform, react, and know the game.

Not to get this off topic, but you see quarterbacks now wearing play wristbands. I think the same qualities you want out of baseball players are just as applicable for quarterbacks too.

MississippiRed
06-01-2006, 12:34 PM
Hmmm...I don't like the wristband thing. I'm much more old school than most, but I think it is much more important to pre-establish preferred sequences with both the pitcher and catcher understanding the strategic plan. That way the pitcher can establish a quick tempo and throw pitches that he is confident throwing. Educate the pitcher/catcher on pitch selection because it is the athlete who has to perform, react, and know the game.

As a coach for a youth travel team, we (my pitching coach mostly) called the pitches using ear, nose, chin sequences. We called for the same reason mentioned earlier--pitchers tend to fall in love with one pitch and/or location. Our pitchers (and catchers) could override the calls, however, when they noticed something that led them to believe strongly that a certain pitch and/or location would be successful. For example, the coach has a difficult time sensing if a kid is crowding the plate or diving in to reach an outside pitch or is too far back to hit one on the outside corner. The pitcher and catcher have to see that and take advantage.

oneupper
06-01-2006, 12:45 PM
There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

http://images.cafepress.com/product/58635962v8_240x240_F.jpg

:beerme: