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Thread: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

  1. #1
    Member MississippiRed's Avatar
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    Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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.
    Last edited by MississippiRed; 05-31-2006 at 01:50 PM.

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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark
    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.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Member MississippiRed's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark
    . . .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.

  6. #5
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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.

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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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/

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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Be careful using 4 and 5... easily confusable. Consider "wiggles" and "fist" instead.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003
    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.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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.

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003
    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.

    Pay attention to the open sky

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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by MississippiRed
    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.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    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.
    Last edited by Spitball; 06-01-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball
    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.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  15. #14
    Member MississippiRed's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball
    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.

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Pitch Calling with Three Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker
    There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't.


    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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