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Thread: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

  1. #16
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I was just having a discussion with someone about what is important to catcher defense and that was brought up by the other party. My question to him was "does the umpire ever even look at the catchers glove after the ball has crossed home plate"?

    The strikezone isn't defined by where the catcher catches the ball, because the catchers glove is well behind home plate. The strikezone is defined by where the ball is when it crosses the plate.

    So, I bring it here to you guys.... how much, if any importance do you actually put on a catchers ability to "frame a pitch"?
    Following the ball from the pitchers hand to the catchers mitt is fundamental in calling balls and strikes. I have worked with several former AAA, AA and Divison 1 College umpires and this is taught by all of them.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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  3. #17
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    How the catcher catches the ball very much has a bearing if the ball is a strike or not.

    The catchers job is to make the pitch look like a strike. If a pitch is low and the catcher swipes down at the ball then it is very unlikely to get the pitch called a strike as opposed to catching the ball where it is thrown at and holding the ball where I can see it was caught at. The same goes if the pitch is border line outside or even inside, if the catcher swipes at the ball to where he makes it look like the pitch was outside or inside then it very much lessens his chance of getting the pitch called a strike. You may not want to hear this but in he world of umpiring it very much is a reality. If the catcher is not helping me in catching the ball to where I can see it then he is not going to get the benefit of doubt on borderline pitches.

    Having a catcher who knows how to properly catch a pitch and hold it so the umpire can see it as opposed to swiping at the ball can make the difference in alot of cases 10-15 pitches either being called a ball or a strike.
    I used to coach high school baseball several years ago, and we had a catcher who was naturally good at framing pitches. He was also good at holding a pitch so the ump could see it. Anyway, we had a game where the umpire came to our dugout and told us that if our catcher didn't stop framing pitches and holding the mitt still to show the ump where the ball was, then he was going to eject him. We couldn't believe it. Evidently, he thought our guy was trying to "show him up."
    Last edited by Big Klu; 06-19-2011 at 01:25 AM.
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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    To me, its the most important thing a catcher does. We have stats for a catcher's impact on the running game, so they temd to get the focus of how good a catcher's defense may be, but its really a minor part of his job as compared to how he is catching every single pitch.
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    framing pitches didn't help catchers if I knew they were doing it.
    Yeah. I think this is a problem Hernandez has -- he moves the glove too much when trying to get borderline calls. Hanigan just gives the umpire a very good look -- he really doesn't move the glove much (except on balls down, which he will lift just a hair sometimes), but he does catch the ball out in front a ways. Umpires like that good visual, and Hanigan really provides that. And I think pitchers also prefer an approach like Hanigan's -- it shows them where the pitch truly was, and that gives them a better idea of how to proceed.

    To answer the original question, I think a catcher's receiving skills are very, very important.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    This good article talking to Ryan Hanigan says yes indeed. It was in the Enquirer a couple weeks ago and I thought it good.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...t-framing-ball

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    I used to coach high school baseball several years ago, and we had a catcher who was naturally good at framing pitches. He was also good at holding a pitch so the ump could see it. Anyway, we had a game where the umpire came to our dugout and told us that if our catcher didn't stop framing pitches and holding the mitt still to show the ump where the ball was, then he was going to eject him. We couldn't believe it. Evidently, he thought our guy was trying to "show him up."
    There have been instances where I call a pitch a ball and the catcher holds the ball for like 5 seconds after the call to make the point in his mind that it was a strike when I called it a ball. The best way to handle that is to tell the catcher to please stop doing that. There are other instances where the catcher will try to frame every single pitch thrown to him no matter how bad it is. I just tell the catcher that he will get more strikes if he stops doing that.

    For the umpire to go to the dugout and threaten ejection over framing pitches is badly overeacting.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    It's interesting you bring this topic up. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago with a friend who just earned his doctorate in sports sociology. He argued that framing pitches wasn't morally correct and shouldn't be a part of the game. His point was a strike is a strike and a ball is a ball and the catcher shouldn't be trying to sway the umpire into making a ball look like a strike.

    Interesting ethical discussion, but the baseball guy in me obviously had huge problems with his argument.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    It's interesting you bring this topic up. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago with a friend who just earned his doctorate in sports sociology. He argued that framing pitches wasn't morally correct and shouldn't be a part of the game. His point was a strike is a strike and a ball is a ball and the catcher shouldn't be trying to sway the umpire into making a ball look like a strike.

    Interesting ethical discussion, but the baseball guy in me obviously had huge problems with his argument.
    Morally correct? As in, the catcher is some sort of decadent, corrupt desperado?

    What about those filthy brigands who (gasp) steal signs?
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    It's interesting you bring this topic up. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago with a friend who just earned his doctorate in sports sociology. He argued that framing pitches wasn't morally correct and shouldn't be a part of the game. His point was a strike is a strike and a ball is a ball and the catcher shouldn't be trying to sway the umpire into making a ball look like a strike.

    Interesting ethical discussion, but the baseball guy in me obviously had huge problems with his argument.
    Jeez, I'd hate to hear what he says about taking a charge in basketball or flopping in soccer. Morally bankrupt.

    He probably loves golf.

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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Morally correct? As in, the catcher is some sort of decadent, corrupt desperado?

    What about those filthy brigands who (gasp) steal signs?
    Ah, we've covered stealing signs. He argues that a third base coach or a catcher giving signs are public actions in front of thousands of fans and millions of TV viewers. Therefore reading and interpreting a team's signs is not stealing and not cheating.

    He does like golf, Roy. In fact, he just had a paper published on 'Spectator Interaction'. He argues that a sporting contest is supposed to be a competition to test the skills and talents of two teams to see who is better and fans shouldn't be a part of it. Fan involvement, such as the '12th Man' in football or waving your arms behind a basket to distract a free throw shooter, should be outlawed much like in golf and tennis.

    He's an interesting guy to say the least and a huge Reds fan!
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

  12. #26
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    It's interesting you bring this topic up. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago with a friend who just earned his doctorate in sports sociology. He argued that framing pitches wasn't morally correct and shouldn't be a part of the game. His point was a strike is a strike and a ball is a ball and the catcher shouldn't be trying to sway the umpire into making a ball look like a strike.

    Interesting ethical discussion, but the baseball guy in me obviously had huge problems with his argument.
    "A guy who cheats in a friendly game of cards is a cheater. A pro who throws a spitball to support his family is a competitor."

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    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Jeez, I'd hate to hear what he says about taking a charge in basketball or flopping in soccer. Morally bankrupt.

    He probably loves golf.


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    Member 15fan's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    To me, its the most important thing a catcher does. We have stats for a catcher's impact on the running game, so they temd to get the focus of how good a catcher's defense may be, but its really a minor part of his job as compared to how he is catching every single pitch.
    Framing the pitch is the chest out / arms out / smile at the end of your gymnastics routine that sells the fact that you really did stick the final landing. In no way, shape or form is it the most important thing he does, though.

    The catcher needs to know the pitcher, know each hitter, and know the situation. What pitch is working today? Is the pitcher tiring & thus altering his mechanics? Is he falling into a predictable pattern? How is his command? How much time needs to be bought to get the next guy warm in the pen? Does it matter which part of the infield we try to get the inning-ending DP ground ball hit to, or do we need the ground ball to a specific part of the IF because one of the guys has a bum elbow or ankle and can't turn a DP quite as quickly? Can the batter hit a breaking ball with authority? Is the opposing manager likely to have a hit & run or a sacrifice play on for the next pitch? The list goes on and on and on.

    The catcher putting his fingers down to call each pitch is without a doubt the most important part of what he does. It's probably the most important thing that happens on the field period.

  15. #29
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reds Freak View Post
    It's interesting you bring this topic up. I had a conversation about this a few weeks ago with a friend who just earned his doctorate in sports sociology. He argued that framing pitches wasn't morally correct and shouldn't be a part of the game. His point was a strike is a strike and a ball is a ball and the catcher shouldn't be trying to sway the umpire into making a ball look like a strike.

    Interesting ethical discussion, but the baseball guy in me obviously had huge problems with his argument.
    And I suppose when a batter goes too far on a check swing and knows it, it is his moral duty to turn to the home plate umpire and say "Yes sir, I went around on that pitch."?

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    Re: Catchers: How important is "framing a pitch"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    And I suppose when a batter goes too far on a check swing and knows it, it is his moral duty to turn to the home plate umpire and say "Yes sir, I went around on that pitch."?
    Actually he argues it's the players duty to play the game the best they can and its the umpires duty to call the game the best they can. A player trying to overturn an umpire's call would be impinging on the umpire's duty and, therefore, uncalled for.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman


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