Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You Just Can't Do It

We've all heard about the unwritten rules of baseball.  And through my reading (about the history of baseball) I have come to learn that this really meant the league had an cop out.  A way to keep the African-American and other persons of color- other than caucasion or white- out of "their" game.

Kennesaw Mountain Landis was a proponent because he was a hypocrite.  He could kick an illiterate man like Joe Jackson out of baseball but think this type of behavior was acceptable.  Landis was a bigot who would have made Archie Bunker blush.

Fast-forwarding to 2012, there is a matter of the Strike Zone in baseball.  You have your rule interpretation of the strike zone AND the umpire's understanding of what type of pitch he believes falls into the parameters of a strike or falls out of this "zone" which would make the pitch a ball.

To me, there is one underlying ultimate unwritten rule of baseball and that is DO NOT PITCH to the umpire's strike zone.

Do not adjust your mechanics to fit what he believes to be a strike because you will have to do it each and every time a different umpire is behind the plate. Besides that, don't go out of your way to appease someone who is judging by association.  You cannot rely on this "vision of perspective" to call the same pitch a ball or a strike.  

On those days when an umpire is consistent to your strike zone you most likely will achieve the best there is to get.  Then again, how about those days the umpire needs to wipe the smudge mark off his spectacles?  Where he's having a difficult time following the flight of your pitches because he lacks the concentration and (most importantly) the focus to hone in on your pitch selection.  

There is also the factor that he may be a "hitter's" umpire. That is really the best of all reasons not to trust in the umpire.  You must trust in yourself to be able to adjust to his geometrical specter of sector.  As daunting as it seems, know the person pitching for the other team has the same potential struggle.

(It is for this very reason, that on those occasions when one team gets the benefit of a generous strike zone but the opponent is the recipient of the kind of strike zone that fluctuates due to its being intermittent I think the home plate umpire should be severly reprimanded.  Like say, a day's pay, for a minimum penalty and maybe he misses his next turn behind the plate.)

Kevin J. Marquez