I may have covered this before:
1. When the count goes to 3-0 or 3-1, is it me or does the strike zone suddenly expand? Yeah, it could be that pitchers know the batter will usually take on this count so they throw a strike, but from at home in front of my TV, it seems the borderline calls go for the pitcher in these counts.
2. When a batter gets a mighty hit, the next guy up frequently takes a huge hack at the first pitch. As if he were inspired by the previous batter and wants to pile on. Is this my imagination?
3. Okay, let's say a team... say the Angels... let's say they sign some Name Pitcher in the off-season for a serious contract. Not a superstar, but a key component. And then the guy just cannot get it done. He's not injured, but he can't get anyone out, gives up a lot of hits, doesn't get deep into the game, whatever. And the Angels have this guy in AAA who's a real killer, has great stuff, is just super strong and dominant. Everyone's calling up the radio, why can't the Angels call up Mr Wonderful and get rid of the sucky guy? (Not knowing the finer points of the pitcher's fat contract.)
Suddenly, Name Pitcher goes on the DL. Yup, looks like tendonitis. Who can we call up, let's see... hey, that kid down in AAA is on the 40-man, let's get him up! Woo-hoo!
What I want to know is, what is the conversation the big club has with the Name Pitcher? How do they convince a player who is not injured but is struggling that he needs to go on the DL? What if he doesn't want to? Do they say, hey, just take some time off and work on your mechanics for a while, it'd be best for you and the team? Does he get a 'bonus'? Do they threaten to talk trade with other, shitty teams? Do they have a fake doctor x-ray the pitcher and 'find' some damaged ligaments? I wanna know!
I actually have one more question but it's kind of disgusting so I'll ask a baseball player personally. It involves mitts.
I'll take a shot at A and II:
i: A 3-0 pitch is a strike unless it's nowhere near the plate. Just the way it is I guess. Seems to be the same at all levels.
Bee: I totally used to notice this all the time! I used to yell at the next batter through the TV, "Don't think you're gonna get a home run, too! Don't swing or you'll pop up! Take a pitch, please!" Something like that. I think I burned out on watching for it because I feel like I haven't even noticed in a while. (I'm clearly more concerned with audio/video inconsistencies and the people in the stands behind the plate.)
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