Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shut up Ken Harrelson, Just... Shut up

As a former umpire, nothing steams me more than hearing an announcer complain about an umpire's calls over the course of the game. Quite frankly, the cameras are slightly askew, meaning they don't have a very good view of the strike zone, nor do they have much of a knowledge of it. Couple that with a grating, idiotic home-town announcer, and any close call that goes against the home team in a close game will be bemoaned for the remainder of the game while the leading team's accomplishments will be ignored for the remainder of the game.

The perfect storm happened tonight for those stuck within the White Sox blackout region, having to tolerate the constant complaining from one Ken Harrelson after Jim Thome's strikeout in the 5th inning. After hearing him complain over the course of the game, you'd have thought the fix was on. Not so fast...

For those that haven't discovered the upgrades to Gameday, now the location and trajectory of every pitch is captured and archived. You can see Pitch No. 6 in question, below. The location shown below is taken right as the ball crosses the plate Just as the cameras showed, the ball crossed home plate right at Thome's knees.

Image taken from Advanced Gameday

While the viewer noticed the ball was in the dirt, anything that happens after the ball crosses home plate is not and should not be considered by the umpire. While tonight's umpire had a rough night, this particular call was correct, and the pitch was a strike.

I've said it many times, and I'll say it again. Shut up Ken Harrelson.


Alec said...

For what it's worth, the Detroit TV crew also thought it was a bad call. I also checked the site and saw the same thing you saw. I suppose we can assume the pitch locations on that site are accurate? I suppose it would be obvious over the course of a game if it was off.

Eddie B said...

The strike zone on is pretty much accurate. The problem is that the strike zone is often misinterpreted. A ball can be in the dirt, but be a strike if it crossed the plate in the strike zone. It definitely appeared as if that was the case, especially after the side view showed the ball crossing at Thome's knees.

The problem I had is the fact that Harrelson was discrediting the Tigers' lead and subsequent victory as a result of the call. This is definitely not the first time a White Sox announcer has lost professionalism during a game. It's one thing to be a homer; it's another to be a child.