According to Formosa and Hamburgers’s Baseball: Field Guide (An in-depth illustrated guide to the complete rules of baseball), the STRIKE ZONE is a “three dimensional area the exact shape of home plate. If the ball passes through any point in the three dimensional space it will be called a strike.” I have often wondered about the angle at which umpires set themselves, better known as “the slot.” Dale Scott gave me pause, and a sick stomach, yesterday, with possibly the worst call on a strike I’ve seen all season, and maybe longer. I am not one to question too much after a call. I love baseball for its fallibility.I don’t really like the replay review for home runs. The call is a call, however imperfect. Baseball is a game inches, right? Yesterday it was a game of feet, as the ball that trailed off the outside of the plate had to nearly reach half a foot, which would have led to Ortiz on first, then a pinch-runner and possibly the tying run. Ok, I will let it go. That’s the nature of the game. But then Beltre’s check swing gets called for a strike. Back to Formosa and Hamburger: “If the batter is able to stop the swing before the head of the bat crosses the foul line, it is not considered a full swing.” I hate to complain,as you can see by the more optimistic tone of most of my entries,but Diddly Brains Scott didn’t even ask for help from the first base umpire. A seeming dictatorial move in a tense situation. Send him back to the minors.
On another note Dan W. a reader on NBC Sports Hardball Talk wrote that Dale Scott knew he blew the call and gave Ortiz a lot of leeway when Ortiz did his dance.