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David Ortiz thinks the strike zone is too big

Aug 9, 2010, 11:06 AM EDT

After complaining about the specific strike zone CC Sabathia was given on Saturday, David Ortiz offered his opinion about the strike zone in general this year:

“Swinging at all
kinds of [stuff]. That’s what you’ve got to do. Swing,
swing, swing, swing and good luck. Of course, you have to, man. It’s killing the game. We’ve got to rush as a hitter.”

I’d hope that Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and any other living hitter who had to deal with the knees-to-the-armpits zone of the 1960s would tell Ortiz to get some perspective.  The fact is that the modern strike zone — especially for established superstars with reputations for good batting eyes like Ortiz — is comically small. And that remains the case even if it has expanded a tad over the past couple of years.

  1. Saints97 - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    Craig, as a Braves fan who saw the Maddox/Glavine strike zone of the late 90’s, I think you might be lacking perspective as well. But I do agree with your point.

  2. birdmancometh - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I am so sick of David Ortiz.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    I’ve never claimed that the Maddux/Glavine strike zone was fair. It was what it was — and in many ways it has been way overblown — but I won’t sit here and claim that it was fair.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    The strike zone thinks David Ortiz is too big.

  5. Jonny5 - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Awww, poor thing….

  6. Joe - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    I guess that’s why Ortiz had to swing at a 3-2 pitch that was a foot outside last night. Because the ump had called the previous pitch – which was admittedly a couple inches outside – a ball.

  7. BC - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Wade Boggs had the smallest strike zone of anyone not named Rickey Henderson.
    Ortiz’s ‘perceived’ strike zone is huge because 1) he’s huge; and 2) he always has swung at everything.
    Ortiz needs to quit being a meathead and put a sock in it. Everytime he opens his mouth dumb things come out.

  8. SouthofHeaven - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Seriously. Shut up & play, foul ’em off if you have to.

  9. ArtG - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    So did anyone actually check something like Brooksbaseball to see where the pitches he was called out on actually were…?

  10. The Rabbit - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Papi isn’t entirely incorrect. Although, the “modern” strike zone (definition: from the top to the bottom of the belt buckle, down the heart of the plate) is ridiculously small, it’s the transmorphing strike zone that has to frustrate both hitters and pitchers.
    I follow a lot of games by watching pitch f/x and I’m in awe of the multiverse in which umpires inhabit .

  11. Simon DelMonte - Aug 9, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    No, he’s onto something. Just last week, I was called out on strikes in a softball game. That pitch was clearly a ball.

  12. APBA Guy - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    I’ve said before that one of the stats guys could do well with a year over year comparison of the strike zone. Three factors appear to me to be in conjunction to make this the year of the pitcher;
    – Young pitchers are better: remember the cannon fodder call-ups of the ’90’s? Now look at today’s young pitchers. By comparison, they’re poised, polished, and command a variety of pitches, often with lots of movement. Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes. And they are much better coached, and we’re seeing a slow trend towards gradual increases in pitch counts into the 110’s, which will lead to increased innings by the better pitchers.
    – Strike zone is bigger: hitters need to adjust. You can’t just sit in a 1/9th zone and wait for the perfect pitch like was done in the steroid era.
    – Strike zone is inconsistent: this is a problem, the variation of the zone within a game by the ump. This has probably always been a problem, it seems worse this year, but I’d need some f/x work to verify.

  13. Sam Lee - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    You mean oversized.

  14. JBerardi - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Ortiz also complained that many pitchers are entirely too left-handed.

  15. El Bravo - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I will say the zones were fair. Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz are the best three SPs of the 90’s and the rest can suck it. That’s an opinion if yall didn’t recognize.

  16. Sam Lee - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    I think a big part of his problem is that left handers get a different strike zone than right handers. For some reason umps like to call that breaking ball that never passes within 2 inches of the zone, a strike.

  17. Md23Rewls - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    David Ortiz whining when he happens to struggle a bit? Shocker. And (time to sound like the Yankee fan I am), imagine if Alex Rodriguez had the gall to say something like this when he was pressing to get that 600th home run.
    Apparently Ortiz doesn’t understand the irony of making a statement like this when Lester is about to go out and get those exact same calls today. He does realize that he has pitchers on his team, right?

  18. Steve C - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:29 PM
    The plot is vs left handers only. As you can see they were giving CC an outside zone though this is typical stuff for left handers to deal with as their zone is typically skewed towards the outside.

  19. MK - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    We need to cut Ortiz a little slack. He’s still distracted trying to find out what caused his positive PED test back in 2003.

  20. Kiwicricket - Aug 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Are Ortiz and Hunter in a race of some sorts???

  21. Jack Marshall - Aug 9, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Ortiz has an amazingly high walk percentage for someone who has “swung at everything.” Maybe you’re getting him mixed up with Vlad….

  22. okobojicat - Aug 9, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Its not the year of the pitcher you idiot:

  23. YANKEES1996 - Aug 9, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    A hitter complaining about the size of the strike zone is like a gardner complaining about mud on his boots, it comes with the territory Mr.Ortiz!

  24. Mrsteve - Aug 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Now that he got caught doing roids’ he switched to HGH
    When he was on the Twins he was just a fat out of shape big guy who had no power & couldn’t hit the inside pitch
    Then he hooked up with Manny & went on the juice & bang he is Mr Clutch HR hitting Big Papi
    Then he gets busted for Roids & has an off yr but now that he’s on HGH he is doing well again
    Look at the size of his head compared to when he was on the Twins. Heads don’t normally double in size

  25. Mrsteve - Aug 9, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Speaking of the Maddux Glavin strike zone. I caught a replay of the world series where they beat the Indians & I felt for the Indians. Pitches easily 3 inches outside & low also called strikes. It was really sad. Just a shame.

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