I’m not into the practice of “framing” the ball. It looks goofy and it’s simply not effective.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “framing,” basically it means taking a ball that’s NOT a strike and manipulating your glove as you catch it to make the umpire think it IS a strike.
Like I said, it looks high schoolish and in my opinion disrupts the catcher/umpire relationship. Bottom line is you want the ump on your side. How’s he gonna get on your side if he can’t trust you any farther than he can throw you because your always trying to trick him?
Simply catch the ball cleanly with strength and throw the “framing” in the trash.
Don’t buy it? Listen to what MLB umpire Rick Reed said after calling a ball four that walked in the winning run for the Red Sox. On review of the video, Reed admitted missing the call, but here was his reasoning.
“The pitch was a strike – it was a pitch I thought was borderline. The catcher (Mike Napoli) brought it up and that was a telling blow. If a catcher moves his glove, it’s to improve the pitch. I had called a strike earlier in the game that he had pulled up that was low and I said to myself ‘I’m not going to let that happen again.’ ”
Basically what that says to me is Reed didn’t trust Napoli and in the end, it cost the Angels the game.
There are ways to trick the umpire that are way more tactful. Get my book The Art of Catching if you want to explore how. I’ll also expand on this thought a little bit in a future “Tip of the Week Newsletter.” Subscribe and look for it!