Framing the Ball

September 20, 2009

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!

27 year MLB veteran umpire Rick Reed.

27 year MLB veteran umpire Rick Reed.

5 Responses to “Framing the Ball”

  1. Bart C. says:

    The pitch that you are talking about was a bad call. Although there was a check swing that was incorrectly called for a ball in the same at bat which made Reeds call even more frustrating. Worst of all was Juan Rivera not laying out for that duck fart in left for the game winner.
    I saw Torey Hunter uncharacteristicly ease up on a ball in the outfield in a recent game, it seems the Angels have the mentality that they just need to get to the playoffs healthy. Do you think there is any truth to the team slowing down and playing it safe?

  2. Brent Mayne says:

    Hey Bart, I don’t think guys play it safe for the most part. Without seeing either play, I’d guess it was either a misread or just a mental blunder from the outfielders. I don’t get the feeling like Hunter is one to play it safe…he’s never been afraid to dive for a ball or climb a wall. As far as Rivera goes, well, lets just say he’s no Tori Hunter…he probably misjudged the ball and mentally wasn’t present enough to realize the situation called for a dive. Thats my guess.

  3. Brent Mayne says:

    TBG – thanks for that article. Perfect.

  4. [...] stuff. Reminds me of a great post I wrote about framing a while [...]

Leave a Reply