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Thinking About Pitching and Umpires

More fascinating stuff from the Hardball Times.

If you haven't spent fifteen minutes reading Jonathan Hale's breakdown of umpire's strike zone tendencies, get a cup of coffee and check it out.

If the Yankees aren't paying someone to track which umpires are scheduled to call games, and offer suggestions on when it's safest to use a spot starter, I'd like to volunteer for the position.  I'm willing to sleep on a cot in the boiler room so long as I can sit behind the dugout for all home games.

As Kevin000 and I recently discussed at length, knowing when to give the kids an extra day or even skip a turn in the rotation is going to be crucial to their development, both in 2008 and long term.

If I'm the Yankees I want to make sure that the umps with the largest strike zones are behind the plate when Jeff Karstens or (gag) Kei Igawa take the mound.  That could matter more than whether we're facing the Orioles or the Royals.