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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baseball Pitching Tips - Someone You Better Get to Know Very Quickly

By Larry Cicchiello

If while pitching, you have the very good fortune to have an umpire who is calling strikes on pitches not in the strike zone, don't feel any obligation to throw strikes.

If he is calling them high, why should you bring your pitches down? If he is calling them low, why should you bring your pitches up higher? The same holds true for inside and outside off the plate. Pay close attention early in a ball game to what an umpire IS or is NOT calling strikes and pitch accordingly.

No matter what the rule book says for the strike zone at any level of play, no two umpires are going to call balls and strikes the same. Some have small strike zones and some have very large strike zones.

It's 2009 and I STILL remember an umpire I had in high school back in the year 1968. I simply want to make a point here. Do you want to talk about a pitcher friendly umpire? I noticed very, very early in the game that if a curve ball was within a foot of home plate, he would call it a strike. Also, if it didn't bounce it in the dirt it was high enough for him to call it a strike. I was only 16 years old but I recognized in the first inning how this guy loved any curve ball he saw and was pretty much going to call it a strike if it was anywhere close to the plate. This is one of the many baseball pitching tips that has nothing to do with the actual pitching mechanics and it merely requires a simple observation.

It was easy to have a very successful outing and you probably know what pitch made it a success. You guessed it. Curve balls that were six inches off the outside corner and just barely above being in the dirt. The umpire wasn't intentionally trying to favor anyone or give anyone an unfair advantage. In fact, he was a very nice guy and an honorable man.

But ALWAYS remember, all umpires have different strike zones and you better "get to know your umpire very quickly."

You don't necessarily have to throw strikes to get hitters out. Making good use of this will work to your advantage big time!

Larry Cicchiello is the author of several very informative baseball coaching books. All of his editions are included in "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." Larry is unique in that his site offers visitors several FREE TIPS that are straight from his books. Baseball tips on hitting, baseball pitching tips, baseball fielding tips, baseball base running tips, baseball coaching drills and more. Your baseball coaching "help desk" will be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Larry invites you to check out his FREE TIPS. You will be FULLY EQUIPPED as a manager, coach, player at any level or a parent who wants to help their child improve or overcome any baseball struggles. You can visit his website at

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick