Thursday, July 25, 2013

AT&T Park’s batter’s box was drawn noticeably crooked on Wednesday

Though it didn't take long for them to get destroyed and disappear, the batter's boxes originally drawn in for Wednesday night's Reds-Giants game at AT&T Park — yes, San Francisco was officially the home team this time — may be the most crooked and awkward looking we've ever seen.
Of course that also means they were not up to Major League Baseball standards — or sandlot ball standards, for that matter — but no one on the field seemed to notice or care — most notably home plate umpire Chris Guccione — as the game started and carried on without the lines being corrected. How the umpires could collectively miss it or ignore it I have no idea, but they did.
As for the players, I'd be willing to bet that most hitters — like Miguel Cabrera, for example — can sense when a line is an inch too long or too close to the pitcher's mound. A lot of that is based on routine. A lot of that is based on instincts. But in this case the errors weren't even marginal. Both sides were angled so noticeably, I can't believe Shin-Soo Choo or any of the other seasoned hitters (aka creatures of habit) who followed were able to function at all within those lines.
Here's another look with Gregor Blanco at the plate leading off San Francisco's half of the first.
Blanco appears to be taking advantage of the fact he can get a little closer to the plate, but is staying in line with the pitcher.
Now here's Hunter Pence... just because.
Not surprisingly, Pence looks right at home. If he were to draw the lines himself, that's probably how they would look anyway, so for him there was no adjustment. Just be Hunter Pence, which he was by blooping a single to right field in the first and going 5 for 5 overall in San Francisco's 8-3 loss.
To be perfectly honest, Pence wasn't the only hitter who didn't seem fazed by the wacky line. If anyone was, it was the pitchers who were thrown off. When all was said and done, the two teams combined for 28 hits.

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