For as much baseball as they watch, the knowledge that announcers lack of the rules is often surprising. Yet every game or two there will be a pitch that a batter kind of swings at.
The announcers will list off one of many explanations as to why the batter did or did not swing at the pitch:
- The bat crossed the front of the plate!
- He was more than halfway through his swing!
- He didn’t rotate his hips!
- And perhaps most common: That’s a strike, he ‘broke’ his wrists!
Whether they realize it or not, each and every one of these comments has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a pitch was a strike or not.
The rules say a strike is “a legal pitch… is struck at by the batter and missed.” That’s it.
It’s a pure judgment call on the part of the umpire, there is no pass/fail test that it can be put to… which will probably make it tough for those robotic umps to figure out.