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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 28, 2005 / 25 Tishrei, 5766

Diagnosing Baseball's Ills: Treating the Strike Zone

By Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

The Medicine Men
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every year come World Series and Charlie Brown Pumpkin time this baseball fanatic gets an irresistible urge to diagnose and treat baseball's maladies. Spurred on by a few bizarre calls in the ALCS (Angels-Chicago) and The World Series (Houston-Chicago) this season my chief complaint is the calling of balls and strikes.

The essence of baseball is a duel. One pitcher, one batter. The batter's job is to hit a round ball with a round bat when that ball (in the Major Leagues, at any rate) is coming at him at between 85 and 100 mph and he has less than half a second to decide where the ball is going and how to react. The pitcher, for his part, must get the ball there in a manner that the batter cannot react to very effectively, or at all. Most times, to do this, the pitcher must throw the ball so that it passes through the "Strike Zone" — an area over the plate and roughly between a line — halfway between the batter's letters and waist — to below his kneecaps, once he has assumed his stance.

Pitching and hitting: two of the hardest activities in sport — made harder and harder by the inconsistencies, errors both inadvertent and flagrant, peccadilloes, perturbations and private philosophies of a peculiar breed of men known as "umpires."

It's not that we have anything negative to say about these self-important judges. Nor will this Anaheim fan admit that he is still more than a little annoyed over the outrageous calls that eliminated his beloved Angels from the playoffs. Rather, I should like to point out an umpiretorial shortcoming as egregious as it is widespread.

Namely: de-basing (to coin a phrase) the integrity of the Strike Zone.

Baseball is a game of inches. Safe or out, foul or fair, ball or strike. Steals and slides may make the highlight films, but it's the "ball and strike" category that usually determines the course of the game. Unfortunately, every one of MLB's dozens of umpires seems to have his own interpretation of the zone, and to vary it from team to team, player to player, stadium to stadium, week to week.

Since there are approximately 1000 MLB players, a total of 162 games per team, and roughly 300 pitches per game, this adds up to a lot of variance.

At the very least, umpiretorial preferences and quirks favor pitchers or batters. As one of our sons explained some years ago, while in High School, a large strike zone favors the pitcher, since he has more room to work the batter. A small strike zone favors the batter, since the pitcher must throw more often "down the middle" in order to get strikes, thus giving the batter more meat. Any bad call can changes the odds of scoring or holding the opposition. No, problem, you contend, since both sides get to bat and all that matters is "consistency."

But there is no consistency. Umpires, it has been known for years, consciously or unconsciously vary the zone for different batters and pitchers, depending on their status, prospects, and prior experiences. Team to team, batter to batter, stadium to stadium, even inning to inning. Until we get some consistency in calls across the league, the choice will be either going to some form of instant replay/appeal or accepting that, too often, the game will be decided by the quality of the officiating, not by the play on the field. Clearly, this is a matter that calls for serious front-office consideration and ongoing retraining and monitoring of the crews.

Lets hope the strike zone disorder can be solved internally without going to replay. Fans don't expect perfection and besides yelling at the ump is part of the game.

That said, our national past time belongs to the fans and players and the umpires should follow the rules — not philosophies.

Editor's Note: Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., Newport Beach, usually writes on medical-legal issues but this time of year becomes bewitched and hexed by baseball.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists. Comment by clicking here.

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