Long Yadier Molina Hall of Fame debate Sidebar: That we are even talking about pitch framing as the kind of thing that can make a Cardinals Museum and Bowling Hall of Famer into a real Hall of Famer makes me feel a little gross.
The world made its peace a hundred years ago, and again during the Maddux-Glavine reign of 85-miles-an-hour-on-the-corner-of-the-corner terror, with the idea of pitchers fooling umpires. We've ceded the strikezone to the pitchers; if they can figure out who's calling what and why during a given game or season, more power to them. Because we haven't done the same thing for their catchers—because the catchers have always been a piece of furniture that sits behind the pitcher/batter contest—it just reads like a bunch of umpires who aren't doing their jobs.
Eventually that could change, just as the perceived responsibility for walks has always floated between pitcher and batter. Already we've developed a respect for Jose Molina in the same way we respect particularly crafty lefties; once we have a name for a skill, and an idea of who's good and bad at it, our perception of the sport shifts to fit it. Once you've read Moneyball you watch Jason Giambi differently, and I'm willing to believe that once we have a coherent, accessible framework for pitch-framing, and more GIFs like this one, we'll watch catchers in the same careful way we watched Greg Maddux.
But I'm not willing to be the kind of old person who is okay with it. #RobotUmpires