Why does the strike zone change in baseball?

Author's Note

One of the coolest things I learned while researching this article is that a good pitcher will, throughout the course of the game, cause the strike zone to become larger and larger. Because the strike zone is subjective, a pitcher can throw imperceptibly wider and wider pitches to trick the umpire into perceiving and calling the strike zone larger and larger. Sneaky, eh? But that's just one of the many ways the subjectivity of baseball makes it a more interesting and strategic game.

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  • Daley, Arthur. "Where's the Strike Zone?" The New York Times, Aug. 19, 1951. (Aug. 9, 2012). http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/sports/year_in_sports/08.19.html
  • Koney, Jackie, and Deidre Silva. "It Takes More Than Balls: The Savvy Girls' Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball." Skyhorse Publishing, 2008.
  • MLB. "Rules of Interest." (Aug. 4, 2012). http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/rules_interest.jsp
  • MLB. "The Strike Zone: A Historical Timeline." (Aug 4., 2012). http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/strike_zone.jsp
  • Sullivan, Paul. "Don't Like The Strike Zone? It's Bob Gibson's Fault -- Former Cardinal's Phenomenal '68 Season Remains Symbol Of Days When Pitchers Ruled." The Seattle Times, Aug. 14, 1994. (Aug. 5, 2012). http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19940814&slug=1925252
  • Veeck, Bill, and Ed Linn. "Veeckā€”As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck." University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  • Weinstock, Josh. "Which umpire has the largest strike zone?" The Hardball Times, Jan. 11, 2012. (Aug. 5, 2012). http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/which-umpire-has-the-largest-strikezone/