One tv graphic that is alright in my book is the ESPN “K-Zone” graphic, locating a pitch within an idealized box representing the by-the-book strike zone. I have some reservations about it, since I haven’t seen anything about the underlying technology, and these reservations are really only about the accuracy of the crosshairs which locate a pitch as it crosses the plate (as in, is this thing accurate?). Assuming this device is accurate, then it really helps the viewer understand a few things. One is how varied different each umpire’s strike zone is from game to game. Another is how inconsistent any one umpire can be within any given game. Third, it’s great to see how wrong fans (and whiny managers – that means you, Mike Scoscia) who boo from the stands can be about supposedly close pitches (usually the pitch in question is 8-10 inches off the plate when the boos start cascading). Finally, it helps one understand how difficult it is to call balls and strikes consistently, especially when pitchers have incredible movement on their throws. I still think the umpires are generally quite poor at calling balls and strikes with any consistency, but the K-zone assists in showing why that is so. It’s one graphic that should stick around.