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RedsManRick
09-23-2011, 12:35 AM
Mike Fast at BP has been doing work on the influence catchers have over ball & strike calls and this article is a summary of that work.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093 (free to all)


Catchers appear to have a substantial impact on the success of their pitchers through their ability to gain extra strike calls from the umpire. This is an important factor to consider when valuing the contributions of catchers to a team. We have identified at least two specific techniques that affect catcher performance in this arena. Given the important impact on major-league teams, further research along that line is warranted.

In short, he found a scope of influence that was on the same scale as on field defensive performance -- about 40 runs a year (performance-wise) between the best and worst catchers. Accounting for regression to estimate the amount of that which is due to skill and not "luck" gives us a smaller estimate, but suffice it to say that it's still a very big deal -- bigger than, say, baserunning.

Beyond the math part, he does what great analysts do and used the stats to ask a good scouting question. What do catchers do to affect strike calls? In a very preliminary look, he found that notable catcher movements (glove, head, etc.) on borderline pitches led to more balls being called. This is right in line with standard catching instruction which instructs as little movement as possible -- they use a "stick the landing" metaphor which I found helpful.

Anyways, this is one of the best examples I've ever seen of stats and scouting working hand in hand to make us smarter -- in other words, sabermetrics at its finest.

mth123
09-23-2011, 04:14 AM
I'm glad to see this article finally backing this statistically. Years ago I caught some heat for posting that guys like Jason Larue and David Ross were over rated defenders based on this very thing. These guys were both pretty good stopping the running game, so many considered them good defensive catchers because their performance in the running game was the only thing there was a statistic for. A catcher catches pitches well over 100 times per game while having to throw against attempted base stealers maybe 100 times per season. Since break even on the bases is about 70% (or 30% when it comes to throwing guys out), the difference between the best at that and the worst at that really isn't all that much in terms of wins and losses. Catching the ball on every pitch is much more important IMO and has more influence on the actual outcome of the game itself. The position is called "Catcher" and not "Thrower" for a reason.

Scrap Irony
09-23-2011, 08:40 AM
Actually, David Ross grades out well above average on this count, mth.

As does Hanigan.

lollipopcurve
09-23-2011, 08:54 AM
Pretty interesting stuff, though the discussion of methodology is typically tough to grasp for non-statisticians. Most interesting is where video of catchers who grade high is compared to video of catchers who grade low. Would like to see more of that, as some nice nuances of receiving are addressed, such as keeping the head as still as possible.

Not surprising that Hanigan grades high, while Hernandez does not. The one obvious difference between the two, at least to me, is how much each guy appears to move his mitt on borderline pitches. But what this article tells me is that there's much more to it than that.

I'm suspicious of Ruiz's low ranking. He appears to me to be an excellent receiver of pitches.

So far, Mesoraco looks uneven back there. May be some growing pains on that front, but you've got to give him a chance. At times he looks nice and quiet receiving the ball, and his arm is very strong. That said, I would not be dealing Grandal just yet. Whichever guy is the better defender should be the long-term answer, while the other guy can be a possible 1B/3B solution or trade chip. But it's going to take another year, at least, before that can or should be addressed.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 09:16 AM
Every single youth baseball coach should see this link.

I can't tell you how many times I have preached as an umpire that teaching a catcher to catch a ball the right way can mean as many as 10-15 strikes being called in a game.

dougdirt
09-23-2011, 09:52 AM
And this is why umpires shouldn't be calling balls and strikes anymore. Now that we have the technology to actually do it accurately (and lets be honest, since the umpires started using Questec to govern whether they were getting enough right/wrong this should have told us it should have been taken care of). The strikezone is NOT defined by where the catcher catches the ball, so how a catcher does catch the ball should NOT determine a strike or not. The fact that is does and we can eliminate that should be addressed. The human element should not be making this large of a difference in a baseball season when we can eliminate that part of it.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 09:58 AM
And this is why umpires shouldn't be calling balls and strikes anymore. Now that we have the technology to actually do it accurately (and lets be honest, since the umpires started using Questec to govern whether they were getting enough right/wrong this should have told us it should have been taken care of). The strikezone is NOT defined by where the catcher catches the ball, so how a catcher does catch the ball should NOT determine a strike or not. The fact that is does and we can eliminate that should be addressed. The human element should not be making this large of a difference in a baseball season when we can eliminate that part of it.

Eliminating umpires and using Questec instead isn't going to happen anytime soon. If it actually worked then somewhere in the world it would be being done.

dougdirt
09-23-2011, 10:12 AM
Eliminating umpires and using Questec instead isn't going to happen anytime soon. If it actually worked then somewhere in the world it would be being done.


I am not suggesting you eliminate umpires. Just their ability to call balls and strikes, which is obviously is something that shouldn't be changing games and seasons, but as this study shows, it obviously is, in a big way.

The umpires always talk about "getting the call right". Well they aren't. We have proof of it. Fix it. We have the technology to fix it.

I know that the umpires union is never going to go for it.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 10:19 AM
The umpires clearly thought it worked because they used it to determine if the calls were good or bad and guys who weren't getting X% right were no longer allowed to ump.

And I am not suggesting you eliminate umpires. Just their ability to call balls and strikes, which is obviously is something that shouldn't be changing games and seasons, but as this study shows, it obviously is, in a big way.

The umpires always talk about "getting the call right". Well they aren't. We have proof of it. Fix it. We have the technology to fix it.

I know that the umpires union is never going to go for it.

I am not being sarcastic but how will the Questec call balls and strikes?? Will the umpire have a buzzer and when the booth above reviews the pitch and decides it is a strike will they buzz the umpire?? Or will a light go off at the scoreboard signaling strike or ball?? My point is if this idea is so good then why isn't it being used anywhere else in the world?

I think calling balls and strikes is better now than it has ever been in the history of the game and a big reason is Questec. Being able to gauge how the umpire performed on the plate will help him improve or remove the ones that don't improve or don't belong.

BCubb2003
09-23-2011, 10:24 AM
I wonder if any batters go to the plate knowing, "I've got a catcher who gets strike calls today, better be ready for it ..."?

Also, is it just me, or do the Reds catchers jump around a lot while the pitcher is in his delivery? It seems like that would make it impossible to hit the target, if you're turning and facing the plate but Hannigan is jumping to one side or the other.

dougdirt
09-23-2011, 10:25 AM
I am not being sarcastic but how will the Questec call balls and strikes?? Will the umpire have a buzzer and when the booth above reviews the pitch and decides it is a strike will they buzz the umpire?? Or will a light go off at the scoreboard signaling strike or ball?? My point is if this idea is so good then why isn't it being used anywhere else in the world?

I think calling balls and strikes is better now than it has ever been in the history of the game and a big reason is Questec. Being able to gauge how the umpire performed on the plate will help him improve or remove the ones that don't improve or don't belong.

I don't want questec doing it, because it isn't installed anymore. But the Pitch F/X systems are and we can and should use them. I don't care how they decide to tell the umpire if the call was a ball/strike. I just want them to get it right. As for why it isn't being done elsewhere, I imagine it is because the system isn't available elsewhere and the MLB umpires have a union that isn't going to go for it at all.

And I do agree, the umpiring is probably better now than ever. But the point remains, it can be much better by eliminating the human element completely. I would rather them be right today, than be wrong today but be able to improve for tomorrow but still not as accurate as the system in place to tell them they are wrong that we use today.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 10:33 AM
I imagine it is because the system isn't available elsewhere and the MLB umpires have a union that isn't going to go for it at all.

.

Should a computerized system that called balls and strikes was ever developed there is no doubt the umpires union will not go for it. However if MLB said take it or leave it the umpires union had better take it because IMO if the MLB umpires are no longer calling balls and strikes and a computer is doing a better job then they are easily replaceable. All that would be left for the umpires to do would be interpret rules and make calls on the bases which in all honesty is not that hard in a 4 man system. You could easily find former minor league umpires or Division 1 college umpires that would be willing to replace the MLB umpires.

One thing to keep in mind though is fans and players will still gripe about the computerized system. Maybe not as much as with humans calling pitches but they will still gripe, trust me!!

mth123
09-23-2011, 10:57 AM
Actually, David Ross grades out well above average on this count, mth.

As does Hanigan.

I see that. I remember Ross as pretty jumpy back there with many passed balls. The numbers don't compute but I'm not convinced. Hanigan is excellent IMO. I've always thought Ramon was below average as well (but not as bad as guys like Larue or Javy). The difference between Ramon and Hanigan over 120 games per the chart is 19 Runs. Not sure I really buy putting run figures to this any more than I buy the theoretical run calcualtions for UZR or even Runs Created, but I think it is a fairly significant factor. IMO, the biggest issue is the cumulative damage to the pitching staff. A poor catcher who doesn't get the calls must be running up a pitchers pitch count well above where it should be. Given the scarcity of decent pitching, they don't need anything else going against them. The good ones get run out of the game sooner than necessary and the bad ones are made even worse by this.

Some one made a comment about Mesoraco looking jumpy and I've noticed it as well. I still view him as the catcher of the future, but I do see that as a negative that I hope improves as he gets more familiar with the staff.

RedsManRick
09-23-2011, 11:01 AM
I am not being sarcastic but how will the Questec call balls and strikes?? Will the umpire have a buzzer and when the booth above reviews the pitch and decides it is a strike will they buzz the umpire?? Or will a light go off at the scoreboard signaling strike or ball?? My point is if this idea is so good then why isn't it being used anywhere else in the world?

I think calling balls and strikes is better now than it has ever been in the history of the game and a big reason is Questec. Being able to gauge how the umpire performed on the plate will help him improve or remove the ones that don't improve or don't belong.

Where else in the world would it be used? The closest game I can think of in terms of making boundary calls with a fast moving ball is tennis -- and they use an automated electronic system. Obviously baseball is harder because the zone boundaries change and are floating in space, but conceptually it is being done.

And frankly, the "if it's not being done somewhere already it's not worth doing" argument strikes me as patently silly -- how would any innovation take place if this logic were used? I think you could get 80% of the value by simply arming the umps with the quest-tec feedback in real time via a buzzer while still letting them call the games. If nothing else, it would provide them real time training.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 11:14 AM
I am not opposed to any type of computerized system calling balls and strikes. I am just very skeptical it can be done right. I am eager to see it being implemented but to the best of my knowledge no where in the world is it being done. This tells me there is no real motivation to have anything like this done anytime soon.

REDREAD
09-23-2011, 11:24 AM
I think you could get 80% of the value by simply arming the umps with the quest-tec feedback in real time via a buzzer while still letting them call the games. If nothing else, it would provide them real time training.

I like this idea.. put a shock collar on the umps.. if they make a wrong call.. then ZAP! :laugh:

oneupper
09-23-2011, 11:27 AM
I am not opposed to any type of computerized system calling balls and strikes. I am just very skeptical it can be done right. I am eager to see it being implemented but to the best of my knowledge no where in the world is it being done. This tells me there is no real motivation to have anything like this done anytime soon.

There are hundreds of patents already for ball/strike systems. Most are pre-emptive filings.

I'm sure the technology today is sufficient. We can pinpoint locations from hundreds of miles and launch missile attacks and we can determine the path of a sub-atomic particle. I think we can determine if a sphere the size of a baseball traversed a certain area of space.

The problem is commitment. Baseball has to put money into this FIRST because no one is going to fund the development of a system that MLB isn't going to buy.

It's like you said, no motivation. And you won't get it from the big clubs, because they're the ones getting the "vet" strike zones called and they know the current system is to their advantage.

IslandRed
09-23-2011, 11:27 AM
Tech question on Questec and Pitch F/X etc. -- how accurate are they on the high and low strike? The plate doesn't move, so it should be nails on inside/outside, but not all hitters are the same height and the zone is supposed to adjust for that.

IslandRed
09-23-2011, 11:29 AM
And to follow up on the rest of the thread, even if MLB could afford to put in electronic ball-strike calling, the minor leagues and amateur leagues couldn't. So the quiet receiving technique is still worth teaching to the 99.99% of catchers who won't ever make the majors.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 11:36 AM
I wonder if any batters go to the plate knowing, "I've got a catcher who gets strike calls today, better be ready for it ..."?

Also, is it just me, or do the Reds catchers jump around a lot while the pitcher is in his delivery? It seems like that would make it impossible to hit the target, if you're turning and facing the plate but Hannigan is jumping to one side or the other.


When Jason Varitek is behind the plate. Have heard that hitters know that when Varitek is behind the plate, he gets a lot of strike calls for his pitchers.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 11:39 AM
It's interesting that my son, as a pitcher, has always had a preference to throw to catchers who don't move around a lot and receive the ball quietly. He has always complained that he looses close calls when certain catchers catch. It has always been obvious to me, even going back to the days when I pitched.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 11:43 AM
It's interesting that my son, as a pitcher, has always had a preference to throw to catchers who don't move around a lot and receive the ball quietly. He has always complained that he looses close calls when certain catchers catch. It has always been obvious to me, even going back to the days when I pitched.

The nice thing is since you are in Indy now the catchers at BBurg and the Bulls know how to catch. The coaches in both those programs are well aware of what our associations umpires want the catchers to do. The problem is when we get catchers from out of town that do not know how to catch the ball properly. It costs them strikes in the long run.

RedsManRick
09-23-2011, 12:29 PM
When Jason Varitek is behind the plate. Have heard that hitters know that when Varitek is behind the plate, he gets a lot of strike calls for his pitchers.

FWIW, this analysis actually has 'tek as slightly below average in that respect.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 12:58 PM
FWIW, this analysis actually has 'tek as slightly below average in that respect.

That's interesting. Have heard that from quite a few sources, but i guess the stats don't lie.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 01:04 PM
The nice thing is since you are in Indy now the catchers at BBurg and the Bulls know how to catch. The coaches in both those programs are well aware of what our associations umpires want the catchers to do. The problem is when we get catchers from out of town that do not know how to catch the ball properly. It costs them strikes in the long run.

Matt's biggest gripe has always been the "jumpy" catchers, those that don't know how to turn their gloves and frame a pitch on the corners, and those that tend to stand up a little on pitches that aren't really up (particularly up around the elbows inside which is a place I have always taught him to throw) and shifting/moving on pitches that are out and in. He's always around the strike zone and there really is not a lot of need for the catcher to move, other than to block a waste pitch in the dirt.

Rojo
09-23-2011, 01:09 PM
Larue would drive me crazy, jabbing at the ball.

Don Sutton talks about a low, soft target. I wonder how Tony Pena would've graded out.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 01:13 PM
Matt's biggest gripe has always been the "jumpy" catchers, those that don't know how to turn their gloves and frame a pitch on the corners, and those that tend to stand up a little on pitches that aren't really up (particularly up around the elbows inside which is a place I have always taught him to throw) and shifting/moving on pitches that are out and in. He's always around the strike zone and there really is not a lot of need for the catcher to move, other than to block a waste pitch in the dirt.

I had a summer league game ( I can't remember which team) but the kid was an incoming freshman at Brownsburg. He was very good, he stuck out to me. Might be another Tucker Barnhart, ya never know.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 02:13 PM
That would be nice. A good catcher can definitely make a pitcher better.

Roy Tucker
09-23-2011, 02:31 PM
I had posted a link a ways back to a very good interview with Ryan Hanigan about the nuances of a catcher. Reading it, you could really understand why pitchers love him.

Went back, found the link, but its been taken off the Enquirer site :(

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 03:29 PM
Larue would drive me crazy, jabbing at the ball.

You and me both! Jabbed at it like a Johnny Cueto kick. I thought he was a terrible receiver.

Rojo
09-23-2011, 03:44 PM
You and me both! Jabbed at it like a Johnny Cueto kick. I thought he was a terrible receiver.

Be quick but don't hurry.

RANDY IN INDY
09-23-2011, 04:48 PM
Be quick but don't hurry.

Classic Wooden. Applies just about anywhere.!:)

dougdirt
09-23-2011, 05:48 PM
I am not opposed to any type of computerized system calling balls and strikes. I am just very skeptical it can be done right. I am eager to see it being implemented but to the best of my knowledge no where in the world is it being done. This tells me there is no real motivation to have anything like this done anytime soon.

It is done right. It is being done right now, in the US in MLB. Every game has "whatever channel" trax, or whatever and its all done by the same system that was used in this study as well as on MLB Gameday that shows the strikezone and the movement of the ball with velocity, spin, break and all of that other fun jazz. The only thing is, we aren't using it to call balls and strikes on the field. If you want to though, you can easily go through and look at the calls, in real time, and see if the ump made the right or wrong call.

I am not sure why you would think it couldn't be done right. It already is being done right. Why wouldn't it be done right? I just don't understand your stance. What would be done wrong about it?


Tech question on Questec and Pitch F/X etc. -- how accurate are they on the high and low strike? The plate doesn't move, so it should be nails on inside/outside, but not all hitters are the same height and the zone is supposed to adjust for that.
Well, I can't speak for questec or pitch f/x because well, what is the baseline for comparison.... the umpires call? Here is what I know.... I will take a system that uses three camera angles to track the movement/speed/break/spin and about 25 other things that the baseball does from the point it leaves the pitchers hand until the point that it reaches home plate over one set of eyes that we can all agree on, often miss balls and strikes. How Pitch F/X works is that a human is in a room working with the system. The operator will wait until the batter takes his stance, then he will mark on the camera from center field where the hollow of the batters back knee is and the batters belt. The system then adds four inches to the height of the batters belt and that is the top of the strikezone. So yes, the strikezone changes.

Rojo
09-23-2011, 06:00 PM
Classic Wooden. Applies just about anywhere.!:)

Knew you'd like that.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 10:54 PM
I am not sure why you would think it couldn't be done right. It already is being done right. Why wouldn't it be done right? I just don't understand your stance. What would be done wrong about it?


.

The same question I had earlier today.How is the umpire going to know from the booth if it is a ball or strike?? Are they going give him a buzzer and buzz him to let him know either way if the ball is a strike or ball??

Bottom line is put this thing in the lower levels of minor league baseball and lets see how it works.

dougdirt
09-23-2011, 10:56 PM
The same question I had earlier today.How is the umpire going to know from the booth if it is a ball or strike?? Are they going give him a buzzer and buzz him to let him know either way if the ball is a strike or ball??

Bottom line is put this thing in the lower levels of minor league baseball and lets see how it works.

So we need to implement this in the minors for a buzzer or an ear piece? This isn't as complicated as you make it. This isn't 1920. Give the umpire an ear piece.

George Anderson
09-23-2011, 11:09 PM
So we need to implement this in the minors for a buzzer or an ear piece? This isn't as complicated as you make it. This isn't 1920. Give the umpire an ear piece.

If you are going to make a change of this magnitude to the game then what would it hurt trying it out at the lower levels of the game to see if or how it works?

Oneupper had the best point. There is no motivation for this system to take place anytime soon so we are kinda wasting our time even talking about it.

RedsManRick
09-23-2011, 11:10 PM
So we need to implement this in the minors for a buzzer or an ear piece? This isn't as complicated as you make it. This isn't 1920. Give the umpire an ear piece.

We don't have to make the umpires use the system to make their calls. Just give them the input. Heck, purposefully put it on a 5 second delay so it's just confirmation for them.

The reality is that umpire mistakes are the result of one of 3 things:
1) A physical inability to see where the pitch crossed the plate in relation to the zone -- obstruction by the catcher / poor positioning / untimely blink
2) A systematic bias in their judgement of the strikezone -- they see where the ball is they just misjudged the zone itself
3) A willing disregard for the actual zone

We don't really know how much of the problem is due to each of these.

I imagine #1 isn't more than an occasional problem at the major league level and, if it were, could be fixed pretty easily with better training.

You can't fully address #3 without taking the call away from them altogether.

But #2, that's the ticket. How are umps currently developing their understanding of the zone? Do they train for it? Do they participate in regular professional development to keep their skills up like most professionals do? What sort of post-season feedback and training do they receive? Well, give them a performance measurement system that provides instant feedback and you'd probably address a big chunk of this. They'd learn how to associate what they're seeing with the zone in real time and correct for their own biases.

Before we take the call completely out of their hands, let's give use the technology to give them tools for improvement. If at the end of the day, we find out that the human ability to call balls and strikes has reached a physical barrier, well then we can talk about letting computers take over. But I'm not sure we're there yet.

757690
09-23-2011, 11:21 PM
Tech question on Questec and Pitch F/X etc. -- how accurate are they on the high and low strike? The plate doesn't move, so it should be nails on inside/outside, but not all hitters are the same height and the zone is supposed to adjust for that.

Good point.

How about a system that tells the ump if the ball crossed the plate, and then let the ump decide if it was high or low. If that is all the ump has to focus on, their accuracy should improve.

gilpdawg
09-23-2011, 11:50 PM
How Pitch F/X works is that a human is in a room working with the system. The operator will wait until the batter takes his stance, then he will mark on the camera from center field where the hollow of the batters back knee is and the batters belt. The system then adds four inches to the height of the batters belt and that is the top of the strikezone. So yes, the strikezone changes.
I didn't know about the person adjusting for height. I learned something today. Thanks for that. I always wondered how Pitch/fx would handle someone exceptionally tall or short.


Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk

dougdirt
09-24-2011, 02:28 AM
If you are going to make a change of this magnitude to the game then what would it hurt trying it out at the lower levels of the game to see if or how it works?

Oneupper had the best point. There is no motivation for this system to take place anytime soon so we are kinda wasting our time even talking about it.

We know how it works. Go look at the article. That is how it works.

As for seeing if it works, again, there is really no baseline to compare "if it works". The only baseline is the umpires vs the cameras. Either you believe the umpires are more accurate, or you believe that three cameras that track the ball 30 times a second (each) is accurate. The cameras are currently saying that the umpires are pretty good at their job, but there are plenty of places for improvement. Lefties get the outside strike called on them more than righties do. Catchers moving their glove makes strikes balls and catchers not moving their gloves makes balls strikes. We can see these things in action.

And Rick, as for them asking for help on how to fix their "problems identifying certain types of strikes"....

"Z.E." = Zone Evaluation and it is just Pitch F/X. The article is from early 2009.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/sports/baseball/01umpires.html


“It’s an upgrade from where we were,” Port said in a telephone interview. “The umpires, they don’t want to miss a pitch any more than a batter wants to strike out. Where the Z.E. system will give us a lot of help is more data to help identify any trends: ‘The last three plate jobs, you missed seven pitches that were down and in. Here’s how one of the supervisors can help you adjust your head angle or your stance to have a better chance of getting those pitches.’”

Umpires may not necessarily welcome this much assistance. Port said the umpires union, the World Umpires Association, had approved the change, but a union spokesman, Lamell McMorris, declined to comment on that or any aspects of the Zone Evaluation system.

RedsManRick
09-24-2011, 02:45 AM
Doug, the timing component is very important. Showing them the result after the game and giving instruction accordingly is not even close to the impact of real-time feedback.

If the guy was able to recognize when he was missing those pitches and what he was "seeing" wrong, he'd fix it. But the umps still have problems. What they need is feedback that is proximate to the event so they can immediately break the association of seeing a certain pitch in a certain spot and thinking "Ball" or "Strike".

Think of this analogy, you're a shooting range and you get 300 shots at a moving target, but you can't see if you're actually hitting it. At the end, you're told that you missed 10 of them and shown those calls. They explain that on shots down and to your right your left shoulder is cocked 2 degrees off. Now you have to go back and take another 300 shots. How well will you be able to correct for the issue? Will you be able to remember how it felt last time and adjust accordingly? How will you know if you're doing it right or just causing another problem?

Take the same situation, but have it tell you after each shot if you hit or miss. Wouldn't that be more helpful?

But really, what the analysis has shown is that umpires are substantially swayed by the count. Basically, they call the zone in such a way as to encourage contact. With 3 balls they tend to expand their zone. With 2 strikes they tend to contract. It might not even be conscious. But unless they get feedback in the moment that they're doing something wrong, I don't see how they're going to fix it -- not at level where they've pretty much mastered the core of positioning and other ways to maximize their perceptive ability.

wlf WV
09-24-2011, 03:38 AM
I don't think a repeatable perfect call would give anything to the game of baseball,but actually make it worse.

In fact,it would make the game too sterile.I like the fact mistakes are made,that pitchers may have to adjust to an umpire.

Perfection is unnatural and boring. Umpires have personality,and that is interesting.

oneupper
09-24-2011, 07:28 AM
I don't think a repeatable perfect call would give anything to the game of baseball,but actually make it worse.

In fact,it would make the game too sterile.I like the fact mistakes are made,that pitchers may have to adjust to an umpire.

Perfection is unnatural and boring. Umpires have personality,and that is interesting.

Baseball is a great game without getting the umpires involved in the result. Sterile? Maybe. More fair? Certainly.

Personally, I love football's replay. It works, it's relatively fair and it makes the game better, IMO. Sure, there have been some kinks in its implementation, but I can't imagine the NFL today without it.

Baseball has plenty of imperfections and personalities with the players and managers already. I don't need to see LaRussa, Dusty or Ozzie go after CB Bucknor for calling a strike on a pitch 10 inches outside to be entertained.

RANDY IN INDY
09-24-2011, 09:25 AM
Knew you'd like that.
:) :beerme:

dougdirt
09-24-2011, 02:24 PM
I don't think a repeatable perfect call would give anything to the game of baseball,but actually make it worse.

In fact,it would make the game too sterile.I like the fact mistakes are made,that pitchers may have to adjust to an umpire.

Perfection is unnatural and boring. Umpires have personality,and that is interesting.

I don't like the fact that Jay Bruce has a strikezone that is 3 inches wider than Brandon Phillips because he is left handed. I don't like the fact that the strikezone with Ryan Hanigan catching is a few inches wider than the strikezone with Ramon Hernandez catching. It isn't supposed to be that way. But that is the way that it is playing out.

RFS62
09-24-2011, 11:05 PM
It works in tennis. It was met with just as much resistance as we're hearing here, and now it's completely accepted.

Let the umpires make their "signature calls". But give them the call through technology, an ear piece, some kind of hand held display, I don't care.

Just get the calls right. No more Joe West and C.B. Buckner and Eric Gregg with their egos affecting a game with ball and strike calls.

George Anderson
09-24-2011, 11:55 PM
So for the replace the umps with computer guys.

When would you anticipate this change taking place? Not when you think it should happen but when do you realistically think this major change to the game will take place??

I am guessing because MLB is slow to change and technology that it will be at least another 20 years before this would take place if it ever does. I mean I have searched the net to learn more about all this and replacing humans with technology really isn't being discussed much.

There will be alot of factors to consider like what do the owners want? What does the players union want? Who is the commissioner and what is his stance on it? Also is MLB willing to go to war with the umpires union over this??

This isn't going to happen anytime soon if it ever does IMO.

wlf WV
09-25-2011, 01:54 AM
I don't like the fact that Jay Bruce has a strikezone that is 3 inches wider than Brandon Phillips because he is left handed. I don't like the fact that the strikezone with Ryan Hanigan catching is a few inches wider than the strikezone with Ramon Hernandez catching. It isn't supposed to be that way. But that is the way that it is playing out.It doesn't bother me in the overall scheme.

I don't think being right has much as significance as a human element.Don't get me wrong,I don't want them to make mistakes,but they're a small price to pay.

oneupper
09-25-2011, 09:21 AM
So for the replace the umps with computer guys.

When would you anticipate this change taking place? Not when you think it should happen but when do you realistically think this major change to the game will take place??

I am guessing because MLB is slow to change and technology that it will be at least another 20 years before this would take place if it ever does. I mean I have searched the net to learn more about all this and replacing humans with technology really isn't being discussed much.

There will be alot of factors to consider like what do the owners want? What does the players union want? Who is the commissioner and what is his stance on it? Also is MLB willing to go to war with the umpires union over this??

This isn't going to happen anytime soon if it ever does IMO.

You know, predicting technological change is really hard to do. In the 60s we were expecting flying cars by now and robot servants. The Internet? Nope, that wasn't predicted.

A decade ago, few were expecting to see reviewable calls in football or tennis. Replay in baseball? Never.

Things happen. Maybe it will take a bad strike call that decides a WS, like it took a terrible HR call in a playoff game (Rockies? IIRC) to really move the HR replay rule. It's tough because balls and strikes calls are not considered of large impact on the result, but we know they are vital to the flow of the game.

I'd say" "We will have automated balls and strike calls in this decade not because it is easy but because it is hard." :)

It WILL happen.

IslandRed
09-25-2011, 10:50 AM
Things happen. Maybe it will take a bad strike call that decides a WS, like it took a terrible HR call in a playoff game (Rockies? IIRC) to really move the HR replay rule. It's tough because balls and strikes calls are not considered of large impact on the result, but we know they are vital to the flow of the game.

Right. For as much as people grump about umpiring now, it's just one of those things in baseball. From the perspective of the people running the game, it's a very expensive solution to what isn't perceived as a pressing problem. Until it becomes a bigger problem (or is perceived as one), there is no incentive to spend all that money and fight that war with the umpires' union.

dougdirt
09-25-2011, 01:25 PM
Right. For as much as people grump about umpiring now, it's just one of those things in baseball. From the perspective of the people running the game, it's a very expensive solution to what isn't perceived as a pressing problem. Until it becomes a bigger problem (or is perceived as one), there is no incentive to spend all that money and fight that war with the umpires' union.

The only money spent would be to fight against the umpires union, and I imagine that MLB has lawyers that are paid for whether or not they do this. I don't think it would actually cost them any money.