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Mario-Rijo
02-08-2012, 11:44 AM
Just ran across this piece on BP on the catchers impact on pitching. So I thought I'd add it for discussion. As many expected Hanny is very good at helping his pitchers while Ramon was not.

BP link (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093)


Catchers play a central role in the game of baseball through their involvement with every pitch that their pitchers throw. One of their key tasks is receiving borderline pitches without discouraging the umpire from calling strikes.

Dan Turkenkopf was one of the first analysts to investigate this phenomenon using detailed pitch location data. He found that catchers differed significantly in their performance at getting strike calls from umpires. Matthew Carruth and Bill Letson followed up with additional research and similar conclusions. The size of the effect that Dan and Bill found was so large as to be almost unbelievable.

Earlier this year, I observed that where the catcher set the target relative to the edge of the strike zone and whether the pitcher hit the target had a large impact on the likelihood of a strike call. Some pitchers, such as Tom Glavine and Livan Hernandez, were consistently able to expand the edges of the strike zone by several inches. The fact that catchers are paired with a limited number of pitchers in a season affects our ability to properly assign credit for extra strike calls to catchers. Adjusting for pitcher-catcher pairing reduces the apparent size of the catcher responsibility for the effect to more reasonable levels.

RANDY IN INDY
02-08-2012, 11:51 AM
I've always felt that the catcher that can sit behind the plate like he really isn't there, who knows how to receive the baseball like it's an egg, who has great hand technique with very little movement, has a tremendous effect on both the pitchers ability to throw strikes and the umpire's likelihood of calling them. A nice, freshly cleaned window for the umpire to see through. Jumpy catchers, ala Jason Larue, make the umpire see everything through a dirty window and the pitcher suffers.

MikeThierry
02-08-2012, 12:04 PM
I've always felt that the catcher that can sit behind the plate like he really isn't there, who knows how to receive the baseball like it's an egg, who has great hand technique with very little movement, has a tremendous effect on both the pitchers ability to throw strikes and the umpire's likelihood of calling them. A nice, freshly cleaned window for the umpire to see through. Jumpy catchers, ala Jason Larue, make the umpire see everything through a dirty window and the pitcher suffers.

I think this is one of the reasons why Molina is one of the best catchers in the game. He is about as good of a catcher as I have ever seen at framing a pitch and selling it to the umpire (I never got to see Bench play so please forgive me). Mike Matheny was the same way when he played. This is why I feel that with a catcher, I would rather have someone that can be beautiful at framing a pitch rather than a catcher that can just mash balls.

Do you also feel that if a pitcher frames a pitch perfectly, it gets them in better position to throw out runners? It seems that it would be difficult to throw out potential base stealers if catchers are stabbing at the ball and have a herky/jerky motion when catching the ball.

George Anderson
02-08-2012, 12:13 PM
I've always felt that the catcher that can sit behind the plate like he really isn't there, who knows how to receive the baseball like it's an egg, who has great hand technique with very little movement, has a tremendous effect on both the pitchers ability to throw strikes and the umpire's likelihood of calling them. A nice, freshly cleaned window for the umpire to see through. Jumpy catchers, ala Jason Larue, make the umpire see everything through a dirty window and the pitcher suffers.

Bingo, a good catcher can make the difference of whether a good 10-15 pitches are called a ball or strike during a game at the HS level anyway.

The "we need a Questec system to call balls and strikes" discussion is queing in 5,4,3,2,........

RedlegJake
02-08-2012, 12:23 PM
I don't know about how that sets up their throw to second Mike, the release time, arm strength and footwork have more to do with that I think but I agree that the importance of the defensive and staff handling aspects of catching are gaining more prominence.

Its always been a defense first position but a lot of teams have still sacrificed the position to the lords of offense over the years. - Now that science is starting to back up the notion that framing strikes and staff handling has a measurable impact and that impact might be more significant than some thought, more attention might be paid to moving mashers who are less than adequate behind the plate to 1st or left or DH.

If these numbers are valid did Ramon's bat make up for his poorer catching skills and the strikes he cost the pitching staff? And if you can compute a run cost to this couldn't you factor it into a catcher's WAR rating at some point?

RedlegJake
02-08-2012, 12:26 PM
Bingo, a good catcher can make the difference of whether a good 10-15 pitches are called a ball or strike during a game at the HS level anyway.

The "we need a Questec system to call balls and strikes" discussion is queing in 5,4,3,2,........

Ugh....don't get it started....

RANDY IN INDY
02-08-2012, 01:06 PM
I think this is one of the reasons why Molina is one of the best catchers in the game. He is about as good of a catcher as I have ever seen at framing a pitch and selling it to the umpire (I never got to see Bench play so please forgive me). Mike Matheny was the same way when he played. This is why I feel that with a catcher, I would rather have someone that can be beautiful at framing a pitch rather than a catcher that can just mash balls.

Do you also feel that if a pitcher frames a pitch perfectly, it gets them in better position to throw out runners? It seems that it would be difficult to throw out potential base stealers if catchers are stabbing at the ball and have a herky/jerky motion when catching the ball.

Not really. It's two separate things, and the footwork and transfer are the keys to making good throws. Having soft hands and a soft, tension free body are very important in just about all phases of catching. The soft body part is particularly important in blocking pitches. Some really good catchers have told me that they "exhale" before each pitch to get the tension out of the body which makes a lot of sense.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 07:20 PM
I will start it. The strike zone shouldn't change based on the catchers glove movements, or lack there of. If these numbers are true, and I believe they are darn close to it, it is absolutely ridiculous. We need a better way to call balls and strikes is 82 runs a season between the best/worst over 162 games. 82 runs is somewhere from 6-10 wins based on something that by definition, NEVER CHANGES. It is ridiculous.

MikeThierry
02-08-2012, 07:35 PM
I will start it. The strike zone shouldn't change based on the catchers glove movements, or lack there of. If these numbers are true, and I believe they are darn close to it, it is absolutely ridiculous. We need a better way to call balls and strikes is 82 runs a season between the best/worst over 162 games. 82 runs is somewhere from 6-10 wins based on something that by definition, NEVER CHANGES. It is ridiculous.

By definition, the strikezone always changes. It's all depended on how tall a batter is. Obviously, the strikezone for a 5'10 player is going to be different from a 6'5 player. Because of this issue, human error is going to happen because sometimes it's difficult to judge what the proper strikezone should be.

camisadelgolf
02-08-2012, 07:38 PM
As soon as you take the human element out of the game, there's no reason to watch it anymore.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 07:40 PM
By definition, the strikezone always changes. It's all depended on how tall a batter is. Obviously, the strikezone for a 5'10 player is going to be different from a 6'5 player. Because of this issue, human error is going to happen because sometimes it's difficult to judge what the proper strikezone should be.

The definition of the strikezone doesn't change. The zone itself does, because of the things you noted, but in no way, shape or form, should there be a 6-10 win difference based on balls and strikes between two catchers. Especially when we have the technology to not allow it to happen.

If judging the strikezone is difficult, then you shouldn't be calling balls and strikes. The strikezone is clearly defined.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 07:41 PM
As soon as you take the human element out of the game, there's no reason to watch it anymore.

As long as humans are still playing the game, there is plenty of reason to watch. I would rather get the call right than not, simply because it has always been this way.

RedlegJake
02-08-2012, 08:52 PM
doug the human element of a catchers skill in framing a pitch and an umpires human reaction in response to that framing is part of the game and art of baseball. I don't want automaton ball where everything is computerized down to the last spot - its darn close to that now anyway. Instead of whining about how unfair it is that Molina or Hanigan or Martin give their team an unfair advantage how about getting rid of catchers with lousy skills behind the dish? ITS A SKILL - no different from any other baseball skill.

dougdirt
02-08-2012, 08:58 PM
doug the human element of a catchers skill in framing a pitch and an umpires human reaction in response to that framing is part of the game and art of baseball. I don't want automaton ball where everything is computerized down to the last spot - its darn close to that now anyway. Instead of whining about how unfair it is that Molina or Hanigan or Martin give their team an unfair advantage how about getting rid of catchers with lousy skills behind the dish? ITS A SKILL - no different from any other baseball skill.
Except that it IS different than other baseball skills. Judgment doesn't allow for any other player to be "better" than someone else by insane amounts. A hit is a hit because its a hit by rule. A home run is a home run because of the definition of a home run, by rule. An assist/put out is that by definition, by rule. Other "skills" in baseball are not changed/altered by the rules of the game. Framing pitches is. The strikezone is clearly defined. Yet that definition clearly isn't being followed. It is allowing players to have added value based on incorrect calls that we can correct if we so chose.

Vottomatic
02-08-2012, 09:02 PM
Anyone else having a problem accessing the ORG? I can get to the thread off of the main page listing all the forums, but I cannot get to the main ORG page showing all the ORG threads. Not sure why. And I'm having something pop up at the top saying it blocked the page because of threats. But I clicked on it and told it to let me see the page anyway, and it still sent me to a message saying I couldn't access it.

Anyone have a clue why?

camisadelgolf
02-08-2012, 09:36 PM
Anyone else having a problem accessing the ORG? I can get to the thread off of the main page listing all the forums, but I cannot get to the main ORG page showing all the ORG threads. Not sure why. And I'm having something pop up at the top saying it blocked the page because of threats. But I clicked on it and told it to let me see the page anyway, and it still sent me to a message saying I couldn't access it.

Anyone have a clue why?
Which browser are you using? What's your OS?

edit:
This issue should probably be taken to a different forum.

Vottomatic
02-08-2012, 09:56 PM
I dunno what happened, but the problem is gone. I did clear my browser, so maybe that did it.

AtomicDumpling
02-08-2012, 11:33 PM
An umpire that allows his strike zone to be manipulated by the catcher is not a good umpire.

camisadelgolf
02-08-2012, 11:58 PM
An umpire that allows his strike zone to be manipulated by the catcher is not a good umpire.
Then there might not be a single good umpire in history.

RedsManRick
02-09-2012, 12:17 AM
I would suggest that most of the bias umpires exist is not purposeful/conscious. There are all sorts of ways we're subtly influenced just due to the way our brains process information. Tracking a 95 mph pitch as it passes through an invisible pentagonal prizm that is defined in part by a moving person is less than easy...

I think umpires do their jobs as well as is humanly possible. But like Doug, I don't see any reason to be satisfied with what's humanly possible when it comes to mere rule enforcement. The game should be determined by the skill of the players; not the skill of the referee.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 12:18 AM
An umpire that allows his strike zone to be manipulated by the catcher is not a good umpire.

A catcher that does not catch the ball in a manner that the umpire can get a good view of the pitch is not a good catcher.

AtomicDumpling
02-09-2012, 01:56 AM
A catcher that does not catch the ball in a manner that the umpire can get a good view of the pitch is not a good catcher.

If bad umpires can be manipulated then a wise catcher should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 02:17 AM
A catcher that does not catch the ball in a manner that the umpire can get a good view of the pitch is not a good catcher.

An umpire that can't see where the ball crosses home plate and allows the ball to be determined as a strike or a ball at 62-63 feet rather than 60, isn't doing his job right.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 02:20 AM
If bad umpires can be manipulated then a wise catcher should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.

Manipulation would be a form of cheating or deception. Catching the ball so the umpire has a good view of where the ball is caught is neither of the above.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 02:27 AM
An umpire that can't see where the ball crosses home plate and allows the ball to be determined as a strike or a ball at 62-63 feet rather than 60, isn't doing his job right.

It is rare that a pitch traveling 90 MPH will radically change course in the 2 foot or so distance from the plate to the catchers mitt.

It is real easy for people to sit on a message board and proclaim they know the best way to call balls and strikes, but unless you have ever called balls and strikes in real life you really don't know.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 02:40 AM
It is rare that a pitch traveling 90 MPH will radically change course in the 2 foot or so distance from the plate to the catchers mitt.

It is real easy for people to sit on a message board and proclaim they know the best way to call balls and strikes, but unless you have ever called balls and strikes in real life you really don't know.

No, but the fact, and they are facts at this point, remains, that how a catcher receives the ball changes the call. And it shouldn't. At all. I don't have to have called balls and strikes to know that the way that it's being done today is a far inferior way than what we could be doing. Some catchers are getting extreme style point for how they catch the ball, while others are getting extreme deductions for how they catch the ball. How one catches the ball should have no bearing as to whether it is a strike or not. Since we can actually make that happen at this point, why aren't we? Because tradition is better than getting the calls right?

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 07:55 AM
I like the game the way it is. I don't want it to become like a video game with computerization controlling everything. People that whine about the strike zone just want to whine. Umpires have been a part of the game for as long as the game has been around and for the most part, they do a phenomenal job and get the majority of calls correct. I don't want to lose that part of the game to some "computer techno crap" on every pitch. Yes, I like tradition, and it is a huge part of the game. I don't want a sterile, colorless, robotic, game of baseball.

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 08:10 AM
It is rare that a pitch traveling 90 MPH will radically change course in the 2 foot or so distance from the plate to the catchers mitt.

It is real easy for people to sit on a message board and proclaim they know the best way to call balls and strikes, but unless you have ever called balls and strikes in real life you really don't know.

Right on the money. Appreciate guys like you, George, who take umpiring very seriously, and take the time to go out every week and weekend and make a positive contribution to the game you love. Respect the game! :beerme:

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 08:14 AM
doug the human element of a catchers skill in framing a pitch and an umpires human reaction in response to that framing is part of the game and art of baseball. I don't want automaton ball where everything is computerized down to the last spot - its darn close to that now anyway. Instead of whining about how unfair it is that Molina or Hanigan or Martin give their team an unfair advantage how about getting rid of catchers with lousy skills behind the dish? ITS A SKILL - no different from any other baseball skill.

A very valuable skill.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 09:26 AM
I like the game the way it is. I don't want it to become like a video game with computerization controlling everything. People that whine about the strike zone just want to whine. Umpires have been a part of the game for as long as the game has been around and for the most part, they do a phenomenal job and get the majority of calls correct. I don't want to lose that part of the game to some "computer techno crap" on every pitch. Yes, I like tradition, and it is a huge part of the game. I don't want a sterile, colorless, robotic, game of baseball.

No, I want the calls to be right.

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 09:49 AM
No, I want the calls to be right.

You're entitled to your opinion.

gonelong
02-09-2012, 09:51 AM
I like the game the way it is. I don't want it to become like a video game with computerization controlling everything. People that whine about the strike zone just want to whine.

Frankly, I percieve the whining to be from the more traditional viewpoint.



Umpires have been a part of the game for as long as the game has been around and for the most part, they do a phenomenal job and get the majority of calls correct.

I agree, and will add that most people have no concept of how difficult a job it is to get correctly.


I don't want to lose that part of the game to some "computer techno crap" on every pitch. Yes, I like tradition, and it is a huge part of the game. I don't want a sterile, colorless, robotic, game of baseball.

I can't agree with this at all. If an automated process is *significantly* more accurate and can be reliable and cost effective, then implement it. Ball and strike calls are not a "part of the game" to be removed. Inaccurate ball and strike calls are.

So here's the deal. A decade ago I made the call that statistical study would have to eventually take hold (not replace) in front offices for one simple reason. It offered improvement for those that understood the tools.

It is inevitable that human Ball/Strike calls will eventually be replaced. The only question is how long will it take.

GL

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 10:17 AM
You're entitled to your opinion.

So you would rather have calls not be correct at a significantly higher rate?

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 10:27 AM
No, but the fact, and they are facts at this point, remains, that how a catcher receives the ball changes the call. And it shouldn't. At all. I don't have to have called balls and strikes to know that the way that it's being done today is a far inferior way than what we could be doing. Some catchers are getting extreme style point for how they catch the ball, while others are getting extreme deductions for how they catch the ball. How one catches the ball should have no bearing as to whether it is a strike or not. Since we can actually make that happen at this point, why aren't we? Because tradition is better than getting the calls right?

I am under the understanding that you want to umpire to track the ball to the plate and then stop following the pitch because anything the ball does after it crosses the plate does not matter.

Here is a good reason why that does not work.

http://www.umpire.org/writers/plate1.html

Some people follow the ball to the plate and then quit. We call this "zoning the pitch" and it produces inconsistent results. As a new umpire you must have someone else watch your eyeballs to make sure that you are tracking properly.* (i.e. all the way to the catcher’s mitt.) Obviously this must be done in a controlled situation (in a batting cage with a pitching machine) and not in a ballgame. If you still have problems, have the instructor hold the ball with his hand and move it slowly through the strike zone and into the catcher’s glove as you track it.
As we age, each of our eyes develops different vision and each deteriorates at different rates. For young umpires this is not a problem and the pro school method of having the head square to the pitcher works well. However, with this method, as the pitch crosses the plate it will pass out of the vision of one eye just before it enters the catcher’s glove. This is because the nose gets in the way of the one eye. Try this experiment right now. Stand up with you head straight-ahead. Now, without moving your head, focus on a point on the floor about 8 feet away that is 75 degrees to your right. Your eyeballs will move that far. Keep focused on this spot. With your right hand, cover your right eye. You can no longer see the spot that you were focused on with your left eye because your nose is blocking the view. Your right eye only was seeing that spot. This is what would happen to you on a low outside pitch. The low outside pitch is the number one problem for inconsistency in ball strike calling. So, to see this pitch with two eyes, square your head with your body.* Remember, your body was pointed at the second baseman for a right hand batter, so now your head is too. Rotate your eyeballs10-15 degrees left to see the ball leave the pitchers hand. Your eyes will now be pointed straight ahead as the ball moves across the plate. The eyes are best capable of depth perception when they are pointed straight ahead. (Warning: Do not attempt to do this without help. I have seen a number of umpires rotate the head too far or rotate the shoulder at a weird angle. If done correctly, the earflap on your mask will protect you. If done incorrectly, the phrase, "IN YOUR EAR" could have a whole new meaning that your do not want to know about.)

This is a little league umpires perspective but it is correct.

http://www.infosports.com/baseball/arch/1905.htm


1. Don�t move that glove! - When you catch a pitch on the outside
corner, do not move your glove over the plate in a futile attempt to
fool the umpire. All umpires watch the ball come into your glove.
There�s no fooling them. And what�s worse, you�ve announced to the
better part of the crowd that you, the catcher - the player with the
best seat in the house for balls and strikes - thought the pitch was
outside. If it was over the corner and a strike why would you move
your glove? It makes it awfully difficult to call a strike. You�ve made
up our mind for us. Instead, try holding the glove right where you
caught the ball (but never after the call - see #8). That way, you�ll
make your umpire consider calling that pitch and future pitches as
well. It really is beneficial for you as a catcher to simply �frame� the
close pitches. Try it - you�ll like it.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 10:36 AM
I am under the understanding that you want to umpire to track the ball to the plate and then stop following the pitch because anything the ball does after it crosses the plate does not matter.


I appreciate the info, but at the end of the day, the umpires in the Majors, who are the best of the best, are still getting it wrong at an amount that shouldn't be happening when we have better ways to do it. Again, over a full seasons worth of games, the difference between the best and worst was 80 runs. That was the difference this year between Jose Buatista and Casey McGehee. That, to me, is unacceptable when we have ways of correcting it. I don't care how the umpire does their job, I just want them to do it right. And this data shows that they aren't. However it is that they are calling balls and strikes, is not working as good as it could be, or even close to it.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 10:42 AM
I appreciate the info, but at the end of the day, the umpires in the Majors, who are the best of the best, are still getting it wrong at an amount that shouldn't be happening when we have better ways to do it. Again, over a full seasons worth of games, the difference between the best and worst was 80 runs. That was the difference this year between Jose Buatista and Casey McGehee. That, to me, is unacceptable when we have ways of correcting it. I don't care how the umpire does their job, I just want them to do it right. And this data shows that they aren't. However it is that they are calling balls and strikes, is not working as good as it could be, or even close to it.

But what are the better ways?

If you wanna go the Questec route go ahead. However like i have said numerous times wake me up and tell me when it is being implemented. To this day no computerized system is being used anywhere in organized baseball so I don't see it being used at the MLB level any time soon. Even if it is implemented tomorrow do we know how well it will work or even if it will work? There are alot of unknowns about a computerized system calling balls and strikes and so far there really isn't much of a movement to go that route.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 10:45 AM
Right on the money. Appreciate guys like you, George, who take umpiring very seriously, and take the time to go out every week and weekend and make a positive contribution to the game you love. Respect the game! :beerme:

Thanks Randy, hopefully I do a Brownsburg game his year and you get to see me and hopefully I don't screw it up to bad. ;)

RedlegJake
02-09-2012, 10:47 AM
I want human umpires. Period. I don't like the idea of a computer calling balls and strikes at all. I like the difference an inch makes between different umps and different pitchers trying to adjust to different umps. Its part of the game, part of the woof and weave of the game as it has always been played. I do think you use computers and cameras to rate and grade umps and train them, and when they fall out of a certain scale they get replaced if they don't tighten up their quality. I also don;t want umps replaced at the bases by cameras that flash the runner and the ball in the glove to make a call on whether the ball or the runner got there first - its judgement and that has always been part of the game. Umps should be able to make a call for assistance if they feel they might have been out of position or turned around for whatever reason - and maybe a manager should be given a challenge once a game or something like that, but removing umps from the game? No way.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 11:07 AM
But what are the better ways?

If you wanna go the Questec route go ahead. However like i have said numerous times wake me up and tell me when it is being implemented. To this day no computerized system is being used anywhere in organized baseball so I don't see it being used at the MLB level any time soon. Even if it is implemented tomorrow do we know how well it will work or even if it will work? There are alot of unknowns about a computerized system calling balls and strikes and so far there really isn't much of a movement to go that route.

The Pitch F/X system is installed in every park and has been since 2009. There are known calibration issues, but those can be checked before each game and corrected. Right now, they aren't corrected as quickly as that.

It won't happen anytime soon. Doesn't mean it shouldn't.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 11:33 AM
The Pitch F/X system is installed in every park and has been since 2009. There are known calibration issues, but those can be checked before each game and corrected. Right now, they aren't corrected as quickly as that.

It won't happen anytime soon. Doesn't mean it shouldn't.

I am not 100% opposed to a computerized system being used.

There are just a bunch of questions and concerns about it and like i said, it is being used no where in organized baseball and there is hardly a ground swell other than on this board to even consider using it.

dougdirt
02-09-2012, 11:35 AM
I am not 100% opposed to a computerized system being used.

There are just a bunch of questions and concerns about it and like i said, it is being used no where in organized baseball and there is hardly a ground swell other than on this board to even consider using it.

I think there are more people in favor of it than you are giving credit for, but that number is incredibly small still. I imagine that it is small because people simply don't know or care about just how much of a difference is actually being made by incorrect calls or that such a system is in place to correct those calls.

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 12:02 PM
George, do you notice the really good catchers catching the ball with their gloves turned to the side on the corners, thumb up on pitches on the inside corner to right-handed hitters and thumb down on pitches on the outside corner to right-handed hitters?

With my son being a lefthanded hitter, one thing that I have noticed with a lot of umpires, is it seems they are more likely to call strikes on left-handed hitters on pitches on the outside corner than the inside corner. Matt has noticed this pattern and it influences the location of pitches that he swings. All umpires are a little different and I usually won't complain as long as they are consistent. Most of the kids that I have coached never have a problem with the strike zone as long as the consistency is there. My comment is always, "Make the adjustment and move on. Both teams are playing with the same strike zone."

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 12:18 PM
George, do you notice the really good catchers catching the ball with their gloves turned to the side on the corners, thumb up on pitches on the inside corner to right-handed hitters and thumb down on pitches on the outside corner to right-handed hitters?

With my son being a lefthanded hitter, one thing that I have noticed with a lot of umpires, is it seems they are more likely to call strikes on left-handed hitters on pitches on the outside corner than the inside corner. Matt has noticed this pattern and it influences the location of pitches that he swings. All umpires are a little different and I usually won't complain as long as they are consistent. Most of the kids that I have coached never have a problem with the strike zone as long as the consistency is there. My comment is always, "Make the adjustment and move on. Both teams are playing with the same strike zone."

To answer your question, it isn't something I have thought alot about but that does seem to be the case that the really good catchers do seem to catch the ball in that manner. I am not sure why because I am hardly a catching coach but looking back that does seem to be the case.

I tend to have a pretty aggresive zone in that i call alot of strikes. Inside pitches I have no problem calling and in fact our association teaches to call the inside strike. Calling the outside corner with a LH batter is something I still kinda struggle with to this day. If I have errored one way or the other on pitches on the outside corner against a LH batter it is that I have been a little to aggressive in calling a pitch outside a strike. But that just goes with my overall aggresive manner in that I look for strikes. If the pitch is close I more often than not call it a strike. It really is how the coaches in central Indiana want the game called and as an umpire calling strikes makes the game so much better. A walkfest is a bore.

remdog
02-09-2012, 12:33 PM
Yeah, I've gotta' go with Doug on this one. Many of you know that I'm a big tennis fan. Shot Spot has so improved the matches that it's almost unthinkable that they didn't have it sooner. Tennis is a perfect game for it because the zones are 'static'.

Baseball strike zones are also 'static'. The ability is (and has been) there for years to adjust the strikezone for every player. We all see it on TV, the internet websites, etc.

I want the calls to be correct and, honestly, I see a lot of umpires that miss pitches.

Rem

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 01:05 PM
To answer your question, it isn't something I have thought alot about but that does seem to be the case that the really good catchers do seem to catch the ball in that manner. I am not sure why because I am hardly a catching coach but looking back that does seem to be the case.

I tend to have a pretty aggresive zone in that i call alot of strikes. Inside pitches I have no problem calling and in fact our association teaches to call the inside strike. Calling the outside corner with a LH batter is something I still kinda struggle with to this day. If I have errored one way or the other on pitches on the outside corner against a LH batter it is that I have been a little to aggressive in calling a pitch outside a strike. But that just goes with my overall aggresive manner in that I look for strikes. If the pitch is close I more often than not call it a strike. It really is how the coaches in central Indiana want the game called and as an umpire calling strikes makes the game so much better. A walkfest is a bore.

The reason they catch the ball that way is to not have a majority of the mitt outside the strikezone. They catch the ball in the same place but not as much of the glove is outside of the zone and tends to get some calls on the black. I like for umpires to call aggressively. Young pitchers in tournament situations get enough work without having their pitch counts skyrocket by having to throw it in a tea-cup.

George Anderson
02-09-2012, 02:54 PM
The reason they catch the ball that way is to not have a majority of the mitt outside the strikezone. They catch the ball in the same place but not as much of the glove is outside of the zone and tends to get some calls on the black. I like for umpires to call aggressively. Young pitchers in tournament situations get enough work without having their pitch counts skyrocket by having to throw it in a tea-cup.

That is interesting, I didn't know that but it does make sense because perception is important when judging balls and strikes.

Encourage your son to be aggressive at the plate. Brownsburg uses our association and as a rule our guys are all pretty aggressive in calling strikes. On occasion you will get a D1 guy behind the plate calling a D1 zone but for the most part everyone including most D1 guys are aggressive calling strikes.

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 04:08 PM
That is interesting, I didn't know that but it does make sense because perception is important when judging balls and strikes.

Encourage your son to be aggressive at the plate. Brownsburg uses our association and as a rule our guys are all pretty aggressive in calling strikes. On occasion you will get a D1 guy behind the plate calling a D1 zone but for the most part everyone including most D1 guys are aggressive calling strikes.

Thanks for the heads up, George. Just the opposite in NC. They are very tight and even at the middle school level, you get the D1 zone more often than not.

gonelong
02-09-2012, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the heads up, George. Just the opposite in NC. They are very tight and even at the middle school level, you get the D1 zone more often than not.

I always prefered a looser strikezone, but you have to tighten it up as you move up in skill level IMO.

I like to see the kids getting the bat off their shoulder and calling the strikezone so tight makes it difficult on young arms.

GL

RANDY IN INDY
02-09-2012, 04:19 PM
The looser strike zone usually makes for a much better game. Reminds me of the story of the umpire who called a strike on the hitter. The hitter looked back at the umpire and said, "You missed that one," to which the umpire replied, "I wouldn't have if I had that bat that you won't swing in my hands."

RedsManRick
02-10-2012, 01:37 AM
I like the game the way it is. I don't want it to become like a video game with computerization controlling everything. People that whine about the strike zone just want to whine. Umpires have been a part of the game for as long as the game has been around and for the most part, they do a phenomenal job and get the majority of calls correct. I don't want to lose that part of the game to some "computer techno crap" on every pitch. Yes, I like tradition, and it is a huge part of the game. I don't want a sterile, colorless, robotic, game of baseball.

And here I thought people watched baseball to see the players compete against each other. I didn't realize that umpire inconsistency is what brought life and color to the game.

That said, we agree on the size of the zone. My biggest grip about umps is their fundamental inability to call the corners with any reliability. Most umps call a zone that is smaller than the real one. http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-eye-of-the-umpire/
http://www.hardballtimes.com/images/uploads/sz_results2.png

If MLB really wanted to speed up the games, they'd make the umps enforce the true strike zone. Doing that would result in more swings, more action, and a greater ability for the really good pitchers to differentiate themselves. That's a significant part of the reason I support technology-assisted umpiring.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 01:52 PM
And here I thought people watched baseball to see the players compete against each other. I didn't realize that umpire inconsistency is what brought life and color to the game.

Well, that's pretty narrow, and quite antagonistic, I think.

For the record, I have been a proponent of the strike zone being called as defined. Humans can do that and I've seen it done, personally, on a fairly regular basis. The problem comes when people think that the strike zone needs to shrink, due to the competition level, and there are a lot of umpires that are guilty of this line of thinking. I think that it can be handled at the executive level without getting rid of the umpires and implementing computers. If you don't call the zone as defined, welcome to the minor leagues.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 02:05 PM
I always thought that Earl Weaver and Marty Springstead were pretty colorful, much more colorful than Earl arguing with Questec.

George Anderson
02-10-2012, 02:10 PM
I always thought that Earl Weaver and Marty Springstead were pretty colorful, much more colorful than Earl arguing with Questec.

I am not opposed to one day using a computerized system of calling balls and strikes but I gaurandamtee you that people will still complain about the zone no matter who or what is calling it

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 02:23 PM
I am not opposed to one day using a computerized system of calling balls and strikes but I gaurandamtee you that people will still complain about the zone no matter who or what is calling it

Without a doubt. I can see it now. The computerized system getting out of calibration during the Playoffs or World Series and managers and players heads exploding on-screen.:laugh:

757690
02-10-2012, 02:47 PM
I really don't see this as an either/or in terms of technology/human umpires. The game will always need human umpires for many of the calls and rule interpretations, But there is no reason why they can't use sensors for foul lines, the bases, and where the ball crosses the plate. Umpires would still be needed to call whether the ball beat the runner, or whether the pitched ball was within each hitter's strike zone based on his height.

As I have always said, if the technology we have now was available when Baseball was invented, they would have used it.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 04:04 PM
I guess that I'm just not seeing that the ball and strike calls are harming the game to the extent that they completely need to revamp that part of the game. I guess it would be interesting to see what Major League players, managers and executives, as well as the umpires union, think about making such a big change

dougdirt
02-10-2012, 06:10 PM
I guess that I'm just not seeing that the ball and strike calls are harming the game to the extent that they completely need to revamp that part of the game. I guess it would be interesting to see what Major League players, managers and executives, as well as the umpires union, think about making such a big change

You don't see an 80 run difference harming the game to an extent to revamp how the rules are changed, when there shouldn't be ANY difference?

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 07:03 PM
No, I'm not getting my underwear in knots about it.

AtomicDumpling
02-10-2012, 07:18 PM
As a former player I know there is nothing that ruins a fun game as much as being called out on a "strike" you know was not really a strike.

As a fan, nothing ruins your day as much as knowing your team lost a game because of poor umpiring.

As an American I have a sense of fairness. People (and players) should get what they earn. Your success or failure should be determined by your skill, brains and effort -- not because of random events, blown calls or favoritism.

Ultimately the goal of a sport is to reward the team that played better with a win. Allowing random events or poor officiating to determine the outcome makes the sport more like a lottery than a contest of skill.

I just want the calls to be correct. If technology can make that happen better than human umpires then it should be implemented. I don't know if that technology exists right now or not, but I would imagine if MLB really set their minds to it they could make it happen fairly quickly.

camisadelgolf
02-10-2012, 07:56 PM
I don't think anyone is doubting that a computer is potentially more accurate than a human when it comes to calling balls and strikes. However, I have yet to read anything that convinces me it would actually improve the game.

Believe me--I like things to be fair. When they're not, I become the most stubborn jerk of anyone I know; it's pathetic, really. That said, I wouldn't mind keeping humans as MLB umpires. Sometimes, games are more enjoyable, legendary, memorable, etc. when human error comes into play.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 08:00 PM
I honestly have not heard a lot of complaints by players or managers. I hear more complaints on these type issues, here, than anywhere else.

dougdirt
02-10-2012, 08:06 PM
No, I'm not getting my underwear in knots about it.

So the fact that the difference is as large as the difference between an MVP caliber player and a random AAA call up for something that shouldn't be happening isn't worth bothering to fix?


I honestly have not heard a lot of complaints by players or managers. I hear more complaints on these type issues, here, than anywhere else.
To be honest, players and managers probably don't have a clue that such a study exists. So the fact that they aren't complaining about it doesn't really mean much.

camisadelgolf
02-10-2012, 08:16 PM
So the fact that the difference is as large as the difference between an MVP caliber player and a random AAA call up for something that shouldn't be happening isn't worth bothering to fix?


To be honest, players and managers probably don't have a clue that such a study exists. So the fact that they aren't complaining about it doesn't really mean much.
To be honest, players and managers probably recognize receiving as a skill at which a catcher can be good or bad. If it's a skill, then you should spend your energy trying to improve it as opposed to complaining. In fact, it's so much of a skill that it helps explain why we see so many catchers play MLB despite clearly not being able to hit. That's how things are now, and that's how they have always been. Changing it now could have major implications. If it's the last change MLB does toward becoming less 'human', I don't have a problem with it, but I just worry about where things could go beyond that. At a certain point, you have to be less anal about the rules and more focused on having fun.

dougdirt
02-10-2012, 08:23 PM
To be honest, players and managers probably recognize receiving as a skill at which a catcher can be good or bad. If it's a skill, then you should spend your energy trying to improve it as opposed to complaining. In fact, it's so much of a skill that it helps explain why we see so many catchers play MLB despite clearly not being able to hit. That's how things are now, and that's how they have always been. Changing it now could have major implications. If it's the last change MLB does toward becoming less 'human', I don't have a problem with it, but I just worry about where things could go beyond that. At a certain point, you have to be less anal about the rules and more focused on having fun.

It is a skill. But, it shouldn't be. It is like being skilled at making a diving catch when you don't need to. It might win you a gold glove or 5, but that doesn't mean it should. The strikezone is the strikezone. It is like starting to call home runs because they looked like them off of the bat, but then wound up going off the wall. They weren't home runs. Don't call them that. Strikes are strikes and balls are balls.

edabbs44
02-10-2012, 08:48 PM
Doug, do you truly believe that the 80 run difference is accurate?

dougdirt
02-10-2012, 08:51 PM
Doug, do you truly believe that the 80 run difference is accurate?

Well, that is assuming the best and worst catcher plays 162 games, which doesn't happen. But still, even if its the difference between Jay Bruce and a random AAA call up, that is an incredibly large difference that shouldn't be happening.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 09:18 PM
I guess I'm looking at it from the perspective of a former player, and as a coach. First, I don't think anyone that matters is complaining and honestly, I think it is pretty anal. I'm not really sure how anyone can throw some formula together and come out and say, unequivocally, that the difference amounts to 80 runs without throwing a pitch, swinging a bat, running the bases, or playing defense. All those things, and the people who are doing them, are still pretty important, last time I checked. Seems a lot of assuming going on there. I don't really buy it.

I'm not really going to waste any more time on it since it doesn't seem to be happening any time in the near future, which is fine and dandy with me. I just finished watching a classic Earl Weaver arguing with the umpire. Part of the game.

dougdirt
02-10-2012, 10:11 PM
I guess I'm looking at it from the perspective of a former player, and as a coach. First, I don't think anyone that matters is complaining and honestly, I think it is pretty anal. I'm not really sure how anyone can throw some formula together and come out and say, unequivocally, that the difference amounts to 80 runs without throwing a pitch, swinging a bat, running the bases, or playing defense. All those things, and the people who are doing them, are still pretty important, last time I checked. Seems a lot of assuming going on there. I don't really buy it.
It is based on linear weights. The value of a strike and the value of a ball and how those values have played out over the course of millions of pitches throughout our recent history. Sure, its a hypothetical number.... but its based on what has actually happened in similar situations. When hitters are behind in the count, we know that they hit worse. When hitters are ahead in the count, we know that they hit better. What linear weights have done, is assign the value in how much a ball or strike changes an at bat.

And don't you think that "people who matter" would complain if they were shown that a misinterpretation could be costing their team multiple games a season while giving their rivals multiple games per year?



I'm not really going to waste any more time on it since it doesn't seem to be happening any time in the near future, which is fine and dandy with me. I just finished watching a classic Earl Weaver arguing with the umpire. Part of the game.
Lots of things were part of the game at one time that aren't now. Replay didn't used to be there. Now it is. Hitters used to be able to tell the pitcher where they wanted the ball pitched. Balls that bounced over walls used to be considered home runs. There didn't used to be a DH. I could keep going.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 10:50 PM
It is based on linear weights. The value of a strike and the value of a ball and how those values have played out over the course of millions of pitches throughout our recent history. Sure, its a hypothetical number.... but its based on what has actually happened in similar situations. When hitters are behind in the count, we know that they hit worse. When hitters are ahead in the count, we know that they hit better. What linear weights have done, is assign the value in how much a ball or strike changes an at bat.

And don't you think that "people who matter" would complain if they were shown that a misinterpretation could be costing their team multiple games a season while giving their rivals multiple games per year?


Lots of things were part of the game at one time that aren't now. Replay didn't used to be there. Now it is. Hitters used to be able to tell the pitcher where they wanted the ball pitched. Balls that bounced over walls used to be considered home runs. There didn't used to be a DH. I could keep going.

OK, if that's what makes you tick.

RANDY IN INDY
02-10-2012, 10:53 PM
And I would suggest that people that matter would better spend theit time looking for better pitchers and catchers.

George Anderson
02-10-2012, 10:53 PM
It is a skill. But, it shouldn't be. It is like being skilled at making a diving catch when you don't need to. It might win you a gold glove or 5, but that doesn't mean it should. The strikezone is the strikezone. It is like starting to call home runs because they looked like them off of the bat, but then wound up going off the wall. They weren't home runs. Don't call them that. Strikes are strikes and balls are balls.

This is what I think your missing. A catcher who does not catch the ball properly will usually only hurt his team and not benefit it. There is no pizzaz or showmanship with catching the ball properly like with the examples you gave above. If a catcher is bouncing around behind the plate, doesn't catch the ball out front and sticks it for the umpire to see then the vast majority of the time the umpire will give the benefit of doubt on a pitch to the batter because the catcher by his actions is not allowing him to see where the pitch was caught. It goes back to the links I showed you yesterday in that the umpire is trained for good reason to follow the ball all the way to the catchers mitt and if that catchers mitt is doing anything to make the umpire question whether the pitch was a strike or not it is going to hurt the defensive team.

Now to be fair I will tell you that there are a few catchers that are very good are framing usually outside or low pitches a few inches out of the zone as strikes. This happens because the umpire did not do the proper mechanic of following the ball all the way to the mitt but instead loses track of it just before the plate or on the plate and then looks where the catchers mitt is milliseconds after the pitch is caught. In this instance if you have a catcher framing a ball as a strike the umpire will look down and see where the mitt is and call it incorrectly a strike. Had the umpire followed the pitch in a directly into the mitt then the catcher's attempt to frame the pitch won't work. At the MLB level I watch the umpires very closely and the vast majority of the time this happens is on low pitches where the ball is say 2-3 inches below the knee but the catcher raises his mitt after the pitch is caught to get a strike call. It generally is easier for a catcher to get away with this on the low pitches because it is harder for an umpire to see as opposed to the corners and chest level pitches. However while I know framing pitches for strikes does happen at the MLB level it doesn't work with much frequency. Regardless i think the article was more so about catchers just not doing things properly by catching the ball out front, not moving around and giving the umpire the best view possible of the pitch and not so much with deception as I just described.

RedsManRick
02-10-2012, 11:03 PM
This is what I think your missing. A catcher who does not catch the ball properly will usually only hurt his team and not benefit it. There is no pizzaz or showmanship with catching the ball properly like with the examples you gave above. If a catcher is bouncing around behind the plate, doesn't catch the ball out front and sticks it for the umpire to see then the vast majority of the time the umpire will give the benefit of doubt on a pitch to the batter because the catcher by his actions is not allowing him to see where the pitch was caught. It goes back to the links I showed you yesterday in that the umpire is trained for good reason to follow the ball all the way to the catchers mitt and if that catchers mitt is doing anything to make the umpire question whether the pitch was a strike or not it is going to hurt the defensive team.

I think this is precisely Doug's point. Why should the catcher's movement behind the plate have anything to do with whether or not a pitch is called a strike? Where in the rulebook definition of the strike zone does the place the catcher catches it come in to play?

So yeah, there is a catching skill that has real influence over whether or not the rules can be properly enforced. Why is this a good thing? Why should it be the catcher's job to make sure the ump can do his job well? Wouldn't a better system be one where the ball is ruled a ball or strike based on whether or not it passes through the strike zone, regardless of whether the catcher is bobbing his head or not?

George Anderson
02-10-2012, 11:21 PM
I think this is precisely Doug's point. Why should the catcher's movement behind the plate have anything to do with whether or not a pitch is called a strike? Where in the rulebook definition of the strike zone does the place the catcher catches it come in to play?

So yeah, there is a catching skill that has real influence over whether or not the rules can be properly enforced. Why is this a good thing? Why should it be the catcher's job to make sure the ump can do his job well? Wouldn't a better system be one where the ball is ruled a ball or strike based on whether or not it passes through the strike zone, regardless of whether the catcher is bobbing his head or not?

The proper mechanic of calling balls and strikes taught by MLB and every other level of baseball is to follow the ball to the mitt. I think people such as you think we should only judge where the ball crosses the plate and black out anything where the ball goes after that because it does not matter. Quite simply that does not work and the only real reason I can tell you is I know from experience.

When i am working with an umpire that is new to umpiring he will eventually struggle when calling a plate game. When I go in to talk to him in between innings he will ask what he is doing wrong. The first question i ask him is if he is calling the pitch as it crosses the plate or is he following the pitch to the mitt? ALWAYS in this instance the umpire will tell me he calls it how it crossed the plate and doesn't follow the pitch to the mitt. Their response typical to what most say including alot of people on this board is "I thought I was only supposed to judge the pitch as it crossed the plate". When I tell the struggling umpire to focus instead on following the ball to the mitt and judge the pitch partially to where the mitt is he ALWAYS improves.

RedsManRick
02-11-2012, 12:11 AM
The proper mechanic of calling balls and strikes taught by MLB and every other level of baseball is to follow the ball to the mitt. I think people such as you think we should only judge where the ball crosses the plate and black out anything where the ball goes after that because it does not matter. Quite simply that does not work and the only real reason I can tell you is I know from experience.

When i am working with an umpire that is new to umpiring he will eventually struggle when calling a plate game. When I go in to talk to him in between innings he will ask what he is doing wrong. The first question i ask him is if he is calling the pitch as it crosses the plate or is he following the pitch to the mitt? ALWAYS in this instance the umpire will tell me he calls it how it crossed the plate and doesn't follow the pitch to the mitt. Their response typical to what most say including alot of people on this board is "I thought I was only supposed to judge the pitch as it crossed the plate". When I tell the struggling umpire to focus instead on following the ball to the mitt and judge the pitch partially to where the mitt is he ALWAYS improves.

I don't think you're following. I really don't care how umps go about being as accurate as they can. They're trying to enforce a set of rules that are quite simple. If the ball travels through the strike zone, it should be a strike. That's it. I care about pitches that are rulebook strikes being called strikes and pitches that are rulebook balls being called balls.

I'm sure what you say about how umps can best do that is accurate. But to me, the ideas that tradition should matter in rule enforce confounds me. Just because a certain way of enforcing the rules was the best we could do at some point time doesn't mean it's the "right" way to do it or the best way to do it. If we can do a better job, we should.

The umps we have do essentially as well as it is physically possible for a human being to do. But I don't understand why we need be married to the idea of a human being having to make that judgment when we have a better tool for the job.

George Anderson
02-11-2012, 12:17 AM
I don't think you're following. I really don't care how umps go about being as accurate as they can. They're trying to enforce a set of rules that are quite simple. If the ball travels through the strike zone, it should be a strike. That's it. I care about pitches that are rulebook strikes being called strikes and pitches that are rulebook balls being called balls.

I'm sure what you say about how umps can best do that is accurate. But to me, the ideas that tradition should matter in rule enforce confounds me. Just because a certain way of enforcing the rules was the best we could do at some point time doesn't mean it's the "right" way to do it or the best way to do it. If we can do a better job, we should.

The umps we have do essentially as well as it is physically possible for a human being to do. But I don't understand why we need be married to the idea of a human being having to make that judgment when we have a better tool for the job.

I assume you are calling for a computerized system to call balls and strikes as opposed to humans. I am not at all opposed to such a thing but like I have said umpteen times, it is not going to happen anytime soon.

RANDY IN INDY
02-11-2012, 12:23 AM
Yeah, at some point, you can probably create some drones to play the game that will perform better than humans, too.

Hey, you can get computerized ball strike calls right now on MLB 2012.

kaldaniels
02-11-2012, 12:31 AM
If we did have a 3D laser system to call balls and strikes, could it be exploited by major league pitchers to their advantage? All you'd have to do is nick that corner somehow.

AtomicDumpling
02-11-2012, 05:16 AM
If we did have a 3D laser system to call balls and strikes, could it be exploited by major league pitchers to their advantage? All you'd have to do is nick that corner somehow.

True, you can bet someone will find a way to gain an edge. Nicking the corner is a strike so I don't think that would be exploiting the system.

Now we have a system where some pitchers are getting strikes that are inches away from the plate while other pitchers do not get those calls.

RedsManRick
02-11-2012, 12:27 PM
Yeah, at some point, you can probably create some drones to play the game that will perform better than humans, too.

Hey, you can get computerized ball strike calls right now on MLB 2012.

Talk about antagonistic. I really cannot believe that you don't see a difference between the guys who actually play the game and the ones who merely enforce the rules they play by.

That said you do make a good point. If we're not careful with all this fancy technology, we'll have machines pulling carts instead horses and we'll be talking to pieces of plastic instead of face-to-face. We're clearly on the path to complete and utter dehumanization and should shun any advances that might doing the stuff that actually matters a little bit better.

RedsManRick
02-11-2012, 12:28 PM
If we did have a 3D laser system to call balls and strikes, could it be exploited by major league pitchers to their advantage? All you'd have to do is nick that corner somehow.

I don't follow. Isn't that precisely what they try to do right now? A big part of being a good pitcher is having the command to paint the corners. Only difference is that we'd have a corner that didn't change from one ump to the next or one pitch to the next. Isn't that better than having to rely on the catcher holding his glove a certain way to have a strike actually called as such?

RedsManRick
02-11-2012, 12:31 PM
I assume you are calling for a computerized system to call balls and strikes as opposed to humans. I am not at all opposed to such a thing but like I have said umpteen times, it is not going to happen anytime soon.

I think it should be a goal. I certainly wouldn't simply flip a switch, but I'd be trying to make it happen. I'd only make the switch once we had a system in place that was proven to work better than our current umpiring system does. And even then, I'd still have an ump behind the plate to actually signal the call, manage the crew, etc.

RANDY IN INDY
02-11-2012, 12:56 PM
Talk about antagonistic. I really cannot believe that you don't see a difference between the guys who actually play the game and the ones who merely enforce the rules they play by.

That said you do make a good point. If we're not careful with all this fancy technology, we'll have machines pulling carts instead horses and we'll be talking to pieces of plastic instead of face-to-face. We're clearly on the path to complete and utter dehumanization and should shun any advances that might doing the stuff that actually matters a little bit better.

Doesn't feel as good on the other end, does it. If you want all the latest techno gadgets in the game, that's fine. I don't have to fall in line because you said so. The game is good and enjoyable for me without the gadgets. I hope it stays that way for a while. Maybe you'll get all the latest greatest techno gadgets that you want some day. When all that takes over, I'll probably be fishing somewhere and not watching.

nate
02-11-2012, 01:00 PM
I'd be OK with a transitionary period where each manager got one "pitch challenge" call per game that could be verified by the system. This is similar to football challenges; I think it would be fun and if it's an automated system, it wouldn't slow the game down too much.

Yes, it would probably show up some of the umpires, for awhile. I would guess they'd eventually learn to start calling a more consistent zone in order to avoid embarrassment.

Or not!

757690
02-11-2012, 02:09 PM
Doesn't feel as good on the other end, does it. If you want all the latest techno gadgets in the game, that's fine. I don't have to fall in line because you said so. The game is good and enjoyable for me without the gadgets. I hope it stays that way for a while. Maybe you'll get all the latest greatest techno gadgets that you want some day. When all that takes over, I'll probably be fishing somewhere and not watching.

Just curiously, if this was the 1880's and you starting a new professional Baseball League, and the technology that exists today existed then, would you ignore it?

This reminds me of the argument between film and digital cameras. Film is an inferior product and the final product is full of flaws, however, these flaws gave film a certain look that people got used to and considered "warm." Digital provides a more realistic, clear final product, which many people who are used to film, consider "cold." However, kids now who grow up on digital, prefer it, and just see film and old and grainy.

I think the same thing will happen when technology is added to baseball on calls. People who grow up on it will understand it is a superior product, and not miss the inferior human element we have today.

kaldaniels
02-11-2012, 02:17 PM
I don't follow. Isn't that precisely what they try to do right now? A big part of being a good pitcher is having the command to paint the corners. Only difference is that we'd have a corner that didn't change from one ump to the next or one pitch to the next. Isn't that better than having to rely on the catcher holding his glove a certain way to have a strike actually called as such?

I'm not upset about the idea so don't get me wrong. I just wonder if the front edge of home plate is being properly called right now. A breaking ball that just nips the front point of home would be real tough to do anything with, but it is a strike. We just might see more Arroyo-like curves in my view.

remdog
02-11-2012, 02:39 PM
I'll just reiterate what I said before: tennis has shot spot. It's extreamely accurate, the players get 3 challenges per set and, honestly, the fans love it. It provides the correct call and linespeople don't get upset about it.

The strike zone could be equally as easy since it could be ajdusted to each batter. You get three challenges per game, if you're right, you retain it. If you're wrong you lose a challenge.

Home plate umpires would be there to call foul tips caught, plays at the plate and a few other things.

Personally, I don't get why people don't want to to move on with new technology---and I'm an 'old geezer'. (famous shrug)

Rem