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dougdirt
11-18-2012, 02:32 PM
The rule is based on the strike zone as the batter is in the box. If you calibrate a zone for a player to be hardwired, then you will not be accurately enforcing the strike zone as it is in the rulebook.

The umpires don't enforce the strikezone as it is in the rulebook.

westofyou
11-18-2012, 02:39 PM
The umpires don't enforce the strikezone as it is in the rulebook.

But they could, it would be EASY to enforce.

George Anderson
11-18-2012, 02:48 PM
The umpires don't enforce the strikezone as it is in the rulebook.

Yes they do to the best of their abilities.

Now I know your going to say their ability is not good and there is a better way to call balls and strikes using technology. My response is then to get MLB to get moving on this project and show us how its done.

George Anderson
11-18-2012, 02:51 PM
I was unaware that they've invented cameras that can make an instant and independent assessment of whether a tag has been made before a runner touches the plate.

."

The NFL does a very good job of using instant replay to overturn calls and get them right. A system does not have to be automated or instant if the desire is to get all the calls on the field as accurate as possible.

M2
11-18-2012, 03:02 PM
The rule is based on the strike zone as the batter is in the box. If you calibrate a zone for a player to be hardwired, then you will not be accurately enforcing the strike zone as it is in the rulebook.

And I've always considered that practice flawed by nature, so what I'm saying is I'm in favor of ditching it.

M2
11-18-2012, 03:09 PM
The NFL does a very good job of using instant replay to overturn calls and get them right. A system does not have to be automated or instant if the desire is to get all the calls on the field as accurate as possible.

It only needs to be automated if you care about the pace of the game. Since I care about the pace of the game and don't wish to see every call on the field turned into a CSI episode (and I think we agree on that), I'm only looking for the use of technology in cases where it's streamlined.

dougdirt
11-18-2012, 03:34 PM
Yes they do to the best of their abilities.

Now I know your going to say their ability is not good and there is a better way to call balls and strikes using technology. My response is then to get MLB to get moving on this project and show us how its done.

I don't care about anything in regards to the best of their abilities.

MLB doesn't care what I think.

Brutus
11-18-2012, 04:22 PM
And I've always considered that practice flawed by nature, so what I'm saying is I'm in favor of ditching it.

How would you propose setting the zone for each player? If you do it based on an initial observation, then all a player would have to do is crouch more than usual to set a smaller zone, and then indefinitely could benefit from a tight strike zone.

M2
11-18-2012, 10:09 PM
How would you propose setting the zone for each player? If you do it based on an initial observation, then all a player would have to do is crouch more than usual to set a smaller zone, and then indefinitely could benefit from a tight strike zone.

Measure them standing straight and use a standard adjustment for everyone (e.g. 85% of total measurement with a 5% downward shift for the zone). Honestly, it's kind of crazy that players have been able to crouch their way out of the high strike.

Roy Tucker
11-18-2012, 11:05 PM
Hasn't that been part of the game for like 100 years?

And now we're changing the strike zone so the system can measure it better?

westofyou
11-18-2012, 11:13 PM
Why do they still use chains in football?

AtomicDumpling
11-19-2012, 12:08 AM
Why do they still use chains in football?

Because they eliminate a referee's judgement call.

Brutus
11-19-2012, 01:38 AM
Measure them standing straight and use a standard adjustment for everyone (e.g. 85% of total measurement with a 5% downward shift for the zone). Honestly, it's kind of crazy that players have been able to crouch their way out of the high strike.

In theory, it's a fine idea but in practice I'm not sure it goes over too well.

While the technology might permit that right now for Major League baseball, strike zones cannot be called like that in Little League, Babe Ruth, high school or college. So basically you're asking a player to change a batting approach they've probably used their post-adolescent lifetime, and alter it because you're essentially changing the strike zone on them.

KronoRed
11-19-2012, 03:34 AM
Because they eliminate a referee's judgement call.

Except they don't, there are refs out there who think the first down line is the end of the chain and others who say it is the end of the chain plus the pole.

blumj
11-19-2012, 05:55 AM
But the chains function to settle the dispute, nobody keeps arguing after the measurement. The only comparable in baseball I can think of at the moment is when they actually use replay, everything else seems open to continuing an argument, even someone who's already been ejected is able to keep arguing.

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 10:32 AM
There is a guy watching the camera who sets it before each at bat based on the batters stance. Why would it be more difficult to click a mouse twice before each pitch when he already does it at the start of every at bat?

What happens when the mouse clicker loses his temper and wants to
"send a message" the batter? lol.. just kidding.

M2
11-19-2012, 10:34 AM
Hasn't that been part of the game for like 100 years?

And now we're changing the strike zone so the system can measure it better?

They've been gaming the strike zone since its inception. It's taken away the high strike and led to the outside strike call. The amorphous strike zone that we currently have isn't in the rule book. It's a notion, a Rorshach test.

Seems to me that a codified/standardized strike zone goes hand-in-hand with an automated system. It solves the problem you raised of bad data in. Don't contort yourself to ingest bad data, cut it out of the equation. The point is to eliminate silliness and make the game fairer.

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 10:34 AM
You can almost tell by the posts on here who has real world experience implementing major systems/programs.

It is never as easy as flipping a switch on. There are probably hundreds of questions that need to be addressed and to pretend they don't exist is asking for trouble.

I agree, it would not be something that could be done overnight.
However, I have confidence they could roll it out in 3 years or less, including plenty of time testing in minor league stadiums.. 3 years seems like a pretty generous/safe timeline (It's a lot more time than most SW projects get).

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 10:41 AM
If they need a physical point of reference to establish the height of the strike zone, couldn't they just implement a very small sensor as a standard required part of the uniform.

The whole height issue could potentially easily be solved.
Measure the players and their stances at the beginning for the year.
Put that in a database.
Votto comes to plate, the low mark and high mark strikezone are automatically set.

You'd only need a way to make sure the players didn't cheat during the measuring session.. Maybe have them hit against a pitching machine in spring training 15 times with sensors on their uniform..

The nice thing about this is that the player would have the exact same strikezone for the entire year.

RANDY IN INDY
11-19-2012, 10:48 AM
The whole height issue could potentially easily be solved.
Measure the players and their stances at the beginning for the year.
Put that in a database.
Votto comes to plate, the low mark and high mark strikezone are automatically set.

You'd only need a way to make sure the players didn't cheat during the measuring session.. Maybe have them hit against a pitching machine in spring training 15 times with sensors on their uniform..

The nice thing about this is that the player would have the exact same strikezone for the entire year.

Some guys, like Cal Ripken, always tinker with their stances. Just saying.

M2
11-19-2012, 10:56 AM
In theory, it's a fine idea but in practice I'm not sure it goes over too well.

While the technology might permit that right now for Major League baseball, strike zones cannot be called like that in Little League, Babe Ruth, high school or college. So basically you're asking a player to change a batting approach they've probably used their post-adolescent lifetime, and alter it because you're essentially changing the strike zone on them.

I suspect college, at least D-1, would adopt the same system. As for lower levels, umps genuinely want to get their calls right. I've always been of the opinion that the strike zone is more strictly enforced at lower levels. I know a lot of Little League coaches stress that kids should work above the belt. They get the call and if the kid has a good heater it's nearly impossible to hit. It's the kids who can hit that pitch who go on to star in high school and then get a crack at playing at higher levels.

Anyway, players are constantly adapting to changing strike zones and making batting stance adjustments as they learn the game. Locking in the zone in the pros isn't going to trip them up.

Technically the zone is set up so that the hitter can't cover the whole thing. The pitcher needs room to operate within the zone. It's a constant, shifting fight over limited real estate.

Roy Tucker
11-19-2012, 11:21 AM
I'm all for locking in the strike zone in the rules, standardized, and having it called as precisely as possible according to that rule.

I just don't like artificial constraints put on a hitter. It's a living breathing sport and batters are constantly tweaking and adjusting their stances. It stands to to reason that the strike zone moves with how they are batting at that point in time, not how their stance was back in spring training or even the beginning of the series. A guy might have had a session with his hitting coach last night and found a flaw and made an adjustment. So he should be stuck with that out of date strike zone?

The sport should direct the technology, not the other was around.

kaldaniels
11-19-2012, 11:36 AM
In the football chain example I would almost equate the chain to the fixed dimensions of home plate, and the ball-spotting by the line judge (or whomever) to the umpire calling balls and strikes.

George Anderson
11-19-2012, 11:44 AM
In theory, it's a fine idea but in practice I'm not sure it goes over too well.

While the technology might permit that right now for Major League baseball, strike zones cannot be called like that in Little League, Babe Ruth, high school or college. So basically you're asking a player to change a batting approach they've probably used their post-adolescent lifetime, and alter it because you're essentially changing the strike zone on them.

I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.

RANDY IN INDY
11-19-2012, 12:00 PM
I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.

:beerme:

dougdirt
11-19-2012, 12:42 PM
I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.

Of course it won't. High schools are cutting sports, not investing $10,000+ for a system to call the strikezone in a game that gets 10 fans to a game that don't pay to watch it.

RANDY IN INDY
11-19-2012, 01:07 PM
Of course it won't. High schools are cutting sports, not investing $10,000+ for a system to call the strikezone in a game that gets 10 fans to a game that don't pay to watch it.

As far as high school baseball fans coming out to watch games, that's not the case here in Brownsburg, Indiana or Charlotte, NC, and yes, fans pay to watch it in both places.

M2
11-19-2012, 01:13 PM
It stands to to reason that the strike zone moves with how they are batting at that point in time, not how their stance was back in spring training or even the beginning of the series. A guy might have had a session with his hitting coach last night and found a flaw and made an adjustment. So he should be stuck with that out of date strike zone?

The zone shouldn't move dependent on your latest tweak. Again, the zone is supposed to be constructed so that no hitter can hope to successfully cover all of it at once (and that no pitcher can keep pumping balls into a spot hitters can't reach).

Hitters are and should be free to set their stances to give them a better chance in various parts of the zone, but this notion that you can adjust your stance to command the entire zone is a false one. It even runs counter to the letter and intent of the rules. Batting stance adjustments should always be a tradeoff.

M2
11-19-2012, 01:16 PM
I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.

I don't think anyone's suggesting this would be used in youth and amateur ranks. Every one of us knows that won't happen.

Yet, I'm curious, if we lived in some alternate universe where HS baseball used an automated strike zone, how would that extend the game at all let alone to six hours?

George Anderson
11-19-2012, 01:25 PM
Yet, I'm curious, if we lived in some alternate universe where HS baseball used an automated strike zone, how would that extend the game at all let alone to six hours?

In many games where the play is incredibly bad such as in the inner cities I need to change my strike zone to be pretty much anything the catcher can catch without jumping out of the box. If I don't do this the game will last many, many hours or won't be completed at all. Or there may be some instances like in maybe a JV or freshman game or even a lopsided varsity game where it is getting dark or rain looks like it is on the way so you will open up the strike zone to get the game in.

M2
11-19-2012, 01:57 PM
In many games where the play is incredibly bad such as in the inner cities I need to change my strike zone to be pretty much anything the catcher can catch without jumping out of the box. If I don't do this the game will last many, many hours or won't be completed at all. Or there may be some instances like in maybe a JV or freshman game or even a lopsided varsity game where it is getting dark or rain looks like it is on the way so you will open up the strike zone to get the game in.

Fair points. Sad to hear the game has devolved that much in some places.

FWIW, I suspect lower expectations (in general) and loose rules interpretations aren't helping those players. One of the things I've learned over the years is that kids do a remarkably good job of getting with the program, provided there is a program for them to get with.

Obviously one ump can't remake an entire culture prior to a game, but if the league participants got together to make it clear they want stricter enforcement of the rule book because they're going to demand more commitment and a higher skill level from their players they might be surprised by how rapidly the quality of play improves.

/segue

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 02:10 PM
Some guys, like Cal Ripken, always tinker with their stances. Just saying.

Well, they'd have to live with whatever was determined at the beginning of the year.

I realize my post was a simplification, but I think it's reasonable to be able to calibrate everyone's strikezone in the spring by a fair method. I bet the players would enjoy having a consistent strike zone over the entire course of the year.

RANDY IN INDY
11-19-2012, 02:22 PM
Again, is anyone that matters even talking about this?

George Anderson
11-19-2012, 02:23 PM
Fair points. Sad to hear the game has devolved that much in some places.

FWIW, I suspect lower expectations (in general) and loose rules interpretations aren't helping those players. One of the things I've learned over the years is that kids do a remarkably good job of getting with the program, provided there is a program for them to get with.

Obviously one ump can't remake an entire culture prior to a game, but if the league participants got together to make it clear they want stricter enforcement of the rule book because they're going to demand more commitment and a higher skill level from their players they might be surprised by how rapidly the quality of play improves.

/segue

In regards to inner city schools, the vast majority of the time the schools are lucky to be even fielding a team. There may be 2,000 kids in the school but they struggle to find 12 to make up a team because so many have never played before. Or they struggle to find kids who are responsible enough to show up for practice and games, stay out of trouble or get the grades to play. Cory Wade who has been in MLB for the past several years with both the Dodgers and Yankees remarkedly made it even though he played on this type of HS team.

You also have instances where one school is just quite a bit larger or just has a top notch baseball program against a smaller school or a school with a not so good baseball program. In these instances the games are usually blow outs and I have yet to hear a complaint from a coach when we open up the strike zone to get the game over with. Both coaches and usually the players want the misery to end.

westofyou
11-19-2012, 02:35 PM
Well, they'd have to live with whatever was determined at the beginning of the year.


That's a bad approach

The game is organic, part of that is the ability for adjustments to factor in to the way one approaches the game. Limit the approach and you end up with generic results.

Sounds even worst than having to deal with a strike zone that is defined by a trained professional

dougdirt
11-19-2012, 02:41 PM
Again, is anyone that matters even talking about this?

I am sure it has been discussed. Every team in Major League Baseball uses this system as a scouting tool right now and has been for years. They are all aware of the system and its capabilities and are using it to help inform their players. Heck, some teams are even using it in the minor leagues to help their players. The teams know its value. It is only a matter of time.

M2
11-19-2012, 02:52 PM
That's a bad approach

The game is organic, part of that is the ability for adjustments to factor in to the way one approaches the game. Limit the approach and you end up with generic results.

Sounds even worst than having to deal with a strike zone that is defined by a trained professional

The game's organic. The strike zone doesn't need to be.

And constraints don't lead to generic results, quite the opposite. Poetry is constrained and far from generic. A guitar's fret board is constrained and the music it can make is far from generic. Hell, the baseball field is constrained and the game is far from generic.

Some things, like the rules and enforcement of a game, should be standardized as much as possible. If anything, the uneven enforcement of the rules detracts from athleticism and skill being able to take over the game.

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 02:53 PM
That's a bad approach

The game is organic, part of that is the ability for adjustments to factor in to the way one approaches the game. Limit the approach and you end up with generic results.

Sounds even worst than having to deal with a strike zone that is defined by a trained professional

How many players significantly shrink the vertical part of their strikezone over the course of the season? My guess is that it's not common, but I am willing to be corrected. It seems to me that most batting adjustments are so subtle and minor that they are difficult to notice... I've never seen someone change from a completely standing up stance to a Ricky Henderson crouch during the season, but maybe it has happened in a few rare instances, I guess.

If the players were guaranteed to have a consistent vertical strike zone all year, wouldn't it make it easier for them to adjust?

westofyou
11-19-2012, 02:56 PM
How many players significantly shrink the vertical part of their strikezone over the course of the season? My guess is that it's not common, but I am willing to be corrected. It seems to me that most batting adjustments are so subtle and minor that they are difficult to notice... I've never seen someone change from a completely standing up stance to a Ricky Henderson crouch during the season, but maybe it has happened in a few rare instances, I guess.

If the players were guaranteed to have a consistent vertical strike zone all year, wouldn't it make it easier for them to adjust?

How many players don't adjust their stance?

My guess is you don't know and I don't know.

Anecdotal evidence bears no weight in this as far as I'm concerned, especially since this debate is centered around having what some are calling TRUE data and TRUE results.

REDREAD
11-19-2012, 03:02 PM
How many players don't adjust their stance?

My guess is you don't know and I don't know.

Anecdotal evidence bears no weight in this as far as I'm concerned, especially since this debate is centered around having what some are calling TRUE data and TRUE results.

Yes, I agree, we don't know for sure and it's not worth watching a lot of tape to find out.

If the players prefer a vertical strikezone that is adjusted on every pitch, it could be made to happen.. In other words, I don't think it's a valid reason not to computerize balls and strikes.

Roy Tucker
11-19-2012, 04:02 PM
I don't recall any drastic changes in batting stances, but I have seen subtle adjustments by guys like Votto as they get deeper in the count. And the MLB strike zone is one of the most fiercely contested pieces of real estate in sports so an inch or 2 very much matters.

Like I said, make the technology fit how the sport is played. If you do it, do it completely right. Otherwise you're echanging one set of issues for another.

RANDY IN INDY
11-19-2012, 04:35 PM
I don't recall any drastic changes in batting stances, but I have seen subtle adjustments by guys like Votto as they get deeper in the count. And the MLB strike zone is one of the most fiercely contested pieces of real estate in sports so an inch or 2 very much matters.

Like I said, make the technology fit how the sport is played. If you do it, do it completely right. Otherwise you're echanging one set of issues for another.

Well said, Roy!

westofyou
11-19-2012, 08:16 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113243/index.htm


Sensor baseballs In 1970 MLB experimented with a laser device placed behind the plate that would call balls and strikes. Alas, anything that went over the plate--including the glove of a wily catcher--resulted in a strike call. The inventors fixed that by placing a metal chip in the ball. But the balls cost $300 each and came with the request that they not be hit lest they break. The idea was quickly abandoned.

M2
11-19-2012, 11:26 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113243/index.htm


Sensor baseballs In 1970 MLB experimented with a laser device placed behind the plate that would call balls and strikes. Alas, anything that went over the plate--including the glove of a wily catcher--resulted in a strike call. The inventors fixed that by placing a metal chip in the ball. But the balls cost $300 each and came with the request that they not be hit lest they break. The idea was quickly abandoned.

To be fair, we were also fascinated with Pong in the 1970s.

westofyou
11-19-2012, 11:27 PM
To be fair, we were also fascinated with Pong in the 1970s.

The Quisp vs Quake battle still haunts me

AtomicDumpling
11-20-2012, 07:26 AM
The clincher for me was in game 7 of the 2011 World Series when the umpire blew 17 ball/strike calls according to PITCH f/x. Of course 14 of those missed calls went in favor of the Cardinals, including a very bad blown call on a 3-2 pitch to Yadier Molina in a crucial situation.

Here is one of many articles about the terrible umpiring in that game: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/917537-balls-and-strikes-why-computers-will-never-replace-umpires-in-pitch-calling

oneupper
11-20-2012, 07:36 AM
The clincher for me was in game 7 of the 2011 World Series when the umpire blew 17 ball/strike calls according to PITCH f/x. Of course 14 of those missed calls went in favor of the Cardinals, including a very bad blown call on a 3-2 pitch to Yadier Molina in a crucial situation.

Here is one of many articles about the terrible umpiring in that game: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/917537-balls-and-strikes-why-computers-will-never-replace-umpires-in-pitch-calling


That article contains a poll in which 60.6% of readers voted that balls and strikes should be called by computers, always, as opposed to 18.1% by umpires always (the remainder a series of intermediate options, which included review options).
It's not only Redszone that's concerned about this.

edabbs44
11-20-2012, 08:25 AM
That article contains a poll in which 60.6% of readers voted that balls and strikes should be called by computers, always, as opposed to 18.1% by umpires always (the remainder a series of intermediate options, which included review options).
It's not only Redszone that's concerned about this.

Right, but that population is flawed. And not only because they are bleacher report readers.

dougdirt
11-20-2012, 01:05 PM
Right, but that population is flawed. And not only because they are bleacher report readers.

This is true. But let's say that the population of all baseball fans were shown the data. Do you really think it would be all that different of a vote?

edabbs44
11-20-2012, 05:46 PM
This is true. But let's say that the population of all baseball fans were shown the data. Do you really think it would be all that different of a vote?

I think it would be different, with less people wanting it. But I still think a material portion of fans would want this if they could be assured that it would work. And that's a big if.

camisadelgolf
12-17-2012, 04:12 AM
I like the human element. It's not perfect, but neither is life. It makes the game more interesting and entertaining. Also, you get stories like this: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121214&content_id=40650956&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

gilpdawg
12-17-2012, 05:59 AM
Whether you are pro ump or pro robot, I hate the term "human element." The players are human aren't they? There is your "human element."

smith288
12-17-2012, 08:46 AM
If there was an automated system that calls balls and strikes, the only reason an umpire would need to "control" anything was between two team's drama. For the life of me, I can't understand why only in baseball are the umpires/officials allowed to instigate yelling matches with the competitors on the field and vice versa. NFL has a very good reputation between players/coaches and umpires and only a few times do I remember any conflict on the field.

If I had my druthers, I'd:

A. Automate balls and strikes
B. Enforce a remote instant replay system like NHL to review all plays meting replay criteria
C. Rather than throwing a player out of a game, reward an out to the opposite team.

I like C only if an automated system is in place as well as remote replay since the player no longer should have the need to yell at an umpire for balls/strikes, or missed plays a remote replay official could correct. Any yelling at an umpire is surely sour grapes and needs to be penalized like in football.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 02:32 PM
http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/1/6/do-power-pitchers-get-squeezed.html

Saw this today and thought it added more to the whole argument.
David Golebiewski looked at the strikezone and then the velocity of fastballs thrown and came up with how often those pitches were called strikes. The harder you throw, the less likely you were to get a pitch in the zone actually called a strike.

http://www.baseballanalytics.org/storage/clstrfb.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=13574993441 45

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 02:34 PM
http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/1/6/do-power-pitchers-get-squeezed.html

Saw this today and thought it added more to the whole argument.
David Golebiewski looked at the strikezone and then the velocity of fastballs thrown and came up with how often those pitches were called strikes. The harder you throw, the less likely you were to get a pitch in the zone actually called a strike.

http://www.baseballanalytics.org/storage/clstrfb.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=13574993441 45

I'm not arguing with the numbers but it is hard to believe 1 in 4 taken strikes 98+ is called a ball.

If true that is simply disgusting.

RedFanAlways1966
01-07-2013, 03:19 PM
http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/1/6/do-power-pitchers-get-squeezed.html

Saw this today and thought it added more to the whole argument.
David Golebiewski looked at the strikezone and then the velocity of fastballs thrown and came up with how often those pitches were called strikes. The harder you throw, the less likely you were to get a pitch in the zone actually called a strike.

http://www.baseballanalytics.org/storage/clstrfb.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=13574993441 45

* All-time leader in walks allowed? NOLAN RYAN.
* All-time leader in walks allowed in NL play? STEVE CARLTON.
* Most walks allowed in the AL in a single season? BOB FELLER.
* Jim Maloney once allowed 10 walks in a single game... a game in which he threw a no-hitter!

All of these guys threw hard. Which computer system tells Golebiewski that he is correct in his argument? History has usually shown that hard-throwers walk more batters than soft-tossers. I think there is more truth that hard-throwers have less control/command than Golebiewski's above-argument.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 04:04 PM
* All-time leader in walks allowed? NOLAN RYAN.
* All-time leader in walks allowed in NL play? STEVE CARLTON.
* Most walks allowed in the AL in a single season? BOB FELLER.
* Jim Maloney once allowed 10 walks in a single game... a game in which he threw a no-hitter!

All of these guys threw hard. Which computer system tells Golebiewski that he is correct in his argument? History has usually shown that hard-throwers walk more batters than soft-tossers. I think there is more truth that hard-throwers have less control/command than Golebiewski's above-argument.
I am not entirely sure that I get what you are trying to say here.

Are you saying that the system is wrong and that hard throwers aren't actually throwing strikes? If so, how are you coming to that conclusion based on how the system works?

Or are you saying you don't need the system to tell you that hard throwing pitchers get squeezed because historically they have higher walk rates/lesser control?

Or is it something entirely different?

RedFanAlways1966
01-07-2013, 05:01 PM
I am not entirely sure that I get what you are trying to say here.

Just that history shows that hard-throwers tend to be more wild. And most of us know that. Even "that one kid" who threw faster in little league tended to be more wild. The author states that computers show that hard-throwers get squeezed. I call BS on that and history shows it. I do not agree that 5-10 mph faster make umpires less accurate.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 05:11 PM
Just that history shows that hard-throwers tend to be more wild. And most of us know that. Even "that one kid" who threw faster in little league tended to be more wild. The author states that computers show that hard-throwers get squeezed. I call BS on that and history shows it. I do not agree that 5-10 mph faster make umpires less accurate.

So you are saying that the computer is determining the strikezone incorrectly then?

What makes you believe this? What about the system in place, is doing something incorrect, that is registering these pitches as strikes that are actually balls by the definition of the strikezone?

Did you even read the article? Do you know what was used to come up with the data?

The data is that pitches that are within the rulebook strikezone according to Pitch F/X are not being called strikes for pitches thrown harder and harder. It isn't a sitaution of total amount of pitches, but only pitches that were not swung at that also fell into the rulebook strikezone through the Pitch F/X system.

So, where is the problem at for you? It is clearly with the Pitch F/X system. What is it doing incorrectly? Right now, it uses three cameras to triangulate the pitch speed and location from the release to home plate, almost in real time (the delay is only that in which it takes time for the information to travel from the camera to the computer and then a tenth of a second for the computer to spit out the coordinating data).

edabbs44
01-07-2013, 05:47 PM
http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/1/6/do-power-pitchers-get-squeezed.html

Saw this today and thought it added more to the whole argument.
David Golebiewski looked at the strikezone and then the velocity of fastballs thrown and came up with how often those pitches were called strikes. The harder you throw, the less likely you were to get a pitch in the zone actually called a strike.

http://www.baseballanalytics.org/storage/clstrfb.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=13574993441 45

And the more likely that you would have a pitch out of the strike zone called a ball.

traderumor
01-07-2013, 07:25 PM
I'm not arguing with the numbers but it is hard to believe 1 in 4 taken strikes 98+ is called a ball.

If true that is simply disgusting.
Ancecdotally, Chapman gets screwed pitch after pitch.

oneupper
01-07-2013, 07:33 PM
Even the accuracy rate on the "slow" fastballs is unacceptable.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 08:23 PM
Thinking about the technical feasibility of real-time automatic tracking of pitches, I think it is definitely possible depending on the requirements (I know, that's such a cop-out). But for an initial goal-post, I'll go with 1 cm in a single direction (up/down, left/right, etc.). Cheap? No. Possible? Very.

My solution requires five infrared cameras placed at various useful angles. Optical sensors afford very good angular resolutions of a few miliradians. In other words, a single camera should be able to place the location of a baseball in a spacial area plus or minus the size of half a baseball. With just one sensor, we're on the right track but don't achieve all the accuracy we need. That's okay, the other cameras and processing will buy us some more. The cameras don't have to be super-duper high speed either, a frame rate of 100-150 Hz should be good enough.

I would then arrange the cameras as follows: two will be located above the backstop, one will be located in the batter's eye, in line with the pitcher. That last part is important, because while we can adjust for any angular offset, it will have some detrimental effects. The second camera will be above the backstop, high above home plate. The next two will face head-on with the batter with one on each side to allow for left- and right-handed hitters. The last camera will go somewhere else. It doesn't really matter where, but the farther separated from the other cameras the better. The last camera only exists to help time sync the other three (we can ignore the camera staring at the batter's backside). The first camera will give us the up/down and left/right position of the ball. The second camera will give the left/right and let us know when the ball crosses the plate. The third and fourth camera will also let us know when the ball crosses the plate and how high the pitch is.

One of the fundamental problems with tracking objects, whether it's a baseball or a supersonic jet is contrast with the background. For this reason, I think IR is the way to go (specifically, long-wave IR). If our eye was the camera and we could only stare directly onward to a hitter, I doubt any of us would be able to see the ball at all. The ball is mostly white and often the home team is wearing a white jersey. Similarly, looking directly down on the plate gives us the same problem: the plate is also white. IR provides us with the contrast to know what is the ball and what is a player or dirt or the plate. And since it's optical, we still have our angular resolution. It also helps that our background is cooperative. That is, we know it and it won't be changing rapidly. The location of the plate doesn't change (a good thing), the amount of IR it radiates might as afternoon turns into evening and such. But taken over the length of time for one pitch, it will be constant. Contrast can be further improved with a simple treatment to the ball or the thread in a player's uniform. It's completely invisible to the players without any eye safety concerns.

After applying some real-time image processing and estimation techniques (both of which are widely used in many applications), we will have a volume of space that is elliptical but hopefully close to spherical in shape and ~3.5" to each side. This is our uncertainty volume at the time the ball or strike decision must occur. Place the ball in the center of that volume. Repeat this for the height of the strike zone for each batter for each pitch. There's your answer.

I REALLY like thinking about this problem.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 08:45 PM
Interesting plan paintme.

Would would you say to someone like Doug who (paraphrasing) says that pitch f/x is very very accurate already. I don't even know where to begin to question the issues (if there even are any) with pitch f/x.

RedFanAlways1966
01-07-2013, 08:53 PM
So you are saying that the computer is determining the strikezone incorrectly then?

What makes you believe this? What about the system in place, is doing something incorrect, that is registering these pitches as strikes that are actually balls by the definition of the strikezone?

Is Pitch FX 100% accurate? It has been argued here, but does it change for every hitter based on his height and his stance (Rose being an extreme with his squat)? It is 2013 and I understand that people will use technology as they deem fit.

However, I am about keeping some aspects of the game the way they were meant to be. That includes human umpires making judgment calls (strikes/balls, out/safe, interference/not, etc). No MLB umpire is perfect, but most are damn good. That each man has a bit of a varying strikezone is OK by me and most teams (just be consistent). It is one of those things that I love about baseball. I am in no need of the "perfect" game. I might be old or I might be a purist (or both), but make the game robotic in this fashion and it loses some of that taste that me and many others love.

I want baseball types ruling baseball games. Not a Silicon Valley type that has never played the game nor understands the importance of the game and it's history. Wendelstedt can call the game I attend while Gates can be responsible for the software I utilize to study the stats from that game.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 08:53 PM
Interesting plan paintme.

Would would you say to someone like Doug who (paraphrasing) says that pitch f/x is very very accurate already. I don't even know where to begin to question the issues (if there even are any) with pitch f/x.

I don't know what pitch f/x uses or if it's real-time. It may be completely viable already.

Roy Tucker
01-07-2013, 09:23 PM
Great analysis, paint.

So how do you do the strike zone? I think that's the hard part.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 09:30 PM
Is Pitch FX 100% accurate? It has been argued here, but does it change for every hitter based on his height and his stance (Rose being an extreme with his squat)? It is 2013 and I understand that people will use technology as they deem fit.
Is it 100% accurate, no. Is it 98% accurate? Probably so, especially once you have corrected data. Yes, the strikezone height changes batter to batter and even from at bat to at bat with each batter.


No MLB umpire is perfect, but most are damn good. That each man has a bit of a varying strikezone is OK by me and most teams (just be consistent).
This shows that it isn't consistent. The harder you throw, the smaller your strikezone is.



I want baseball types ruling baseball games. Not a Silicon Valley type that has never played the game nor understands the importance of the game and it's history. Wendelstedt can call the game I attend while Gates can be responsible for the software I utilize to study the stats from that game.

I want the game I love to be decided by the players on the field. Not the guy wearing the umpire hat.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 09:39 PM
I don't know what pitch f/x uses or if it's real-time. It may be completely viable already.

Pitch F/X uses three cameras, using standard 30 frames per second video, places at different points in the ballpark to triangulate the ball, batters and strikezone.

Google can help you out with more information if you are truly interested in reading up on it all.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 09:49 PM
Pitch F/X uses three cameras, using standard 30 frames per second video, places at different points in the ballpark to triangulate the ball, batters and strikezone.

Google can help you out with more information if you are truly interested in reading up on it all.

In that case, Pitch F/X will have a higher percentage of pitches measured incorrectly. That number may only be 1-2% more than something more accurate, but it will be higher. For it's current application, it doesn't matter if it's "not good enough". The inaccuracy applies equally to all umpires, and its output should be viewed only as a relative comparison between different umpire's ball/strike accuracy. I doubt it would be suitable to replace the role of an umpire. I'd at least need a bit more convincing.

For what it's worth, the Pitch F/X setup is much less complex and probably costs 20% of what I suggested above. It's diminishing returns, and it all depends on how accurate you need the measurement to be. An inch will cost you millions...

Brutus
01-07-2013, 10:14 PM
I hate to beat a dead horse, but the computerized strike zones are dependent on humans calibrating the zone before each at-bat. There is some definite wiggle room for being off by an inch or two with each player, and worse is that because it's only calibrated before the plate appearance, a slight shift in batting stance can throw off the zone even further.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:22 PM
So lets assume that 25% of Chapman's 98+ taken strikes are balls.

Is it too much to ask to see some photographic prove?

Lets take it a step further. If you are a fireballer getting jerked around why not make a huge stink in the press? 25 percent error rate is beyond comprehension.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:24 PM
Pitch F/X uses three cameras, using standard 30 frames per second video, places at different points in the ballpark to triangulate the ball, batters and strikezone.

Google can help you out with more information if you are truly interested in reading up on it all.

How far does a normal fastball travel in 1/30 of a second?

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 10:27 PM
So lets assume that 25% of Chapman's 98+ taken strikes are balls.

Is it too much to ask to see some photographic prove?

Lets take it a step further. If you are a fireballer getting jerked around why not make a huge stink in the press? 25 percent error rate is beyond comprehension.

It is possible to do if you wanted to spend the money for MLB.tv (for archived game footage) and wanted to cross check PFX data. The problem is, you are talking about thousands and thousands of pitches here. That isn't something many people are going to be able to undertake in terms of going back and loading up the video, capturing it, editing it and comparing it against pitcher XYZ and his slower fastball. That doesn't even come into play with the fact that camera angles in every ballpark are different, so you aren't going to be able to do much with the video unless you are solely looking at it in one ballpark.

But it is pretty simple, if you accept that the Pitch F/X system is incredibly accurate (and MLB, MLB Teams and every television station that covers the games all do), then what the author is saying is true.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 10:27 PM
How far does a normal fastball travel in 1/30 of a second?

A 95 mph pitch will travel 4.6 feet in 1/30 of a second.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 10:28 PM
So lets assume that 25% of Chapman's 98+ taken strikes are balls.

Is it too much to ask to see some photographic prove?

Lets take it a step further. If you are a fireballer getting jerked around why not make a huge stink in the press? 25 percent error rate is beyond comprehension.

For a 20 pitch outing, it means he gets one fewer call than the 92-94 mph group.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 10:29 PM
How far does a normal fastball travel in 1/30 of a second?

Usually there are 20 frames (so 60 images in total between the three cameras) between release and the front of home plate for an average pitch.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:31 PM
A 95 mph pitch will travel 4.6 feet in 1/30 of a second.

Ok, so isn't it a problem that that is much greater than the depth of home plate?

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 10:32 PM
Ok, so isn't it a problem that that is much greater than the depth of home plate?

No, because we can use math/science to determine exactly how the ball moves based on gravity, velocity and spin of the baseball, all of which are measured by the system. Deceleration of the ball is accounted for, as is the spin and break of the baseball.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:34 PM
For a 20 pitch outing, it means he gets one fewer call than the 92-94 mph group.

But couldn't just Chapman (or someone more articulate/media friendly (no disrespect intended to Aroldis)) hold a presser showing 100 pitches in the strike zone and 25 of them called balls? That would really turn the tide against umps I'd say...granting that the info is correct.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:36 PM
No, because we can use math/science to determine exactly how the ball moves based on gravity, velocity and spin of the baseball, all of which are measured by the system. Deceleration of the ball is accounted for, as is the spin and break of the baseball.

How is spin measured? Just looking to be educated.

paintmered
01-07-2013, 10:38 PM
No, because we can use math/science to determine exactly how the ball moves based on gravity, velocity and spin of the baseball, all of which are measured by the system. Deceleration of the ball is accounted for, as is the spin and break of the baseball.

We can model that stochastically, but then I direct you to my signature. I call shenanigans on Pitch F/X directly measuring spin rate with three standard frame rate cameras. Aliasing alone would preclude it.

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 10:41 PM
How is spin measured? Just looking to be educated.

Don't have an answer for that one. It wasn't originally when the system was deployed. So there has been an addition somewhere to handle it.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 10:41 PM
FSN can afford that X-Mo Camera or whatever they call it. Why can't MLB and Pitch f/x?

dougdirt
01-07-2013, 10:46 PM
FSN can afford that X-Mo Camera or whatever they call it. Why can't MLB and Pitch f/x?

Well, for starters, that X-Mo camera probably costs 10-40 times as much as a single camera used in the Pitch F/X system. Needing to have three per stadium would add up very quickly. Secondly, slo-motion cameras like that are larger in size than your typical camera (lets note that the cameras used for Pitch F/X aren't tv production sized cameras). Pitch F/X cameras in some stadiums are mounted above the heads of seats. The smaller the better I would imagine in that kind of circumstance.

Yachtzee
01-07-2013, 11:31 PM
But couldn't just Chapman (or someone more articulate/media friendly (no disrespect intended to Aroldis)) hold a presser showing 100 pitches in the strike zone and 25 of them called balls? That would really turn the tide against umps I'd say...granting that the info is correct.

No pitcher is ever going to do that. If you think Chapman, or any other pitcher is getting squeezed now, imagine how bad it will be if he goes public advocating umps be replaced by computers in calling balls and strikes.

kaldaniels
01-07-2013, 11:48 PM
No pitcher is ever going to do that. If you think Chapman, or any other pitcher is getting squeezed now, imagine how bad it will be if he goes public advocating umps be replaced by computers in calling balls and strikes.

Have a surrogate do it then. I considered that after I posted but surely there is a way to raise a stink about this.

Yachtzee
01-08-2013, 12:32 AM
Have a surrogate do it then. I considered that after I posted but surely there is a way to raise a stink about this.

Personally I think this kind of thing falls under fairness and equal treatment, which would be a good cause for the union to take up, but they're solely interested in money issues.

dougdirt
01-11-2013, 02:39 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-seasons-worst-called-ball/

The worst called ball all season: Pitcher, Homer Bailey, catcher Devin Mesoraco

Here is where Pitch F/X has the "ball":

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/baileydempster2.png
It is that green square right over the middle of the plate in the middle of the strikezone.

Here is what the pitch actually looked like on FSN Ohio via freeze frame
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/baileydempster.png

Here is how the pitch looked in real time
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Bailey1.gif.opt_.gif

Now, Mesoraco had to go from setting up inside, to reaching across to catch a 96 MPH fastball there. According to the article:

Interestingly, 2012 data suggests that Mesoraco is an above-average pitch framer. But above-average pitch framers won’t be above average on every pitch, and here, Mesoraco simply screwed up.

In a way, this is confirmation that pitch framing makes a difference. It’s confirmation that pitch framing, or a lack thereof, is capable of turning a fastball down the middle of the zone into a called ball.

Computers 500,000,000,000,000,000,000. Humans 0.

kaldaniels
01-11-2013, 03:09 PM
As long as the status quo is human umps, catchers need to work on the skill of pitch framing.

While it shouldn't matter, I put a feather in the cap of catchers who can frame well, cause that is a skill needed to help your pitcher succeed today.

Note to catchers - nearly tipping over on a pitch right down Broadway WILL result in a ball on occasion.

camisadelgolf
01-11-2013, 03:34 PM
Doug, you've made a very convincing argument that computers are more accurate than humans. I haven't seen much of an argument that it would make the game better. Would you care to do that?

dougdirt
01-11-2013, 04:21 PM
Doug, you've made a very convincing argument that computers are more accurate than humans. I haven't seen much of an argument that it would make the game better. Would you care to do that?

Sure.

Every pitcher should have the exact same strikezone (which of course, is impossible since it changes with each hitter, but you know what I mean). Having someone interpreting the rules incorrectly, be it on purpose or not, should be avoided when possible. And it is now possible in the case of balls and strikes. No more of this "you need to earn it" crap. No more of the "3-0 or 0-2" close calls going the other way because of the count.

I just think the game would be better if everyone played by the same set of rules. Right now, they aren't and it is easily avoidable.

camisadelgolf
01-11-2013, 04:38 PM
Sure.

Every pitcher should have the exact same strikezone (which of course, is impossible since it changes with each hitter, but you know what I mean). Having someone interpreting the rules incorrectly, be it on purpose or not, should be avoided when possible. And it is now possible in the case of balls and strikes. No more of this "you need to earn it" crap. No more of the "3-0 or 0-2" close calls going the other way because of the count.

I just think the game would be better if everyone played by the same set of rules. Right now, they aren't and it is easily avoidable.
Shouldn't every hitter have the same strike zone, too? Why do you focus on the pitchers?

You say things "should" be done certain ways as if you're some kind of authority (which you're not). You haven't described what kind of difference it would make to have computerized umpiring. I'm not necessarily saying computerized umpiring would make the game any better/worse, but I haven't seen the evidence to suggest that it would.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but more accuracy doesn't always equal more entertainment.

RedFanAlways1966
01-11-2013, 05:11 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but more accuracy doesn't always equal more entertainment.

And I think that is the problem most have with letting computers do the ball-strike job that do not agree with doug. It is the problem that I have. I try to be a perfectionist in a lot of things I do, but I really enjoy the human element of sports. No problem with relays in football and even in baseball for HRS and fair/foul. But I really enjoy the umpires doing balls/strikes and out/safe. They make me mad sometimes when I feel the call goes against our fav team, but that is a part of the game that I love. I just wish MLB would get rid of bad umpires (CB, you hear me?).

dougdirt
01-11-2013, 05:21 PM
Shouldn't every hitter have the same strike zone, too? Why do you focus on the pitchers?

You say things "should" be done certain ways as if you're some kind of authority (which you're not). You haven't described what kind of difference it would make to have computerized umpiring. I'm not necessarily saying computerized umpiring would make the game any better/worse, but I haven't seen the evidence to suggest that it would.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but more accuracy doesn't always equal more entertainment.

Because hitters are different heights, so the "acceptable" hitting zone changes for them based on their height. A waist high pitch to Adam Dunn might be at the neck for Jose Altuve. Where as the pitch at the knees for Altuve would only be at the mid shin for Dunn.

I am not the authority on the strikezone. The rulebook is. The rulebook clearly tells us what a strike is and what a ball is. Those rules that define the two things are not being called correctly by the umpires. We can change that.