# Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

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• 01-07-2013, 10:36 PM
kaldaniels
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by dougdirt
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.
• 01-07-2013, 10:38 PM
paintmered
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by dougdirt
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.
• 01-07-2013, 10:41 PM
dougdirt
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaldaniels
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.
• 01-07-2013, 10:41 PM
kaldaniels
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
FSN can afford that X-Mo Camera or whatever they call it. Why can't MLB and Pitch f/x?
• 01-07-2013, 10:46 PM
dougdirt
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaldaniels
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.
• 01-07-2013, 11:31 PM
Yachtzee
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaldaniels
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.
• 01-07-2013, 11:48 PM
kaldaniels
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yachtzee
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.
• 01-08-2013, 12:32 AM
Yachtzee
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by kaldaniels
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.
• 01-11-2013, 02:39 PM
dougdirt
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index...t-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-co...ydempster2.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-co...eydempster.png

Here is how the pitch looked in real time
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-co...1.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:
Quote:

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.
• 01-11-2013, 03:09 PM
kaldaniels
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
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.
• 01-11-2013, 03:34 PM
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
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?
• 01-11-2013, 04:21 PM
dougdirt
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

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.
• 01-11-2013, 04:38 PM
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

Originally Posted by dougdirt
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.
• 01-11-2013, 05:11 PM
RedFanAlways1966
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote:

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?).
• 01-11-2013, 05:21 PM
dougdirt
Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Quote: