Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Like anything technical and complex, the devil is in the details.
I'd really like to see a working real-time balls and strikes video system get implemented in the minors where they can use it for a season and really work all the bugs out of it. With these kinds of things, the problems aren't the ones you think of, its the ones you don't think of and all of the unintended consequences.
Thinking it through, it seems that getting the geometry of the plate is a solvable thing. You have the front, sides, and back and they don't move. What seems the problem is the top and bottom of the strike zone.
Rule 2.00: The Strike Zone
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
That last sentence would be the tricky part. Is this a fully automated determination or is a human being setting it? If automated, the batter knows when he's being scanned and what happens if he crouches at that exact instant? Lots of things to work out.
And being a IT security guy, all systems better be firewalled and virus scanned and the code better be app-scanned for vulnerabilities and peer reviewed out the wazoo because it will come under intense scrutiny. White hat threats where a programmer can be bought out by organized gamblers to alter results. All solvable problems that all IT departments worth their salt take care of, but now instead of a human ump that is calling balls and strikes, you have a digital infrastructure that is doing it. Believe me, a lot can go wrong and lots and lots and lots of stuff needs to be worked out.
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