Originally Posted by Brutus
Oh come on, Doug. For as much complaining as there is about umpire, if it were as easy as it's being made out to be to call most of those calls, more people would be doing it or there'd be less complaining if so many are easy.
Nonetheless, your math is a little off. There are, right now, 292 pitches per game on average this season in Major League Baseball. The league average swing% is 48%, which means that there are an average of 152 pitches called ball or strike. That means there are 23 pitches being missed if we assume only an 85% success rate. But again, MLB tells us their guys are mostly over 90% and the league average is 95-96%, so there can't be many guys anywhere near 85%. At 95% (what MLB has said is the average), there are only eight pitches a game being missed. That means umpires are missing less than one pitch per complete inning.
To add to this, each ump has his own specific strike zone and the players know what it is. They know certain umps will give the pitcher a strike if it's an inch or so outside and that others have a low zone or high zone. Pitch F/X may call those pitches balls, but those particular umps are going to call them strikes and everybody knows it.