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Thread: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

  1. #151
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I'm of the opinion that a system like this will always shaped by the perceptions that the rules makers have of technology and its place in the world. Currently the world is run by guys who listened to Radio drama and remember the DuPont Network, next will be the 3-4 Channel Brats, they never played Video games or owned a computer in primary school, after them will be the kids who grew up with technology leaking into every avenue of their existence.

    Then they'll start to ponder it realistically.


    If they hadn't already implemented Questec I'd agree with you.

    That shows me two things. One, they recognize they have a big problem with umpire inconsistency and inaccuracy which affects games and the quality of the product on the field.

    Two, technology exists already which can identify the umpires who are least capable.

    If they didn't believe in it, why would they even consider Questec?

    And if they weren't willing to move past their old school prejudices, why would they be using it now?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  3. #152
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    If they hadn't already implemented Questec I'd agree with you.

    That shows me two things. One, they recognize they have a big problem with umpire inconsistency and inaccuracy which affects games and the quality of the product on the field.

    Two, technology exists already which can identify the umpires who are least capable.

    If they didn't believe in it, why would they even consider Questec?

    And if they weren't willing to move past their old school prejudices, why would they be using it now?
    Three, there was a decaying relationship between the umpires and MLB over umpire pay and other union demands. IMO Questec was a response utilized to acquire evidence to beat the umpires down with (and it worked). As with all other things in this game, I believe that money was the motivating factor and not some desire for a better game. The fact that most of the umpires that got canned during this time deserved it is really just a fortunate by-product IMO.

    I'm not sure I make the connection that existence of Questec is an indication of a willingness to use technology to improve the game as much as it was to improve profits. IMO the described system will only come into play if there is some evidence that there will be a return on investment that makes it worth investing. I guess a lifetime of watching the money battles play out publicly and take precedence over everything from the the integrity of a season and its World Series to long term player health has made me cynical that way.
    Last edited by mth123; 09-12-2007 at 09:47 PM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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  4. #153
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    What an appropriate night for C.B. Buckner to be working behind the plate.

    Nothing I could type comes close to making the case like watching him does.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  5. #154
    Member CTA513's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    What an appropriate night for C.B. Buckner to be working behind the plate.

    Nothing I could type comes close to making the case like watching him does.
    Im not sure anyone knows the strike zone when Buckner is calling balls and strikes.

  6. #155
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    What an appropriate night for C.B. Buckner to be working behind the plate.

    Nothing I could type comes close to making the case like watching him does.
    Might as well get this guy to ump.

    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  7. #156
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    It's already been noted, but tonight was a perfect example of why MLB needs to switch to the Questec system. Two words: CB Buckner. A 3-2 pitch to Dunn was called strike three despite being six inches outside and nearly shoulder height. 2-2 pitch to Edmonds was much better than the pitch to Dunn, yet it was called a ball. Votto was also rung up on a very questionable call earlier in the game. That stuff has got to stop. I'm tired of seeing guys like Albert Pujols and Bonds getting small strikezones and then taller guys like Dunn and Howard constantly getting rung up on pitches at their ankles. It's time to do something about this, MLB.

  8. #157
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Personally, I kind of prefer having a human element to deal with.
    Would you be saying that if the 97 Braves had been the 97 Reds instead? If an umpire ever pulled on the Reds what Eric Gregg (may he RIP) pulled onthe 97 Braves, I don't think there would be many here who would argue against a system that removed biases and reduced errors.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  9. #158
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM View Post
    Would you be saying that if the 97 Braves had been the 97 Reds instead? If an umpire ever pulled on the Reds what Eric Gregg (may he RIP) pulled onthe 97 Braves, I don't think there would be many here who would argue against a system that removed biases and reduced errors.
    I'm too young to remember that. What happened?

  10. #159
    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I'm of the opinion that a system like this will always shaped by the perceptions that the rules makers have of technology and its place in the world. Currently the world is run by guys who listened to Radio drama and remember the DuPont Network, next will be the 3-4 Channel Brats, they never played Video games or owned a computer in primary school, after them will be the kids who grew up with technology leaking into every avenue of their existence.

    Then they'll start to ponder it realistically.
    If the world is still run by guys who grew up on radio, then those guys are watching their stock price and listening to computer junkies whose Harvard MBA degrees are still wet.

    Although MLB seems to be stuck in the middle ages compared to the NFL, it is being dragged into the computer age (as you point out on a regular basis).

    C.B. Buckner is simply symptomatic of virtually all umpiring. :thumbdown
    "Is there a problem officers?"

  11. #160
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I'm too young to remember that. What happened?
    The worst display of ball and strike calling I've ever seen. And it was the NLCS. The ironic thing was that it was the Braves on the losing end of the deal. Eric Gregg was calling strikes that were easilt 12 inches off the plate. Lican Hernandez must have realized what was going on and just kept throwing them out there. It was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in a baseball game. It was probably the most important determinant in who won that game.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  12. #161
    Member SteelSD's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    I completely agree with RFS. Taking the human element out of tennis "in/out" calls has improved that sport.

    However, MLB is whole different animal as a strike zone should be defined by the batter's height rather than a simple "Strike or Ball" zone. IMHO, that's the challenge. Can an electronic system properly adjust by hitter. I think the technology is there to do so, but can it do so consistently? If the system knows who the hitter is, can it adjust if the hitter bends down prior to a pitch being delivered? Can that system give every hitter a realistic expectation that their personal Strike Zone will remain their personal Strike Zone over time?

    While I prefer an objective estimate, I wonder about how those zones will be applied to players per AB or even per pitch given an electronic "Umpire". Certainly, an objective system is preferable if it's accurate, but will suck a system be more accurate given the differences in height we see for MLB ballplayers? I'm not saying that an electronic system couldn't be better, but what kind of assurances do we have that it WILL be better?

    Lots of questions, but not a whole lot of answers right now.
    "The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer

    "The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
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  13. #162
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelSD View Post

    However, MLB is whole different animal as a strike zone should be defined by the batter's height rather than a simple "Strike or Ball" zone. IMHO, that's the challenge. Can an electronic system properly adjust by hitter. I think the technology is there to do so, but can it do so consistently? If the system knows who the hitter is, can it adjust if the hitter bends down prior to a pitch being delivered? Can that system give every hitter a realistic expectation that their personal Strike Zone will remain their personal Strike Zone over time?
    Couldn't they do something where every year a player is digitally imaged and that players personal strike zone is recorded? It would then be in a database, and the computer could access his baseline strike zone each time he came to the plate.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

  14. #163
    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    I believe QuesTec already does this.....if not, being camera driven, I cannot see why it couldn't.

    Guys, this is easy technology......no mystery at all.
    "Is there a problem officers?"

  15. #164
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    I like the idea of a more consistent strike zone so my vote is all for the technology should it be viable.

    Even so, I just don't see MLB doing this unless there is a way to make a buck off of it. I'm having a hard time seeing how this will reduce cost or increase revenue, so I don't think baseball would make it any kind of a priority. Maybe there is a way that I had not considered.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  16. #165
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Interesting articles at...

    http://www.slate.com/id/2172223/fr/rss/
    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/ar...of-the-umpire/
    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/ar...ct-vs-fiction/

    Like I said, I'm familiar with implementing computer systems to solve complex problems and automating the strike zone is a Pandora's Box. Not insolvable, but not as cut and dried as many seem to believe. After all, imperfect carbon-based unit humans write the algorithms, design the software and hardware, and create the technological solution.

    It would be fascinating as all-get-out to design and implement but pretty soon you'll have team programming coaches analyzing the source code looking for loopholes.

    Pay attention to the open sky


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