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Thread: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

  1. #16
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    OK, how about this: the ump behind the plate has a HUD in his mask. Sensors around the outline of the plate and in each player's uniform create an image of a real-time 3-D strike zone projected onto the ump's display. When any part of the ball enters any part of the strike zone, the entire zone turns red. The ump then makes the call.

    The system is calibrated at the start of each half-inning. The calibration details and the results of each pitch are recorded and available for playback after the game.

    I could go for a system like that, because it's just a tool to assist the umpire.
    Last edited by Johnny Footstool; 09-11-2007 at 12:21 PM.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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  3. #17
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    Heck, let's just build a bunch of robots to play the game and get rid of the players.
    Because the entire point of the game is for humans to play it. The point of umpiring is simply to maintain the conditions in which the game can be played. They are not the game itself.

    I don't know of any fans who pay for a ticket to go watch the amazing talent of the umpires at work.

    Besides, players are utilizing technology to do their jobs better than ever. They have contact lenses in their eyes to see better. They use bats that are harder and lighter. They wear uniforms that better handle body heat (cue the Seinfeld reference).

    I guess we should've stuck with leather helmets too. After all, they were good enough and their use created a certain condition in which the game was played. Players were certainly more wary of pitches without the armor of today.

    Are you guys also against all instant replay in football and basketball? Because a system which instantly alerts the home plate ump to the location of the ball and then allows him to announce the ball/strike would be the least intrusive, least time consuming version of technology aided refereeing we have in sports today. In fact, the fan watching a game couldn't even tell. I fail to see how getting calls incorrect for the sake of some imagined "purity" adds anything to the game other than your comfort with what you're used to. I have not heard an objective argument against it.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  4. #18
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong View Post
    Sign me up for robo-ump. Get tired of watching games decided in part by bogus 3-2 called strikes.

    GL
    Agreed.

    You can still have the ump there in case of computer failure and for plays at the plate, but it is well past time that umpires and their ridiculous strike zone differences become part of the past.
    Go Gators!

  5. #19
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Because the entire point of the game is for humans to play it. The point of umpiring is simply to maintain the conditions in which the game can be played. They are not the game itself.
    Spot on.

    I can't understand why some people would rather have a significant portion of the game influenced by the umpires rather than the players.

    GL
    Last edited by gonelong; 09-11-2007 at 01:14 PM.

  6. #20
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by gonelong View Post
    Spot on.

    I can't understand why some people would rather have a significant portion of the game influenced by the umpires rather than the players.

    GL
    More than a century of history?

    Maybe some of them can't understand why some people would want a significant portion of the game influenced by computers rather than people.

    I'm all for helping umpires do a better job, but I do understand why people might not want them taken out of the equation.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  7. #21
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    I think that umpiring has gotten better in recent years, but there are still way too many games decided by improperly called balls/strikes.

    It would also eliminate a lot of nonsense, like catchers "framing" pitches. So many times, an umpire judges whether the pitcher hit the glove, rather than whether the ball crossed throught the imaginary box above the plate. Also, calling some pitches is an impossible task. Unless an umpire has x-ray vision, he can't alawys tell whether a curve ball crosses through this imaginary box. So he guesses.

    It rarely pays to have a good curve ball anymore, unless you're given the veteran benefit-of-the doubt.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

  8. #22
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    More than a century of history?
    History? Good, put it in the musuem with the rest of it.

    Maybe some of them can't understand why some people would want a significant portion of the game influenced by computers rather than people.
    What influence would the computers have? The whole idea of them would be to remove or at least minimize the influence umpires have, not replace it.

    I'm all for helping umpires do a better job, but I do understand why people might not want them taken out of the equation.
    I guess I understand why people might not wan them taken out of the equasion ... they are grumpy old farts with "get of my lawn", "things were better back in my day", don't need "this new-fangled do-hickey" syndrome. :

    GL

  9. #23
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    More than a century of history?

    Maybe some of them can't understand why some people would want a significant portion of the game influenced by computers rather than people.

    I'm all for helping umpires do a better job, but I do understand why people might not want them taken out of the equation.
    Johnny, I appreciate your empathy and open-mindedness, but I wouldn't placate those people.

    Not one person here has convincingly argued that we should keep umpires because they do a better job than the computers would. Arguing tradition for the sake of tradition is usually weak, but these are particularly weak. There were better arguments for segregated public school systems, denying women the right to vote, and denying people a jury trial, than I see in this thread.

    The stakes are too high. Pitchers who throw true strikes should be rewarded.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

  10. #24
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    So what exactly is the case for not using the technology? I don't think anybody advocates the forced retirement of all umps. They do advocate utilizing technology to replace a specific function which umps perform. When you can use the technology to do something better, you do. Where you can't, or when the side effect is undesirable, you don't.

    We don't use artificial insemination instead of sex, because sex is enjoyable. However, insemination is available to those who wish to become pregnant and cannot otherwise.

    We don't replace police officers with cameras because cameras cannot perform all of the functions of police officers, such as putting handcuffs on people, making decisions, and interviewing people. However, cameras have freed up to focus on things other than watching people run red lights.

    We use pocket pc's because we cannot carry around a giant wall calendar in our wallet for reference and the squares on the paper aren't big enough for all our information. However, that doesn't mean we cannot also use a wall/desk calendar for other functions.

    The game has gotten along fine is quite possibly the lamest argument I've heard. People got along fine before penicillin, cars, email, or dishwashers. They get along better now. I'm not going to not use a dishwasher simply because I'm capable of washing dishes by hand. Maybe you just consider washing the dishes by hand an irreplaceable part of the cooking & eating experience. I, for one, don't.

    The "a lot bigger issues" argument also makes no sense. We now have to choose which things we'd like to improve? Better strike zone enforcement or get rid of steroids? Is that our choice? We can only do one or the other? Says who? Absolutely ridiculous. It's a completely irrational reactionary position.

    If you want to make the case that human determination of balls & strikes is a fundamental defining aspect of the game and that you are against changing the nature of the game in that manner, then fine. I'd disagree with you, but you'd have a reasonable case. However, the argument above is laughable. We haven't completely replaced police officers, sex, or paper calendars. However, we have developed better ways to accomplish the thing which they accomplish. Police officers and paper calendars in particular have very little intrinsic value beyond the purpose for which they were created. If you can find a better way to achieve said purpose, then why not do it?

    If you want to make the argument that a computer strike zone management system would be inferior at calling balls & strikes or would adversely affect the game in some other manner, well then you have an argument. Nothing personal at all Ltlabner, I just don't understand the logic of your position.
    Actually people died in huge numbers before penecilin. The world was hugly ineffecient before cars and to a lesser degree emails. These advancements were gigantic leaps forward. The question I responded to was 'if we have it why not use it?' No technology exsists that would represent a gigantic step fowrad in robo ump technology. Youd like to implement a system that is going to create just as many problems as ups (just different ones) to solve what? The few times where a bad strike/ball call actaully effects the game?

    Throwing an unproven thechnology out there that introduces new problems to solve an overall minor problem....that strikes me as particularly lame.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  11. #25
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Several people have stated that the computer system 'would be better' or 'elminates the errors' yet there been nothing offered here that substantiates these claims. Its not about 'get off my lawn' (which is an arrogent and condesncending pile of crap anyway) its about actually acheiving the intended benefit.

    No one has provided any evidence that the existing systems wouldn't have their own issues with adjustment, callibration , accuracy, interfearence and claims of fudging.

    Without an actuall improvment in the accuracy of calls, you are just replacing one problem for another.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  12. #26
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Several people have stated that the computer system 'would be better' or 'elminates the errors' yet there been nothing offered here that substantiates these claims. Its not about 'get off my lawn' (which is an arrogent and condesncending pile of crap anyway) its about actually acheiving the intended benefit.

    No one has provided any evidence that the existing systems wouldn't have their own issues with adjustment, callibration , accuracy, interfearence and claims of fudging.

    Without an actuall improvment in the accuracy of calls, you are just replacing one problem for another.
    I guess you glossed right over the conditional of my entire thesis. IF it is better...
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  13. #27
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Does the computer change its zone if the player changes his zone during an AB??What would keep someone like Adam Dunn going to a Pete Rose type crouch when he has a 3-0 count in order to get a walk??
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  14. #28
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Ltlabner, you're going on the assumption that the computers could not improve upon the ups at calling strikes. If it was proven they did would you be in favor of using the computers?

  15. #29
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Serafini View Post
    Ltlabner, you're going on the assumption that the computers could not improve upon the ups at calling strikes. If it was proven they did would you be in favor of using the computers?
    If a system was developed that worked and didn't involve obtrusive mechanical means I would not have a problem with it per se.

    Then again they could develop wood bats that hit the ball 800 feet or lazers that zap foul balls (the what if game is fun!) but it doesnt neccesarly mean its a good idea to employ it.

    But no, if they had a real system I could go for a system where it was used to either grade the ump or as a double check.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  16. #30
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Several people have stated that the computer system 'would be better' or 'elminates the errors' yet there been nothing offered here that substantiates these claims. Its not about 'get off my lawn' (which is an arrogent and condesncending pile of crap anyway) its about actually acheiving the intended benefit.

    No one has provided any evidence that the existing systems wouldn't have their own issues with adjustment, callibration , accuracy, interfearence and claims of fudging.

    Without an actuall improvment in the accuracy of calls, you are just replacing one problem for another.
    There are a number of patents for strike/ball systems. There is obviously an interest.

    What is probably lacking is money. No one is going to design/build a prototype, without a reasonable expectation of payback (an order) down the line.

    The only "buyer" (initially at least) for such as system would be MLB. So without their stated interest (at the very least), I doubt a system would be designed/built.

    Any upgrade will have problems of its own. Heck your car dies sometimes, right? That only happened to horses when they actually ....DIED.

    It would have to be tested, calibrated, etc, used in trials, improved...etc. Sure. And you will always need a backup, which initially will be the ump himself. But that is all part of the design/planning process.

    I have NO DOUBTS a well-designed system would be more accurate that human umps. I believe it would make the game better.

    It's a matter of the will to take this on.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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