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Thread: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

  1. #76
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    My question is are you talking about aiding the ump there or having him relay what the system has determined? I'm for the latter and against the former. For instance, if the system says strike, but the ump wants to call it a ball, I don't want him to have the authority to make that change.
    The ump relays the call on the field, and it's also automatically relayed to the official scorekeeper.
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Someone else mentioned it earlier but the cost of such a system will be pretty stiff. It will be an interesting hot-potato to see who ends up paying for it (although ultimatley it will be the fans, most of whom don't care about balls and strikes anyway).
    I think the real impediment to installing such a system will come from the umpires themselves. They would--naturally--view such a shift as downsizing their responsibilities (and, by extension, their salaries). I don't think you'll have too difficult a time convincing the players and management that it's for the best. Unless your name is Greg Maddux.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Boy you missed the point. Nowhere did I say that was the only case of blown ball and strikes calls over the last decade. However that game was beyond egregious and if it were the only case of balls and strikes being a problem (and it isn't), I'd still be for the change just so something that awful could never happen again.
    Dude...check your humor circuit.

    Note the "kidding aside" comment in the next paragraph and the exclamation point.

    Geez...you technocrats should relax and lay off the caffiene.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 09-11-2007 at 05:24 PM.
    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

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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    A computer calls a borderline strike against the home team, and the players get upset and end up losing the game "because of the machine."
    A strike's a strike--even if it's "borderline".
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    A strike's a strike--even if it's "borderline".
    Oh, I'm sure the other team and fans will see it that way.
    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

  7. #81
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    And I'm saying that if you have an ump back there, why not use him and use the technology to improve what he is already doing. There's really no need to reinvent the wheel.
    Unfortunately the trapdoor in your argument is the optimal way to "improve" what he's doing is to not have him do it. You're admitting the machine does a better job of calling balls and strikes. If it didn't, then it couldn't "improve" or "help" or "teach." Once you've taken that leap then there's really no going back. You've made the determination as to which one is the better system and shame on you if you don't use it.

    The wheel's already been reinvented in this case, or more accurately filled with air. This isn't new technology. It's literally been around for decades.
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    This is a real interesting debate. I'd like to jump in with an issue that's being overlooked IMO.

    How important ARE ball and strike calls?

    From some posts here, one gets the impression that its only on a few occasions when someone is "rung up" or "squeezed" in a critical situation the call was "important".

    I beg to differ. I've seen enough research here (Cyclone792 has done some fine stuff) to convince me that a single strike/ball call anytime during a PA can have a HUGE influence on the outcome of that PA.

    If umps miss 5% of all calls, then they have messed up 5-8 PAs per game (I'm assuming 250 pitches per game, about 100-150 actually called balls or strikes). Thats 8-12% aprox of all PAs of a game. That's a LOT of influence, IMO. That doesn't account for messing with pitchers/batters "heads" with their variable strike zones.

    We can argue if these things "even out" in the end over the course of a game or a season. But to me, at least, it's pretty clear that for the GAME...the accuracy of these calls is extremely important.
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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Note the "kidding aside" comment in the next paragraph and the exclamation point.
    Noted them the first time. You still seemingly missed the point, so I figured I'd better underline it.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  10. #84
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    This is a real interesting debate. I'd like to jump in with an issue that's being overlooked IMO.

    How important ARE ball and strike calls?

    From some posts here, one gets the impression that its only on a few occasions when someone is "rung up" or "squeezed" in a critical situation the call was "important".

    I beg to differ. I've seen enough research here (Cyclone792 has done some fine stuff) to convince me that a single strike/ball call anytime during a PA can have a HUGE influence on the outcome of that PA.

    If umps miss 5% of all calls, then they have messed up 5-8 PAs per game (I'm assuming 250 pitches per game, about 100-150 actually called balls or strikes). Thats 8-12% aprox of all PAs of a game. That's a LOT of influence, IMO. That doesn't account for messing with pitchers/batters "heads" with their variable strike zones.

    We can argue if these things "even out" in the end over the course of a game or a season. But to me, at least, it's pretty clear that for the GAME...the accuracy of these calls is extremely important.
    Stellar post.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  11. #85
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    This is a real interesting debate. I'd like to jump in with an issue that's being overlooked IMO.

    How important ARE ball and strike calls?

    From some posts here, one gets the impression that its only on a few occasions when someone is "rung up" or "squeezed" in a critical situation the call was "important".

    I beg to differ. I've seen enough research here (Cyclone792 has done some fine stuff) to convince me that a single strike/ball call anytime during a PA can have a HUGE influence on the outcome of that PA.

    If umps miss 5% of all calls, then they have messed up 5-8 PAs per game (I'm assuming 250 pitches per game, about 100-150 actually called balls or strikes). Thats 8-12% aprox of all PAs of a game. That's a LOT of influence, IMO. That doesn't account for messing with pitchers/batters "heads" with their variable strike zones.

    We can argue if these things "even out" in the end over the course of a game or a season. But to me, at least, it's pretty clear that for the GAME...the accuracy of these calls is extremely important.
    I was just thinking to the wonderful parallel of steroids. We don't really know how much effect they've had on the outcomes of games. We don't even know who has used them and who hasn't. However, you read article after article about unfair playing fields and the ruining of the game.

    Yes, the analogy isn't perfect for a number of reasons. However, one of the major components of the steroid issue holds. It's not just the actual advantaged gained or not gained.

    It's the added externality affecting the outcome of the game that is not within the control of the players. We've come to accept that Greg Maddux will get strikes that Aaron Harang won't because we've had no better alternative for so long. However, we won't accept that Barry Bonds gets to hit the ball longer than other guys.

    I guess I just don't see the problem in using an electronic system to remove human error from the realm of what should be a purely objective decision - whether or not the ball crossed over the plate.

    Ltabner is right, the technology won't be perfect either. But it will more accurate. Why is more accurate a bad thing?

    Do you object to tennis' system? If so, why? If not, how is the matter of calling balls & strikes different. Again, we're working on the premise that the electronic system would be more accurate and reliably so. If it isn't, I don't think you'd find a person in this discussion supporting its use.
    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.

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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Oh, I'm sure the other team and fans will see it that way.
    Who cares? Accuracy is accuracy. The whole point of this exercise is to eliminate perceptions.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    What would be equally interesting to me is to develop an electronic system to determine where the ball landed and who *should* have gotten to it for a better defenseive metrics system. Such a system is even more mechanically challenging than a balls & strikes system.

    The game has survived this long with bad umps behind home plate, but we'ver never really seen where better defensive metrics can take us. Again, not a justification to keep umps who can't find a good strike zone with a map, but I think a mechancal means to measure and provide data for the defensive metrics end of things is far more interesting.
    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

  14. #88
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I
    Do you object to tennis' system? If so, why?
    Well, tennis hasn't been the same since McEnroe retired...
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    Who cares? Accuracy is accuracy. The whole point of this exercise is to eliminate perceptions.
    That's just it, it woln't.

    People can't even accept what the radar gun on the score board is telling them, or what a players weight is listed as. You really think they will roll over and say, "well, I guess the machine said it was a strike" when their team's chances for the NLCS just went poof? Heck no, they will come up with a laundry list of reasons as to why they got shafted. Especially in an emotional setting like that. Having a machine certinally reduces the number of reasonable arguments they might have (a good thing) but I don't think it eliminates them.

    You can say, "well the machine said...." all day long and people will come up with all sorts of reasons why the machine is wrong. Just as they often do with the umpire now. Or radar guns. Or voting machines. Or your bathoom scale.

    You may increase the accuracy of the balls and strikes (a very good thing) but I highly doubt you put the perception issue to rest. So if that is your sole justification, you are on thin ice, IMO.

    I know it isn't your sole justification, just responding to this singular post.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 09-11-2007 at 06:01 PM.
    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. #90
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Neyer: Computers calling Balls and Strikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    What would be equally interesting to me is to develop an electronic system to determine where the ball landed and who *should* have gotten to it for a better defenseive metrics system. Such a system is even more mechanically challenging than a balls & strikes system.

    The game has survived this long with bad umps behind home plate, but we'ver never really seen where better defensive metrics can take us. Again, not a justification to keep umps who can't find a good strike zone with a map, but I think a mechancal means to measure and provide data for the defensive metrics end of things is far more interesting.
    Umm... the issue with balls and strikes is that they have to be called live. I'm sure if the umps could look at every pitch via instant replay and then make their, they could be more accurate.

    Luckily defensive metrics don't have to be created live. Thus, we don't need the computers to make the instantaneous decision of who should have fielded it. Rather, we can look at every single ball hit via reply and know exactly what trajectory it was hit at and where it landed. We can then use that data to create metrics many many days after the event occurs. Oh wait... you mean people are doing that right now!?

    Sure, a triangulation system on every ball hit would aid the creation of better defensive metrics even more.

    Of course, you've yet again created a false dichotomy. I'm glad you'd find better defensive metrics more interesting. Me too! So let's do both! Woohoo for technology!

    Please move on from the "it won't make it perfect so we might as well not even try to improve it" line.

    And you're right, perception issues will never be solved absolutely. But you can bet that even though people still debate calls in the NFL, there are a number of bad calls which have been overturned and correctly so thanks to instant replay. Is it perfect? Nope. Is it better than it used to be? Yup. Tennis.. same thing.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 09-11-2007 at 06:05 PM.
    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.


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