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Thread: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

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    Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    With what many believe was a very bad blown non strike call in the 9th inning yesterday and other bad calls that we have seen in ML baseball over just the past 3-5 seasons, is it time that MLB begin to look to expand the use of technology in correcting these bad calls or is it time to just redue how we officate baseball games and introduce more technology even to the point of the balls/strikes call?

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Human error is part of the game. Its loses its roots when you make things kind of changes. Sometimes they go against you and some times they favor you. Bottom line is if marshall keeps his cool and doesn't serve one down the center of the plate on the next pitch you might win the game.

    It would be stupid to change the umping.
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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    I would not be surprised to see some sort of ump'ing that is computer/technologically generated at some point. I have mixed feelings on it, love the idea of getting calls right, but just doesn't seem right at the same time.
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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red Hoss View Post
    Human error is part of the game.
    No offense intended, but to me that's a silly reason. It's only a part of the game because of there not being a better alternative. That's like being against helmets in hockey or football because injuries are "part of the game". I'm in favor of anything we can do to improve officiating as long as it doesn't drastically impact the flow of the game.
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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Girevik View Post
    No offense intended, but to me that's a silly reason. It's only a part of the game because of there not being a better alternative. That's like being against helmets in hockey or football because injuries are "part of the game". I'm in favor of anything we can do to improve officiating as long as it doesn't drastically impact the flow of the game.
    Non taken. I love the discussion. Im not listing it as reason to keep it. Im saying its there. Its been there since the begining. the technology is there. How do you use it. have an ump watch the monitor and use the jumbo tron for the call? Do you have things go status quo and have a 2nd ump watch a monitor and shange the call if the first ump gets it wrong? I don't know how to work it out. I do know that nothing will be perfect and 90% of the time the umps get it right. So is it worth the money and time to over turn less then 10% of the calls?
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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    I don't claim to have the solution, only being open to looking at the options. Some people are dead set against it, and one of the reasons they give is that officiating mistakes are "part of the game".

    In tennis, they have done away with the judges at the service lines and that call is made purely electroically....you hear a beep if the serve goes long. Could you do something like that for the strike zone, or to tell if a bat breaks the plane on a checked swing? Beats me, but I think it's worth looking into.

    I DON'T think that replay is as good a solution for baseball as it is for football, at least for a lot of calls. If you call a guy out on a ball that turns out to be trapped for example, then you overturn it on replay, what do you do with the runners that were on base....how do you kow how they would have advaced?
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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    You also get into the issue of what happens when a pitcher is never forced out of their comfort zone by a tentative strike zone. They would dominate far more than they already have... if a guy has just one unhittable pitch and can throw it to the same spot game after game, he would be even better than the scrappy guy who has a kitchen sink assortment of pitches that he has to get creative with from time to time.

    It also interrupts the flow of the game. Some pitchers really need to move at a steady rate in order to stay on top of their game. I suppose I could see it used for fielding, but blown perfect game aside, bad calls there seem a lot more rare.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    People would still argue the calls.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosie52 View Post
    People would still argue the calls.
    with who, a CPU chip

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Baseball is a great analogy of life. This is why it has so many lessons to teach us.

    Life isn't fair, and sometimes you get hosed by "the man" even when you don't deserve it.

    Keep the mistake prone human umpires.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    What I don't understand is MLB's reluctance to incorporate any kind of relevant replay. It could be utilized just like in the NFL with challenges, or there could be an ump or official scorer off the playing field who makes judgment calls on when to question a result. Anything would be better than what we have going now. Baseball refuses to have any sort of second guessing or reversal of ball-strike and out calls, as if all umpires would lose all credibility the instant one call is ever agreed to be wrong.

    I mean, damn... We saw a deserving pitcher lose a perfect game (!) on a call everyone on earth immediately agreed was blown, and MLB did nothing. Because, hey, human error is so interesting for the game! No.

    Umpires won't ever (and should never) be replaced, but we have the technology to ensure grievous errors don't go uncorrected. I don't know the exact answer (as far as what calls get questioned, how it changes the time of the game), but I do know there's one there. "Human error" being a part of the game doesn't sit well as an excuse for me. I'd rather the actual play on the field determine the outcome of a game. Just because something is a tradition doesn't make it right.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    I finally got to see that pitch on MLBN. There was some bad home plate umpiring in that series, no doubt, but IMO the pitch by Marshall last night was borderline at best. I thought it was a little low, meaning some umps might call that a strike and some might not. If Marshall does his job, not a single Reds fan is talking about that pitch.
    "I talked to an advance scout that told me if Joey Votto and Albert Pujols were on the same team he'd advise his team to do the unthinkable...pitch around Votto to get to Pujols." - Buster Olney, ESPN

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krawhitham View Post
    with who, a CPU chip
    With each other.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    At the end of the 2010 season, they conducted a study analyzing every single pitch with a radar along with the umpire's call. I wish I had the source but it stated that umpires made the right call at the plate 92% of the time. That's good enough for me. Baseball is fine the way it is.

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    Re: Is it time to move away from "human" umpiring?

    I wouldn't go far as to say we need to remove the human element from umpiring - but what I have seen so far this year (even on the bases) leaves a whole lot to be desired.

    What I would like to see is a system in which - the umpires are forced to face the heated questions - be held accountable - like the players and managers are.

    Along with that - if umpires are scutinized (by a supervisor of officials type person) to the point in which they could be "sent down" to the minors or worse - I think that could have an effect on how they officiate the game.

    I realize that neither of these scenarios would ever take place, but I would resort to something like that before I would go to some computer.


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