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Thread: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

  1. #1
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    While browsing my RSS feeds I came across a piece from Beyond the Box Score that highlighted this Baseball Prospectus article.

    The article is about Jose Molina. Jose Molina hit .223/.286/.355 this season. He is a catcher, which you probably already knew, or knew once you saw his last name. Jose Molina also played in just 80 games. Stats suggest that Jose Molina posted the same value as Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton who hit .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs in just 501 plate appearances because Jose Molina was worth 50 runs by the way that he was able to frame pitches and trick umpires into calling strikes on pitches that weren't.

    There are 10 pitches in total showing him getting strike calls on clear balls so be sure to check out the link above to see them, but this was the one that measured out to be the worst call of them all.


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  3. #2
    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Have you watched an NFL game lately? Blech. Computers ruin the fun.

  4. #3
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    Have you watched an NFL game lately? Blech. Computers ruin the fun.
    No. I live in Cincinnati where we don't get to watch our team play.

    And sorry, but nothing is fun about making Jose Molina as valuable as Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. That is like taking Tim Tebow and changing the rules so he is as valuable as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. That isn't fun. It is mind numbing.

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    How do you feel about it being a constant in the game for dozens and dozens of years? To me, it seems baked in with the pie.

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    The pitch above doesn't look all that bad, looks like boarder line strike.

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    How do you feel about it being a constant in the game for dozens and dozens of years? To me, it seems baked in with the pie.
    What do you mean?

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    The pitch above doesn't look all that bad, looks like boarder line strike.
    Inside and low. Not close in the view of these old eyes.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    What do you mean?
    Just that Molina is just one of probably hundreds of catchers over time that really succeed in these tactics. It's part of a catcher's skill set. Why do you want to end it now?

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    The pitch above doesn't look all that bad, looks like boarder line strike.
    Home plate is 17 inches wide. That pitch was 19 inches from the center of home plate. If home plate is 17 inches wide, then from the center of home plate to the corner is 8.5 inches. That puts that pitch nearly a foot away (10.5 inches) from the plate as it crossed where home plate was at.

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    Just that Molina is just one of probably hundreds of catchers over time that really succeed in these tactics. It's part of a catcher's skill set. Why do you want to end it now?
    I want it to end now because it creates an unfair advantage for something that is outside of the rulebook. The strikezone is static. We have the technology to call it correctly, yet we still let the rules be taken advantage of that allow frankly terrible players have the same value as MVP caliber players because they are good at tricking the umpire. It is crazy.

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    The rules were written before computers though. Computers weren't even dreamed of yet. I don't know baseball history well at all, so maybe others can offer in some insight. I want to say at some point there weren't even umpires.

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Home plate is 17 inches wide. That pitch was 19 inches from the center of home plate. If home plate is 17 inches wide, then from the center of home plate to the corner is 8.5 inches. That puts that pitch nearly a foot away (10.5 inches) from the plate as it crossed where home plate was at.
    That doesn't look 10.5 inches off the plate. How so?

  14. #13
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    That doesn't look 10.5 inches off the plate. How so?
    Because it is moving at 93 MPH in an image that isn't recorded at the proper frame rate that you are used to seeing on television at a camera angle that isn't directly behind the pitcher.

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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Just checked Brooksbaseball.net for that pitch. That data is uncorrected, but it has the pitch as being 6 inches outside. Either way, it should easily be a ball.

  16. #15
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    I've got no idea why there isn't an electronic strike zone. No one buys a ticket to watch the ump call balls and strikes. It doesn't speed the game up and umps miss calls way too often. It frustrates players and it frustrates fans. The excuse that it all evens out is not a valid reason for MLB sticking with a problem that has a clear and easy solution. You can still have an ump to run the game and act as backup in case the electronic system malfunctions. It's time to bury this relic.

    Calling balls and strikes accurately is fundamental to a fairly contested game. We have a way to get those calls right 100% of the time rather than the current system which can miss dozens of calls in a single game. There simply is no counterargument.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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