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Thread: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

  1. #91
    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Well according to the computers you want to use to replace humans, it is pretty darn good.


    MLB currently utilizes a program referred to as the “zone evaluation system,” which grades major league umpires on their accuracy when it comes to ball and strike calls. According to Port, umpires this season are averaging a 95 percent accuracy rating.
    Even if umps are 95% accurate, and I have my doubts, in a game with 300 pitches thrown, that is 15 missed calls every single game.
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  3. #92
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    Even if umps are 95% accurate, and I have my doubts, in a game with 300 pitches thrown, that is 15 missed calls every single game.
    It certainly isn't perfect, but your not going to see MLB shake things up over 15 missed pitches a game. It very well may happen one day where humans are replaced by computers but there is really no evidence or any type of movement telling me that it will happen anytime soon.
    "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

  4. #93
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    Even if umps are 95% accurate, and I have my doubts, in a game with 300 pitches thrown, that is 15 missed calls every single game.
    If doctors could save critical patients at a 95% rate, we'd all be celebrating. I don't know why 95% is frowned-upon when it comes to officials.

    Further, for the record, the providers of the technology claim only about a 97% accuracy. So you're talking maybe a difference of 5-6 pitches a game difference.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  5. #94
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Well according to the computers you want to use to replace humans, it is pretty darn good.

    MLB currently utilizes a program referred to as the “zone evaluation system,” which grades major league umpires on their accuracy when it comes to ball and strike calls. According to Port, umpires this season are averaging a 95 percent accuracy rating.
    That's more than a dozen missed calls a game, which is more than enough to swing a close contest. Honestly, what's the argument for keeping those dozen bad calls in the game when there's existing technology to eliminate them?

    To me it's like arguing for going back to waiting five business days for a check to clear.

    Just as an aside, bad umpiring extends beyond balls and strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Analysis of 2008 data by the Elias Sports Bureau showed only a small difference in how the strike zone was called depending on whether QuesTec was being used: umpires in QuesTec parks called a pitch a strike 31.5 percent of the time, compared with 31.2 percent without QuesTec, a difference of about three pitches a game.
    That's not a particularly meaningful stat. We're not talking about using an electrozone to influence umpire ball-strike calls. We're talking about wholesale switching to an electrozone.

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    The problem lies within the culture of the game, that no one seems to agree with the computer 100% of the time, even when raw data overwhelmingly proves that a pitch is unequivocally a strike.
    Not even John McEnroe argues with Hawkeye.

    Sure you'll see some grousing, but when there's no one to influence and everybody inside the park can see it was a strike up on the scoreboard (oh yeah, they'll be doing that) it will change the supposedly immutable ingrained culture.
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  6. #95
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    What percent of pitches thrown are no brainer balls or strikes?

    I ask because if the umps are only right 19 out if 20 times, I'm troubled because I'd say at least half of those pitches could be classified as gimmes.

    This topic causes so many questions to arise.

  7. #96
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    That's more than a dozen missed calls a game, which is more than enough to swing a close contest. Honestly, what's the argument for keeping those dozen bad calls in the game when there's existing technology to eliminate them?

    .
    So where is this technology and why is it not being used at any level of professional or amateur baseball to call games on the field? If it is so simple and such a great idea don't you think someone somewhere would be doing it?

    This idea may very well one day be put in place by MLB, but there is zero ground swell other than on this board to have humans replaced by technology. I searched the net for any type of ground swell and I found very little. MLB as I have stated before is very traditional and incredibly slow about making changes to the game. If there is little or no desire from the fan base or by the players, managers etc to have this implemented then there is no way this will happen anytime soon, if ever.
    "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

  8. #97
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    So where is this technology and why is it not being used at any level of professional or amateur baseball to call games on the field? If it is so simple and such a great idea don't you think someone somewhere would be doing it?

    This idea may very well one day be put in place by MLB, but there is zero ground swell other than on this board to have humans replaced by technology. I searched the net for any type of ground swell and I found very little. MLB as I have stated before is very traditional and incredibly slow about making changes to the game. If there is little or no desire from the fan base or by the players, managers etc to have this implemented then there is no way this will happen anytime soon, if ever.
    The system is in every Major League park in baseball. It has been for 5 years now and has been in some parks for 6-7 years. It is also in several minor league stadiums as well as some spring training stadiums.

    It isn't going to be in amateur baseball because the system costs thousands and thousands of dollars and requires someone who is trained to run the system to be present at all times.

    I can promise you that there are people outside of this message board that want this change. The number is likely small because most people probably don't know that the technology exists. But I would bet a whole lot of money if you polled baseball fans with the question "If you could automate balls and strikes to be 100% accurate and remove umpire error on balls and strikes, would you be in favor of it?" that a large percentage of those fans would say yes.

  9. #98
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Computer view:

    Will the strike zone be fluid in its adjustment based on the a players stance from :

    Game to game
    Bat to bat
    Pitch to pitch

    Is it a three dimensional box that is recalibrated consistently or set in stone

    Can the functionality of the box be protested by a player or team, what occurs if it becomes askew during a game can it be changed back? Will it be tweaked/checked inning to inning

    If the integrity of the strike zone is given to a computer the myriad of processes that enable the computer to function in a manner that is superior to an umpire will also have to be enabled, tested and piloted in a less visual league before hitting MLB

    It's as Roy said both the devil, and details.

  10. #99
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    The system is in every Major League park in baseball. It has been for 5 years now and has been in some parks for 6-7 years. It is also in several minor league stadiums as well as some spring training stadiums.

    It isn't going to be in amateur baseball because the system costs thousands and thousands of dollars and requires someone who is trained to run the system to be present at all times.

    I can promise you that there are people outside of this message board that want this change. The number is likely small because most people probably don't know that the technology exists. But I would bet a whole lot of money if you polled baseball fans with the question "If you could automate balls and strikes to be 100% accurate and remove umpire error on balls and strikes, would you be in favor of it?" that a large percentage of those fans would say yes.
    100 percent accurate? Sure.

    But does such a thing exist, yes or no?

  11. #100
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Computer view:

    Will the strike zone be fluid in its adjustment based on the a players stance from :

    Game to game
    Bat to bat
    Pitch to pitch

    Is it a three dimensional box that is recalibrated consistently or set in stone

    Can the functionality of the box be protested by a player or team, what occurs if it becomes askew during a game can it be changed back? Will it be tweaked/checked inning to inning

    If the integrity of the strike zone is given to a computer the myriad of processes that enable the computer to function in a manner that is superior to an umpire will also have to be enabled, tested and piloted in a less visual league before hitting MLB

    It's as Roy said both the devil, and details.
    Good points. What is to stop a batter from taking advantage of such a system with an extreme crouch? Who is to make the call whether or not a crouch is too extreme?

    Would anyone be in favor of a strike zone that would not waver from batter to batter?

  12. #101
    Member Wonderful Monds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    This idea may very well one day be put in place by MLB, but there is zero ground swell other than on this board to have humans replaced by technology.
    You have got to be kidding me.
    They don't think it be like it is, but it do.
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    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.

  13. #102
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    100 percent accurate? Sure.

    But does such a thing exist, yes or no?
    100% may not be possible I guess, but if you check the calibration for the system before each game, it should be darn close to it. And even if it isn't, at least the system will be 100% within whatever zone it is calling, unlike umpires who have different zones for right handers, left handers, rookies, catchers, veterans, guys they have had run ins with, catchers who disagreed with a call, a pitcher who looked back at him wrong over a call.....

  14. #103
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Computer view:

    Will the strike zone be fluid in its adjustment based on the a players stance from :

    Game to game
    Bat to bat
    Pitch to pitch

    Is it a three dimensional box that is recalibrated consistently or set in stone
    It already is adjusted based on the players stance on an at bat by at bat basis. Surely it could be adjusted on a pitch by pitch basis.

    Can the functionality of the box be protested by a player or team, what occurs if it becomes askew during a game can it be changed back? Will it be tweaked/checked inning to inning
    I can't say for sure how the system is currently calibrated when it is determined to be "off", but I am certain that it could be set up for in game fixes rather easily if that is a road they wanted to go down. The system really isn't the complicated on the hardware side of things.

    If the integrity of the strike zone is given to a computer the myriad of processes that enable the computer to function in a manner that is superior to an umpire will also have to be enabled, tested and piloted in a less visual league before hitting MLB

    It's as Roy said both the devil, and details.
    Spring training has several fields with the system in place as it is right now. Several minor league stadiums also have it installed, though the systems were installed by the MLB team in charge and not MLB, so they may not be willing to offer up their set up for testing.

  15. #104
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Computer view:

    Will the strike zone be fluid in its adjustment based on the a players stance from :

    Game to game
    Bat to bat
    Pitch to pitch

    Is it a three dimensional box that is recalibrated consistently or set in stone

    Can the functionality of the box be protested by a player or team, what occurs if it becomes askew during a game can it be changed back? Will it be tweaked/checked inning to inning

    If the integrity of the strike zone is given to a computer the myriad of processes that enable the computer to function in a manner that is superior to an umpire will also have to be enabled, tested and piloted in a less visual league before hitting MLB

    It's as Roy said both the devil, and details.
    I bring this up every time a balls and strikes ump thread comes up.

    Right now there exists the technology to accurately call whether or not a pitched ball crosses over home plate nearly every time. If we just instituted that, and let the umps only call whether or not the pitch was the right height for that batter, we could probably get the overall accuracy of called pitches to 99%. Umps make the final call, but with the aid of technology.

    For all the reasons you raised and more, I don't see a complete replacement of umps with technology. However, adding technology to assist the umps seems like a wise move with very little downside.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  16. #105
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    We have technology to detect the path of sub-atomic particles traveling at the speed of light. We have technology to guide missiles thousands of miles to within a few feet of a designated target.
    I really don't see how we can't build a machine to determine with extreme accuracy if a sphere, traveling at 60-100 mph has traversed a certain area in space.
    It's a matter of "if you order it...they will build". Developing this stuff is expensive. So unless MLB gets behind this and says (with open wallet) that they want this, no one is going to build one.

    As Dougdirt says, what the have now (Questec or whatever it is called) is already better than the human umps. I'm pretty sure a much more accurate device could be developed. Time and money is what it takes.
    You can have better now and perfect later. You just have to want it.

    (BTW there are dozens of patents for strike zone machines already)
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