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Thread: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

  1. #106
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    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.
    Are you talking about the old Questec system that MLB used to evaluate umpires until 2008 or the more modern PITCHfx system?

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  3. #107
    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    It's actually kind of surprising to me that we've yet to see an argument on the field where someone brings the umpire a phone with a pitch f/x chart on it. And, for some reason, I expect Brett Lawrie to be the first player to get suspended for it.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

  4. #108
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by blumj View Post
    It's actually kind of surprising to me that we've yet to see an argument on the field where someone brings the umpire a phone with a pitch f/x chart on it. And, for some reason, I expect Brett Lawrie to be the first player to get suspended for it.
    I don't think team personnel are allowed to have phones/ipods/ipads/etc in the dugouts during games.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  5. #109
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    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?
    LOL. I can imagine a player laying down in the batters box and the system going nuts. :O) If his chest and knees are at the same level....oh crap! SYstEM FaILuRe! *grin*
    Chapman to the rotation!!!! Do it already!!!!

  6. #110
    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by CySeymour View Post
    I don't think team personnel are allowed to have phones/ipods/ipads/etc in the dugouts during games.
    They're not, but how many rules are never broken?
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

  7. #111
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    I like the human element. I figure it evens out over the course of the year.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  8. #112
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    I could imagine a system in place where a manager gets so many strike zone challenges a game. Say the ump calls a borderline pitch a ball against the other team, so Dusty challenges the call, they check the computer to see if the ump got it right.
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  9. #113
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    I like the human element. I figure it evens out over the course of the year.
    But why should it have to "even out"? We have the technology to help the umpires get the right call, or at least get better. Why shouldn't we use it? The only argument against using it is tradition.

    I've just done some research on the accuracy of the PitchF/X system and what was found was that in 2010 the average deviation over the course of the year by park was ~.5 inches with the worst park being at 1.1" off. That is still too much of an margin of error to rely wholly on PitchF/X for balls/strike call, but it is not too much of an error to help the umpires train to be better.

    Maybe like I said earlier give the umpire an audible warning if his last call was wrong and outside the margin of error. This will help drive out those blatantly bad calls that are really what we as fans are so disgusted with. If the umpires have such a big ego that they are not willing to get better at their craft then I don't want them on the field at all. With an ego like that he would be willing to put himself above the game and would be willing to make a bad call to "send a message", or as payback for showing him up.

    Like I said the goal is to drive out those blatantly bad calls and to improve the game overall. Technology has changed the way I do my job at work. Should I turn in my computer and hire a pool of secretaries (not a bad idea really) to do the work that I can accomplish now by myself for traditions sake? I have the greatest amount of respect for umpires and with a few exceptions, they do an amazing job. This will just help them improve.
    "I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." Stephen Hawking

  10. #114
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    This will just help them improve.
    It's supposed to already be doing that. If they can continue to use tech systems—and perhaps scouting reports on catchers—to improve their craft, I'm all for it. What I'm against is replacing the umps altogether with tech systems.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  11. #115
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    So you have no proof that replacement umpires were better than the MLB umpires other than not recalling anyone complaining about them.
    .
    George, what's your criteria for a "better" umpire?
    In other posts, you've stated that it's ok on a 3-2 count for the ump to call a ball a strike if the player starts walking to 1b before the ump makes the call.

    Because of your opinions like this, we are never going to agree on what a "good umpire" is.

    My criteria for the best umpire.. Makes the highest percentage of calls correctly and quickly. Realizes that he is a background player and not the main attraction. Does not pick fights with players and play other stupid games.
    I watched the sub umpires. In my opinion, there was no drop off in quality.
    IIRC, some the sub umpires were hired permanently, so they became the people that you consider the best...

    The fact is, the umpire union was crushed, and a good percentage of them were replaced, and very few people noticed or cared.. In contrast, when the owners used replacement players, there was an obvious drop off in talent. (Other than Rick Reed and maybe 2-3 other guys, none survived after the regular players were brought back).
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  12. #116
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    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.
    .
    And if airplanes only arrived at their destination without crashing 95% of the time, I imagine few people would fly. It's all about perspective.

    The biggest problem with umpires callling balls and strikes is that they let their emotion, the catcher, and other factors influence the call. If we have a computerized system that can do it more accurately, why not do it?
    If the computer can call it correctly 99.99% of the time vs the human 95%, why not change it? A nice side benefit is that the computer calls will speed up the game modestly, which is needed.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  13. #117
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    George, what's your criteria for a "better" umpire?
    In other posts, you've stated that it's ok on a 3-2 count for the ump to call a ball a strike if the player starts walking to 1b before the ump makes the call.

    Because of your opinions like this, we are never going to agree on what a "good umpire" is.

    My criteria for the best umpire.. Makes the highest percentage of calls correctly and quickly. Realizes that he is a background player and not the main attraction. Does not pick fights with players and play other stupid games.
    I watched the sub umpires. In my opinion, there was no drop off in quality.
    IIRC, some the sub umpires were hired permanently, so they became the people that you consider the best...

    The fact is, the umpire union was crushed, and a good percentage of them were replaced, and very few people noticed or cared.. In contrast, when the owners used replacement players, there was an obvious drop off in talent. (Other than Rick Reed and maybe 2-3 other guys, none survived after the regular players were brought back).
    I was very pleased the umpires union was crushed in 1999. The MLB umpires at the time were being protected by the union which as a result allowed umpires job security which thus led to substandard umpiring. To many umpires at the time had the attitude of who cares what kind of game I call or how I act on the field when there is no way I will be fired, demoted or suspended. In fact I hope the umpires union gets set back a couple more notches and are forced to develop a system where underperforming umpires are demoted and more deserving minor league umpires are promoted.

    Your statement "They've already broken the umpire's union once. They've proven that scab umps are just as good as the MLB ones." is something I asked was somehow proven or if it was just your opinion. It is very possible that some of the replacement umps were better than some of the MLB umpires at the time, but again at the time the union was much stronger and thus the quality of umpiring was much less than it is now. Replacing umpires like Eric Gregg and Frank Pulli at the time was not to terribly hard because they were very bad umpires. In todays game you generally will not find an umpire nearly as bad as those two were because the union was weakened and they were forced to focus more on putting quality umpires on the field. I just think as a whole todays umpires are for the most part outstanding and the best there has ever been in the history of the game. There are a handful who should be replaced but the impression I get from you that they all could be fired and new ones will be brought in with no drop in quality is something I think is way off.
    "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. #118
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    And while we are at it...

    * Put computer chips in the front and back ends of a football. Then have all football fields have a sensor-system under or above the playing surface. This will make all spots after a tackle 100% accurate. Every milli-inch can cost a team the game.

    * Chips in basketballs and sensors in the out-of-bounds lines. Was it out or not? Also some sort of computer-gel that all players are required to soak on their bodies... did he touch it before it went out?

    * Volleyballs will have the chips. Nets and out-of-bounds lines with the sensors. The gel for touching the net with the hand or body.

    * Rugby and Australian Rules Football. See American Football above.

    * Add other sports here (cricket, soccer, badminton, horseshoes, curling, golf, boomerang)...

    They are all games of inches. And we cannot allow human intervention. Every single game depends on it. To heck with hundreds of years of doing it the wrong way.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  15. #119
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Many, many years ago, before the technology was available, I suggested to someone that a system should be worked out to call balls and strikes electronically so that a strike was a strike no matter who the umpire, the pitcher, or the catcher was. I remember deciding this couldn't happen because the umpires wouldn't allow it.

    I still think that this should happen, and think it should be negotiable, since it would free up umpires for other calls. I do understand why they would resist, though. It's hard to give up a major chunk of power, no matter who you are. I imagine the slippery slope argument would come into play.

    In the end, a major pay raise may smoothe the way.

  16. #120
    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    So, if the strike zone will be called by computers, how will the players be alerted of the balls and strikes?
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.


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