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Thread: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

  1. #271
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    In theory, it's a fine idea but in practice I'm not sure it goes over too well.

    While the technology might permit that right now for Major League baseball, strike zones cannot be called like that in Little League, Babe Ruth, high school or college. So basically you're asking a player to change a batting approach they've probably used their post-adolescent lifetime, and alter it because you're essentially changing the strike zone on them.
    I suspect college, at least D-1, would adopt the same system. As for lower levels, umps genuinely want to get their calls right. I've always been of the opinion that the strike zone is more strictly enforced at lower levels. I know a lot of Little League coaches stress that kids should work above the belt. They get the call and if the kid has a good heater it's nearly impossible to hit. It's the kids who can hit that pitch who go on to star in high school and then get a crack at playing at higher levels.

    Anyway, players are constantly adapting to changing strike zones and making batting stance adjustments as they learn the game. Locking in the zone in the pros isn't going to trip them up.

    Technically the zone is set up so that the hitter can't cover the whole thing. The pitcher needs room to operate within the zone. It's a constant, shifting fight over limited real estate.
    Last edited by M2; 11-19-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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  3. #272
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    I'm all for locking in the strike zone in the rules, standardized, and having it called as precisely as possible according to that rule.

    I just don't like artificial constraints put on a hitter. It's a living breathing sport and batters are constantly tweaking and adjusting their stances. It stands to to reason that the strike zone moves with how they are batting at that point in time, not how their stance was back in spring training or even the beginning of the series. A guy might have had a session with his hitting coach last night and found a flaw and made an adjustment. So he should be stuck with that out of date strike zone?

    The sport should direct the technology, not the other was around.

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  4. #273
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    In the football chain example I would almost equate the chain to the fixed dimensions of home plate, and the ball-spotting by the line judge (or whomever) to the umpire calling balls and strikes.

  5. #274
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    In theory, it's a fine idea but in practice I'm not sure it goes over too well.

    While the technology might permit that right now for Major League baseball, strike zones cannot be called like that in Little League, Babe Ruth, high school or college. So basically you're asking a player to change a batting approach they've probably used their post-adolescent lifetime, and alter it because you're essentially changing the strike zone on them.
    I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.
    "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

  6. #275
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.
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  7. #276
    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
    I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.
    Of course it won't. High schools are cutting sports, not investing $10,000+ for a system to call the strikezone in a game that gets 10 fans to a game that don't pay to watch it.

  8. #277
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Of course it won't. High schools are cutting sports, not investing $10,000+ for a system to call the strikezone in a game that gets 10 fans to a game that don't pay to watch it.
    As far as high school baseball fans coming out to watch games, that's not the case here in Brownsburg, Indiana or Charlotte, NC, and yes, fans pay to watch it in both places.
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  9. #278
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    It stands to to reason that the strike zone moves with how they are batting at that point in time, not how their stance was back in spring training or even the beginning of the series. A guy might have had a session with his hitting coach last night and found a flaw and made an adjustment. So he should be stuck with that out of date strike zone?
    The zone shouldn't move dependent on your latest tweak. Again, the zone is supposed to be constructed so that no hitter can hope to successfully cover all of it at once (and that no pitcher can keep pumping balls into a spot hitters can't reach).

    Hitters are and should be free to set their stances to give them a better chance in various parts of the zone, but this notion that you can adjust your stance to command the entire zone is a false one. It even runs counter to the letter and intent of the rules. Batting stance adjustments should always be a tradeoff.
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  10. #279
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    I promise this technology should it ever be proven to work will not be used at the non professional levels. The zones at non professional levels change according to the quality of play and for good reason. No one and I mean no one will want to sit through a 6 hour HS baseball game because some computer system is dictating what is a strike and what is not a strike.
    I don't think anyone's suggesting this would be used in youth and amateur ranks. Every one of us knows that won't happen.

    Yet, I'm curious, if we lived in some alternate universe where HS baseball used an automated strike zone, how would that extend the game at all let alone to six hours?
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  11. #280
    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
    Yet, I'm curious, if we lived in some alternate universe where HS baseball used an automated strike zone, how would that extend the game at all let alone to six hours?
    In many games where the play is incredibly bad such as in the inner cities I need to change my strike zone to be pretty much anything the catcher can catch without jumping out of the box. If I don't do this the game will last many, many hours or won't be completed at all. Or there may be some instances like in maybe a JV or freshman game or even a lopsided varsity game where it is getting dark or rain looks like it is on the way so you will open up the strike zone to get the game in.
    "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

  12. #281
    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
    In many games where the play is incredibly bad such as in the inner cities I need to change my strike zone to be pretty much anything the catcher can catch without jumping out of the box. If I don't do this the game will last many, many hours or won't be completed at all. Or there may be some instances like in maybe a JV or freshman game or even a lopsided varsity game where it is getting dark or rain looks like it is on the way so you will open up the strike zone to get the game in.
    Fair points. Sad to hear the game has devolved that much in some places.

    FWIW, I suspect lower expectations (in general) and loose rules interpretations aren't helping those players. One of the things I've learned over the years is that kids do a remarkably good job of getting with the program, provided there is a program for them to get with.

    Obviously one ump can't remake an entire culture prior to a game, but if the league participants got together to make it clear they want stricter enforcement of the rule book because they're going to demand more commitment and a higher skill level from their players they might be surprised by how rapidly the quality of play improves.

    /segue
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  13. #282
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    Some guys, like Cal Ripken, always tinker with their stances. Just saying.
    Well, they'd have to live with whatever was determined at the beginning of the year.

    I realize my post was a simplification, but I think it's reasonable to be able to calibrate everyone's strikezone in the spring by a fair method. I bet the players would enjoy having a consistent strike zone over the entire course of the year.
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  14. #283
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Again, is anyone that matters even talking about this?
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  15. #284
    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
    Fair points. Sad to hear the game has devolved that much in some places.

    FWIW, I suspect lower expectations (in general) and loose rules interpretations aren't helping those players. One of the things I've learned over the years is that kids do a remarkably good job of getting with the program, provided there is a program for them to get with.

    Obviously one ump can't remake an entire culture prior to a game, but if the league participants got together to make it clear they want stricter enforcement of the rule book because they're going to demand more commitment and a higher skill level from their players they might be surprised by how rapidly the quality of play improves.

    /segue
    In regards to inner city schools, the vast majority of the time the schools are lucky to be even fielding a team. There may be 2,000 kids in the school but they struggle to find 12 to make up a team because so many have never played before. Or they struggle to find kids who are responsible enough to show up for practice and games, stay out of trouble or get the grades to play. Cory Wade who has been in MLB for the past several years with both the Dodgers and Yankees remarkedly made it even though he played on this type of HS team.

    You also have instances where one school is just quite a bit larger or just has a top notch baseball program against a smaller school or a school with a not so good baseball program. In these instances the games are usually blow outs and I have yet to hear a complaint from a coach when we open up the strike zone to get the game over with. Both coaches and usually the players want the misery to end.
    "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

  16. #285
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Well, they'd have to live with whatever was determined at the beginning of the year.
    That's a bad approach

    The game is organic, part of that is the ability for adjustments to factor in to the way one approaches the game. Limit the approach and you end up with generic results.

    Sounds even worst than having to deal with a strike zone that is defined by a trained professional


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