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Thread: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

  1. #31
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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.
    It might be reckless to make that statement.

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  3. #32
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I'd be in favor of using the computers to evaluate and discipline the umpires. If an umpire is shown to miss balls/strikes at an inordinate rate, I'd be fully in favor of demoting that umpire to the minors. But I do NOT want a computer calling the balls/strikes in a game.

    And by the way, that video Doug posted in that initial post, 6 inches outside...sure, it's a ball...but lets not act like it's such a blatant error that we get bent out of shape over it. That's just slightly more than one baseball's length outside. Sure it's a mistake, but I've seen worse mistakes on plays with balls that are trapped, or close plays at a base, etc. Are we going to have computers call those to? Implement replay to make an already long game even longer? I vote no.
    The arguments after a blown call delay the game far more than a quick replay review would.

  4. #33
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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.

    50 runs... so say the computers.

    One could surmise they have a vested interest
    "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. #34
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    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.
    Agreed.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  6. #35
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    I think threads about computerizing balls and strikes are giving "Adam Dunn Sucks" threads a run for the money.

    The reality is computerized balls and strikes are not likely to happen in our lifetime. MLB is very conservative and does not react quickly to change. There is no system currently in place at any level of professional or amateur baseball so this alone tells me this isn't even on the radar for MLB to implement anytime soon.

    I have no problem with instant replay being used on a limited basis but as far as balls and strikes I have no real opinion because again, it isn't going to happen in my lifetime so why think about it?

    Don't think also that there won't be controversy should a computerized system ever be put in place. I gaurantee fans and players alike will still question and gripe about the calls.

    The only real place I can find where people want some computerized ball and strikes system is on this board.

    I will check back in a month or so when a new thread about this is started and will copy and paste the same thing again.
    "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

  7. #36
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    The point Doug makes is valid yet I am not seeing a pitch that is 6 inches off the plate. Can we get a consensus on that before I go on?

  8. #37
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    A ball whose center is 1.5 inches off the plate is still a strike though because its outer edge nips the black, correct?

  9. #38
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    A ball whose center is 1.5 inches off the plate is still a strike though because its outer edge nips the black, correct?
    Correct.
    "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

  10. #39
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    50 runs/80 games = .625 runs a game

    I'm just struggling to compute all this.

    Ok, I'm done for now.

  11. #40
    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    And yet, the plate has precise measurements that are consistent from park to park. And yet, the rule book provides very specific guidelines about how to define the height of the zone by player.

    Clearly, the task given to the umpire is to assess whether or not the ball crossed through the zone. That's what the rulebook says his job his. We have evidence that certain players can and do systemically abuse the umpires' physical limitations in doing their job.

    The question becomes, which is the bigger affront? Changing our rule enforcement mechanism, to which some people seem to have great affinity, or allowing players to gain an advantage through their skill in abusing the limitations of our current mechanism?

    The umps are there to enforce the rules. MLB should be doing what it can to allow them to do their jobs as well as possible. Choosing not to so when they clearly have a solution available is an insult to anybody who thinks that the game should be decided by the players' ability to score and prevent runs within the rules rather than their ability to abuse the limitations of our ability to enforce them.

    I've yet to see anybody make a compelling argument against a solution such as the one BCubb described. I'm sure the umps would resist, but that's the only reason, that's sad.
    If the beep tells the ump what to say, why even have an ump? You can have a scoreboard keep track of the count, instant replay on plays at the plate, and a mechanical ball tosser give new balls when they're scuffed by clicking a button on the catcher's helmet. The beep is the castration of the ump. No one will respect the ump. I think the game would lose a little excitement waiting for the beep.

  12. #41
    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    50 runs/80 games = .625 runs a game

    I'm just struggling to compute all this.

    Ok, I'm done for now.
    The numbers are flying around.

  13. #42
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    If tennis can do it -- and do it efficiently -- there's no reason baseball can't. Not exactly apples-to-apples, but you get the drift. This isn't all that complicated with today's technology. And not EVERY call would be reviewed. Just the ones that are challenged. Wouldn't take but more than a few seconds ... just like when shots are challenged in tennis.

    The calling of balls/strikes is a huge issue in baseball. One that certainly needs fixed. Guys are all over the map with their respective strike zones.

  14. #43
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    If the beep tells the ump what to say, why even have an ump? You can have a scoreboard keep track of the count, instant replay on plays at the plate, and a mechanical ball tosser give new balls when they're scuffed by clicking a button on the catcher's helmet. The beep is the castration of the ump. No one will respect the ump. I think the game would lose a little excitement waiting for the beep.
    Because the home plate ump does more than just call balls and strikes and throw the ball back to the pitcher. Somehow they still manage to find tennis judges.

    That said, I'd be very happy even it wasn't even something the ump had to follow, but just a training mechanism. Put it purposefully on a 5-10 second delay, let the ump make his call as he currently does, and then give him feedback. Ump keeps his role, but gets the feedback he needs to improve at his craft in real time, when he's still able to process the necessary adjustment.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-13-2012 at 10:19 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  15. #44
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Like anything technical and complex, the devil is in the details.

    I'd really like to see a working real-time balls and strikes video system get implemented in the minors where they can use it for a season and really work all the bugs out of it. With these kinds of things, the problems aren't the ones you think of, its the ones you don't think of and all of the unintended consequences.

    Thinking it through, it seems that getting the geometry of the plate is a solvable thing. You have the front, sides, and back and they don't move. What seems the problem is the top and bottom of the strike zone.


    Rule 2.00: The Strike Zone

    The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

    That last sentence would be the tricky part. Is this a fully automated determination or is a human being setting it? If automated, the batter knows when he's being scanned and what happens if he crouches at that exact instant? Lots of things to work out.

    And being a IT security guy, all systems better be firewalled and virus scanned and the code better be app-scanned for vulnerabilities and peer reviewed out the wazoo because it will come under intense scrutiny. White hat threats where a programmer can be bought out by organized gamblers to alter results. All solvable problems that all IT departments worth their salt take care of, but now instead of a human ump that is calling balls and strikes, you have a digital infrastructure that is doing it. Believe me, a lot can go wrong and lots and lots and lots of stuff needs to be worked out.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  16. #45
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes

    Electronic strikezones already exist. They've been around for years and have been demonstrating to fans who know how to open up a Gameday window that, yes, umps do as poor a job of calling balls and strikes as we always suspected. And the electronic systems make an instantaneous call.

    The technology is proven and in place. It adds no delay to the game. It increases the fairness of the game. In fact, it would eliminate all game-time wrangling over calls.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.


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