Monday, October 31, 2016
The philosophy of replay was ostensibly simple: Get the call right. Yet during a season in which time of game is a priority, baseball is dealing with an unintended consequence of replay: the spirit of replay on second-base tag plays. Former managers Joe Torre and Jim Leyland, both of whom work in the commissioner’s office, are vexed that replay has resulted in nitpicking.
“I think this is an example of where the technology is too good,” Leyland said, “Where, in this case, we’re kind of victims of the technology. It works too well. It wasn’t put in place to look at 10 different angles of whether a guy came off the bag by a millimeter. It bothers me.”
Players, however, are more absolutist.
“No, the technology doesn’t affect me at all,” said Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler. “It doesn’t make me less inclined to run, and I don’t think it makes managers want to run less. Maybe you have to get a better lead, be more careful, but that’s it.”
Monday, August 29, 2016
When it comes to positioning their outfielders, the Yankees literally keep the information under their hats. Before each game, bench coach Rob Thomson, responsible for the outfield defense, gives Gardner, center fielder Ellsbury, right fielder Hicks and rookie outfielder Aaron Judge an index card with precise locations for each opposing hitter.
Those locations are determined by a proprietary computer program developed by the Yankees’ analytic squad, headed by David Grabiner. It takes a multitude of factors—among them the hitter’s power, his tendency to pull or not pull the ball, and his career history against the Yankees’ pitcher that night—and spits out a spray chart which places the outfielder in the optimal position to make a play.
“We have analytical assessments that show specifically where guys hit the ball,” a Yankees staffer told ESPN.com. “I mean, it shows us exactly where guys hit the ball just about every time. And it’s hitter/pitcher specific, based on pitch velocity and location. Positioning is based on a lot of factors, including the speed of the defender.”
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Just wait until the cyborg revolution starts!!
“It’s not really the technology itself—it’s all, in theory, great,” Colorado Rockies reliever and team union rep Adam Ottavino said. “I think we’re always a little bit scared of giving away too much of ourselves.”
The Zephyr Bioharness and the Motus elbow sleeve (the two approved devices) log heart and breathing rates and a pitcher’s workload and strain, respectively. They’re permitted so long as the data does not stream live and is instead stored for post-game retrieval. But even if it’s not available to be streamed live, collecting players’ biometric data raises a lot of questions.
New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson is a Major League Baseball Players’ Association representative and holds a senior leadership position in the union. He says: “It’s a matter of how much access will we have to it?’ How much [access] will the team have to it? What will be done with it?”
Posted: August 09, 2016 at 08:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
Sunday, August 07, 2016
The St. Louis Cardinals are one club that has not quite fully adopted the iPads. Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman said much of the team’s bullpen information was relayed orally. And if he has a question, he will refer back to the bullpen coach, Blaise Ilsley.
“So he’s sort of our iPad in that sense,” Bowman said.
Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said he would check an iPad in the dugout occasionally, sometimes when a new pitcher entered the game. But perhaps memory, at least Showalter’s, is one thing the iPads can’t trump.
“If you’re referring to that a lot when you’re out here, you haven’t done your homework,” Showalter said. “I usually have it, believe it or not, stored upstairs.”
Posted: August 07, 2016 at 08:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
Monday, July 18, 2016
Full title at Sporting News Rage against the machines: MLB stars don’t want to see robot umps
Sporting News asked several All-Stars and found, overwhelmingly, that the game’s best players do not want to see a change, for a variety of reasons. Here is what they had to say.
The law of unintended consequences is always in play. Worth a read.
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