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Jim Furtado
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Technology Newsbeat

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tech me out to the ballgame: Replay, ‘K-Zones’ causing major league headaches

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.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2016 at 10:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: k-zone, replay, technology, umpires

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lasers in the outfield—Infield isn’t only place where defense is shifting

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.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2016 at 10:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics, technology

 

 

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