Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Umpires Newsbeat

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Slate: What They Teach You at Umpire School

In all our field work, three concepts were paramount: 1) Get into proper viewing position so you’re not “looking up the ass end of a play,” and then come to a stop before the play happens. You can’t see what’s going on when your angle is changing and your head is bouncing. 2) Take your time before making any ruling. Like Hickox said: Take a slow breath and get it straight in your head before you commit to a self-assured STRIKE ONE or SAFE or HE’S OUT. As the instructors reminded us: “It ain’t #### until you call it.” 3) Never, ever, ever convey doubt. Even if you’re wracked with doubt. Own the call, sell the call, and stand by the call.

There has to be an ultimate arbiter so the game can move along. That’s you. Until you’ve ruled, everything remains in dispute, and the proceedings come to a halt. It’s almost more important to issue a final ruling than it is for that ruling to comport with reality. (Unless you get to the big leagues and there’s video review, in which case your preliminary judgments will get overturned by an all-seeing eye. It sounds belittling.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2016 at 10:51 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: harry wendelstedt, umpire school, umpires

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Baseball Prospectus: Umpires Aren’t Compassionate; They’re Bayesian

This would be an important amendment to Mike Fast’s “catcher target theory” of catcher framing. Fast suggested that umpires use the catcher’s glove location as a reference point, calling strikes more often when the catcher does not have to move his glove very far and calling balls when he does. No doubt there is truth to this, but by itself this theory is not consistent with the way the zone shifts by count. In my view, the amount of movement of the catcher’s glove is only part of the story—the pre-pitch location of the glove also matters. If true, then influencing umpires’ perception of how far inside the zone the catcher initially set his target may be an important element of catcher framing skill.

I can’t prove that umpires use catchers’ gloves as a signpost in this way, to help them evaluate the proximity of a pitch to the strike zone (though I invite other researchers to explore the issue). But if it were your job to judge whether a ball moving 95 mph had passed through an invisible box in the air—within one second, in front of 40,000 people—wouldn’t you take advantage of the only visible, relatively fixed marker in sight?

Regardless of how the shifting zone is achieved, umpires must face plenty of pressure to do it, without anyone even needing to explicitly acknowledge it. A young umpire who called a consistent neutral zone would find himself frequently criticized by hitters, and perhaps the league, for calling too many strikes in pitchers’ counts. The opposite would happen in hitters’ counts. Importantly, both sets of criticisms would be entirely correct, and backed by video evidence. The “changing size of the zone” is an abstraction, while calling pitches outside the zone as strikes is very concrete, with real consequences. To survive, any umpire would have to adopt the shifting zone.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2016 at 11:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, umpires

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Darren
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 May 2: The Anti-Moneyball Election
(157 - 3:27pm, May 02)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogExploring how MLB has turned Yankee Stadium against Yankees | New York Post
(67 - 3:16pm, May 02)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogHow parents are ruining youth sports - The Boston Globe
(24 - 3:14pm, May 02)
Last: Bowling Baseball Fan

NewsblogFacts and fiction from the first month of the MLB season | FOX Sports
(8 - 3:08pm, May 02)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogBeyond the Boxscore: Joe Mauer is back.
(17 - 3:04pm, May 02)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogSherman: How baseball enticed Dee Gordon to use PEDs
(54 - 3:03pm, May 02)
Last: Ithaca2323

NewsblogRed Sox must turn to Christian Vazquez to help struggling pitchers - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN
(100 - 2:59pm, May 02)
Last: Joe Bivens, Minor Genius

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1992 Ballot
(14 - 2:57pm, May 02)
Last: EricC

NewsblogOT: Soccer March/April 2016
(734 - 2:57pm, May 02)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogThe strange saga of Jose Reyes is nearing an end. But what then? - The Denver Post
(90 - 2:51pm, May 02)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

Sox TherapyThree Questions: May 2016
(7 - 2:49pm, May 02)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogTim Lincecum’s showcase set, and Giants will be there - San Francisco Chronicle
(3 - 2:44pm, May 02)
Last: bbmck

Newsblog10 Degrees: Is a juiced ball causing MLB's large home run spike? - Yahoo Sports
(32 - 2:28pm, May 02)
Last: Greg Pope

NewsblogReplay catches Albert Pujols off bag and costs LA Angels in loss at Texas
(70 - 2:26pm, May 02)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(1533 - 1:57pm, May 02)
Last: SouthSideRyan

Page rendered in 0.7750 seconds
50 querie(s) executed