Tuesday, May 13, 2014
As with baseball scrums, there was a lot of standing around and yelling, but no actual fighting. That’s pretty standard when it comes to benches clearing incidents. There was contact though. Umpire Paul Nauert gently tapped (slapped?) Hunter in the face in an effort to calm him down.
Monday, May 05, 2014
With a guest appearance by former BPros/now Astros’ front office expert Mike Fast:
One of his (Fast’s) conclusions has far reaching ramifications:
The utility and accuracy of a Zone Evaluation system that is used to grade major-league umpires based upon the unreliable PITCHf/x sz_top and sz_bot measurements is also called into question.
And he closes the piece with:
Short of having a more reliable method for measuring the actual stance of batters from video, it seems to make the most sense to set the top and bottom boundaries based upon the height of the batter and the average height of the pitches that the batter sees, as scaled to the average umpire zone. That is probably not a workable solution for the robotic home-plate umpires that many fans desire. Such a system would be slow to capture changes in batter stances and could be subject to manipulation. However, given the current data, it seems to be the best approach for analysis of strike zone data, and it is much more accurate than using the boundaries supplied in the PITCHf/x data.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Thursday, April 03, 2014
This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt… Magnante, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent.
Hey Bill: I just noticed that Baseball Reference now has Mike Trout and Carlos Gomez tied for 2013 WAR leaders at 8.9 each. You show Trout as being nearly twice as valuable as Gomez (40 WS to 21.2). One expects different systems to arrive at somewhat different valuations, but a disagreement of this size strikes me as a bit bizarre. Any thoughts?
Well. ..what do you think? Do you really believe Carlos Gomez is the equal of Mike Trout? I don’t feel that I have a deep need to defend my position, and I don’t see any point in attacking there’s.
Now that baseball has finally crossed the Rubicon and begun embracing replay technology, can automating ball-and-strike calls be far behind?...
... what I have advocated for 20 years: an audible beep that only the home plate umpire hears, telling him whether the ball was or was not in the zone. He can ignore the beep if he chooses to do so; there might be cases where the technology doesn’t work, and a ball bouncing off the catcher’s shinguards will beep to signal a strike. Anything can happen. But in practice, umpires are going to learn to just go along with the beep 99.99% of the time. The game LOOKS the same; it’s the same from the seats. The only difference is, the calls are right.
Bill, from a run production stand point, would you rather have a team full of Ben Revers or a team full of Adam Dunns?
... Revere’s on base percentage the last three years is higher than Dunn’s, so it is power against baserunning. I’m not sure who would win. An odd and relevant fact is that Dunn processes as a better baserunner last year than Revere does. Revere was 11-for-22 going first to third on singles; Dunn was 3-for-27, so Revere is several bases ahead there. Revere was 5-for-8 scoring from second on a single; Dunn was 7-for-17, so Revere is further ahead. Revere was 2-for-5 scoring from first on a double; Dunn was 1-for-7, so another base or two for Revere there. But Dunn did not run into an out on the bases, all year; Revere did it five times. Running into an out is FAR more costly than the benefit of one base, so the balance of these events actually favors Dunn.
You mentioned George Allen recently. To me, he was the original moneyball man. He traded unproven commodities (draft picks) for unproven commodities (players) and won EVERY single year. Do you hav thoughts on him?
At the end of his career he was trading away the future for the present. I don’t think that was smart; I think that was selfish. I think he was a great coach up to a point, but. . .like Andy Reid in Philadelphia. . .when the coach becomes the GM, has the dual responsibility of coaching and selecting players, most often this does not work. I think Allen was a terrific coach, but I don’t think the wholesale trading of future draft picks should be allowed, and I don’t think it reflects well on anyone who does it.
Hey Bill, Baseball Reference 2013 WAR data show Mike Trout as being twice as valuable as Carlos Gomez offensively, but suggest that Gomez was five and a half wins better than Trout defensively, and that Trout’s defense actually cost the Angels a win last year. I am skeptical of that assessment, but that is where the discrepancy lies.
I was assuming that everybody knew that. What I was asking—and am asking—is, do you believe it? I don’t believe it; I think it is silly, so I’m not going to worry about arguing it through, because I don’t think anyone really believes that.
Friday, March 28, 2014
[bq]What this really was, when you think it through, was the Last Great Umpiring Call (or Calls) of the Pre-Instant Replay Era, the technology which—beginning in 2014—will permeate the lives of every umpire who ever sets foot on a major league field from now on.
Never again will six men in blue work a World Series game, or any other game, knowing there is no replay machine, no technological wizardry, hovering in the background to serve as their safety net.
Never again will there be quite the same pressure on these men to make life-changing, season-defining, history-altering calls in intense, real-time moments.[/bq]
for his generous support.
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