Friday, November 08, 2013
Very good, thorough piece on the pros and cons of automated ball/strike calls.
The goal, of course, is no error, or as close to that ideal as we can possibly come. And so the best solution might be a hybrid approach that combines tradition with technology. Not robot umps, but regular umps with input from robot brains.
Umpires are already more closely acquainted with pitch-tracking technology than is often assumed. “We currently use technology for both evaluation purposes and training purposes,” says MLB spokesman Mike Teevan. “All umpires receive a computerized breakdown of their plate performances, including calls they got right and calls they missed.”
Posted: November 08, 2013 at 07:35 PM | 16 comment(s)
Saturday, October 19, 2013
ST. LOUIS—Why were Dodgers president Stan Kasten and MLB executive Joe Torre in a heated conversation during batting practice before Game 6 of the National League Championship Series?
It probably has something to do with Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig and umpires, according to a baseball source.
Puig has enraged the crew, which believes he is showing up umpires at home plate. It nearly came to a head in Game 5 when Puig was called out on strikes by plate umpire Ted Barrett and stood in the batter’s box, left hand on hip, staring at Barrett. Earlier in the at-bat, Puig said something to Barrett, who came out from behind the plate, brushed off the plate and apparently said something to Puig.
Apparently, this crew, which Torre oversees, feels that Puig has crossed the line. It’s not known if Puig has been fined, but apparently word was sent from MLB offices to the Dodgers’ clubhouse that disrespecting the umpires with displays at home plate won’t be tolerated, especially by Puig.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
When assessing whether a pitch is a ball or a strike, umpires get the call wrong around 8% of the time, according to a review of every call this season (through Sept. 10) by Inside Edge, a professional scouting service used by 15 major-league teams. That translates to an average of 8.8 incorrect calls per game behind the plate.
Baseball officials say the rate is slightly lower than that, according to the league’s internal evaluation system. But either way, it represents the vast majority of all incorrect calls.
Excluding balls and strikes, MLB research found that umpires miss only one call every five games, according to Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz, who helped devise the new replay system. Yet the massive expansion leaves balls and strikes outside the scope of replay.
Posted: September 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM | 18 comment(s)
Friday, September 06, 2013
It happened again the other night, at Kauffman Stadium. One more game where Major League Baseball does itself, its teams and, most importantly, its fans a shortsighted and unnecessary disservice. The text message from a friend at the Royals game buzzes in as a reminder:
He was safe right???
My friend was at the game, Section 115, Row M. Paid around $50 for the ticket, $10 for parking, $25 or so more for a few beers and food. And he had to ask someone in the press box whether the umpire made the right call. People at home on their couches also had a better look than my paying friend. Those with access to a television saw the replay; those who paid to get in the stadium saw bupkis.
All because of an MLB policy that’s outdated, self-harming and insulting to fans.
The Royals spent $8.3 million for what was in 2008 the world’s largest high-definition video board. It was the centerpiece of the stadium renovations, enough of a draw that the club made sure to unveil it a year before the rest of the changes — sort of a pardon-our-mess gesture of good faith.
And they’re not utilizing it.
The Royals bought themselves a Ferrari, and are driving it like a tricycle because MLB blocked the roads.
Most of the blame here goes to MLB for a stupid policy borne out of fear of the umpires’ union. But some of it rests with the Royals, who don’t even show the replays allowed by MLB’s silly rule.
Thanks to Drew.
Posted: September 06, 2013 at 10:32 AM | 23 comment(s)
Saturday, June 29, 2013
What if, instead, we took it into our own hands and watched every double-play for signs of the neighborhood call ourselves? If this unwritten rule is even a third as common as it was, surely it wouldn’t be too hard to find one in a large sampling, right? To test this theory, I watched every GiDP from last weekend (Saturday & Sunday, to be exact). That’s 53 double-plays across 30 games. Of these, seven had no turn at second base. In the remaining 46, there were [...]
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