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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Umpiring Newsbeat

Monday, September 14, 2015

Analyzing the Strike Zone as a Three-Dimensional Volume – The Hardball Times

Really interesting stuff. Of course, if all the true strikes were called correctly, all hitters might go all Joey Votto.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2015 at 09:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, umpiring

Friday, August 21, 2015

Umpires Are Less Blind Than They Used To Be

Umps are getting better, and they’re also remarkably consistent. An ump who makes more accurate calls in one year will likely do the same the next; an ump who misses more calls in a given season will likely be as bad the next. Umpire accuracy is more steady than a player’s batting average or a pitcher’s ERA, and as consistent as OPS (on-base plus slugging) and wins above replacement.

Also interesting: umpires lately have been calling more strikes strikes, while calling an equal rate of balls balls, a pattern which may be part of the fall in offense over that period (my own speculation, not the author’s).

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 21, 2015 at 03:00 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: umpires, umpiring

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Independent team to experiment with computerized strike zone

Who would make the best umpire? Watson? C-3PO? HAL?

The San Rafael Pacifics, who play in the Pacific Association, will employ Pitch f/X July 28 and 29, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The games will be the first in professional baseball history in which a human will not be used to call balls and strikes.

The Pitch F/X system consists of three cameras forming a triangular effect that judges a pitch’s trajectory and speed as it crosses the plate. The system is used on television broadcasts to determine a pitch’s location and also for umpires to self-evaluate.

Former major league outfielder Eric Byrnes, an advocate for computerized strike zones, will oversee Pitch f/X, which was developed by Sportvision Inc. of Fremont, Calif. There will also be an on-site review official, according to Pacifics assistant general manager Vinnie Longo.

Friday, June 05, 2015

WaPo: Nationals Victims of 2 Bad Umpire Calls, Replay No Help

Because the Nationals lost the challenge, they couldn’t ask for any more reviews until the seventh inning, when the rules allow them to as the umpiring crew chief to look at a play and determine if a review is needed. But their next close call came in the sixth.

After the play, Harper lingered at first base thinking Williams would emerge from the dugout to challenge the play. But he couldn’t.

“I think [umpire reviews] should be from the fifth on probably,” Harper said. “There are so many plays from the fifth inning on that are big-time plays. I don’t know if it should be like the NFL where we get one challenge a game until after the seventh. It should be a little bit different. That’s the way it goes right now. Gotta live with it.”

Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$ Posted: June 05, 2015 at 02:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, replay sucks, umpiring

Monday, June 01, 2015

Joey Votto drew a three-ball walk

In the seventh inning on Sunday, Votto drew a three-ball walk against Nationals reliever Matt Grace. The Reds had already scored once to break a 2-2 tie prior to the walk, but they went on to score five more en route to an 8-2 win.

I didn’t realize the Canadian exchange rate had gotten so bad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rays Cash on umpiring: “It’s terrible ... It’s embarrassing” | Tampa Bay Times

Tell us how you really feel, Kevin. Fine in 10…9…8…7…

“Terrible. Terrible. It’s embarrassing,’’ he said. “We spend so much time on pace of play, let’s just the damn call right on the field. It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, umpiring



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