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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Baseball’s ‘robot umpires’ are here. And you might not even notice the difference.

The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas, will become the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on Wednesday night in York, Pa.

“It’s amazing how good these robots look. They look just like the actual umpires,” league president Rick White joked in a phone interview. “I think once people actually see this happening, they’re going to realize it’s not that big a deal.”

League officials have quietly tested software, created by sports data firm Trackman and provided by Major League Baseball, for weeks during real games in New Britain, Conn., and Bridgewater, N.J. For a few innings or an entire game, umpires have heard “ball,” “strike” or “did not track” through the earpiece, then conveyed Trackman’s call, only overturning the software on a technical glitch. Home plate umpires continue to rule on check swings, foul tips, catcher’s interference and plays at the plate. (While the program has been provisionally tested, with managers being informed before the game when Trackman would be used, Wednesday’s All-Star Game begins the league’s formal rollout.)

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 109 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: robot umpires

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   1. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5860706)
Are the results comparing and contrasting the same game called by a human ump vs the latest tech ump shared or no? And it's kind of sad that all human umps will see this part of their job stripped away because terrible umps were not managed out of their jobs properly. That is on the one failing that happens in organizations where management avoids managing and asks technology to do the work because managing is considered too hard.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5860714)
The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas

That seems to be sub-optimal in terms of managing travel costs, although my favorite has to be the short-lived indoor Intense Football League which fielded teams in Texas, Southwest Louisiana, and two in Alaska.
   3. The Duke Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5860717)
You think that companies would hold off on robots if only humans were managed better? The goal of every company is to eliminate every human it can with automation. Full stop.
   4. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5860722)
Maybe one of these umps will go full Skynet and kill and arguing player or manager.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5860726)
That seems to be sub-optimal in terms of managing travel costs, although my favorite has to be the short-lived indoor Intense Football League which fielded teams in Texas, Southwest Louisiana, and two in Alaska.


The FCS Pioneer Football League has teams in California, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Florida, and most of the members have been in the league for about 20 years or more.

   6. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5860727)
For a few innings or an entire game, umpires have heard “ball,” “strike” or “did not track” through the earpiece


Terrific news. This is exactly how they should implement it.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5860730)
You think that companies would hold off on robots if only humans were managed better? The goal of every company is to eliminate every human it can with automation. Full stop.

That's silly. The goal of every company is to maximize efficiency in the delivery of its goods or services. The company doesn't care if it's people or machines, whichever one does a job more efficiently (quality and cost).
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5860731)
Terrific news. This is exactly how they should implement it.
Well, I'm sure by the time it gets to MLB it will be something more along the lines of "This ball-strike challenge review is brought to you by State Farm...and now a word about she-sheds."
   9. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5860736)
people or machines, whichever one does a job more efficiently (quality and cost).

Are there examples of companies or industries that have replaced humans with machines and then gone back to humans?
   10. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5860741)
I guess this isn't too bad. I had images of one of those horrific things that Boston Dynamics makes standing behind home plate.
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5860750)
9. In the call center space. But AI is getting better so this is likely just a brief interruption before live call center services disappear completely
   12. catomi01 Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5860753)
The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas

That seems to be sub-optimal in terms of managing travel costs, although my favorite has to be the short-lived indoor Intense Football League which fielded teams in Texas, Southwest Louisiana, and two in Alaska.


The original plan was multiple teams in Texas, and setting up regional divisions (I think - there have been dozens of plans for the Atlantic League that don't really get off the drawing board for one reason or another). One of the 7 East Coast teams is in North Carolina now too, so its really 6 teams located between Maryland and Connecticut and then two outliers.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5860754)
Are there examples of companies or industries that have replaced humans with machines and then gone back to humans?

I know the auto industry backed off a lot of the robot-assembly stuff that was tried in the 1980's.

Generally, the economy progresses by increasing the amount of capital per unit of labor. That's why productivity goes up, and wages can go up.

That doesn't mean the goal is to replace every worker. Usually it means giving each worker better tools so they're more productive.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5860755)

That seems to be sub-optimal in terms of managing travel costs, although my favorite has to be the short-lived indoor Intense Football League which fielded teams in Texas, Southwest Louisiana, and two in Alaska.


The North American Baseball League had teams in Texas and California, plus two in Hawaii and one in Alberta!
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5860756)
9. In the call center space. But AI is getting better so this is likely just a brief interruption before live call center services disappear completely

Seriously doubt that. People hate talking to computers, and call center reps are really cheap. Companies are already using 100% U.S. based call centers as a differentiator (e.g. Chase Sapphire).

I mean, they've been predicting the elimination of bank tellers for 40 years, and it hasn't happened.
   16. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5860759)
15--tests have shown that the tech has become sufficiently refined that people cannot tell that the service is not a person. And who goes to a bank that is not over 70??
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5860762)

15--tests have shown that the tech has become sufficiently refined that people cannot tell that the service is not a person. And who goes to a bank that is not over 70??


I go fairly regularly. And, based on the people around me when I'm there, lots of others under 70 still do.
   18. Brian C Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5860766)
Yeah, bank tellers seems like a good example to make exactly the opposite point that snapper was trying to make.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5860767)
There must be many fewer bank tellers than there used to be.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5860768)

There must be many fewer bank tellers than there used to be.


They have definitely been reduced in number. But they're by no means gone, or anywhere close.

   21. Greg Pope Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5860769)
Well, I'm sure by the time it gets to MLB it will be something more along the lines of "This ball-strike challenge review is brought to you by State Farm...and now a word about she-sheds."

They'll have the umps call what the computer tells them to, but the managers will get 19 purple challenge flags that they can throw on the field. If one is thrown then the ump will give his personal decision and if it disagrees with the robot call then the umpire's call stands. Unless the other manager throws one of his 7 orange challenge flags, in which case it will go to New York for a video replay call.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5860770)
tests have shown that the tech has become sufficiently refined that people cannot tell that the service is not a person.

Does that mean that they've passed the Turing test?

Are you telling my I've spoken to a robot and didn't even know it was a robot????

I did notice that they began programming verbal foibles into robocalls - the robot will stutter or act slightly distracted or something. Had me fooled the first once or twice, for about 5 seconds.
   23. Rally Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5860771)
I mean, they've been predicting the elimination of bank tellers for 40 years, and it hasn't happened.


Not eliminated, but there are fewer bank teller jobs than there used to be. The ATM and auto deposit of payroll checks have replaced most of the reasons for which most people would need to wait in line for a teller.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5860772)
15--tests have shown that the tech has become sufficiently refined that people cannot tell that the service is not a person. And who goes to a bank that is not over 70??

All the automated voice systems I encounter are laughably bad. You can barely tell there's any logical programming behind it, much less intelligence. If they have this flawless tech, no body is deploying it.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5860773)
"Another ball right off the Trackman edge. It looks like Bannister might want to review this one ... he comes to the top step and motions to his starter to delay ... yep, he's got word from his people and now he's unfurling the Spiderman Re-Hashed: Journey to the Futurdome flag, triggering an official Spideysense challenge."
   26. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5860774)
17--So you go to a bank to access funds?? Wow. But then I am a crypto guy so the entire banking system to me is outdated and frankly a blight on the citizenry.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5860775)
Not eliminated, but there are fewer bank teller jobs than there used to be. The ATM and auto deposit of payroll checks have replaced most of the reasons for which most people would need to wait in line for a teller.

I actually read an interesting article that said banks royally screwed up by being in such a hurry to replace tellers with ATMs. Instead of focusing on the cost savings, they should have focused on the customer convenience of ATMs, and charged for using them from the beginning. i.e. if you want cash for free, you can come to a teller between 9 and 4, if you want to get it from the ATM, it costs $2. If you want to get it from the ATM after hours, it costs $5.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5860777)
Are you telling my I've spoken to a robot and didn't even know it was a robot????
I remember being on a service call earlier this year and the guy kept using the same phrase at odd intervals. At the time I thought he just had to stick to a slightly ill-fitting script, but maybe it was a robot all along.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5860778)
nm
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5860780)
17--So you go to a bank to access funds?? Wow. But then I am a crypto guy so the entire banking system to me is outdated and frankly a blight on the citizenry.

To me, investing actual money in crypto-currency is frankly insane. It can all go poof in 5 seconds, in a way that not even the worst run currency in history has. On multiple occasions huge operators have gone bust and cost customers hundreds of millions of dollars.
   31. Rally Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5860781)
Are you telling my I've spoken to a robot and didn't even know it was a robot????


I usually tell quickly if it's a robot or not, and hang up. This covers most calls I get from numbers I don't recognize. It's possible that I have mistakenly hung up on a human, but the people from Cardholder Services with great news about your credit card account sound awfully robotic, and are scum anyway, so no regrets there.

If I think it's a human and I answer it, I'll usually give them a bit of a chance to tell me why they are calling, assuming they are polite. I've had some borderline cases where I'll try testing them, change the subject or something like that. If it's a robot, this often throws them into a loop where you get the same pre-recorded response and gives them away.

I think I'm decent at telling a robot from a person but who knows? It would be interesting to evaluate my hunches in a test.
   32. Rally Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5860782)
the entire banking system to me is outdated and frankly a blight on the citizenry


I generally agree but I'm nowhere near thinking crypto is the solution. Sure, the number of bitcoins is finite. But the number of potential cryptocurrencies is infinite.
   33. jmurph Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5860783)
29. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5860778)
nm

This better have been a crypto joke PF.
   34. Man o' Schwar Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5860786)
I usually tell quickly if it's a robot or not, and hang up. This covers most calls I get from numbers I don't recognize.

I use the WarGames strategy - the only winning move is not to play. It's been probably 2 years since I last answered a call from a number I don't know. If it's important, they'll leave a message and I can call them right back if necessary.
   35. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5860787)
30/32-Thanks. I have been told stuff like for several years but I like playing in this space. And as a honest guy if I go get crushed financially I will absolutely share because the wife will have left with the kids and I will have time on my hands!
   36. BrianBrianson Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5860790)
All of these examples of poorly organised leagues pale in comparison to the fully professional Canadian Women's Hockey League, which had (over the course of it's run, it's just gone bust)

5 Teams in Toronto
2 Teams in Montreal
1 Team in Ottawa
1 Team in Boston
1 Team in Calgary
1 Team in Hong Kong
   37. Moeball Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5860794)
Had a strange experience recently. Had to call a help center and 1) a real person answered and 2) he was not only friendly, he was actually helpful and patiently answered my questions and walked me through what I needed to do to resolve the issue I was facing. I was so surprised by this - it's certainly not the usual experience - that I told a coworker about what happened. I said that usually I get some robot voice, or a really rude, unhelpful person. He then said "or a combination of both, like a rude robot." For some strange reason I suddenly thought of Bender...
   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5860795)

I actually read an interesting article that said banks royally screwed up by being in such a hurry to replace tellers with ATMs. Instead of focusing on the cost savings, they should have focused on the customer convenience of ATMs, and charged for using them from the beginning. i.e. if you want cash for free, you can come to a teller between 9 and 4, if you want to get it from the ATM, it costs $2. If you want to get it from the ATM after hours, it costs $5.

Don't know how this would have held up under any sort of competition between banks.

As for bitcoin, I've been a skeptic for a long time and continue to be one. It's just pure speculation.
Ignoring the issue snapper raised about unregulated operators, anything whose value goes up 500% and then back down 75% in the course of less than a year really can't serve as a store of value, which is one of the primary functions of a currency. And yes, I know there are actual national currencies that have fluctuated like this, but nobody really uses them unless they have to.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5860798)
17--So you go to a bank to access funds?? Wow.


That is one of the reasons. It's almost as if you and I are two different people.

As for blights, I'm sure it's actually pretty low on the list of the world's ills.
   40. SandyRiver Posted: July 10, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5860801)
I use the WarGames strategy - the only winning move is not to play. It's been probably 2 years since I last answered a call from a number I don't know. If it's important, they'll leave a message and I can call them right back if necessary.

Did not know it was a Wargames strategy (I'm not a gamer at all), but the only difference in our strategy is that we started 6-8 years ago. I'm old enough to have watched baseball (briefly, at age 3 it was bo-r-r-ring) pre-1950, on a tablet-size screen within a dishwasher-size cabinet, but we get our income (I still work full time) by direct deposit and pay most bills electronically. However, there's a few things where that's not yet working for us.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5860803)
Did not know it was a Wargames strategy (I'm not a gamer at all),


You don't need to be a gamer. Being an Ally Sheedyphile would work.


   42. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5860804)
39--I am not a conspiracy theorist nor want to make this any type of out of bounds discussion but short version that the financial institution influence on all, legit all, main facets of human existence is pernicious. So I hold to my terminology.
   43. SandyRiver Posted: July 10, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5860806)
#41: Missed out on that one, too.
   44. JAHV Posted: July 10, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5860809)
#41: Missed out on that one, too.


Matthew Broderick then?
   45. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5860810)
I also go to the bank relatively frequently. I mean, I know I could get away with NOT doing so, but I'm lazy and getting old.
   46. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5860813)

Isn't being old and lazy a reason not to go to the bank?
   47. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5860815)
I live in an adorable little liberal arts village where I can actually walk to the bank in about five minutes. It saves me from having to remember a 12th password for online banking or learn something new. That seems like laziness to me.
   48. RoyalFlush Posted: July 10, 2019 at 05:44 PM (#5860823)

The FCS Pioneer Football League has teams in California, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Florida, and most of the members have been in the league for about 20 years or more.


Strike Missouri - Add Iowa.

Go Drake!
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5860837)
But then I am a crypto guy so the entire banking system to me is outdated and frankly a blight on the citizenry.


Since I know next to nothing about crypto, how do I get into my son's high school baseball game?

   50. Zach Posted: July 10, 2019 at 08:18 PM (#5860852)
Cryptocurrencies suffer from the Esperanto problem.

A universal language would be useful for a lot of long term problems. But once you've committed to learning an entire language that nobody speaks, it's only a little bit more work to invent your very own language that nobody speaks.
   51. Zach Posted: July 10, 2019 at 08:21 PM (#5860854)
Which is not to say that's the only problem.

The only thing that makes cryptocurrencies seem like a good store of value is their complete uselessness for transactions. And their security against loss or theft is worse than either.

For all intents and purposes, the dollar already is an electronic currency. It just has a much better cash implementation (physical banknotes) than any cryptocurrency.
   52. Rally Posted: July 10, 2019 at 08:38 PM (#5860855)
I would in no way try to talk Master of the Horse out of crypto. I assume that 1) he knows more about it than I do and 2) There’s nothing I can say about that he hasn’t heard already. I wish him the best with it, but it’s not for me. With dollars and don’t have to think about much, and for all their faults I have confidence that the money I put in my accounts (well under FDIC guarantees) will be there tomorrow. Oh, I am being robbed by inflation. Even at 2% the money I have now will lose a third of its purchasing power in 20 years. But among all the alternatives that’s a slow robbery that I’ve come to terms with.
   53. Master of the Horse Posted: July 10, 2019 at 08:53 PM (#5860858)
52--thanks. And yes the posts like 50 and 51 are pretty old takes. The esperanto line isn't even original and no offense to 50 because maybe the poster thinks it is. But I have been reading and hearing the assessments of why this tech is insane, stupid, weird, ###### up, a scam, and fill in the blank insult for quite a while. That's ok. I have made and lost money on other stuff that did not get nearly this level of emotional responses and rolled with it. Just my thing I guess. Peace to all.
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5860860)
What about the answer to my question? I'm legitimately curious.
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: July 10, 2019 at 11:06 PM (#5860887)
That seems to be sub-optimal in terms of managing travel costs,

The Atlantic Coast Conference has teams from Indiana and Kentucky.
Big Ten teams range from New Jersey and Maryland to Nebraska and Minnesota.
The Big 12 has Midwestern/Southwestern teams plus West Virginia.
Conference USA ranges from Virginia to Texas.

also, the Somerset Patriots' park in Bridgewater is nice. Sparky Lyle managed that team for years. they draw 4,000 to 5,000 a night - or used to, anyway.
   56. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 11:35 PM (#5860890)
#53 so out of curiosity do you actually use crypto as a currency? Or are you just investing/trading it?
   57. stevegamer Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:30 AM (#5860902)
I haven't been to Somerset, yet, but visiting all the Atlantic League parks, excluding Sugar Land is on my agenda for completing no later than 2020. I've been to two defunct ones, Atlantic City & Camden. Camden's park was great.

There were plans to have more western teams, but it didn't happen. When they have an odd number of teams, the extra team is the "Road Warriors", with no home park.

   58. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5860922)
I can hardly wait for these robo-umps to reach the Bigs. I am so ####### sick of these "personalized" strike zones, which account for about 95% of the missed calls in any given game.

One thing I particularly like is that the robo-umps are validating those TV strike zones when it comes to noting that the home plate umps routinely "Eric Gregg" the strike zone on the edges while shrinking it at the top and bottom. One of the few exceptions to the top and bottom part has been Aaron Judge, who often gets strikes called that are clearly below his knees, but that may be just because of his height.
   59. The Duke Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5861017)
I’m surprised people don’t think they’ve been talking to robots. They are all over the place now and quite hard to distinguish from humans. In fact half the comments on this board are probably AI :)

Companies are not looking to be more efficient. They are maniacally trying to automate because humans are very difficult to deal with. Payroll, pensions, hr issues, vacation, sickness, death, resignations, real estate costs, computer costs etc. every job can be automated. Even doctors. There ‘s Almost no one immune to this except government workers who will never be automated away
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5861019)
I am so ####### sick of these "personalized" strike zones,


You mean, strike zones.

No matter how many times you throw the scare quotes around them, there is nothing new about this. Strike zones have always been determined by the home plate ump, and they've always been personalized (basically, dictated by the umpire's perception and his set-/up). Labeling this didn't invent it. And umps don't set out to create their own zone that differs from the rulebookish one.

It's all right to want them gone. But this is not some recent phenomenon.
   61. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5861022)
Not eliminated, but there are fewer bank teller jobs than there used to be.
Nope.

Bank teller jobs have increased as a result of ATMs. (ATMs make it possible to operate a branch with fewer tellers, which allows banks to operate more branches, which creates more teller jobs overall.) However, mobile banking is expected to reverse that trend.
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5861023)
You mean, strike zones.

No matter how many times you throw the scare quotes around them, there is nothing new about this. Strike zones have always been determined by the home plate ump, and they've always been personalized (basically, dictated by the umpire's perception and his set-/up). Labeling this didn't invent it. And umps don't set out to create their own zone that differs from the rulebookish one.

It's all right to want them gone. But pretending that this is some recent unsavory phenomenon is tiresome.

He may have done so in the past, but I don't think he claimed it was "new" or "recent" in post #58.
   63. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5861024)
I actually read an interesting article that said banks royally screwed up by being in such a hurry to replace tellers with ATMs. Instead of focusing on the cost savings, they should have focused on the customer convenience of ATMs, and charged for using them from the beginning. i.e. if you want cash for free, you can come to a teller between 9 and 4, if you want to get it from the ATM, it costs $2. If you want to get it from the ATM after hours, it costs $5.
Who exactly wrote this article, Ticketmaster?
   64. Master of the Horse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5861029)
Here is some reading for anyone interested: Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit. Debt the first 5000 years by David Graeber. The History of Money by Jack Weatherford. The Truth Machine The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Casey and Vigna.

   65. Master of the Horse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5861032)
And umps don't set out to create their own zone that differs from the rulebookish one. I don't know if that is totally true when you have umps like Jerry Layne and Rob Drake who have been shown by the data to be routinely terrible against the defined strike zone. Either they don't understand the defined strike zone, interpret it really bad or ignore the definition.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5861033)
Bank teller jobs have increased as a result of ATMs. (ATMs make it possible to operate a branch with fewer tellers, which allows banks to operate more branches, which creates more teller jobs overall.) However, mobile banking is expected to reverse that trend.

Fascinating.

Mobile banking might make sense to me if I didn't pass something like 15 banks every day in my normal activities.
   67. jmurph Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5861034)
Mobile banking might make sense to me if I didn't pass something like 15 banks every day in my normal activities.

It takes something like a minute, two to be conservative, to log into your account on the mobile app and digitally deposit a check. I was a relatively late adopter (2014ish, I think), but it's honestly amazing.
   68. Master of the Horse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5861035)
67--FWIW I went on Slack on work and asked the entire company who had last been to a bank and why. All I got was emojis making fun of the question and how old I must be to have to go to a bank. And then the slack formed of where else I must have to visit as an old person like the post office.
   69. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5861037)

It takes something like a minute, two to be conservative, to log into your account on the mobile app and digitally deposit a check. I was a relatively late adopter (2014ish, I think), but it's honestly amazing.


It doesn't take much more than that to stop at an ATM on my walk to the train. How many physical checks do you get anyway? If I deposit one check a month, that's a lot.

Electronic bill paying makes some sense, but my wife pays the bills, and doesn't like the idea.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5861038)
Master, I'll try a third time: how do you get cash?

   71. Nasty Nate Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5861039)
I went to a bank last week because I wanted a little bit more cash than ATM's give out.

In the bank I used an electronic "teller" kiosk that was nearly indistinguishable from an ATM. Presumably it only takes cards from account-holders and offers a few more service options.
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5861040)
In the bank I used an electronic "teller" kiosk that was nearly indistinguishable from an ATM. Presumably it only takes cards from account-holders and offers a few more service options.


Yeah, I was there last week because I needed cash in an increment that wasn't available on the ATM (multiple of $10, not $20). But I probably do somethign at the window once every couple of weeks.

My bank is pretty much near most everywhere else I go (the library, the drug store, the grocery store, and yes, the post office).


   73. jmurph Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5861042)
It doesn't take much more than that to stop at an ATM on my walk to the train.

Of course it does.

How many physical checks do you get anyway? If I deposit one check a month, that's a lot.

Very few, 10 or so a year maybe?
   74. Master of the Horse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5861043)
70--Here is my challenge. I am totally fine having these conversations in person. But engaging people online it's almost always someone so determined to prove to me that I am an idiot. So I am ok with people on the Internets convinced I am the idiot. Saves so much energy.

If you are not that Internet personality that's great. But I have wasted WAY too much time to get sucked in again.

So short version, I am the idiot. There, easy. Peace
   75. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5861049)
70--Here is my challenge. I am totally fine having these conversations in person. But engaging people online it's almost always someone so determined to prove to me that I am an idiot. So I am ok with people on the Internets convinced I am the idiot. Saves so much energy.


What the ####? You post 68 (as well as previous insulting posts) and then you're worried about the possibility of being called names.

I asked you a legitimate question. You said you were a crypto guy. I don't know how that works, and I wondered how you would access cash. For some reason, you can't be bothered to answer that.


   76. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5861050)
Of course it does.


Seriously, it doesn't. The bank is right on the corner as I leave work. Walk 10 feet, insert card, type PIN, insert check, exit. It takes no time at all.
   77. Master of the Horse Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5861053)
75-- I did post reading material suggestions for anyone interested. And again, I have been pulled into discussions with your exact lead in "I don't know how that works" and then it's just someone posting links by all the 'crypto is insane' experts and you name it. Look, call me names. Enjoy. Or use the ignore feature. I will jet now because this is the same type of back and forth that wastes time.
   78. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5861060)
I asked you a legitimate question. You said you were a crypto guy. I don't know how that works, and I wondered how you would access cash.


There is a Bitcoin ATM machine in my neighborhood (metro Atlanta) that allows you to convert your money into Bitcoin. I do not know if it does the reverse, and allows you to cash out.

   79. Nasty Nate Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5861063)
There is a Bitcoin ATM machine in my neighborhood (metro Atlanta) that allows you to convert your money into Bitcoin. I do not know if it does the reverse, and allows you to cash out.
There's one near me too, incongruously located in a grimy bodega. I've never seen anyone using it.
   80. Lassus Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5861064)
SoSH, to be slightly fair to Master of the Horse, I found your question about your son's baseball game to be confusing (probably because I'm dense) and at least vaguely aggressive. I don't believe that's how you meant it, but I can understand the reading.
   81. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:31 PM (#5861065)
There's one near me too, incongruously located in a grimy bodega.

Crypto currencies are popular among certain businessmen who deal exclusively in cash, and don't like talking to the IRS.
   82. Nasty Nate Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5861066)
Crypto currencies are popular among certain businessmen who deal exclusively in cash, and don't like talking to the IRS.
That might be why it's there. But the, ahem, businessmen and clientele who seem to lurk in that general area don't seem organized enough to have a checking account, never mind bitcoin holdings.
   83. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5861068)
Master, I'll try a third time: how do you get cash?


He doesn't want to respond, but I think the short answer is that if you have a job (or receive government assistance) in the U.S., you're not getting paid in cryptocurrency. It's illegal; the employers have to provide the employees at least mininum wage in dollars. So when Master is converting his paycheck to Bitcoin, he can leave a few dollars in his pocket for walking-around money.
   84. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5861084)

I don't know if that is totally true when you have umps like Jerry Layne and Rob Drake who have been shown by the data to be routinely terrible against the defined strike zone. Either they don't understand the defined strike zone, interpret it really bad or ignore the definition.

There is no "defined strike zone" in the rulebook, at least not the way they depict it on t.v. (I was a bit shocked to learn this a few weeks ago, so I'm not making this comment to be obnoxious.) This is part of the problem, in my opinion. Layne and Drake may be terrible against the zone as it's typically called by other umpires, but that's a bit of a different statement.
   85. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5861097)
SoSH, to be slightly fair to Master of the Horse, I found your question about your son's baseball game to be confusing (probably because I'm dense) and at least vaguely aggressive. I don't believe that's how you meant it, but I can understand the reading.


As I said, repeatedly, I really don't know #### about crypto currencies. I wondered how it was converted to simple cash if one didn't use banks. Tom gave me some help there. Thanks Tom.

But, I find it kind of rich that he was going on about the names I was going to call him after insulting me pretty directly (though I suppose it's possible I misread 26 and, "So you go to a bank to access funds?? Wow." was actually a compliment.

   86. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 11, 2019 at 05:20 PM (#5861106)
There is no "defined strike zone" in the rulebook, at least not the way they depict it on t.v.


I don't understand what this means. Is it just the fact that the actual strike zone is 3-dimensional instead of 2-dimensional? Because the last paragraph of page 153 of MLB's official 2019 rules says this

The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of
which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the
hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from
the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
(For diagram of STRIKE ZONE see Appendix 5.)


Appendix 5 referenced here is page 162 of the same document (note: the link above is to a PDF version of the rules).
   87. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5861120)

I don't understand what this means. Is it just the fact that the actual strike zone is 3-dimensional instead of 2-dimensional? Because the last paragraph of page 153 of MLB's official 2019 rules says this

It's possible I'm misremembering the thread we had on the topic a few months ago...what you posted is more specific than I remember someone else posting. I guess what I'm remembering is the fact that "as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball" is subject to interpretation -- is a guy in a Jeff Bagwell crouch "prepared to swing at a pitched ball" or is he only prepared to swing when he straightens up as the pitch is coming in?
   88. manchestermets Posted: July 12, 2019 at 05:17 AM (#5861223)
But I probably do somethign at the window once every couple of weeks.


What kind of things? I realise that the US banking system doesn't seem to have noticed that the century ticked over yet, but I can't remember the last time I went to the window at a bank.
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5861241)
What kind of things? I realise that the US banking system doesn't seem to have noticed that the century ticked over yet, but I can't remember the last time I went to the window at a bank.


A variety of things, probably most of which I could do by my phone if I were so inclined. I'm not.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5861243)
What kind of things? I realise that the US banking system doesn't seem to have noticed that the century ticked over yet, but I can't remember the last time I went to the window at a bank.

Deposit or withdraw large sums of cash. If you're opening an account or CD, you need to go to a person, not the teller window, though. That's most of my "in person" banking.
   91. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM (#5861253)
A variety of things, probably most of which I could do by my phone if I were so inclined. I'm not.

Yes. Deposits to my wife's account, mostly, but various random other things. Check deposits for gigs, which I did use to do via the ATM when I lived in the city, but am less inclined to do so here now that I'm in the middle of small-town nowhere.
   92. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5861282)
What kind of things?


I have the benefit of having a credit union branch in the same business park I work in, and I go to the counter a couple of times a month. Off the top of my head:

1. convert coin rolls into bills
2. deposit a check, but keep some small-denomination bills
3. free notary service for members
   93. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5861296)
SoSH, to be slightly fair to Master of the Horse, I found your question about your son's baseball game to be confusing (probably because I'm dense) and at least vaguely aggressive.


I also had absolutely no idea how to interpret the question.

Do you really have to pay to watch your son play high school baseball?
   94. SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5861309)
Do you really have to pay to watch your son play high school baseball?


Of course. Most of the high schools here charge admission*. And I've never encountered any that would accept any kind of payment other than cash (especially for baseball, since the person selling tickets is outside the school building).

For basketball/volleyball, sports that are indoors, some large schools might have access to credit card machines. Or even one of those football factories in Texas.

But for baseball, it's typically an older man or woman inside a small booth or at a folded table. If you don't have cash, you're watching from the parking lot.

* I think we have played two schools that didn't charge admission in his first three years. One was an academy where the students board, so no parents show up to the games except visitors. Another was an inner city school that doesn't have the volunteer base.

   95. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5861380)

Do you really have to pay to watch your son play high school baseball?

Wow. It never would have occurred to me that this was the basis for the question. Maybe because I went to a small school that couldn't have gotten people to attend our baseball games (other than parents) even if we paid them.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5861383)
I never knew high school sports charged admission. Is it all honor system, or are people funneled through one entry point?
   97. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5861387)
What kind of things?

I have the benefit of having a credit union branch in the same business park I work in, and I go to the counter a couple of times a month. Off the top of my head:

1. convert coin rolls into bills
2. deposit a check, but keep some small-denomination bills
3. free notary service for members


My bank's mobile app won't let me deposit checks over $2,000, which I get as expense reimbursement from work a couple times a year. And even for smaller checks there's some sort of rolling window. So I would add:

4. Depositing large checks.

Also,

5. Obtaining cashier's check
   98. Greg Pope Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5861392)
I never knew high school sports charged admission. Is it all honor system, or are people funneled through one entry point?

At my kids' high school sporting events (Chicago suburbs):

Track events are free at our school, but some schools charge. Usually when it's a large invite. There's a fence all the way around the track and a couple of entry gates. This may be because it's usually also the football field.

Football games are always charged. Same setup as track.

Baseball games never charged.

Basketball games free at our school. Haven't attended elsewhere.

Gymnastics competitions are free at our school, but it's a small team. Large invites are charged. Held in a gym where it's easy to control in and out, usually with wristbands.

Dance competitions are always charged. Held in a gym like gymnastics.

Minor sports like volleyball, tennis, badminton*, etc. are always free.

*I've apparently spent the first 48 years of my life not knowing that there's an "n" in the middle of "badminton". I've always pronounced it without the "n". And apparently never typed it out. Spell check nailed me on it and I must have tried 6 different iterations of "badmitton" before giving up and right-clicking for a suggested edit. This is more shocking to me than when I found out there was no "e" in "judgment". Both because I was only 20 when I found that out (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and because there's no pronunciation difference.
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5861393)
Wow, learn something every day. Does this generally apply only to varsity, or do people sometimes pay for JV and freshman team games?
   100. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5861397)
do people sometimes pay for JV and freshman team games?

In Texas, we pay for the privilege of attending junior high football games.
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