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Monday, August 20, 2012

FSB: Lawson: Official Scoring Change

You mean like that grounder to Andrus that should have been ruled an error, then a fielder’s choice…but ended up being called a hit for Jeter?

Honestly, baseball’s official scorers probably deserve to be classified as “invertebrate” for the lack of backbone shown in the face of overwhelming pressure to improve batting averages while simultaneously inflating fielding percentages.  The double laced down the left field line may show up as a line drive in the box score the next day, but all the credit really goes to the third baseman/matador who practically turned 2-dimensional while watching the ball shoot over/under/through his glove.

The problem with a lax attitude about scoring only covers the distance between “correct” and “no integrity”.  Batting averages (and subsequently OBP, OPS, and OPS+) get inflated artificially by E10′s which represent errors on the official scorer.  Sure, fielding percentage represents an outdated means of gauging defensive performance, but the statistic becomes entirely meaningless when officials err on the side of stupid.  More importantly, any defensive metric that uses an algorithm or formula that includes fielding percentage or errors becomes basically useless as well.  Bring rational thinking and a consistent approach back to official scoring, and watch fielding percentage gain back a modicum of respect.

...Maybe it is time for an official scoring change, and by that I mean change the official scorer.

Repoz Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4212470)
Honestly, baseball’s official scorers probably deserve to be classified as “invertebrate” for the lack of backbone shown in the face of overwhelming pressure to improve batting averages while simultaneously inflating fielding percentages.


Ironically, one advantage of having a backbone is that it makes you much more flexible than a creature with a hard carapace.
   2. ThisElevatorIsDrivingMeUpTheWall Posted: August 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4212481)
Another job for robot umpire apparently.
   3. Bob Evans Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4212564)
E10 s/b an error on the DH IMO.
   4. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4212608)
Some actual examples (videos, gifs, names and dates) of these outrageous decisions might have been in order to make this article more effective.
   5. Bote Man Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4212673)
I accept this thesis without further proof. I once heard the qualifications for official scorer listed as "has a pulse". Sounds about right.

Michael Morse watched his 20-something game hit streak become a 10 game hit streak because of a change in the official scoring a week and a half later. Talk about "upon further review"! Is there no statute of limitations or can we take away some of Babe Ruth's home runs nowadays?
   6. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4212682)
If MLB ever goes with replay, why not add a fifth umpire to crews: HP, 1B, 2B, 3B and replay official/scorer?
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4212717)
Michael Morse watched his 20-something game hit streak become a 10 game hit streak because of a change in the official scoring a week and a half later. Talk about "upon further review"! Is there no statute of limitations or can we take away some of Babe Ruth's home runs nowadays?


That was the league, not the OS.
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4212755)
Of course we could take away Babe Ruth's home runs nowadays. We gave him six extra walks in 1999.
   9. Moeball Posted: August 21, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4214265)
Was at an Angels game back in April of 1989 against the A's - Storm Davis was pitching for Oakland - he had one of those innings where he got a couple out, but a couple of runners were on, then someone misplayed a ball (was ruled an error), and then several hitters just pounded the ball. The Angels wound up with 6 runs in the inning, all unearned.

Except an inning or two later they announced on the scoreboard that the error got changed to a hit - thus making all of those runs suddenly become earned - from where I was sitting I could see into the Oakland dugout and Storm Davis was just going ballistic. It actually was quite comical. I'm guessing he's not the first or last pitcher to have such a reaction to a change by the official scorer, but it sure was funny to see in person.
   10. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4214298)
At SABR this year there was an official scorers panel that was pretty interesting. The most relevant thing that got brought up was Stew Thornley mentioning that MLB had issued an edict many years ago that was in effect "if there is any doubt, give the hitter the benefit of the doubt."

Just in general I can't get too worked up about this, as long as the standards are applied consistently across the league, and they seem to be, I'm fine with it.

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