Page rendered in 0.1222 seconds
53 querie(s) executed
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Thursday, April 03, 2014
THIS season Major League Baseball is allowing its officiating crews to use instant replay to review certain critical calls, including home runs, force plays and foul balls. But the calling of the strike zone — determining whether a pitch that is not swung at is a ball or a strike — will still be left completely to the discretion of the officials. This might seem an odd exception, since calling the strike zone may be the type of officiating decision most subject to human foible.
In research soon to be published in the journal Management Science, we studied umpires’ strike-zone calls using pitch-location data compiled by the high-speed cameras introduced by Major League Baseball several years ago in an effort to measure, monitor and reward umpires’ accuracy. After analyzing more than 700,000 pitches thrown during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, we found that umpires frequently made errors behind the plate — about 14 percent of non-swinging pitches were called erroneously.
Some of those errors occurred in fairly predictable ways. We found, for example, that umpires tended to favor the home team by expanding the strike zone, calling a strike when the pitch was actually a ball 13.3 percent of the time for home team pitchers versus 12.7 percent of the time for visitors….
Baseball insiders have long suspected what our research confirms: that umpires tend to make errors in ways that favor players who have established themselves at the top of the game’s status hierarchy. But our findings are also suggestive of the way that people in any sort of evaluative role — not just umpires — are unconsciously biased by simple “status characteristics.” Even constant monitoring and incentives can fail to train such biases out of us.
Technologically, Major League Baseball is in a position, thanks to its high-speed camera system, to enforce a completely accurate, uniform strike zone. The question is whether we, as fans, want our games to be fair and just, or whether we are compelled to watch the game because it mimics the real world, warts and all.
As usual, MLB addresses a trivial non-problem while ignoring a much bigger one. This is a must-read article.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
Newsblog: OT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(4576 - 12:30am, Aug 21)
Newsblog: OT August 2014: Wrassle Mania I
(45 - 12:20am, Aug 21)
Last: Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge
Newsblog: Lester return to Boston a long shot; Cubs, Yankees are likely players
(16 - 12:16am, Aug 21)
Last: OCD SS
Newsblog: Brisbee: The 10 most underrated players in baseball, part 2
(11 - 12:11am, Aug 21)
Newsblog: OMNICHATTER 8-20-2014
(109 - 11:50pm, Aug 20)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip
Newsblog: Giants plan to protest bizarre loss at Wrigley
(75 - 11:49pm, Aug 20)
Last: Spahn Insane
Newsblog: Brewers Form Creative Council
(7 - 11:48pm, Aug 20)
Last: Spahn Insane
Newsblog: [Ubaldo] Jimenez to the bullpen
(17 - 11:36pm, Aug 20)
Newsblog: Curt Schilling Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Mouth Cancer in February, Believes Chewing Tobacco Was the Cause
(28 - 11:35pm, Aug 20)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns
Newsblog: Posnanski: The Royals might actually know what they are doing
(39 - 11:28pm, Aug 20)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable
Newsblog: OT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(277 - 11:18pm, Aug 20)
Newsblog: John Torres: MLB's new boss better not whiff on sport's future
(5 - 11:11pm, Aug 20)
Last: Walt Davis
Newsblog: Plenty of Pete Rose ahead on ESPN
(33 - 11:09pm, Aug 20)
Last: Walt Davis
Newsblog: OMNICHATTER 8-19-2014
(74 - 10:24pm, Aug 20)
Last: Bunny Vincennes
Newsblog: OT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(445 - 8:57pm, Aug 20)
Last: J. Sosa