Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, October 28, 2019

WaPo: Robo Ump Test Drive

The Blue Crabs let me test out the system before “Fourth of July Do-Over Night” on Aug. 3, about a month before the end of the Atlantic League regular season. Left-hander Tommy Thorpe threw a bullpen to Josh McAdams while I crouched behind the plate wearing an earpiece but no protective gear.

It was me, a former youth baseball catcher and Little League umpire, going head to head with ABS, the RADAR-enabled software that’s the basis for most advanced statistics in Major League Baseball, like exit velocity, launch angle and spin rate. It’s also used to grade umpires.

Bote Man Posted: October 28, 2019 at 04:49 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: robot umpires, umpiring

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 28, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5895540)
I'm paywalled out from the article. Is there general first/second half data? Did the robot ump stop anyone's season cold?
   2. spycake Posted: October 28, 2019 at 06:36 PM (#5895551)
I think they delayed the rollout until the second half this year (after the Atlantic League all star game), so there was no first half data.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 28, 2019 at 07:59 PM (#5895563)
They should have first half data with human umps; second half with the robos. Was there any abrupt change in the number of strikes called?
   4. Bote Man Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5895564)
He doesn't show data, he relates the experience of hearing the voice say "ball" or "strike" in his ear. He even describes the voice.
   5. spycake Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:38 PM (#5895583)
They should have first half data with human umps; second half with the robos.


Ah, that makes much more sense. Sorry!
   6. shoelesjoe Posted: October 29, 2019 at 03:51 AM (#5895606)
“Part of the human element of the game,” Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle said of the disputed calls after Game 5.


No. No. No. A thousand times no.

The "human element" of baseball involves Aroldis Chapman hanging a slider to Jose Altuve in the bottom of the 9th inning of an elimination game. It's Anthony Rendon hunting a first pitch fastball from Gerrit Cole and getting it, but his timing is off by two thousandths of a second so he pops up to short right field instead of hitting the ball out of the park. It's Mike Trout charging in on a low line drive and deciding whether to dive for the shoestring catch -- and risk having the ball bounce past him and roll all the way to the fence a hundred feet away -- or pull up and take it on the first hop.

The human element of baseball has nothing to so with an umpire calling a pitch that zips through the strike zone a "ball" because the catcher was set up on the inside corner of the zone and the ball hit the outside corner instead. It's not about an umpire missing a pitch because the catcher jumped up attempting to throw out a base runner. Or calling a pitch four inches outside a strike because the batter groused about the previous strike call on a pitch that was two inches outside.

Umpires are a necessary evil, and whatever "human element" they bring to the game should be reduced to as close to zero as technology allows.
   7. Bote Man Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5895627)
It's entertainment, man. It's not the secret formula that allows all life on Earth to continue unabated.

Jaack put it best in post #15 in the post on prospects dealing with good/bad of robo umps.
   8. Rusty Priske Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:37 AM (#5895629)
#6 - all day, every day. Get the damn call right. The human element is the players, not the umpires. In a perfect world, we wouldn't even know the umpires' names.
   9. Bote Man Posted: October 29, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5895633)
Get the damn call right

How is "right" defined?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 10:17 AM (#5895640)
How is "right" defined?

Exactly. If "right" leads to a worse fan experience (like the NFL touchdown catches we see that aren't, or the runners foot coming 1 MM off the bag after a safe slide) then "right" is bad.
   11. Bote Man Posted: October 29, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5895669)
Remember when baseball replay was sold as only to get those rare egregious calls corrected, like Galarraga's perfect game? Yeah, how'd that work out?? Break out the electron microscope!!
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: October 29, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5895717)
Exactly. If "right" leads to a worse fan experience (like the NFL touchdown catches we see that aren't, or the runners foot coming 1 MM off the bag after a safe slide) then "right" is bad.


This... just boggles my mind. If the runners foot comes off the bag after a safe slide and he is tagged, he IS OUT.

That is always the right call. Why do people insist that the wrong call is better?

The right call is the one that accurately reflects what actually happened. Not what you THINK happened. What ACTUALLY happened.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5895732)
This... just boggles my mind. If the runners foot comes off the bag after a safe slide and he is tagged, he IS OUT.

Not by a microscopic amount that is only seen on multiple slow mo angles, after 4 minutes of delay. That runner has never before been out in 150 years of baseball.

Why do people insist that the wrong call is better?

The "wrong" call allows the flow of the game to continue unmarred and allows us to know what we saw actually happened, and won't be retconned out of existence.

Having to wait for the re-play to see if you can celebrate sucks all the joy out of the moment.
   14. Bote Man Posted: October 29, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5895758)
Having to wait for the re-play to see if you can celebrate sucks all the joy out of the moment.

Just like the private equity ghouls sucking the life out of baseball teams, they must also suck the life out of baseball played on the field.

It used to be that we enjoyed baseball as an escape from the daily grind of problems and conflicts, but now there's no escape. Perfection at all costs! If we don't get it right, the terrorists win!!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSource: Astros focus on Dusty Baker to be new manager
(2 - 3:59am, Jan 29)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogRyan Zimmerman on electronic sign stealing: ‘It’s the greatest sin that you can do’
(1 - 3:40am, Jan 29)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogDustin Pedroia and the Pricey Guarantees of MLB Contracts
(32 - 2:15am, Jan 29)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogWhere a Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado or Francisco Lindor trade would rank among winter blockbusters
(29 - 12:57am, Jan 29)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOrange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli died in Kobe helicopter crash
(10 - 12:55am, Jan 29)
Last: QLE

NewsblogClass action lawsuit filed against MLB, Astros, Red Sox on behalf of DraftKings players
(14 - 12:30am, Jan 29)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread 2020
(841 - 11:58pm, Jan 28)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogStarling Marte, D-backs trade | MLB.com
(46 - 11:54pm, Jan 28)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - January, 2020
(310 - 10:41pm, Jan 28)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(465 - 9:58pm, Jan 28)
Last: Sweatpants

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (January 2020)
(233 - 9:26pm, Jan 28)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogESPN is reportedly removing Jessica Mendoza from Sunday Night Baseball
(39 - 8:50pm, Jan 28)
Last: Greg Pope

NewsblogRed Sox, Padres have reportedly discussed Mookie Betts trade that includes a surprising name
(62 - 7:27pm, Jan 28)
Last: Jose Is Absurdly Chatty

NewsblogNicholas Castellanos deal with Reds | MLB.com
(49 - 6:23pm, Jan 28)
Last: bfan

NewsblogCubs expressing interest in free agent second baseman Scooter Gennett
(6 - 5:11pm, Jan 28)
Last: Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it

Page rendered in 0.2766 seconds
46 querie(s) executed