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2020 MLB General Talk


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#361 RShack

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:24 PM

In addition to training the pilots, the planes have a little bit of technology incorporated as well. That seems like by far the easier and simpler solution to the ball/strikes problem to me.

 

The technology in the planes doesn't keep aviators from flying into the ocean based on a momentary misjudgment.  Training their reflexes prevents the misjudgment.

 

Why don't people want umps to be better?  Are you guys so zoned on robot umps that human excellence at doing just it doesn't matter?  When a good job can be done either way, you'd *rather* have robots?

 

It's no fun yelling at robots.  What's the matter with you guys?


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  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#362 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:29 PM

If baseball was invented for the first time today, I think it'd be an electronic strike zone. I'm completely indifferent on whether human umps make the calls or if they just report the results of a computerized sensor system. Whatever does it better, which I'm absolutely convinced is a sensor based system. Even if you put millions a year into training umps (Navy pilots aren't cheap), I don't think they'll do as good of a job as we can do with tech at this point.
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#363 SportsGuy

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:29 PM

Robo umps all the way.

Would also like to tennis like technology for fair/foul.
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#364 RShack

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:34 PM

If baseball was invented for the first time today, I think it'd be an electronic strike zone. I'm completely indifferent on whether human umps make the calls or if they just report the results of a computerized sensor system. Whatever does it better, which I'm absolutely convinced is a sensor based system. Even if you put millions a year into training umps (Navy pilots aren't cheap), I don't think they'll do as good of a job as we can do with tech at this point.

 

I don't see what the expense of navy flyers has to do with "spending millions" on simple relfex training.... FYI, there's nothing about this that's inherently expensive... it's just a matter of repeated instant feedback to teach the nervous system what to do...

 

Regardless, you've got a technological imperative at work... you don't know if umps can be good, because you have faith that robots will be better and you don't think losing human umps is losing anything that matters... no point in arguing about something like that...


 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#365 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:36 PM

No to robot umps.

The human element adds a great part of the game

There is baseball, and occasionally there are other things of note

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#366 Mike B

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:51 PM

No to robot umps.

The human element adds a great part of the game

I agree with this.  Mistakes are part of the game.  Figure out ways to get the umps on the same page and for them to be better at their jobs.  Like the players, if the umps are not good enough move on from them.


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#367 TwentyThirtyFive

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 05:57 PM

100% robo umps. If you can take subjectivity out of any officiating in any sport you do it. Get it right all the time.
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#368 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 06:49 PM

The earpiece thing would cause a few second delay,  I could see other problems arising.

Delayed impact on stolen base attempts for one.

It absolutely doesn't. In the Real Sports piece, Byrnes umpires a minor league game annually doing just this. You can see the whole operation. The guy on the computer doesn't have to decipher if a ball is on the borderline. If a ball crosses the strikezone, a K flashes on the screen, he says strike when he sees the "K" and the ump gives the signal. If you're watching the game there is no delay. If the earpiece fails there is also a red light in centerfield that also turns on if the pitch is a strike. It registers like a radar gun. No delay. If you notice at Camden Yards how instantaneous the count changes on the scoreboards, it's that fast, maybe faster. 

 

You really cannot tell any difference in the game play, except the calls being right.


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#369 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:03 PM

Well, you could ask Navy pilots aviators about reaction training if you don't believe it works with cars...

 

They use buzzers in vests to teach them to disobey their bodily reflexes... when they're catapulting off the carrier at night in pea soup, they can't see a damn thing and everything their body tells them is that they're climbing too steeply (because the catapult has them shoved back in the seat so hard)... so they level off by reflex... they think.  But what they're really doing is diving down into the ocean... and then the carrier runs over them.  They know to watch the gauges but they just can't.  It's the one and only aspect of aviation that's become more dangerous instead of safer (because the planes are instrumented enough that they now get shoved up in the air in all kinds of crap they never used to fly in)... they're training them with buzzers to know which way down is, to the point of overcoming basic bodily sensations... but for some unknown reason you think they can't train them to call balls and strikes?

 

In truth, MLB has no idea if it would work because they never bothered to take training the umps seriously.  Just giving them info works for NFL ref's... because they've got half a week to study it and specify the corrections they're gonna make... and because they'll lose their job if they don't.   But with 162 games and virtually no training requirement, for umps that's just a stupid idea.  Just giving them info won't do squat.. they should have known that before they wasted time and effort going down a dead end street... 

I'm not saying it doesn't work in the field you're describing it in. I'm sure it does. It doesn't apply to baseball. 

 

I'm also saying the solution is already in place, the technology is already installed in every ballpark. They don't need training. They need an earpiece and they can roll this out opening day with out training.

 

Billions of people can live stream a game around the world with the pitch tracker on and see that a ball was a ball or a strike....except the human behind the plate that matters most.


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#370 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:09 PM

My only concern about roboumps is what happens if it breaks mid-pitch.

It's easy enough if you know it's broken, just go back to the ump making the calls. But the ump isn't going to be thinking it's his call to make when the pitch is delivered but the sensors misfired for whatever reason and then there is no buzz or whatever the indicator to the ump is. He then has to scramble and isn't reacting to the pitch like they should be (as Shack points out) but you're trying to think back on if it was a just inside the plate or just off it.

#371 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:14 PM

My only concern about roboumps is what happens if it breaks mid-pitch.

It's easy enough if you know it's broken, just go back to the ump making the calls. But the ump isn't going to be thinking it's his call to make when the pitch is delivered but the sensors misfired for whatever reason and then there is no buzz or whatever the indicator to the ump is. He then has to scramble and isn't reacting to the pitch like they should be (as Shack points out) but you're trying to think back on if it was a just inside the plate or just off it.

Call it no pitch then? What happens in basketball when you inbound the ball and start going down the court and the clock doesn't start? Blow the whistle and reset. Life goes on. 


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#372 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:33 PM


Call it no pitch then? What happens in basketball when you inbound the ball and start going down the court and the clock doesn't start? Blow the whistle and reset. Life goes on.

Absolutely not. I'd rather stick with the current system than have do-overs. Implementing do-overs would be the worst rule change proposed in recent memory, IMO.

#373 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:36 PM

MLB Umpires Missed 34,294 Ball-Strike Calls in 2018. Bring on Robo-umps?

 

https://www.bu.edu/a...-zone-accuracy/

 

Over 4 million pitches from 11 seasons tracked by Boston University professor and grad students.

 

"In 2018, umpires made 34,294 incorrect ball and strike calls. That’s 14 per game."

 

"The top 10 performing umps averaged 2.7 years of experience. The bottom 10 averaged 20.6 years of experience."

 

"This deep-dive analysis demonstrated that MLB umpires make certain incorrect calls at least 20 percent of the time, or one in every five calls. Research results revealed clear two-strike bias and pronounced strike-zone blind spots."

 

"Research results demonstrate that umpires in certain circumstances overwhelmingly favored the pitcher over the batter. For a batter with a two-strike count, umpires were twice as likely to call a true ball a strike (29 percent of the time) than when the count was lower (15 percent)."

 

"The impact of constant miscalls include overinflated pitcher strikeout percentages and suppressed batting averages. Last season, umpires were three times more likely to incorrectly send a batter back to the dugout than to miss a ball-4 walk call (7 percent). Based on the 11 regular seasons worth of data analyzed, almost one-third of batters called out looking at third strikes had good reason to be angry."

 

"In 2018, 2 percent of all major league games (55) were ended by incorrect calls, an increase of 41 percent from the previous year (39)."

In other words, COVID-19 affects less people than umpires do the outcomes of baseball games.

 

"Technology does not have to mean the death of umpires. Rather it’s a tool to allow them to do a better job."

 

"Biases would be eliminated. Strike-zone subjectivity would be minimized, freeing up more of the plate for pitchers and allowing batters to focus more on hitting and less on guessing inconsistent strike zones. Pace of play would increase."

 

"Fans could focus more on umpire standouts and rising stars and applaud the veterans who are able to withstand the test of time, just like the best aging ballplayers are appreciated."


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#374 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:37 PM

Absolutely not. I'd rather stick with the current system than have do-overs. Implementing do-overs would be the worst rule change proposed in recent memory, IMO.

Ok. Umpire has to pay attention. If he doesn't hear ball or strike in his ear, he makes the call. It's not that hard.


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#375 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:42 PM


Ok. Umpire has to pay attention. If he doesn't hear ball or strike in his ear, he makes the call. It's not that hard.

It's simple, but it's not easy.
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#376 RShack

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:54 PM

MLB Umpires Missed 34,294 Ball-Strike Calls in 2018. Bring on Robo-umps?

 

https://www.bu.edu/a...-zone-accuracy/

 

Over 4 million pitches from 11 seasons tracked by Boston University professor and grad students.

 

"In 2018, umpires made 34,294 incorrect ball and strike calls. That’s 14 per game."

 

"The top 10 performing umps averaged 2.7 years of experience. The bottom 10 averaged 20.6 years of experience."

 

"This deep-dive analysis demonstrated that MLB umpires make certain incorrect calls at least 20 percent of the time, or one in every five calls. Research results revealed clear two-strike bias and pronounced strike-zone blind spots."

 

"Research results demonstrate that umpires in certain circumstances overwhelmingly favored the pitcher over the batter. For a batter with a two-strike count, umpires were twice as likely to call a true ball a strike (29 percent of the time) than when the count was lower (15 percent)."

 

"The impact of constant miscalls include overinflated pitcher strikeout percentages and suppressed batting averages. Last season, umpires were three times more likely to incorrectly send a batter back to the dugout than to miss a ball-4 walk call (7 percent). Based on the 11 regular seasons worth of data analyzed, almost one-third of batters called out looking at third strikes had good reason to be angry."

 

"In 2018, 2 percent of all major league games (55) were ended by incorrect calls, an increase of 41 percent from the previous year (39)."

In other words, COVID-19 affects less people than umpires do the outcomes of baseball games.

 

"Technology does not have to mean the death of umpires. Rather it’s a tool to allow them to do a better job."

 

"Biases would be eliminated. Strike-zone subjectivity would be minimized, freeing up more of the plate for pitchers and allowing batters to focus more on hitting and less on guessing inconsistent strike zones. Pace of play would increase."

 

"Fans could focus more on umpire standouts and rising stars and applaud the veterans who are able to withstand the test of time, just like the best aging ballplayers are appreciated."

 

That's a very nice enumeration of specific kinds of ump problems. If the list is right, we know what needs fixing in some detail. This is a good thing.

 

IMO, the problem is that some people insist that we take one very huge step from "umps are doing a lousy job" to "robot umps!"  With all the faith in technology, wouldn't you kinda expect some effort to use that technology to enable umps to do their jobs better?  Why is "get rid of umps" the only alternative to poor ongoing ump performance? 

 

Except in the case of vulture capitalism, in what other realm of human endeavor is a shortcoming in human performance a trigger for an immediate transformation to robotics?  Is there another example of anybody anywhere doing that without any intervening effort that's less drastic, that enhances human ability, and that may well solve the problem?  With the possible (not certain, but possible) exception of safety-critical applications, has it happened anywhere else in the entire realm of human endeavor?


 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#377 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 08:02 PM

Almost every piece of technology enhances human ability. I'm not sure you could be more wrong than you are if you think there are no areas where we use tools to assist us as opposed to solely performance training.

You didn't write that post with a pencil. Technology helped you do it with more clarity. You could've taken years of penmanship classes so everyone could read what you wrote, but the tech is faster to complete and it's clearer. Yet alone the step of distributing it to your audience.

Using technology to assist human ability is one of the more underlying and essentially human traits.

#378 RShack

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 08:06 PM

Almost every piece of technology enhances human ability. I'm not sure you could be more wrong than you are if you think there are no areas where we use tools to assist us as opposed to solely performance training.

You didn't write that post with a pencil. Technology helped you do it with more clarity. You could've taken years of penmanship classes so everyone could read what you wrote, but the tech is faster to complete and it's clearer. Yet alone the step of distributing it to your audience.

Using technology to assist human ability is one of the more underlying and essentially human traits.

 

I know all that. 

 

I'm asking why don't we use technology to help umps be better at being good umps?  We use it to help almost everybody else, but when it comes to umps, the answer is, "Nope...forget it... they'll never be perfect... we need robots deciding everything."   Nowhere else do we refuse to use tech to help people do better... just umps.


 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#379 Mackus

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 08:14 PM

We are asking to use technology to make them better umps. Instead of using their own depth perception to assess whether a pitch was inside an imaginary box, we use the teccnolgy to tell them definitively.

Your opinion is akin to asking a cook to use only their fingers and eyes to determine the temperature of a smoked brisket. But it's more accurate to just use a thermometer.

The pitmaster still is needed. The temp isnt the only info needed to have a good brisket. You gotta see if the crust is right and if the brisket is jiggling just so. But temp is a huge part of it. You don't see anyone at a good BBQ joint or competition just guessing at temp, Thermapens are everywhere.

The umps are still needed. You make other calls like safe/out, fair/foul, check swings. I don't want full automation, I think umps with replay do a good job everywhere else. Replay for balls / strikes would be ok, could do it quickly like tennis does. But I think avoiding the replay and calling every pitch is a better solution.

#380 BSLSteveBirrer

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 08:21 PM

I know all that. 

 

I'm asking why don't we use technology to help umps be better at being good umps?  We use it to help almost everybody else, but when it comes to umps, the answer is, "Nope...forget it... they'll never be perfect... we need robots deciding everything."   Nowhere else do we refuse to use tech to help people do better... just umps.

 

I know all that. 

 

I'm asking why don't we use technology to help umps be better at being good umps?  We use it to help almost everybody else, but when it comes to umps, the answer is, "Nope...forget it... they'll never be perfect... we need robots deciding everything."   Nowhere else do we refuse to use tech to help people do better... just umps.

Been an interesting 4 pages of read which has mostly drilled down to the topic of robo umps or make the existing umps better. Lots of points on both sides of the argument. 

 

But I think this is the best post on yet on the discussion. We use technology to the max to make the players better.

1. Videotape their swings, footwork, arm motions, etc etc etc.

2. Massive amounts of data on every aspect of the game to fine tune players' performance.

 

Yet when it comes to balls and strikes it seems like the majority just say dump umps and use electronic calls. I think I am with Shack on this one. Why do we need to just skip the make the umps better at it approach and go right to robo calls? Because we have the technology to do so? Does that make the game better.

 

Think about this for a minute. How about we replace players with robots? They will have better vision. They will be stronger and faster. They don't get injured and if they have a part failure its an overnight fix and they are ready to go tomorrow. Yes we don't quite have that technology today. But we will in most of our lifetimes. Should sports become all about who has the best programmers and robot designers?  Ludicrous you say, you can't take take the human element out of sports? Well then why are we considering robo calls? Aren't balls and strikes every bit as much a human element part of the game as the rest of it?

 

To me the real issue isn't that the umps can't do a decent enough job.  Its moreso that baseball has for many many years shrunk the zone way way far away from the rule book. Fix that first. Then weed out umps who are atrociously bad and can't be trained.






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