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For crying out loud, can MLB please implement an electronic strike zone already?

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12 hours ago, Frobby said:

This kind of raises an interesting point, which is taking away the skill of the catcher at framing as an element of the game.    Kind of sad to think of catchers who don’t hit well or throw well, but are adept at framing, suddenly being out on the street because their feature skill abruptly has no value. 

That's great for me.  I hate framing.  Either the pitch was a strike or it wasn't.  The catcher pulling the ball back into the strike zone or framing a ball as a strike is nothing but a game of smoke and mirrors, trying to get the ump to credit the pitcher with something the pitcher did not earn, a strike.  I'd love to see that 'skill' abruptly have no value and be removed and irrelevant to the game.  As to robo umps, I 100% support them.  While technology and the wonderful TV productions today have hurt the perception of the quality of umps, few things bother me more than a missed strike 3 or a strike 3 that's called a ball.  I simply want the pitcher (and hitter) to be credited with what they actually accomplish, and not just how the ump happens to perceive it.  Sure, a 90% success rate is pretty good, but that still means 10% of the calls were wrong.  If we can improve on that number without harming the speed of the game it should be done.  

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16 hours ago, Frobby said:

This kind of raises an interesting point, which is taking away the skill of the catcher at framing as an element of the game.    Kind of sad to think of catchers who don’t hit well or throw well, but are adept at framing, suddenly being out on the street because their feature skill abruptly has no value. 

Well, it can also take away from a control pitcher. It seems to me that some pitchers have the ability to stretch the strike zone over the course of a game. The umps give him the corner, let's see if he gives me an inch off the corner, then gradually 2 inches. Pitchers that show control get calls, pitchers that are all over the place don't get them. I remember Tommy John, it seemed to me he was a master at stretching the zone.

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26 minutes ago, UpstateNYfan said:

Well, it can also take away from a control pitcher. It seems to me that some pitchers have the ability to stretch the strike zone over the course of a game. The umps give him the corner, let's see if he gives me an inch off the corner, then gradually 2 inches. Pitchers that show control get calls, pitchers that are all over the place don't get them. I remember Tommy John, it seemed to me he was a master at stretching the zone.

If they call the zone by the letter of the law it will help control pitchers since a pitch will only have to graze  any part of the three dimensional zone.

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I see the computerized strike zone as a tool akin to the sideline sticks that measure first down yardage in a football game. Gridiron fans would go #$%&# if every ref had a different definition of how far an offense had to go for the next first down, and would be homicidal if the refs acted as if they were entitled to "adjust" such rules on a whim. The electronic strike zone for MLB can't come soon enough for my taste. 100 years of having the game hijacked by umpire egos is enough.

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21 hours ago, Frobby said:

This kind of raises an interesting point, which is taking away the skill of the catcher at framing as an element of the game.    Kind of sad to think of catchers who don’t hit well or throw well, but are adept at framing, suddenly being out on the street because their feature skill abruptly has no value. 

I suppose it's a little sad whenever someone loses a job.  But do we cry when a pitcher isn't major league quality simply because the juiced balls make his home run rate unacceptable?  I'm sure there were some catchers who lost value, or even their jobs when they decided to enforce and tighten up the rules on blocking the plate.  There had to have been second basemen whose defensive value was in part related to being really good at phantom tags.  Entire classes of hitters have gone extinct over time, primarily contact hitters with mediocre bat speed.

May be a little sad, but you have to adapt or you're left behind.

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2 hours ago, ShoelesJoe said:

I see the computerized strike zone as a tool akin to the sideline sticks that measure first down yardage in a football game. Gridiron fans would go #$%&# if every ref had a different definition of how far an offense had to go for the next first down, and would be homicidal if the refs acted as if they were entitled to "adjust" such rules on a whim. The electronic strike zone for MLB can't come soon enough for my taste. 100 years of having the game hijacked by umpire egos is enough.

You know the sideline chains are placed arbitrarily to start and then the ball is placed arbitrarily after each play by the referees.  Probably a lot more off than balls and strikes.

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20 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

I group them with pitchers who are really good at scuffing the ball.

Is it is skill...sure.

Should it be a skill that is rewarded...debatable.

I don't see the debate.  The rule book says the strike zone is X.  This skill is getting umps to call Y.  I put it in the same class as an outfielder diving for a catch, knowing he short-hopped it, and coming up holding the ball and claiming he caught it.  Replay mostly did away with that.  Or it's like using a potato to fool the runner into an out.

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I know when they first had this in tennis John McEnroe still argued over whether serves were in or out.  I am not sure if tennis players still argue but I expect that baseball players will still argue about balls and strikes even with computer calls.  
 

After all you have Chris Davis argues about pitches right down the middle of the plate.

Plus most umpires don’t call pitches up in the zone strikes.  I wonder what the player reaction to that will be.

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4 hours ago, UpstateNYfan said:

Well, it can also take away from a control pitcher. It seems to me that some pitchers have the ability to stretch the strike zone over the course of a game. The umps give him the corner, let's see if he gives me an inch off the corner, then gradually 2 inches. Pitchers that show control get calls, pitchers that are all over the place don't get them. I remember Tommy John, it seemed to me he was a master at stretching the zone.

Nowhere in the rule book does it say that you should get more borderline calls if the standard deviation of your pitch location is lower.  Brad Pennington didn't deserve to have a pitch on the black called a strike any more or less than Greg Maddux.

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8 minutes ago, atomic said:

Plus most umpires don’t call pitches up in the zone strikes.  I wonder what the player reaction to that will be.

The same thing that always happens.  Some will complain, mostly the ones who don't like high strikes and/or slump early in the year.  A few will talk about removing the human element from the game, mostly those who are in slumps.  The paid talking heads on ESPN will alternately complain and love it to generate more eyeballs and revenue.

And in a year or two it'll mostly be business as usual and in 10 years we'll be amazed that we took it as a matter of course that a ball 8" off the plate might be a strike.

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53 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Nowhere in the rule book does it say that you should get more borderline calls if the standard deviation of your pitch location is lower.  Brad Pennington didn't deserve to have a pitch on the black called a strike any more or less than Greg Maddux.

I never indicated a pitcher deserved the pitch off the plate. Crafty, control pitchers used it to their advantage as they should. Likewise, batters with "good eyes"  such as Ken Singleton sometimes got pitches called balls that were borderline. That would go away with an electronic "umpire". I was making a comment on Frobby's statement that catchers with good framing would be effected, others, besides catchers would be effected also.

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41 minutes ago, UpstateNYfan said:

I never indicated a pitcher deserved the pitch off the plate. Crafty, control pitchers used it to their advantage as they should. Likewise, batters with "good eyes"  such as Ken Singleton sometimes got pitches called balls that were borderline. That would go away with an electronic "umpire". I was making a comment on Frobby's statement that catchers with good framing would be effected, others, besides catchers would be effected also.

Just human nature. If Ken Singleton has a great idea of the strike zone and that is well known you are more likely to call a borderline strike a ball if he takes the pitch with 2 strikes over someone like Chris Davis who has no clue where a pitch  is going.

I read a study and it seems that incorrect call rate ranges from 7.5 percent to 14 percent depending on the umpire.  The umpires getting the most calls right were the guys who had been in the league only 1 or 2 years.  And the author theorized that with age they are less accurate.

But it could just be that the players argue with the umpire during those first two years about the strike zone so much that they modify their zone to what the league expects it to be. 

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As an aside they tried this in an independent league this year, including a team near me in New Britain CT and it was not what I would call "showtime ready."  MLB has a dilemma of either supporting this or supporting the push for shorter games.  The two are mutually exclusive at this point with the technology.

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I agree. It will also do away with the 3-0 automatic strike and the 0-2 automatic ball. 

11 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

If they call the zone by the letter of the law it will help control pitchers since a pitch will only have to graze  any part of the three dimensional zone.

 

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