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

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On 9/27/2020 at 7:41 PM, Can_of_corn said:

Right, but one would hope that professionals at the highest level would be above that sort of behavior.

Joe West and Angel Hernandez asked me to say hello for them.

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Hand trying to protect a 1-run lead gave up a walk and single to start inning, and on a 2-strike pitch to Gleyber dropped a curve low and inside the K-zone had nicking the corner that the ump called a ball.

Gleyber with a second chance Baltimore chopped to set up bases loaded, nobody out.

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3 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

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Cool!   I saw that Top of 9th, I believe scuffling Fairbanks recovered after getting that #1 ranked missed call to get the batter out and finish things off, but that inning could have run quite differently had he lost the guy to set up two on, nobody out.

I'm happy with the outcome of course just for general entertainment and hopefully making Cole/Snell/Glasnow all pitch again before the ALCS.

It's also noticeable the green misses all low left and red misses high right, like Bucknor's personal strike zone is too high and too outside.  If I'm reading #1 ranked missed pitch correctly, I think this visualization is from the catcher's perspective.

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1 hour ago, Can_of_corn said:

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Imagine being so bad at your job as an umpire, that the net impact of your terrible calls is approximately the same as if you had begun the game by giving one of the teams a 1-0 lead before the players even took the field to start the game.  Absolutely amazing.

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33 minutes ago, Morgan423 said:

Imagine being so bad at your job as an umpire, that the net impact of your terrible calls is approximately the same as if you had begun the game by giving one of the teams a 1-0 lead before the players even took the field to start the game.  Absolutely amazing.

Maybe the hedge fund magisters in Tampa even have an intellectual edge on the mighty Yankees there scrounging for them there 2%.   The Fairbanks high heat misses in that quadrant might have been the percentage play.

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1 minute ago, OrioleDog said:

Maybe the hedge fund magisters in Tampa even have an intellectual edge on the mighty Yankees there scrounging for them there 2%.   The Fairbanks high heat misses in that quadrant might have been the percentage play.

If I'm a team and I know an ump consistently calls pitches that are in a particular zone outside of the strike zone strikes I would attempt to take advantage.

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I only saw the last inning (bot 8, top 9) but in an ODD twist against the Skankees... Chapman squeezed in the Brosseau AB and Castillo GOT some questionable strike calls.

 

 

I still don't want an e-zone. Even if it works against the O's. Don't like!

And you kids get off my lawn!!!!!!1!!!!!!!111

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Yes, as I have said for years( before country was cool), an electronic strike zone is badly needed.  Back in the day, we could scream  kill the umpire, and nobody got in trouble because society was at least somewhat civilized and everyone knew that we were not really advocating killing him.  But now, it seems so many people are looking for an excuse do do crimes, even murder, that some would take that time honored baseball cry literally, and use that as an excuse to commit violence.  No other way to get bias and human error out of the balls/strikes calling part of baseball that I know of.  We are all biased and we all commit human error.

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It's disturbing to me that MLB hasn't done two things. First, it has been reluctant to acknowledge, either openly or to itself (so far as I know), that home plate umpiring is often pretty bad and occasionally terrible. I don't know whether the umpiring has gotten worse in the last few years, but now all umpiring errors on balls snd strikes are highly visible on TV and online, and a lot of fans are unhappy about it, especially when the bad calls are made at critical points in a game or playoff series or season. It doesn't help that national TV announcers never directly criticize umpiring, other than in code like "The Rays may have gotten a break there," or "That one was really close, could have gone either way," or "He's giving pitchers the low strike," or "Great framing job gets the strike call." You never hear, "Wow. The plate umpire missed another one. He's having a real bad night."

Second, MLB seems committed to doing very little or nothing to improve the situation. If the problem with improving the game stems from the rights of or threats from the umpires' union, that should be met head-on rather than used as an excuse for doing nothing.

Like a lot of fans, I think the answer is electronic umpiring for balls and strikes, and I understand that the technology exists to determine immediately whether any part of a pitched ball entered the three-dimensional strike zone. (It's fine with me if the plane from which the strike zone extends is changed from a pentagon to a rectangle.) But I don't know where that technology is because MLB doesn't talk about it. (Or maybe it has and I've missed the discussion.) 

I am guessing that, even if the technology is now in place and seems usable, it will take a couple of years, or maybe more, from the public introduction of an electronic system to its use in major league games. During that time the system would be tested and evaluated in non-MLB games, and bugs in and complaints about it would be worked out. Over time, the new, more accurate system would be improved, and would be accepted or rejected. That clock should be running. (Granted, 2020 may have halted the testing since there were no minor lague or AFL games.) Yet MLB appears to be taking no steps to test electronic ball-and-strike technology under game circumstances. 

If MLB has resolved for some reason to stick with human umpiring for a while, it should consider suggestions  to try to improve the quality of ball-and-strike calls. There are lots of ways to try to do this. For example, MLB could:

  • Get rid of umpires, or exempt them from home-plate duty, if their objectively scored performance deteriorates as they get older (perfectly legal)
  • Identify and recruit the best umpires from outside the U.S.
  • Instruct umpires that they are to follow the strike zone as it's defined in the rulebook, rather than utilize personalized strike zones 
  • Instruct catchers that they are to try to keep their gloves where they catch the ball, and that intentiionally moving the glove into the strike zone will (a) result in a ball being called and (b) be grounds for a warning and then for ejection.
  • Set up the assignments so that really bad ball-and-strike umpires like Buckner and Hudson aren't behind the plate in postseason games
  • Permit, with some limits, catchers and batters to argue over strike calls, or at least create and enforce uniformly a set of rules for those arguments
  • Have all checked-swing calls made by the appropriate base umpire, with no appeal requirement
  • Have balls and strikes called by two umpires, one behind the plate calling whether a pitch passes over the plate and a second stationed in front of the stands, at ground level, directly to the side of home plate (or elsewhere, with a monitor to get that view) calling whether a pitch is high or low and immediately communicate that electronically to the other umpire.

Calling balls and strikes is difficult, and always has been. But it's also important and causing problems for the game, at leat in my opinion. There are steps that might improve the situation. Doing nothing isn't one of them. 

 

 

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From spiritof66:

“I don't know whether the umpiring has gotten worse in the last few years, but now all umpiring errors on balls snd strikes are highly visible on TV and online, and a lot of fans are unhappy about it, especially when the bad calls are made at critical points in a game or playoff series or season.”

Studies show that umpiring has gotten better.    Also, younger umpires are better at calling balls and strikes than older umpires.   http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/mlb-umpires-strike-zone-accuracy/

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On 10/7/2020 at 1:59 PM, OrioleDog said:

Cool!   I saw that Top of 9th, I believe scuffling Fairbanks recovered after getting that #1 ranked missed call to get the batter out and finish things off, but that inning could have run quite differently had he lost the guy to set up two on, nobody out.

I'm happy with the outcome of course just for general entertainment and hopefully making Cole/Snell/Glasnow all pitch again before the ALCS.

It's also noticeable the green misses all low left and red misses high right, like Bucknor's personal strike zone is too high and too outside.  If I'm reading #1 ranked missed pitch correctly, I think this visualization is from the catcher's perspective.

Unfortunately, a chart like this is only valid if you also show the comparable chart for his treatment of players on the other team. If his mistakes are consistent, that is, he makes the same mistakes with each team, then there’s less to complain about.

But without a chart showing calls on the other team, this one isn’t very useful. 
Is “league average” for umpires accuracy percentage available?

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