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Replay being used for the first time


Big Mac

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Meanwhile, home plate umpires continue to rape hitters and pitchers alike with their inconsistent strike zones. The home run cameras don't do much for the game; giving the home plate umpire some useful electronic assistance would make all the difference in the world.

I vaguely remember you posting that you did some serious technical work on ball and strike cameras/calls. I still think MLB is on the right tack here. Border calls (generally) affect a game more than balls and strikes. Missed border calls that is. Balls and strikes generally affect the outcome much less.

JMVHO but I think most people write off bad b&s calls as part of the game. "Price of admission" as it were...

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Meanwhile, home plate umpires continue to rape hitters and pitchers alike with their inconsistent strike zones. The home run cameras don't do much for the game; giving the home plate umpire some useful electronic assistance would make all the difference in the world.

And very certainly not to pick on a poster I respect a lot, the b&s calls, as you said yourself, affect both the defense and offense. And even with a definitive call would still be questioned. It's still just one pitch.

Homerun calls affect the whole game. Fair or foul, over the fence or not... the whole game can hang on it. Witness Mr.'s Maier, Tarasco, and Rich Garcia...

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I vaguely remember you posting that you did some serious technical work on ball and strike cameras/calls. I still think MLB is on the right tack here. Border calls (generally) affect a game more than balls and strikes. Missed border calls that is. Balls and strikes generally affect the outcome much less.

I think things like PitchFx and Questec have pretty definitively shown that about 10% of all pitches are missed. That means 20, 25 pitches per game. Every game.

Our early experience shows that replay on border calls might happen once a week or so.

I'll get down on the ground and thank the Lord the minute that a good pitch call aid is implemented in MLB. I've long since had more than enough of just accepting that today's strike zone includes nothing above the belt, some balls below the knees to non-All Stars, and an ill-defined area that encompasses much of Washington County. But just for today. Tomorrow it might be a ball-width area over the outer half of the plate, roughly from the top of the knees to the batter's unmentionables.

JMVHO but I think most people write off bad b&s calls as part of the game. "Price of admission" as it were...

I write it off as something you had to live with before the technology improved enough to fix it.

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And very certainly not to pick on a poster I respect a lot, the b&s calls, as you said yourself, affect both the defense and offense. And even with a definitive call would still be questioned. It's still just one pitch.

Homerun calls affect the whole game. Fair or foul, over the fence or not... the whole game can hang on it. Witness Mr.'s Maier, Tarasco, and Rich Garcia...

Although not nearly as obvious, one bad call on a ball or strike can affect the whole game as well.

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I vaguely remember you posting that you did some serious technical work on ball and strike cameras/calls.

It didn't quite reach the stage of "serious technical work". About 12 years ago, my employer was developing software which would identify military targets (e.g., attack helicopters) from a cluttered background using optical recognition technology. I proposed to use the same technology to identify a baseball and plot its location as it crossed the plate.

An overhead camera (we used to get those shots on game broadcasts, but I haven't seen them lately) would identify whether a ball was inside, outside, or over the plate. A camera to the side would identify whether the ball was within the batter's strike zone. Each batter's strike zone would be defined during spring training and stored in the system's data base. A set of standardized profiles based upon player height could be used for mid season rookie call ups until their actual strike zones could be updated to the database.

No human intervention would be required, other than system maintenance, data base updates, etc. The home plate umpire would have an inconspicuous LED "tell-tale", probably mounted on the bottom of the bill of his cap, which would glow green for pitches in the strike zone and red for balls which were too high, low, inside, or outside. The umpires would still be responsible for deciding if the batter had swung, or if the ball had been tipped.

Since it would stop missed called strikes on balls 6 inches off the plate, it would eliminate most of the rhubarbs that currently occur between batters, pitchers, catchers, managers, and the umpires.

As batters learned the strike zone better, they would be more comfortable with taking pitches that were close, knowing that they wouldn't get called out on strikes for a pitch that was a ball.

It would be a tremendous boon for youth baseball. Young hitters would learn their strike zones much quicker without having to adjust to the variabilities of umpires. Youth leagues could achieve the same or better quality of play calling with one fewer umpire, cutting expenses.

The software developers thought that optical recognition of a white sphere against a consistent background would be an easier programming task than recognition of an irregularly shaped military target against a cluttered background. Unfortunately, my management felt the development was too far outside our normal defense oriented R&D and killed it.

I still think MLB is on the right tack here. Border calls (generally) affect a game more than balls and strikes. Missed border calls that is. Balls and strikes generally affect the outcome much less.

I would differ. There probably are no more than one or two disputed basepath calls during the average game, whereas there are probably dozens of incorrectly called balls and strikes.

In last Sunday's game against Houston, with the Cards trailing 0-1 in the top of the 6th, both Ryan Ludwick and Albert Pujols were called out on "strikes" which replays showed to be well off the plate. If it weren't for poor umpiring, Pujols would probably strike only 10-20 times a season instead of 50-60. Not to mention the weakly hit balls which occur sometimes when the batter extends his strike zone because of uncertainty about what the umpire is going to call.

JMVHO but I think most people write off bad b&s calls as part of the game. "Price of admission" as it were...

People understand that after they cool down, but there are a lot of them who would literally "kill the umpire" if they had access to him during a game. It was only a few days ago that someone posted a thread in the O's forum complaining bitterly about bad umpiring calls against the O's and suggesting that the Yankees and Red Sox get preferential treatment.

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People understand that after they cool down, but there are a lot of them who would literally "kill the umpire" if they had access to him during a game. It was only a few days ago that someone posted a thread in the O's forum complaining bitterly about bad umpiring calls against the O's and suggesting that the Yankees and Red Sox get preferential treatment.

That's one of the better reasons to use replay. Once a significant number of fans think there's preferential treatment the whole league begins to lose credibility (see the NBA - everyone just assumes big stars get to take 11 steps before a dunk, and get all of the calls on fouls).

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Although not nearly as obvious, one bad call on a ball or strike can affect the whole game as well.

Exactly, that one bad call could have been the difference in seeing one more pitch and squashing it for a HR.

By the way, asied from the preferential treatment, there's also the issue of umpires making bad calls because they are in a rush to end the game.

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Exactly, that one bad call could have been the difference in seeing one more pitch and squashing it for a HR.

In our last game against the Nats this year, didn't everyone think that Sherril had the last out of the game wrapped up on a called strike 3, which got called a ball, only to have the batter hit the next pitch out? I think that's how it happened.

What about Nick getting called out on a Mariano pitch 6 inches outside with the tying run on 3B?

Etc.

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