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Defensive stats are revolutionised! Or will be soon.


Gurgi

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/sports/baseball/10cameras.html?_r=1&hp

SAN FRANCISCO — As baseball’s statistical revolution marches on, the last refuge for the baseball aesthete has been the sport’s less quantifiable skills: outfielders’ arm strength, base-running efficiency and other you-won’t-find-that-in-the-box-score esoterica. But debates over the quickest center fielder or the rangiest shortstop are about to graduate from argument to algorithm.

A new camera and software system in its final testing phases will record the exact speed and location of the ball and every player on the field, allowing the most digitized of sports to be overrun anew by hundreds of innovative statistics that will rate players more accurately, almost certainly affect their compensation and perhaps alter how the game itself is played.

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Just think we will finally be able to tell when a SS is beginning to fade and if he should move to third. Or be able to tell who the real GG should belong to. Honestly if these stats can be figured out then I suggest we take the GG out to the hands of a beauty contest and give it on the basis of who has the best numbers.

Will we figure out that Jeter is actually a horrible SS?

I love the idea.

I also want them to ditch umpires calling balls and strikes as soon as possible. It should be done with this system and a light behind homeplate should light up for a strike and a different light for a ball.

They could ditch the homeplate umpire and just go with three like in minor league games. How often do we have plays at the plate anyway?

Progress moves steadly forward. Everything changes. Why not umps?

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Just think we will finally be able to tell when a SS is beginning to fade and if he should move to third. Or be able to tell who the real GG should belong to. Honestly if these stats can be figured out then I suggest we take the GG out to the hands of a beauty contest and give it on the basis of who has the best numbers.

Will we figure out that Jeter is actually a horrible SS?

I love the idea.

It'll be 10 or 15 years before the GG voters are influenced by this. There will still be SportsCenter GGers in 2020. There will still be people who believe that diving a lot and getting dirty is worth more than some computer mumbo-jumbo after I'm long gone.

I also want them to ditch umpires calling balls and strikes as soon as possible. It should be done with this system and a light behind homeplate should light up for a strike and a different light for a ball.

They could ditch the homeplate umpire and just go with three like in minor league games. How often do we have plays at the plate anyway?

Progress moves steadly forward. Everything changes. Why not umps?

The system will move forward incrementally. It'll be a long, long time before you eliminate any umps. I'm all in favor of giving the home plate umps a tool (maybe the size of a cell phone, in their hand) that signals whether a pitch was called a ball or strike by Pitch F/x, and then letting them call it. That way they can weed out the occasional technical glitch without anyone even knowing.

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It'll be 10 or 15 years before the GG voters are influenced by this. There will still be SportsCenter GGers in 2020. There will still be people who believe that diving a lot and getting dirty is worth more than some computer mumbo-jumbo after I'm long gone.

Depends on how open and available the data will be. I can imagine ways of presenting this data that will be pretty stark and hard to ignore.

In terms of player evaluations by organizations, this will be freakin' huge. Clubs that know what to do with the information will be making moves that seem dumb and in some cases incomprehensible.

I can see this being even bigger than Pitch f/x.

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It will be interesting to see how the new stats developed this way compare to the ones currently in use like UZR, +/-, RZR and OOZ. I hope they'll keep publishing the "old" ones for a while so we can compare how the numbers come out and we can get a sense of what "feels" more accurate. I.e., is Nick Markakis really fielding as poorly as a -17 UZR/150 suggests, or do the new stats show he hasn't been nearly that bad?

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It will be interesting to see how the new stats developed this way compare to the ones currently in use like UZR, +/-, RZR and OOZ. I hope they'll keep publishing the "old" ones for a while so we can compare how the numbers come out and we can get a sense of what "feels" more accurate. I.e., is Nick Markakis really fielding as poorly as a -17 UZR/150 suggests, or do the new stats show he hasn't been nearly that bad?

I'm not sure all the "old" stats will go away at all, but they may get better, depending on how the new data are used.

Seems to me that this system could refine any range system that depends on observation.

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