Poll

Automating the strike zone

Yes, technology has shown umps are incompetent
29 (87.9%)
No, it would change the game too much
4 (12.1%)
I can't decide.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Voting closed: November 10, 2019, 11:12:54 PM

Author Topic: It's time to automate the strike zone  (Read 7589 times)

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Offline Baseball is Life

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It's time to automate the strike zone
« Topic Start: August 01, 2015, 11:54:45 AM »
I think you are right.


I will also say, though, that on the calls Harp goes ballistic over, he's almost always right, meaning there is plenty of room for improvement on the part of the umpires. They should go back to those big chest shields so they can line up without regard to the catcher. That might be a start.



They need to put a chip in the ball and when it crosses the strike zone, a beep goes off in the umpires ear and he signals strike. It will be a seamless experience for the fans. I'm sure the techies will come on here and question the technology but I have faith that the geeks will figure it out.

The purists will say it will give an advantage to the hitter or pitcher and I think that's a valid discussion to have.

Offline Baseball is Life

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It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #1: August 01, 2015, 12:03:50 PM »
I've railed about for the last couple of years. With the advent of technology, it has become apparent that plate umpiring is affecting the integrity of the game. This guy makes a good argument.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/118714854/automated-strike-zone-robot-umps-changes-to-baseball

"All we'd need is a buzzer in the home-plate umpire's ear to let him know whether a pitch traveled through the zone. It wouldn't slow the game down at all, and we'd even still get to debate which umpire has the best punchout -- because, at surface-level, nothing has changed."

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #2: August 01, 2015, 12:07:46 PM »
And:

There are so many benefits to automating the strike zone. For one, offense would unquestionably go up, in a time where baseball could desperately use more runs. The data tells us that far more balls are turned into strikes than vice versa. If we forced pitchers to stay within the framework of the strikezone, we'd see a major uptick in offense.
We'd also gain a much greater appreciation for the hitters who can watch a pitch go by when it's only half an inch off the black. And in every one of those cases, we'd waste no time on players arguing with umpires -- meaning, at the same time, that no umpires would be embarrassed by their incorrect calls.

Automating the strike zone has countless benefits. But all those other factors pale in comparison to the main point here, and that's that we'd be getting it right. Trust me, no one appreciates the artistry of Rene Rivera more than me. But lauding a catcher for his pitch framing or lauding a pitcher for a pitch six inches off the plate is missing the greater point: The umpire got it wrong.

Baseball is a beautiful game. And as with all beautiful things, there's always an aversion to change. But if your only reason for preserving something is the "way-it's-always-been" argument, then it's probably time for a change, anyway.

In the past few years, we've all decided that replay technology is good for the game. Changing the means by which we call balls and strikes would be even better -- and at absolutely no cost to our viewing experience."

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #3: August 01, 2015, 12:19:35 PM »
I don't want a complete shift to it. I'm still a fan of the dreaded "human element". I would like to see a tennis system, perhaps where a manager can challenge five (or some other arbitrary number) ball/strike calls per game.

Offline Jordanz Meatballz

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #4: August 01, 2015, 12:26:02 PM »
It is beyond time to do it

Offline GNatsNoMore

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #5: August 01, 2015, 12:35:13 PM »
I don't want a complete shift to it. I'm still a fan of the dreaded "human element". I would like to see a tennis system, perhaps where a manager can challenge five (or some other arbitrary number) ball/strike calls per game.

I agree.  The tennis system seems to work well.  These are the player challenge rules at Wimbledon:

"Players have unlimited opportunity to challenge, but once three incorrect challenges are made in a set, they cannot challenge again until the next set."
http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/challenge/

Maybe managers could have up to 5-6 challenges, but lose a challenge every time they are incorrect.  With the pitch tracker system, you'd think the rulings would be faster than on other types of challenges.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #6: August 01, 2015, 12:37:13 PM »
I really don't like the challenge system. It would slow the game down, I think. But if it can be done quickly, I'm all for it.

Online GburgNatsFan

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #7: August 01, 2015, 12:42:28 PM »
Maybe a tone in the umpire's ear if the ball is out of the zone (or a tone if it's in and a buzzer noise if it's not).  Then the ump can decide if he thinks it caught a part of the zone or something.

But no reviews. I like the review system we have now - although it takes WAY to long - but more reviews would interrupt the pace of play too much.

The players are the human element in the game.

I don't want a complete shift to it. I'm still a fan of the dreaded "human element". I would like to see a tennis system, perhaps where a manager can challenge five (or some other arbitrary number) ball/strike calls per game.

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #8: August 01, 2015, 12:48:34 PM »
Maybe a tone in the umpire's ear if the ball is out of the zone (or a tone if it's in and a buzzer noise if it's not).  Then the ump can decide if he thinks it caught a part of the zone or something.

But no reviews. I like the review system we have now - although it takes WAY to long - but more reviews would interrupt the pace of play too much.

The players are the human element in the game.

No it wouldn't. If you do it like tennis, it would take 15 seconds, tops. There's virtually zero interruption into the flow of the game in tennis.

If you're buzzing the umps on every pitch, then just make the complete jump. Don't tell them that "technology says it's a ball or strike but in the end it's up to you". That's a bad combo.

Online Slateman

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #9: August 01, 2015, 01:02:40 PM »
Yes, but I want you to remember this when Max is getting three inches on each side of the plate

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #10: August 01, 2015, 01:07:12 PM »
Yes, but I want you to remember this when Max is getting three inches on each side of the plate
It'll cut both ways, at times.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #11: August 01, 2015, 01:08:21 PM »
Yes, but I want you to remember this when Max is getting three inches on each side of the plate

That's when I will get on the opposing team's message board and get their support. :roll:

Seriously, it will instantly end all arguments about strikes and change the tone of the game for the better. Let me see, does anyone miss the managers coming out and having a fit over blown calls. Probably not. Same thing will happen to the constant griping about strike calls from both the hitters and pitchers. From a spectator's viewpoint, that crap gets old no matter what side your own.

Offline stealyerbase

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #12: August 01, 2015, 01:14:15 PM »
I think the Pacific League just used Pitch track to call balls and strikes last weekend. It was met with approval.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #13: August 01, 2015, 01:41:37 PM »
I think the Pacific League just used Pitch track to call balls and strikes last weekend. It was met with approval.

Here's one article about it. http://www.sfgate.com/giants/jenkins/article/Automated-balls-and-strikes-not-just-a-gimmick-6411465.php

My favorite quote from Manfred:
It sounds almost frightening from a traditional viewpoint, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred cast a skeptical vote to the Associated Press this week, saying, “I think we are a ways away from using technology to call balls and strikes, I really do. It’s because of technology limitations. It’s because, quite frankly, the strike zone is different for every single guy.”

That's the point, dimwit. And any tech issues could be solved by next weekend if MLB really wanted to use it.

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #14: August 01, 2015, 01:44:17 PM »
Here's one article about it. http://www.sfgate.com/giants/jenkins/article/Automated-balls-and-strikes-not-just-a-gimmick-6411465.php

My favorite quiote from Manfred:
It sounds almost frightening from a traditional viewpoint, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred cast a skeptical vote to the Associated Press this week, saying, “I think we are a ways away from using technology to call balls and strikes, I really do. It’s because of technology limitations. It’s because, quite frankly, the strike zone is different for every single guy.”

That's the point, dimwit. And any tech issues could be solved by next weekend if MLB really wanted to use it.
I could see that being a logistical nightmare.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #15: August 01, 2015, 01:48:49 PM »
I could see that being a logistical nightmare.

The way they communicated it over the PA system was for entertainment. I would want a beep to go off in the ump's ear instantly. Frankly, it would make the decision even faster than the ump would.

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #16: August 01, 2015, 01:52:32 PM »
The way they communicated it over the PA system was for entertainment. I would want a beep to go off in the ump's ear instantly. Frankly, it would make the decision even faster than the ump would.
No, I'm saying setting up and maintaining the strike zones for every player in MLB (and presumably the minor leagues). Everyone's strike zone is different, he's not wrong in that.

Offline BeltwayBaseball

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #17: August 01, 2015, 02:00:51 PM »
Maybe managers could have up to 5-6 challenges, but lose a challenge every time they are incorrect.  With the pitch tracker system, you'd think the rulings would be faster than on other types of challenges.

I'd support like 2 or 3 challenges, maybe 4 total if they count ball/strikes and safe/out/etc regular challenges we already have. I want the human element of the game still, I want catchers stealing strikes, I want hall of famers getting favor either from the mound or in the box. But I would like the opportunity to challenge the most egregious errors, like to Bryce last night, and the process would have to be lightning quick, considering how quick TV producers can pull up pitchtrack it shouldn't take any longer for umpires. Put it on the jumbotron so the ump doesn't have to get that headset crap going. Don't let it interrupt an at-bat.

And I would hope managers wouldn't abuse the system, let a hall of famer get a few inches extra from time to time, let a catcher steal a strike, otherwise you could theoretically have the manager challenge every single "close call" and get it ruled the other way and that would be stupid.

Ultimately I think the problem is sucky umpires. If we had the umpires graded, punished and even fired if they don't do a good enough job, and combine that with like 2 challenges of the most egregious calls (because even the great umps will make mistakes) then we'll have a better system.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #18: August 01, 2015, 02:01:26 PM »
No, I'm saying setting up and maintaining the strike zones for every player in MLB (and presumably the minor leagues). Everyone's strike zone is different, he's not wrong in that.

Are you saying you would measure the players at the beginning of the season. Maybe so, and that would not be insurmountable. They can do that when they take their team photos at spring training, for all I care. But I have faith that the geeks can develop a system that will do it instantly as the player steps up to the plate.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #19: August 01, 2015, 02:03:30 PM »
I'd support like 2 or 3 challenges, maybe 4 total if they count ball/strikes and safe/out/etc regular challenges we already have. I want the human element of the game still, I want catchers stealing strikes, I want hall of famers getting favor either from the mound or in the box.
Oh, my. The point of the whole thing is to get rid of all that crap. :shock:

Offline BeltwayBaseball

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #20: August 01, 2015, 02:19:20 PM »
Oh, my. The point of the whole thing is to get rid of all that crap. :shock:

Then you've killed an element of the game. Pitch framing is an art. This game isn't for robots.

As for hall of famers not getting favor, I don't get it. You're going to complain if Clayton Kershaw gets a couple extra inches and strikes out Michael Taylor to end a playoff series? I honestly don't, from a pure fan entertainment perspective I want to see the greats perform even greater, and if my team has greats I want them getting that favor. In a matchup between Bryce and Kershaw, there's probably more parity. But when it's Bryce versus some scrub, I want Bryce to get favorable calls. When it's Max Scherzer vs Joc Pederson, I want Max getting some help. Max Scherzer vs Adrian Gonzalez, I expect a bit more parity. I want to see the greats dominate the journeymen, and I want to see the greats match up against eachother well, it's just more entertaining. If you don't have any good players to earn a little favor, then that's your problem for having such a crappy roster.

As long as it equals out and everybody's getting it. Last year Tim Hudson who ain't no hall of famer was getting all the low calls Jordan Zimmermann wasn't, and in the last out Zim was suddenly squeezed where he (and moreso Hudson) had been given leeway all night. Then when Roark struck out Belt, according to the "Carapazza zone" all night, he let it slip. Next pitch Belt homers. Inconsistency and inequality are the problem.

The problem is also when you have balls say, 4+ out of the zone. That's where you want a challenge, regardless of who's playing. Or when you're giving credit to some dumby like, who was it, Robles? Last night, some guy who can't throw strikes you give him one for free against a triple-crown candidate who leads the majors in walks...and has been right almost every time. Not to mention, it was well off the plate, not even close.

Again I think inconsistent/unequal umpiring, mixed with the occasional horribly botched call that's not even close, are the totality of the problem.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #21: August 01, 2015, 02:24:41 PM »
Then you've killed an element of the game. Pitch framing is an art. This game isn't for robots.


The human element is provided by the actual competition among the players. Pitch framing is taking advantage of the umpire's incompetence.

You're going to complain if Clayton Kershaw gets a couple extra inches and strikes out Michael Taylor to end a playoff series?

Yes, if Kershaw is truly that great, then he doesn't need the extra advantage.
Inconsistency and inequality are the problem.


yes, they are.

Online DPMOmaha

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #22: August 01, 2015, 02:42:42 PM »
Are you saying you would measure the players at the beginning of the season. Maybe so, and that would not be insurmountable. They can do that when they take their team photos at spring training, for all I care. But I have faith that the geeks can develop a system that will do it instantly as the player steps up to the plate.
I think you think it's simpler than it actually is.

Offline Baseball is Life

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #23: August 01, 2015, 02:52:04 PM »
I think you think it's simpler than it actually is.

Probably. But I have faith in technology. It's the answer to everything. ;)

Offline stealyerbase

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Re: It's time to automate the strike zone
« Reply #24: August 01, 2015, 02:52:05 PM »
Here's one article about it. http://www.sfgate.com/giants/jenkins/article/Automated-balls-and-strikes-not-just-a-gimmick-6411465.php

My favorite quote from Manfred:
It sounds almost frightening from a traditional viewpoint, and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred cast a skeptical vote to the Associated Press this week, saying, “I think we are a ways away from using technology to call balls and strikes, I really do. It’s because of technology limitations. It’s because, quite frankly, the strike zone is different for every single guy.”

That's the point, dimwit. And any tech issues could be solved by next weekend if MLB really wanted to use it.

I'm glad this is happening, albeit in an independent league. I think it's past time to implement this in MLB, +/- an inch beats the heck out of what we're seeing now.