Automated Strike Zone for MLB.. Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by stealyerface, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Some of you have read my many tales of baseball life in my olden days, and as I have been keeping tabs on the Arizona Fall League,and their implementation of the Robotic Strike zone.

    As a pitcher, I have mixed emotions about the strike zone, but I concede that there were many times the catcher received a pitch in such a manner that it was un-hittable, but was given the strike call.

    I think the biggest problem is going to be the high strike call, and batters getting used to where the "actual" strike zone is supposed to be. Over the years, the upper portion of the strike zone has moved South, and then migrated North again, with the current zone leaning more towards the plate...

    I am not sure I would want to get rid of the human element of the arbitrary strike zone from umpire to umpire, but I also see the need to reign in absolutely incompetent umpires, with no names being mentioned, but the initials, Angel Hernandez come to mind.

    So, for the crew here who follow, love and have played the game, what are your feelings on a "true" strike zone, when it is black and white, versus shades of grey?

    ~syf
     
  2. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    I think MLB umpires do a great job, by and large. I don't require calls to be made with perfect conformity to a predetermined standard so long as they are made with consistency. If an umpire wants to be a bit generous on the outside corner, I'm fine with it so long as it's consistent. Actually, I think there's a part of me that likes the fact that each umpire has his own particularities. It gives the game a bit of spice. More to the point, you almost never see major controversies related to this. Nothing like the recent NFL debacle with Saints and the Rams. So I think it's mostly a non-issue. If a team ends up being obviously and royally screwed because of a bad strike call...then maybe I'd change my mind.

    I think the biggest problems with baseball are nothing to do with how balls and strikes are called and almost everything to do with pace of play. The juiced balls and the fixation on the home run is also a significant problem. But if they're going to mechanize parts of the game, I hope to God that they start with a pitch clock.
     
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  3. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    The pitch clock is a great idea, but they can't implement the current use.

    In MILB, any time you step off the rubber, the clock resets. Effectively meaning... there is no pitch clock, even with a pitch clock.

    They need to start the clock, and unless a pitcher throws over to an occupied base, there are no resets.

    ~syf
     
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  4. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great topic !!!
    However, the umps have a union in MLB ... I think this fact and a love for tradition will keep human umps around ...
    As an aside, saw a vid of Pete Alonzo of the Mets hit a homer last night ... The pitch was low and several inches outside ... Crushed it 440 ++ ...
     
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  5. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I don’t really like any changes to the rules. I like how the pitchers have to figure out what they can get away with from game to game. As long as the ump is consistent on what he calls the whole game then I think it’s fine.

    Something I do kind of like though is the pitch clock. I think on the farm teams it’s like 30 secs once the pitcher gets back on the mound? It’s still plenty of time and I don’t notice much change.

    People are always talking about trying to make the game go faster but I don’t get it, if you wanna watch something faster than watch basketball or something. Baseball feels faster than watching NFL sometimes because every other play is a holding call.
     
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  6. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't like it. How about this? MLB umps are already graded after each game, right? Why not impose a rule that the lowest scoring ump on each squad doesn't get to go behind home plate. There are dozens of great MLB umpires. But it seems like the same small minority--Angel Hernandez, Joe West, and CB Bucknor--consistently butcher calls (and then lose their composures when someone questions them).
     
  7. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Add Joe West to that bad umpire list.

    My only concern with the automated zone is if it disrupts the flow - everyone needs to know what the call is - if the umpire has to hesitate even an extra second to make the call - that changes the game.

    In general, I think the umps in games I've seen (mostly Yankees) have been making accurate calls. Very tough job.
     
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  8. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I kind of like things as they stand now. But I wouldn't mind a rule where a pitcher has to pitch for at least 3 batters.

    As far as umps go I would like to see some of them back off the power trip. You see players getting ejected for just looking at them.
     
  9. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Getting called out by a robot would really suck ... Not much room to argue ...
     
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  10. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Good way of putting it. I wonder if pitchers "play" the ump as part of their strategy.

    Also wondering if pitches/teams have video and stats of the different umps they'll encounter?
     
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  11. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, absolutely to both questions.

    You know that Umpire XX gives the outer edge to a right handed batter, and you see just how far he is willing to go, and work to that spot the rest of the game. Absolutely.

    ~syf
     
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    I would like to see both the umpire calls behind the plate and an automatic strike zone implemented simultaneously over two years time. For the first year the umpires aren't overruled by the automation, but at the end of the game the umpires would get a rating based on how many calls they got right. If at the end of the first year the ratings for all the umpires aren't 95% or above for all of the games, then the automation overrules the umpires' calls for the second year, and so forth. The umpires will still call balls and strikes, but they would be instantly overruled if wrong. To me this seems like a fair and scientific approach. MLB wouldn't be rushing the change without proving its worth. Do I think it will happen? No, I don't.
     
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  13. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    How long will it take for someone to hack the computer that makes the automated calls to influence the outcome of the game on behalf of some high roller who has a lot of money at stake?
    The biggest problem I see with human umps is how they favor pitchers that they like, and give them much more leeway over others that they like less.
     
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  14. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    Would it make the game more accurate? Absolutely.

    But part of what we love about sports is the human element, right? How many big moments in sports have been defined by human error? When your team loses because of a bad call, it almost gives you a bit of consolation that you and every other (insert sports team) fan just knows that you guys got screwed , and you totally would have won if it hasn't been for that stupid referee.

    That probably sounds silly to some, but I think it's part of the connection with sports. How much of it do we want to leave up to computers & algorithms?

    I feel the same way about instant replay. It's great in many situations but I would always be weary of over-using it, because at some point the refs become completely unnecessary if we're simply going to go to the tape after every call.

    I'm not really a baseball guy, so I can't speak much on this specific subject, so I need you baseball guys to set me straight if I'm way off here
     
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  15. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

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  16. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would not support automated umps. That would sterilize the game. Would they program the computer to actually say “steeeerrriiikkke three”? Weird!

    Over the last couple of years, I have noticed a shrinkage of the strike zone. I thought the strike zone ran from the armpits to the top of the knees. Now it seems like it’s from the sternum to the top of the knees. When did that change?
     
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  17. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No doubt.
     
  18. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I prefer to keep the games as original as possible. Part of the charm isn't in perfection.



    ruth point.jpg
     
  19. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    +1 this. Well said.

    Then again, I'm super old school. I don't like the replay rules. Human fallibility adds to the drama and lore of the game.

    The ONLY automated system I could live with is one that calls a 3rd strike on Bryce Harper on every pitch, throws him out of the game, and tells him that he's very ugly and obscenely over-paid. Ditto Yasiel Puig, but tells him that he's stupid. And Brett Gardner, for his Mussolini-strut and Area 51 skull.

    One reason I'm a nice guy is that I funnel my rage at MLB's worst brats/select bad guys.
     
  20. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have complained long and hard about umpires and their own personal view of the strike zone. It's not just human error or a want for perfection...... It's a power trip defining their own zone. For some 8, even 10" outside the plate is a strike over and over. None ever call a strike high in the zone within what is technically a strike.
    I may actually watch boring baseball again if they automate strike calls.... and require repeat pitches in no longer than 20 seconds! :lol:
    Watching replay in LL World Series etc is great. Bad calls at the base get corrected. Women's softball is far more interesting than MLBB. They pitch probably 3 pitches a minute....
     
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