Robot umpires

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by ZTR ZTR 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #112946
    Brian Walton
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    Jack Flaherty takes on Jeff Passan, who came out in favor of robot umpires. (There are more comments in Flaherty’s Twitter feed.

    #112951
    Euro Dandy
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    Loved watching JF pitch this year, but the old “I play and you don’t” argument is a simpleton’s approach to advocating a point of view on this particular topic. If that’s all you got, then you ain’t got much.

    #113038
    BlackHillsCard
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    Pretty bad take from Jack and it will surely be brought up again in the future whenever he’s getting pinched with the strike zone.

    #113045
    Brian Walton
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    Isn’t Flaherty’s comment supportive of the real umpires? So, why wouldn’t that be beneficial for him in their eyes?

    #113058
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    Isn’t Flaherty’s comment supportive of the real umpires? So, why wouldn’t that be beneficial for him in their eyes?

    It is supportive, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t or won’t get pinched in the future.

    #113430
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    Wooster
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    Really don’t ever want to see any sport being dictated by a machine. Its really bad now with every sport having plays being micro analyzed by replays from cameras at different angles. Did his knee hit? Where were his hands? Wheres his foot? Give me a break, play the game. Enough already? Video games have damaged our kids enough!

    #113431
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    Onyxgem
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    As bad as Home plate umps are this needs to be done sooner rather than later.

    #113441
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    mudville
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    That strike called on a ball up and way in to Correa in the eighth inning of game seven might have changed the momentum in the game. No umpire could be that far off on a call. I think he did it deliberately.

    #113443
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    thejager
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    I’m all for the automated balls and strikes. And i have been for years.

    It doesn’t eliminate the need for the skilled umpires at all. You just have a chirp in the umpires ear for strike and long tone for a ball. They still make the call.

    Taking that out, they can focus on the real situations where the should be focusing on. Judgement calls. Interference, abiding by the timing rules at the plate and on the mound, and a lot more. Those things are things robots can’t fix for the most part and need the human judgement.

    Just because pitchers have learned how to take advantage of the LACK of oversight in their profession doesn’t mean it should stay that way. I am sure a lot of spitball and junk ball pitchers were pissed when they banned that, and had to either get better at hiding it or get better at pitching.

    If you are only good because you need the imperfection of the umpire to get the calls you want, then you arent playing baseball really, you are just trying to cheat at baseball.

    The technology is already there. period. The umpires know it, which is why they are evaluated on their performances BY THAT TECHNOLOGY. Pitchers and teams know it is good to go too, because they use it to determine how well they are pitching as well.

    They are SOOOO concerned about the technology being right EVERY SINGLE TIME yet their solution is to continue using a method (HUMANS) that are by their very nature not right 100% of the time.

    The technology is already accurate enough, they just need to implement it in a way that is unobtrusive to the game. If the earpiece fails or there is a problem, you just g o right back to the umpires calling every pitch. In fact they SHOULD be doing so still, they only need the chirp or long tone to confirm before making their call out loud.

    I don’t get why the pitchers are so upset to be honest, they will now get calls on things that guys cant hit. High curve balls, cross ups that stay over the plate but distract the umps with the catcher movement, even bottom of the zone pitches will get called if they hit the zone.

    Even the complaint about the height of the batters changing is not a big deal. They already change with every ump looking, so error is already in there. With the tech, at least the same algorithm will be applied to take that factor into account so the error will be consistent and something to be learned or gotten better with time.

    The tech is good enough, the accuracy is as good or better than humans. Move on.

    #113444
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    SoonerinNC
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    I’m ready for the change. Unfortunately some umpires hold grudges. Otherwise how do you explain the consistently bad calls against Carpenter and Ozuna. Carp brings a lot of it on himself with his complaining but I don’t have a clue about Ozuna who gets some really bad calls.

    And nothing could be worse than what happened to Tommy Edman one game. If I remember right no pitch in that at bat was in the zone and he was up to a 3-2 count with a number of foul balls.

    It appears to me that they favor the stars and punish the rookies. Base umpires on check swings too.

    And a system has to be bad when hacks like Joe West are still hanging around. If they are being evaluated I still see the same guys messing up.

    #113451
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    The technology would at least be consistent and wouldn’t involve emotion. The electronic eye wouldn’t respond to constant whining (I’m looking at Lester and Maddon). It wouldn’t do “make up calls” for previous screw ups. It wouldn’t have “his” strike zone the way so many umps seem to have “their” strike zones, e.g., high, low, wide, etc. It wouldn’t be biased on calling a strike or ball because it’s a 3-0 or 0-2 count. It wouldn’t be biased for the all-star vet or biased against the rookie. It wouldn’t hold a grudge. The electronic eye’s zone would be based on the rule book’s definition.

    I understand Wooster’s point about all the over-analysis, multiple camera views, time delays, etc. That is annoying, but that is a complaint for replay. Electronic balls and strikes would not involve that issue. It would do the opposite by almost certainly shortening time delays and even eliminating them. Debates and arguments with umps would quickly go away because the electronic eye is making the call. There would be nothing to debate. Arguments with the umps would be pointless and disappear.

    The electronic eye works great for tennis and, although it wouldn’t be perfect for baseball, it would clearly be more accurate and consistent than many of the old humans eyes screwing it up routinely nowadays. Some umpires are really bad at balls and strikes and very few are great at it. As jager said above, umps are evaluated against the technology and you can google some studies on this. I have done that and some of the guys listed as being bad will come as no surprise to most people and they’ve been in the game far too long. Some of those clowns will never be fired, but a least the technology would lessen their influence and give more of it back to the players.

    #113464
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    Cardinal in France
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    I would favor robots for calling balls and strikes to bring some badly needed consistency at the plate. And while we’re at it, I’d make those robots call the rule book strike zone.

    #113471
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    1982 willie
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    I have been against many of the changes they have or are planning to introduce. I don’t like the catcher thing at the plate and im not a big fan of a pitcher having to pitch to three batters before they can be taken out though I wouldn’t mind a limit on total number of changes made during an inning or group of innings. but I am supportive of robot home plate umpires which before this year I would never have said. I just saw way too much inconsistentcy across the board. they still have to have an actual guy there so no job is being lost, its not like self checkout counters which I loathe. the technology is there, use it.

    #113561
    ZTR
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    The game badly needs this technology.

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