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Old 09-19-2023, 11:42 AM   #901
Déjà Bru
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Yeah, it's time. Even if the technology gets some calls wrong it won't be as bad as calls that are being missed now. Add in there will be a consistency that players, batters and pitchers, can adjust to and the game will be fine/better.
This. ^^^

I hate the creep of A.I. but in this case, it is associated technology that is exacerbating the problem. Centerfield cameras, superimposed strike boxes, social media web sites. What in the past would be dismissed as judgment calls or missed entirely is now blatantly obvious and things like those Instagram posts are hurting the game.
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Old 09-19-2023, 11:53 AM   #902
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It surprised me to learn MLB has to get it passed the umpire's union and I'm not sure how they'd take it. I imagine people might instantly assume umps would be against it, but they might welcome it. If they give the calls entirely to AI, then as an umpire you can't really feel bad when you make a bad call, you just blame it on the AI. And even if it's a challenge system, there still might be less pressure to make the call right because if you screw up, well, the batter has the challenge system. If I was an ump, I think I'd welcome it. As long as MLB doesn't also insist on a pay cut that is.
I have read elsewhere, or here, perhaps, that the HP umpire will not lose his job. (That is, one-fourth of currently rotating MLB umps will not lose their jobs.)

You still need an ump at the plate which remains one of four bases at which a play can occur suddenly. Plus, I would think that the HP ump would be relaying the ABS call with his usual vigorous display; the alternative being distracting bright lights at field level in various spots around the ballpark — in order to be instantly visible from various player angles — or bellowing from the P.A. system which may yet be inaudible.

All the more reason, then, to bring on this change and in a hurry.
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:10 PM   #903
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My theory remains that he has pictures of Big Bud Selig and Rob Numbfred in a hot tub with a llama.
My theory has a goat in a bikini w/a crack pipe, but I think we are on the same track if not identical trains.
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:15 PM   #904
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Alternative theory: Angel Hernandez is actually a great umpire, but he tries to be so bad that he gets actually fired, then cries discrimination and files a $15M lawsuit.
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:18 PM   #905
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Angel Hernandez is actually a great umpire,
Careful. Putting those words together in that order could cause a universal anti-matter explosion.
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:28 PM   #906
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I just realized how vulnerable that post is to willful misquotation
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:32 PM   #907
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Someone needs to put it in their sig. :P
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Old 09-19-2023, 12:38 PM   #908
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Someone needs to put it in their sig. :P
I couldn't do that to my worst enemy. He'd have to change his username & go off the grid in shame.
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Old 09-19-2023, 01:07 PM   #909
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It also mentioned that at first ABS was set up like a 3d cube over home plate (like I think the rules imply umps are supposed to call it now), but that didn't work very well, so they went to a 2d plane at halfway depth over the plate for ABS
The strike zone is supposed to be a 3d area shaped like home plate, so not exactly a cube.
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Old 09-19-2023, 02:18 PM   #910
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That video, to me, really doesn't make the case that it seems it is intended to make. Several of those look like just misses that 'could' have caught some portion of the 3D zone that the box graphic can leave ambiguous to the viewer.
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Old 09-19-2023, 02:21 PM   #911
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Robo umps might rid us of Angel Hernandez but would rob us of Ron Luciano ("Mr Carew thought it was a ball" )
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Old 09-19-2023, 03:05 PM   #912
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I'm wary of an ABS challenge system, but I really don't want to see an ABS non-challenge system.

My biggest concern with the challenge system are selfish players challenging when they really shouldn't. And in case someone doesn't know, it's not just batters who can challenge, but the battery can too. I'd much rather it be up to the manager or someone else. And I realize that might take too long, but what if the player first made the signal to challenge, then the manager got 10 seconds to accept or reject it based on what his video coordinator told him. Somewhat relatedly, Foolish Bailey made a fascinating video on the effectiveness of the Royals' Video Coordinator, Bill Duplissea. Maybe cut out the manager altogether and just have a direct line to each team's replay guy in the ump's gear.

Watching videos of it in action is actually kind of interesting. At first I thought it would drag the game, but it actually adds to the suspense and thrill of the game. It seems like it takes less time (15-20 seconds) than replays in MLB take now, which I think are way faster than they used to be (I swear they used to take several minutes sometimes).

Another thing I took away from the videos is I really don't think the minor leaguers were challenging like major leaguers would. They were challenging early and often, at counts that made little sense to challenge, and at pitches that were really too close to the zone. It was as if they didn't care one bit about game theory. And I'm not surprised by that, it's there to be tested after all, but how accurate can your findings be if it's not being tested how it would probably be used in the majors?

A while back I was reading an ESPN article on the ABS systems and it sounded like players, and especially catchers, don't like the non-challenge system so I'm hoping the union wouldn't let it go through (I presume they'd still have to okay the kind they go with). I'd still like to see these skill differences between catchers and I like the game theory the challenge system adds.

It surprised me to learn MLB has to get it passed the umpire's union and I'm not sure how they'd take it. I imagine people might instantly assume umps would be against it, but they might welcome it. If they give the calls entirely to AI, then as an umpire you can't really feel bad when you make a bad call, you just blame it on the AI. And even if it's a challenge system, there still might be less pressure to make the call right because if you screw up, well, the batter has the challenge system. If I was an ump, I think I'd welcome it. As long as MLB doesn't also insist on a pay cut that is.

What I found most interesting in that article, however, was that, along with implementing some ABS system, they'd very likely change the strike zone to try to counter the increase in strikeouts. And do you just shrink it or do you play around with the heights, maybe say the zone is at the back or middle or front of home plate, maybe shrink the width of home plate? Who knows. The article even suggested making it oval-shaped which sounds crazy as that'd be way too much to ask of an ump, but if you're going all AI, then maybe it's not crazy.

It's curious that the strike zone, as it is defined now in the rules, isn't really the strike zone that ABS is set at. ABS is set at %s of a player's height (can you lie and say you're shorter or is it calculating your height?) whereas the rules define it at set points of the player's body (so the lower you crouch the smaller your strike zone). I prefer the idea of %s of a player's height so it doesn't matter how low you crouch, but I can't help but think the strike zone should be set at a size regardless of the batter. Without the guide of the player's body that might be too much to ask of a human however. And yeah, that might give an advantage to taller players, but right now there's an advantage to shorter players.

It also mentioned that at first ABS was set up like a 3d cube over home plate (like I think the rules imply umps are supposed to call it now), but that didn't work very well, so they went to a 2d plane at halfway depth over the plate for ABS. So unless you tell the umps to change their own strike zones to be like that of the AI, I don't see how you can really go with a challenge system. A strike with an ump could very legitimately be a ball to the AI and vice versa. I'm not sure if umps testing it have been told to adjust their own zone.

Anyway, as much as some of us have had enough with all the bad calls and want something different, I'm not so sure we're that close to seeing ABS in MLB. I was thinking that with how quickly they've introduced some of these other rules that there was a good chance we'd see ABS next year, but now I'm not sure. While it's fast and seems to work relatively well now, there seem to still be plenty of questions.
If they use the same challenge system they use in the minors, each team is only given 3 challenges. If their challenge results in an overturned call, the team maintains the challenge. If the umpire's call stands, then the team loses a challenge. Went to a game in Round Rock earlier this year. I would say there were roughly 9 or 10 challenge over the course of 9 innings. Strangest thing is the signal for challenging a call is for the batter, catcher or pitcher to tap themselves on the top of the head. Reminded me of Jerry and Elaine in party episode of Seinfeld.
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Old 09-19-2023, 03:23 PM   #913
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At least there's that...

But how does this guy keep his job? As the worst MLB ump, does he still grade out higher than every ump working in triple A?
Umpire's union.

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Alternative theory: Angel Hernandez is actually a great umpire, but he tries to be so bad that he gets actually fired, then cries discrimination and files a $15M lawsuit.
He has already accused the MLB of discrimination for not getting a World Series assignment since 2005: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/m...federal-court/
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Old 09-19-2023, 04:40 PM   #914
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1. Adjacent to the current site, which means that all the current problems in reaching the Trop (1 highway, no public transportation) will still be in play.

2. 30,000 capacity? Way to overdo the "boutique" trend. Why not just ask the Tarpons if you can co-tenant their park?

I am glad that a deal has, apparently, been reached. It just seems that a better idea was out there. JMO.
What I learned about this deal is the Rays don't care as much about attendance as we might expect. Maybe because their attendance has been so bad for so long they've just learned to be concerned about other things instead. And maybe they're right too.

They're still going to have a bad location, a roof, and turf. What's different? Sure, the ballpark inside will hopefully be better, but what really stands out is all the development around the ballpark. Maybe that's just where the real money is to be made now.

It's disappointing as I think many of us prefer to see full stadiums, but if they can make more money in other ways, should we blame them? I suppose it's better that than seeing a fanbase, including those watching from elsewhere, lose their team to another city.
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Old 09-19-2023, 04:50 PM   #915
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That video, to me, really doesn't make the case that it seems it is intended to make. Several of those look like just misses that 'could' have caught some portion of the 3D zone that the box graphic can leave ambiguous to the viewer.
I was thinking the same thing. That superimposed strike box, is it accurate?

Some pitches, as we know, cross the plate (the front of the plate?) as strikes but end up outside of the strike box by the time the catcher snags them. This does not excuse the egregious mistakes that we see in those videos but some of the closer ones, well, just how accurate is that strike box?

Here's a thought: Does anybody know if the strike box is adjusted for batter height (and stance?) or is it always the same for every batter? For, we must remember that TV studios provide this for our enjoyment (or wrath), not for the sake of MLB, players, or umpires.
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Old 09-19-2023, 05:54 PM   #916
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It's not just the missed calls. Its that a portion of the umps carry grudges & are spiteful.

Case 1
Case 2
Case 3

These are just the ones posted for September. Having a bad day is one thing. Being bad is another thing. Being bad & getting butthurt when it is pointed out is completely uncalled for & beneath the profession & the game. It's not the awful skill that's the concern for me. It's the awful skill that is never given impetus to get better. And worse, gets coddled & protected. And then is allowed to carry out their petty vengeance.

I'm ready for R2D2.
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Old 09-20-2023, 06:16 AM   #917
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Ohtani will not pitch next year.
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Old 09-20-2023, 07:34 AM   #918
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Blake Snell, who has never gone eight innings, totally fine with being pulled after 7IP, 0H, 104 pitches

The gutless baby was even whimpering "It's going to be a lot of pitches" on the bench between innings, because he valued his fear of throwing fewer than 50% of the pitches Nolan Ryan once did* over his chance to make history, not to mention his team needing him to help win the ****ing game, which was scoreless at the time.

*—to be fair, that 235-pitch game damaged Ryan's arm so much that Nolan was only able to pitch for another 20 seasons. So caution is clearly merited.

To be even more fair, modern pitchers throw really hard, whereas Ryan…er, never mind. (19Ks in 13 innings. Cecil Cooper goes 0-for-8, 6Ks. WTF even is six whiffs? A Palladium Sombrero?)

Reports that Snell had crawled under the bench, huddled in a fetal position as he sucked his thumb, could not be confirmed, however.

(Mostly because I just made that part up. But even so.)

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Old 09-20-2023, 10:24 AM   #919
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I was thinking the same thing. That superimposed strike box, is it accurate?

Some pitches, as we know, cross the plate (the front of the plate?) as strikes but end up outside of the strike box by the time the catcher snags them. This does not excuse the egregious mistakes that we see in those videos but some of the closer ones, well, just how accurate is that strike box?

Here's a thought: Does anybody know if the strike box is adjusted for batter height (and stance?) or is it always the same for every batter? For, we must remember that TV studios provide this for our enjoyment (or wrath), not for the sake of MLB, players, or umpires.
For a broadcast? I would think it has to be loosely done otherwise those 5'8" guys like Madrigal are going to have a box that's way too big. Individually done for extreme accuracy? No, I wouldn't think so.

The following is only from memory so may have some things wrong, but my understanding is if/when implemented every player has their strike zone box custom made based on measurements of their last 50(?) plate appearances. IOW it is not static but being remeasured and redone continuously. IOW the "network strike zone" you now see is not the zone that will be used when the system is in place.

They currently measure things like ball fight angle, distance, in all sports (live in golf) along with distance a player runs and speed being applied to replays. My guess is almost all of this could be done live if they wanted to clutter up the screen. Imagine 22 football players being tracked all at once? Technologically I don't think making a static box for each hitter is a hard thing to do. Get a 50 PA example established as one comes through the minors (ST for current MLB players or "sessions" in the batting cage?) and you're off and running. After a player's first 50 PA those initial PA the box is based on are history.

Zones will become somewhat static with both batter and pitcher knowing what to expect. If they aren't perfect? Well we certainly tolerate non-perfection now, don't we? With a computer measuring and establishing the zone at least it will be consistent and not ump to ump, day to day, or batter to batter.

I'm sure I'm oversimplifying this, but I do believe the tech is there if they choose to use it.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:33 AM   #920
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Blake Snell, who has never gone eight innings, totally fine with being pulled after 7IP, 0H, 104 pitches

The gutless baby was even whimpering "It's going to be a lot of pitches" on the bench between innings, because he valued his fear of throwing fewer than 50% of the pitches Nolan Ryan once did* over his chance to make history, not to mention his team needing him to help win the ****ing game, which was scoreless at the time.

*—to be fair, that 235-pitch game damaged Ryan's arm so much that Nolan was only able to pitch for another 20 seasons. So caution is clearly merited.

To be even more fair, modern pitchers throw really hard, whereas Ryan…er, never mind. (19Ks in 13 innings. Cecil Cooper goes 0-for-8, 6Ks. WTF even is six whiffs? A Palladium Sombrero?)

Reports that Snell had crawled under the bench, huddled in a fetal position as he sucked his thumb, could not be confirmed, however.

(Mostly because I just made that part up. But even so.)
That sound? It's Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson doing cartwheels in their graves... Even by today's standards, this pretty much makes Snell a complete wuss. Many - probably most - of today's pitchers would've fought, if necessary, to stay in the game a bit longer.
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