Welcome home, fellow Gator.

The Gator Nation's oldest and most active insider community
Join today!

Automated balls and strikes is coming!

Discussion in 'Diamond Gators' started by iowagator, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. iowagator

    iowagator VIP Member

    It looks like it is close to a reality in MLB. How far behind will college be? Or is the technology too expensive at this point to put in place everywhere? Perhaps the SEC will do it for league games?

    Computer plate umps allowed in new labor deal

    NEW YORK – Computer plate umpires could be called up to the major leagues at some point during the next five seasons.

    Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract announced Saturday, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

    The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because those details of the deal, which is subject to ratification by both sides, had not been announced.

    The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on July 10. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

    5,553
    2,080
    613
    Apr 9, 2007
    Marianna, Fl
    Just taking away another part of the game....

    Sad........
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 2
  3. gtj31

    gtj31 GC Hall of Fame

    9,142
    465
    638
    Apr 8, 2007
    London, United Kingdom
    This is my take. I completely understand the anger with a missed strike call (like the big one in the WS which favored the Astros). That said, if you don’t swing, you are leaving it up to interpretation. That has always been the game. The art of pitching. The art of catching/framing. The game has always had a level of subjectivity which I like. Sure it sucks when it goes against you but life is no different. Buck up!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  4. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

    5,553
    2,080
    613
    Apr 9, 2007
    Marianna, Fl
    Greg,

    Don’t forget that you’re a Charter Member of the Section E hecklers—that said, if they did this just look at all the great material you’d have to give up........(“We know you’re blind——We’ve seen your wife”)........
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. GatorLegend

    GatorLegend VIP Member

    1,054
    134
    223
    Apr 3, 2007
    I can understand if you’re a baseball purist but I see it as an improvement much like the computerized calling of balls being in or out in tennis. Not sure removing arguing over line calls in tennis ruined the game or even hurt it for that matter. Only thing I can think of is maybe John McEnroe would have avoided his nickname of McBrat if they used the computer back in his day but knowing his temper he would have found something else to go off on!

    One benefit it may have is leveling the playing field so to speak for the visiting team. The calling of balls and strikes has always been an advantage for the home team even though no one involved would want to admit it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. GatorLegend

    GatorLegend VIP Member

    1,054
    134
    223
    Apr 3, 2007
    74, forgot about the heckling aspect of the game. Don’t get to see too many Gator baseball games in person so the heckling aspect didn’t occur to me. I watch more NY Yankee games on YES network and poor ball and strike calls drive me nuts!
     
  7. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

    5,553
    2,080
    613
    Apr 9, 2007
    Marianna, Fl
    GL—

    Then you are watching the game on it’s biggest stage......

    And you get to see/hear the largest membership of hecklers ever—:D
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey GC Hall of Fame

    38,174
    2,158
    1,898
    Apr 3, 2007
    s. e. florida
    We can bitch about the optics being clouded. Or the computer processor having a (biased) virus.
     
  9. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

    69,224
    41,922
    2,828
    Apr 3, 2007
    Irvine, Fl
    not a step that will make the game more enjoyable, at least not for me... the refs and umps I know have been honest to a fault, not saying they don't miss calls but that is all part of what makes baseball the great game it is for me (besides that is what make up calls are for (same as basketball)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Wish I would have said that Wish I would have said that x 1
  10. gtj31

    gtj31 GC Hall of Fame

    9,142
    465
    638
    Apr 8, 2007
    London, United Kingdom
    I disagree with your analogy. Line calls in tennis are not subjective. Out/safe at a base is not subjective. Fair/foul is not subjective. The strike zone has always been subjective.

    The strike zone is predicated on a “natural stance” (at least in my memory). Bagwell’s stance and Griffey Jr’s stance were very different. While the strike zone is technically the front of the plate, it lends itself to some very unorthodox “strikes” with certain pitches.

    Ultimately, the pitcher-umpire dance is one of the key interactions which makes baseball what it is imo. Greg Maddux might not be a HoF’er if automatic balls and strikes existed. He “pitched”. He didn’t throw.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. GatorLegend

    GatorLegend VIP Member

    1,054
    134
    223
    Apr 3, 2007
    I like your take. It will be interesting to see how the computer adjusts from an Aaron Judge at the plate to a Jose Altuve. And whether the strike zone is the same for a fastball, curve and knuckle ball. Will be interesting to see.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey GC Hall of Fame

    38,174
    2,158
    1,898
    Apr 3, 2007
    s. e. florida
    In a way, I’d rather use this technology to help train the umps. Give them feedback on what is “actually” a strike. Also, use it to grade their calls during a game, behind the scenes.

    Like tennis, perhaps, allow 3 [ pick a number ] “challenges” a game.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

    5,553
    2,080
    613
    Apr 9, 2007
    Marianna, Fl
    bogey—

    You want them trained better? While they are “in training” require them to remain after the game, review and grade their own performances before they are paid——awareness might make a difference.

    Now, anything that happens—a pitcher “comes inside”—umpires rip their masks off and practically charge both dugouts issuing “warnings”...same scenario involving base runners, the base runner plays hard and clean sliding into a base—immediately the umpires call time and again issue “warnings” to both dugouts—they’ve taken enough from the game.

    If pitchers can’t pitch inside with purpose, why can hitters wear any kind of body armor they choose—

    The game is the game—play it clean, play it hard, but above all play it right!
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Come On Man Come On Man x 1
  14. Bear1974

    Bear1974 VIP Member VIP Member

    8,430
    195
    188
    Apr 3, 2007
    St. Augustine, FLA
    [​IMG]

    I'm scared the terminator is coming behind the plate.

    I honestly think there is point where you can take things too far so to speak.

    Even with technology and the use of it there will always be a human element to it thus there is no way to get 100% accuracy in anything.

    How many times have we seen something in football replays and the replay officials muck it up even when we see the replay ourselves coming to a different conclusion. It does not happen often but it does happen.

    I'm not against this concept but I would need to see it in action to understand how something like that would work in actual real time - book knowledge and pie in the sky talking about this stuff is one thing but actually real world implementation without it affecting the flow of the game itself is something completely different.

    Ultimately I am about getting something right but I also know that there is no way to get rid of human errors in anything even if you are going through technology trying to do something for you.

    As fans we are going to bitch at something no matter what - where technology is involved or not or whether people are involved or not. We will figure out new ways to bitch and complain at something. It is life and you just need to deal with it.

    The human element in any sport is just part of the game whether we attempt to mitigate through tech or not.

    In terms of cost to implement that is also a completely different subject and I would have to belief there would be significant cost and how it would be installed in any of these stadiums at the college level. I would not be worried about it at the MLB level. Which is where I think there is no way right now it would be done at the college level. Although at some point the cost to implement will naturally go down at some point just because VCRS used to be $2,000 and then went down to $100 and then went out of existence because that is what happens with technology.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. TJtheGator

    TJtheGator GC Hall of Fame

    10,631
    1,553
    533
    Apr 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Human error aka stupidity on the part of an umpire/ref should NEVER decide the outcome of a sporting event. Player error yes but NEVER an official.
     
  16. 74nole

    74nole GC Hall of Fame

    5,553
    2,080
    613
    Apr 9, 2007
    Marianna, Fl

    TJ—

    Not really wanting the balance of a game decided by computers either—that said, I was fairly serious when I said make them grade themselves early in their careers—self awareness should be a strong motivator.

    Before I turned it over to machines, I would go through the ranks (of umpires), Fire the Incompetence to get their attention, and put quality umpires/referees back in the games.

    But that’s just me.....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

    6,292
    1,859
    608
    Apr 8, 2007
    It's the only occupation where a man has to be perfect on Opening Day and improve as the season goes on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Wish I would have said that Wish I would have said that x 1
  18. TJtheGator

    TJtheGator GC Hall of Fame

    10,631
    1,553
    533
    Apr 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Don’t disagree. Fire all stupid refs and umpires.

    In fact a way to start would be to grade them and possibly remove them IN-GAME.

    The same way a ref can eject a player, a higher authority should be able to eject a ref. And yes do it right then and there in front of everyone and embarass them so they get their crap together.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. TJtheGator

    TJtheGator GC Hall of Fame

    10,631
    1,553
    533
    Apr 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    No one is forced to be a ref, and no one does it for free. Want the position, don’t screw up. Screw up, there will be consequences. Same way an athlete lives with missing a FG, a free throw, or dropping a pass the rest of their life, so should a ref with their stupidity.
     
  20. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

    21,864
    1,072
    1,248
    Apr 3, 2007
    A few thoughts on this:

    - I'm fine with a varying strike zone, but that doesn't mean they can't be defined. If we don't have the ability to define the desired target and the conditions that warrant specific fluctuations, then we are admitting to allowing non-baseball-relevant bias from the ump (i.e. who is pitching, who offended me, etc.). If we want to allow pitchers to get an opened up strike zone, great, that can be designed and standardized...that's not a limitation on automated balls and strikes. Although, given baseball people's preference for having rules that don't match the game play (I'm looking at you current strike zone!), I don't expect this type of thing will ever be attempted. The art will be lost, but because of people, not because of technology.

    - To borrow an expression from 74 (even though we are on opposite ends of this one): Nobody came to see the umps :D

    - What technology has ruined for other sports isn't so much removing the human element, it's the lengthy delays that it takes for them to make a decision. That they still might get it wrong on top of that is not the fault of the technology itself (see, there's still a people problem that we can complain about).

    - The strike zone isn't as much like "in" or "out" - It may not be exactly like the uprights of a FG, either. But, could you imagine two refs standing in the end zone without the goal posts telling the opposing team if they made the kick or not? (Hey, he's made two kicks in a row, let's open it up a little...) Or to stay within baseball, why have foul lines? Use the bases as guides and go with that.

    - Try it in small doses, evaluate and make corrections. Not sure rolling it out for the 2020 season of FSL baseball is a good idea, but at least try it there before making a bigger deal out of it. It's going to have problems (some indicated in the article), identify and correct those problems before making it mainstream.

    - Does anybody remember when the NCAA told ESPN to stop projecting the strike zone for the college world series because the calls were so brutal? I think that viewing technology creates a greater burden on umpires. I also think that maybe some of the fantastical recollection of "human error" is more geared towards the notion that HiFi would always express (modified for this topic): Just because this ump is better than the rest doesn't mean he's doing a good job. [originally: just because that pitch was closer than the rest doesn't mean it's a strike!]

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
    • Like Like x 2