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Atlantic League ABS Robo-Ump Ejection Encore

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With the Atlantic League playoffs underway, we decided to check in on the Automated Ball/Strike System and...HP Umpire Derek Moccia just doled out the first ABS ejection in ALPB postseason history after a computer's strike three call to High Point Rockers batter Michael Russell on Long Island...

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Well ... it may have been far more meaningful if it wasn’t Viola.  This was a pre-meditated act and a part of his crusade.

A couple of observations ...

The first pitch absolutely could NOT have been a strike.  Not only did the announcer think it was outside, but the catcher slid out as he was making the catch.  Everybody knows it can’t be a strike unless the catcher sits still and catches it in the zone.  :sarcasm:

Second, did anybody catch that strike three call?  :P

 

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18 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Well ... it may have been far more meaningful if it wasn’t Viola.  This was a pre-meditated act and a part of his crusade.

A couple of observations ...

The first pitch absolutely could NOT have been a strike.  Not only did the announcer think it was outside, but the catcher slid out as he was making the catch.  Everybody knows it can’t be a strike unless the catcher sits still and catches it in the zone.  :sarcasm:

Second, did anybody catch that strike three call?  :P

 

Love how the announcers now change their narrative. Live umpire, we hear, "That pitch was clearly out of the zone, terrible job by the HP umpire, blah blah blah"

Now it's all laughs.."Hahah..that pitch looked outside, but I guess not, hahaha, we must be wrong" 

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A little late to the game, but this is pretty bad for the Trackman system. There is much more that goes into an umpire's judgement including how the pitch was received by the catcher, how the  perceived track of the pitch was (curve that nips the bottom of the front of the zone but hits the dirt by the catcher) and there are just so many other and yes I'll say subjective factors good umpires have to take into consideration. 

Let's just say the pitch the catcher had to move out for really did nip the zone, but this falls into the "expected call" area. Nobody offense or defense was expecting the pitch to be called a strike. And a human umpire with the ability to apply their judgement wouldn't call that pitch. 

But I also like @Richvee's comment on the announcers attitude's when it is Trackman vs an umpire. Shouldn't it be the opposite way???

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4 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

 

But I also like @Richvee's comment on the announcers attitude's when it is Trackman vs an umpire. Shouldn't it be the opposite way???

It all goes back to the common misconception by most that because it’s a computer, there’s no way it can be wrong. Why people believe all technology is 100% accurate is a huge pet peeve of mine. , 

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On 10/4/2019 at 12:08 PM, Richvee said:

It all goes back to the common misconception by most that because it’s a computer, there’s no way it can be wrong. Why people believe all technology is 100% accurate is a huge pet peeve of mine. , 

Computers are unemotional.  They don't use discretion or judgment.  They don't get angry.  They don't hold grudges.  They don't have biases, whether conscious or subconscious.  They don't get tired.  They don't blink. They don't care what others think.  They don't make mistakes.  The only thing that can cause an incorrect output (barring a hack/bug) is an incorrect input, and the computer doesn't create the input.  You tell a computer what you want, it will give you exactly that. 

It's a twist on the lesson of asking the genie for three wishes, or selling your soul to the devil - the difference is, the computer isn't going to look for a way to give you what you ask, but not what you want...the computer is simply going to take your request literally, and follow it fundamentally.

A computer is going to be more accurate than a human, if you want to follow the letter of the rule.

But as stated before, there are many pitches that are strikes by rule and definition that nobody wants called a strike, and many/most umpires won't call a strike.  eg. a knuckle ball that nips the bottom front of the strike zone and bounces on the plate.

But, this is Exhibit A to "be careful what you wish for"...because the only people who like a computerized strike zone are pitchers.

 

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I’ve said it before:

1. The computerized zone in MLB is a foregone conclusion. It’s not if, but when.

2. When it’s implemented, they will absolutely need to change the rulebook zone because pitchers will take advantage of the computer’s literal interpretation of it. Every offensive statistic will plummet.

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11 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

2. When it’s implemented, they will absolutely need to change the rulebook zone because pitchers will take advantage of the computer’s literal interpretation of it. Every offensive statistic will plummet.

But wouldn't that just help with the whole "make the games shorter" mantra? Why adjust the rule, when the batters can learn to adjust and swing away?

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But wouldn't that just help with the whole "make the games shorter" mantra? Why adjust the rule, when the batters can learn to adjust and swing away?


Because pitchers will learn to throw unhittable pitches that have been called balls for over a hundred years that will now be called strikes. That 0-2 slider that the catcher blocks but just clips the bottom outside corner will now be strike 3.

MLB wants shorter games, but not at the expense of scoring.

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3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Computers are unemotional.  They don't use discretion or judgment.  They don't get angry.  They don't hold grudges.  They don't have biases, whether conscious or subconscious.  They don't get tired.  They don't blink. They don't care what others think.  They don't make mistakes.  The only thing that can cause an incorrect output (barring a hack/bug) is an incorrect input, and the computer doesn't create the input.  You tell a computer what you want, it will give you exactly that. 

It's a twist on the lesson of asking the genie for three wishes, or selling your soul to the devil - the difference is, the computer isn't going to look for a way to give you what you ask, but not what you want...the computer is simply going to take your request literally, and follow it fundamentally.

A computer is going to be more accurate than a human, if you want to follow the letter of the rule.

But as stated before, there are many pitches that are strikes by rule and definition that nobody wants called a strike, and many/most umpires won't call a strike.  eg. a knuckle ball that nips the bottom front of the strike zone and bounces on the plate.

But, this is Exhibit A to "be careful what you wish for"...because the only people who like a computerized strike zone are pitchers.

 


 

For many years I have said that computers are perfect machines.  They operate exactly how they are told and do exactly what they are told to do.  Unfortunately they are told to do it by imperfect human beings.

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A computer program can only be as smart as the person who programmed it, and is only as smart as the one using it.

Nothing would stop MLB from compiling an AI strike zone computer. Give it the data on all the millions of pitches, including the full pitch track from hand to glove and the call made by the umpire. It wouldn't take long at all for the AI to generate the "expected" zone, taking into account those weird pitches that no one would call a strike. Then, have the computer analyze its "robo-umpire" calls based on this data.

This wouldn't take much time at all and the data already out there is HUGE. With the vast amount of data, the computer can even realize when an umpire made a gross miss - those obvious calls that were incorrect (down the middle a ball; several inches outside a strike).

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35 minutes ago, yawetag said:

A computer program can only be as smart as the person who programmed it, and is only as smart as the one using it.

Nothing would stop MLB from compiling an AI strike zone computer. Give it the data on all the millions of pitches, including the full pitch track from hand to glove and the call made by the umpire. It wouldn't take long at all for the AI to generate the "expected" zone, taking into account those weird pitches that no one would call a strike. Then, have the computer analyze its "robo-umpire" calls based on this data.

This wouldn't take much time at all and the data already out there is HUGE. With the vast amount of data, the computer can even realize when an umpire made a gross miss - those obvious calls that were incorrect (down the middle a ball; several inches outside a strike).

This is one of those "how come I haven't thought of this?" Kinda things. That's absolutely the way to go.

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I know  how to change the computer strike zone to the expected zone on the lower half of the zone . The new definition of the bottom of the strike zone" shall be the hollow of  both knees of the batter" so a pitch that catches the hollow of the front knee but on the ground by the back knee would be called a ball. 

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11 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Computers are unemotional.  They don't use discretion or judgment.  They don't get angry.  They don't hold grudges.  They don't have biases, whether conscious or subconscious.  They don't get tired.  They don't blink. They don't care what others think.  They don't make mistakes.  The only thing that can cause an incorrect output (barring a hack/bug) is an incorrect input, and the computer doesn't create the input.  You tell a computer what you want, it will give you exactly that. 

It's a twist on the lesson of asking the genie for three wishes, or selling your soul to the devil - the difference is, the computer isn't going to look for a way to give you what you ask, but not what you want...the computer is simply going to take your request literally, and follow it fundamentally.

A computer is going to be more accurate than a human, if you want to follow the letter of the rule.

But as stated before, there are many pitches that are strikes by rule and definition that nobody wants called a strike, and many/most umpires won't call a strike.  eg. a knuckle ball that nips the bottom front of the strike zone and bounces on the plate.

But, this is Exhibit A to "be careful what you wish for"...because the only people who like a computerized strike zone are pitchers.

 

There’s still a margin of error in the tracking system. Not to mention the inability with the current tech to accurately adjust up and down for each batter instantly. It’s not ready yet. 

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11 hours ago, Richvee said:

There’s still a margin of error in the tracking system. Not to mention the inability with the current tech to accurately adjust up and down for each batter instantly. It’s not ready yet. 

There always will be a margin of error, as there will be with a human...the margin of error will always be smaller in the computer, provided it has the right instructions.

What a computer won't be able to do is adjust to the flow and feel of the game, or develop a dynamic with the catchers...in short, the computer calling strikes will always be clinical...an umpire calling strikes can, in many ways, be an art...an art a computer will never achieve...a computer can play Beethoven's ninth perfectly fine...with emphasis on perfect....I'll take a flawed but emotional human performance of it every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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So, I'm just curious: 

Who here never wants computers calling balls and strikes?

Who here is against it until the technology becomes more reliable?

Who here is in favor of an electronic strike zone no matter what?

As always, this is for posterity so be honest :)

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Baseball hasn't needed it for its first 150 years, so I don't know why it needs it for its next 150.

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The “always perfect computer” will always be flawed in the eyes of the human batter that didn’t swing.

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5 hours ago, grayhawk said:

Baseball hasn't needed it for its first 150 years, so I don't know why it needs it for its next 150.

Didn’t need 4 umpires for a lot of that time either...or 3 levels of post season play...or the DH...:shrug:

the list goes on. If it can be shown to be an improvement...

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I’m against it. I don’t think we need it. That said, can  we incorporate it somehow to allow a couple challenges per game  for obviously missed pitches?  I know that’s opening Pandora’s box, but I don’t think we need the technology for every pitch. Borderline is borderline...if a human or computer calls it. ...let it be. Bad misses, let’s say a strike call  >3” out of the zone can be changed if challenged ,. 5 seconds to challenge, and immediately a B or K appears on the scoreboard.    

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I don’t think it is opening Pandora’s Box.  Surprisingly, I would actually be in favor of it.  
 

I’ve said it before: coach, you have three challenge flags.  Throw them out for anything you want.  But that’s it.  Three.  If it’s worth it for a strike, go for it.  Also, we aren’t waiting.  Once the pitcher gets the ball back and we are ready to play, it’s too late.  No allowing somebody else to watch a replay while the coach is holding up a finger to wait a minute ... no.

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4 hours ago, LMSANS said:

Didn’t need 4 umpires for a lot of that time either...or 3 levels of post season play...or the DH...:shrug:

the list goes on. If it can be shown to be an improvement...

“Improvement” is relative ... 

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6 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

 No allowing somebody else to watch a replay while the coach is holding up a finger to wait a minute ... no.

This should be the case for ALL replay... Not just our contrived ball/strike replay. You saw what the umpire saw..If you disagree, challenge. You don't get extra help of watching the play again before you decide. 

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