It is . . . Getting Interesting

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:11 pm

Depends on his dealer.

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Anaxagoras » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:17 am

This is something I've noticed, just watching, but the statistics bear it out: umpires seem to have smaller strike zones after there's 2 strikes, and bigger strike zones if there's 3 balls.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/fou ... youre-out/

Consider a forgotten game in April 2010 between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox were up a run with two outs in the eighth. Their set-up man, Matt Thornton, was on the mound, protecting a lead with a runner on first and the right-handed Jhonny Peralta at bat. Ahead in the count with one ball and two strikes, Thornton froze Peralta with a slider on the outside half of the plate, a couple inches below the belt. For a pitch like that, the umpire, Bruce Dreckman, would normally call a strike — 80 percent of the time, the data shows. But in two-strike counts like Peralta’s, he calls a strike less than half the time.

Sure enough, that night Dreckman called a ball. Two pitches later, Peralta lashed a double to right, scoring the runner and tying the game. Neither team scored again until the 11th, when Cleveland scored twice to win the game. Had Peralta struck out to end the top of the eighth, Chicago almost certainly would have won.1

This one call illustrates a statistical regularity: Umpires are biased. About once a game, an at-bat ends in something other than a strikeout even when a third strike should have been called. Umpires want to make the right call, but they also don’t want to make the wrong call at the wrong time. Ironically, this prompts them to make bad calls more often.

That’s according to research I did with David P. Daniels showing that the strike zone changes when the stakes are highest. We looked at more than 1 million pitches, almost all ball and strike calls from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular seasons, and found that the strike zone expands in three-ball counts and shrinks in two-strike counts.2 It also shrinks again when the preceding pitch in the at-bat was a called strike. To put it another way, on close calls, umpires are unlikely to call a fourth ball, a third strike, or a second strike in a row. Umpires call balls and strikes as if they don’t want to be noticed.
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:46 am

I should give a "No Shit Sherlock" but I understand it is nice to confirm the impression with actual statistics.

"Balls and Strikes" appears to be the most inconsistent call in baseball. Every umpire has their own zone, and the zone may change from game to game. It may change during the game. Schilling observed a few years ago that what drove him and many other pitchers crazy is what you describe: a changing strike zone. So long as it is consistent wherever it is, the pitcher will adjust. There is "gamesmanship," of course, in that pitchers try to widen it and batters try to squeeze it. When the umpire does either on his own it drives both pitchers and hitters completely nuts.

Here is an infamous one--such that it apparently bothers Max Scherzer to this day. Some back ground: Scherzer would win the Cy Young, Detroit is winning, and Xander Bogaerts is so much of a rookie he qualifies as a rookie this year.

Watch the pitch in real time then pause and think "strike or ball."

[youtube]mri0GJKJW3E[/youtube]

One commentator thinks it is low and outside. The "pitch zone" shows it right at the low outside corner. I thought it was a ball. What drives Scherzer crazy is he cannot believe the rookie did not swing at it--and that a rookie got the call. For rookies tend to not get the benefit of the doubt.

What follows is the former Red Sox SS lets Ellesbury on with an error--should have been an inning-ending double-play--to load the bases then . . . "Don't worry . . . about a thing":

[youtube]eGX8WUgFc7k[/youtube]


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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:12 am

Image

Looks like a ball but perspective is fucked.

Strikes1 me that they could eliminate the ump from having to make the call and just go with a computer. But within a few months of that, ever pitch will be right on the edge of the zone, every time.




1. sorry

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:56 pm

One of the blessings/problems with "pitch zones" is viewers can see "how bad" umpires are with a given call immediately--and with WiFi and the 34G people in the stands can see it--but the perspective is skewed. That is borderline. I wish I could remember if that was one of the ones where I thought "got a break on that one!" Incidentally, Xander states Max asked him how he could let that ball pass without swinging--how could a rookie show such "plate discipline--and Xander says he responded that he was "fooled" by the pitch. Whether he is being polite or not is another discussion.

To your point, I would agree. Baseball began with one umpire easily influenced/threatened by managers and fans. "One eye is not enough" so we have more. During playoffs--"Playoffs?! Playoffs?!!"--MLB expands the number of umpires; thereby conceding the problem. Technology could solve "balls and strikes" and, as you say, good pitchers will learn. The problem is "cheating" is considered "part of the game." Had A-Fraud McSlappy gotten away with his interference, MFY fans would be crowing and RS fans jumped into the Charles River.

Do not start a discussion about that "interference" call in the WS. . . .

More to point, it is considered "part of the game" for the pitcher and batter to try to "sell" a ball/strike call. Some of the rules are purposely vague for this reason: what is a "checked swing?" Good luck!

I think because of success with other sports and the obvious technological advancement, MLB has had to use replay. I remember them trying to prevent home parks from showing replays on the "Big Screen" that would "show up" the umpires. That worked for about two years until everyone brought their iPads/iPhones and could watch the fucking thing live!

I suppose they could do what you suggest and "track" umpires and allow for "obvious fuck-ups" to be reversed. Umpires are human. One of the games the RS actually won the Home Plate umpire was clearly having a "bad day" in that he was fucking up calls in both directions against "both sides." He took the dirty looks and muttering because he knew he was fucking up.

That being written? I could not do that job. Nope. Not just "RS Homer Fan Boy": I just could not do it.

I wonder if others should as well.

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Anaxagoras » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:14 am

Rob Lister wrote:Strikes1 me that they could eliminate the ump from having to make the call and just go with a computer. But within a few months of that, ever pitch will be right on the edge of the zone, every time.


The edge of the zone is what pitchers go for anyway. If pitchers had the accuracy to do that consistently, and with pitches that either have some movement or are more than 90 mph, then they deserve to get the call. I don't believe they can do that "every time" because you have to be able to do it with different pitches, some of which are hard to control.

That's not to say that the rule change wouldn't favor pitchers; it might. I'd like to see them at least try it on a trial basis. Maybe just in a few minor league games or spring training games at first. The umpire's union probably wouldn't be happy, but it would actually make their job easier. You still need an ump there even if he's not calling balls and strikes. He makes other calls, like safe or out at home plate, he has to inspect the ball for cheating or dirt, look for balks, call time out if the batter steps out of the box, etc.
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:37 am

Someone has to dust off the plate.

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby grayman » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:29 pm

Image
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:36 am

:D

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby izittrue » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:37 pm

From the off center field camera it looked like a ball. You think the ump got caught up in the moment?
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Which one?

They fucked up so many. . . .

You know it is a problem when both dugouts starts screaming.

--J.D.
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"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:36 am

Veeerrrry interesting.

--J.D.
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"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
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"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:46 am

No more.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Pyrrho » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:47 am

Midges should be hatching any day now... :gloomy:
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:58 am

They will miss Jobba's butt.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
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Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Anaxagoras » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:39 am

5 errors and 12 walks. :De_Bunk:
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:00 am

No, technically "Captain Intangibles" only committed two errors because "you cannot assume the double play."










What?

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.

Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Doctor X » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:54 am

Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.

Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho

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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby izittrue » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:30 pm

Doctor X wrote:Child Shown Field Where Cubs Suck.

Image

--J.D.

Ha ha. Yes my father bought me there and I took my son there. It's a great place to suck!!
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Re: It is . . . Getting Interesting

Postby Anaxagoras » Tue May 06, 2014 9:39 am

Anaxagoras wrote:Probably nobody cares. I'm only barely following it myself, but the Japan Series is currently underway:

http://www.japantoday.com/category/spor ... pan-series

TOKYO —
Ginji Akaminai and Andruw Jones each singled in a run in the 10th inning as the Rakuten Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants 4-2 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Japan Series on Thursday.

The Pacific League champion Eagles could wrap up the title on Saturday at home when they are likely to start ace Masahiro Tanaka. The 24-year-old Tanaka went 24-0 this season and has four complete-game wins in four career postseason starts.

The Giants are Japan’s oldest and most successful franchise. The Eagles are the youngest team and became the first expansion team in Japanese baseball in 50 years in 2005.


24-0 record plus 4-0 in the postseason, all complete games. Pretty impressive.


I have to say, Tanaka has been pretty impressive in the majors so far too.

4-0 in 6 starts, and all 6 have been quality starts. Well, 6 starts is not a season, but all signs are good. He's second in the league in K/9, K/BB and WHIP (and not to the same guy). Only 1 other AL pitcher with as many starts has had all quality starts (Sonny Gray, he's also having a great season).
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