Monday, October 18, 2010

Phillies Screwed by Umps, Giants Screwed by Umps; Everybody Yearning for Robo Umps

The calling of balls and strikes has left a lot to be desired. It is so bad that both teams have at times been equally upset over pitches that cross that plate but are called balls and by phantom strikes 5 inches off the plate.

I understand the difficulty of calling balls and strikes, the pressure of making decisions on a ball that is traveling at 90 plus mph where you have less then half a second to see the path of the ball and determine where it crossed the plate but this is a pivotal part of the game.

If you look at the plot above there is a whole lot of green inside the box and if you look at the outside corner it seems to have grown by 3 inches on both sides (but only sometimes). What makes things worse is that if you look at the plot from Saturday's game you get a completely different picture as well.

So in the course of two games there have been two different interpretations of the same strike zone and each has been implemented inconsistently. This is getting a little crazy and there has to be something that can be done about it.

Major League Baseball needs to reel in these umpires that have their own idea about what is a ball and what is a strike and go by what is written in the rule book, what if foul balls were judged the same way? With some umpires giving you a couple inches here and there if would get them fired but with balls and strikes it is no problem.

To address at least the different interpretations that can be seen in a series let's start with the same guy behind the plate for each game. No more figuring out the umpire and guessing game.

Then in the off season MLB needs to get tough in making sure that umpires are calling the rule book zone. We have the ability now to see every pitch and track what was called a strike or ball, this needs to be reviewed and graded. If an umpire isn't calling the zone like it is supposed to he needs to be sent packing.

I look forward to the day when we have robo umpire acting as a impartial arbiter of the rule book strike zone.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

1 comment:

  1. Believe it or not, they have actually improved in the last 10 tears or so. I remember when I was a kid nothing above the belt was a strike. Although it is frustrating to see such inconsistent interpretations of the strike zone. MLB umps are already judged by the Questec system that Curt Schilling famously trashed with a bat after one particularly bad outing. This series has been particularly terrible but I just don't know how to fix it other than using a camera and a computer to determine balls and strikes.