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View Full Version : What is this love affair with the human element?


Viva Magglio
08-02-2003, 10:50 PM
I have been a longtime advocate of bringing instant replay to baseball. Yet, opposents of instant replay claim it would rob baseball of the human element. Why is there such a fixation with the human element? I think that is a load of crap!!!

The negative aspects of the human element is perfectly showcasing itself with the INCREASING number of bad calls being made by umpires. I am sick and tired of these blown calls potentially costing us ballgames. It's time that MLB come into the 20th Century, let alone the 21st, and adopt an instant replay system.

This human element line of reasoning in opposing instant replay makes no sense to me, and such people are like the Flat Earth Society.

ilsox7
08-03-2003, 12:11 AM
There are very few instances in baseball in which instant replay can be used.

And about the blown call on Carlos' stolen base...how exactly would that be "appealed" to instant replay. Are managers gonna get a certain amount of challenges? An umpire who just made the call certainly isn't going to then say "let's have another look at it." Bottom line: No Insatnt Replay in Baseball!

WhiteSox = Life
08-03-2003, 12:18 AM
Perhaps MLB should do a better job recruiting umpires and training them to follow the rules and develop their umpiring. Then, maybe Major League Baseball should give the umpires more respect, pay them better and stop constantly trying to scrutinize their every more with QuesTec and any other type of methods they use to try to catch every error an umpire makes.

Of course, the umpires aren't that important in baseball, so who cares? Keep on treating them like crap.

MarkEdward
08-03-2003, 01:51 AM
People are already complaining that baseball games take too long. Instant replay would make the games much longer. Whenever I'm watching football (rarely), the replay are reviews are always very boring and kill the 'buzz' of the game for me.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-03-2003, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
People are already complaining that baseball games take too long. Instant replay would make the games much longer. Whenever I'm watching football (rarely), the replay are reviews are always very boring and kill the 'buzz' of the game for me.

I agree completely. Instant replay has slowed down football games to the point of becoming ridiculous. Worse, half the time they waste all that time and STILL get the call wrong (even though the announcers won't ever admit it.)

You want instant replay? Go to the race track. They have the perfect camera angle to get the call right every time. The NFL is pulling your pud to tell you they can get it right, too.

I wouldn't mind using cameras and computers to call balls and strikes. That's something akin to the photo finish in horse racing. Everybody knows EXACTLY what the rulebook says the strike zone is and a set of cameras for measuring those precise specifications can be easily set up. An automated system can be trusted to be 100-times more accurate than the homeplate umpire and far more objective, too. For example, no more calling a 3-foot wide strike zone on getaway day, or calling ball four to get even with a pitcher who showed you up on the previous borderline pitch, showing visible anger when it didn't go his way.

Homeplate umpires suck. We don't need them for anything besides "safe/out" calls.

adsit
08-03-2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Homeplate umpires suck. We don't need them for anything besides "safe/out" calls.

Twinks fans would agree with you this morning, after Brian Runge claimed the air below Dmitri Young's sleeve was hit by a Rincon pitch last night. Of course, Tigers fans (all 36 of them) wouldn't. And since it was part of the Kitties' 5-run 8th that buried Minnesota, Sox fans would be inclined to smile, wink and say "of COURSE he hit Young" as well.

Point is, blown calls are always advantageous to someone, and everyone takes their turn getting rewarded or screwed by them. Yes, it is (and always has been) part of baseball. With most of the games on TV, bad calls are usually caught. And bad umps with a history of sliding strike zones tend not to last very long in the biz.

If anything, Questec stands to make things worse. I don't care what you do for a living; having a "helpful" Electro-Fred looking over your shoulder while you work is unsettling. If MLB chooses to depend on it for evaluations, just watch as pitchers get squeezed and batters start teeing off.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-03-2003, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by adsit
....If anything, Questec stands to make things worse. I don't care what you do for a living; having a "helpful" Electro-Fred looking over your shoulder while you work is unsettling. If MLB chooses to depend on it for evaluations, just watch as pitchers get squeezed and batters start teeing off.

This is an interesting point. The truth is NOBODY is calling the rulebook definition of the strike zone. It's the worst kept secret in all of MLB. If Questec suddenly tipped the scales too far towards the hitters' advantage, it's only because the rulebook has not been followed, not the other way around.

The rulebook ought to reflect reality. If Questec serves as the vehicle towards making the rulebook relevant, I say GREAT! What the hell took so long?

Change the rulebook definition of the strike zone so everybody knows it and lives by it. Questec can measure ACCURATELY and with perfect OBJECTIVITY whatever we all agree the strike zone ought to be. This has to be a system 1000-times better than the current system where the homeplate ump sets his own strike zone and gets pissy with the pitchers and hitters when they don't agree with him.

As for umps blowing other calls besides balls and strikes, consult the NFL for how well instant replay works there. Zzzz.... Zzzz.... Zzzz....

voodoochile
08-03-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
This is an interesting point. The truth is NOBODY is calling the rulebook definition of the strike zone. It's the worst kept secret in all of MLB. If Questec suddenly tipped the scales too far towards the hitters' advantage, it's only because the rulebook has not been followed, not the other way around.

The rulebook ought to reflect reality. If Questec serves as the vehicle towards making the rulebook relevant, I say GREAT! What the hell took so long?

Change the rulebook definition of the strike zone so everybody knows it and lives by it. Questec can measure ACCURATELY and with perfect OBJECTIVITY whatever we all agree the strike zone ought to be. This has to be a system 1000-times better than the current system where the homeplate ump sets his own strike zone and gets pissy with the pitchers and hitters when they don't agree with him.


If calling the proper strike zone gives the hitters and advantage, they can always raise the mound back up to it's 1960's level and see what happens. Then the balance might be restored, but at least the rules would be enforced the way they were intended to be.

If Questec teaches the umps where the strike zone is, that can't be all bad. Of course it has guys like Maddux ticked off...

This is the only area where replay works in any meaningful way because (as someone pointed out last time this conversation came up) it is too difficult or requires too many interpretations to have it during live action. Where do the runners go after a double is called foul and then ruled fair? Everyone gets two bases? How sure are we that it would have been a double? Give everyone a single and call it a day? Too goofy...

TornLabrum
08-03-2003, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile
If calling the proper strike zone gives the hitters and advantage, they can always raise the mound back up to it's 1960's level and see what happens. Then the balance might be restored, but at least the rules would be enforced the way they were intended to be.

If Questec teaches the umps where the strike zone is, that can't be all bad. Of course it has guys like Maddux ticked off...

This is the only area where replay works in any meaningful way because (as someone pointed out last time this conversation came up) it is too difficult or requires too many interpretations to have it during live action. Where do the runners go after a double is called foul and then ruled fair? Everyone gets two bases? How sure are we that it would have been a double? Give everyone a single and call it a day? Too goofy...

There is no way calling the real strike zone is going to help hitters. The shrunken strike zone of recent years has helped hitters. The reason is that the pitcher is at a disadvantage is simple. What should be strikes are called balls, which means the pitcher has to groove the ball to the batter in order to get a strike called. And that's what the batter is waiting on.

Enlarging the strike zone will hurt hitters.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-03-2003, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Enlarging the strike zone will hurt hitters.

Absolutely. The rulebook definition of the strike zone would have team ERA's plummeting. The marginal increase we've seen in umpires calling the high strike doesn't come close to what the rulebook actually stipulates. Pitchers are still afraid to throw up there for the risk it won't be called a strike. Meanwhile the umpires (forced by Questec) are taking away the "outside corner" that used to be 8 inches off the black. That's where guys like Maddux used to live, LOL!

I say figure out a strike zone that is fair to everyone and use Questec to call balls and strikes accurately and objectively. It's one of the very few places in professional sports where today's technology can be trusted to get the call right nearly every time--and 100-times more accurately than the umpires call it now.

voodoochile
08-03-2003, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
There is no way calling the real strike zone is going to help hitters. The shrunken strike zone of recent years has helped hitters. The reason is that the pitcher is at a disadvantage is simple. What should be strikes are called balls, which means the pitcher has to groove the ball to the batter in order to get a strike called. And that's what the batter is waiting on.

Enlarging the strike zone will hurt hitters.

Yes, but the Questec will also shrink the width of the plate, thus causing less people to be rung up on outside borderline stuff.

The over all effect will be minimal, IMO and might favor the hitters once they start swinging at the higher pitches - which are normally easier to hit farther. There aren't enough guys with the stuff to throw it by hitters upstairs, but lots of junk ballers can live on a wider than stipulated plate. I think that will help the hitters, in the long run. If the umps continue to give 3" off of each corner than a taller strike zone will indeed favor the pitchers. It cannot be both up, down, in and out. I think they've gotten better in the last few years and the zone is becoming increasingly more as defined, but like George says, it isn't enough.

But, either way, I prefer calling the game the way it was written and letting the chips fall where they may.

MisterB
08-03-2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Yes, but the Questec will also shrink the width of the plate, thus causing less people to be rung up on outside borderline stuff.

The over all effect will be minimal, IMO and might favor the hitters once they start swinging at the higher pitches - which are normally easier to hit farther. There aren't enough guys with the stuff to throw it by hitters upstairs, but lots of junk ballers can live on a wider than stipulated plate. I think that will help the hitters, in the long run. If the umps continue to give 3" off of each corner than a taller strike zone will indeed favor the pitchers. It cannot be both up, down, in and out. I think they've gotten better in the last few years and the zone is becoming increasingly more as defined, but like George says, it isn't enough.

But, either way, I prefer calling the game the way it was written and letting the chips fall where they may.

Calling the rulebook strike zone can help some junkballers. I routinely see guys with big 12-to-6 curveballs throw one that is considered too low, and throw another about 2 inches higher that is called too high. Umps should be more likely to call those as strikes.

Another thing the rulebook strikezone might do is reduce the number of hit batsmen. By giving pitchers 6 inches off the plate, batters set up closer to the plate and dive across, making it nearly impossible to get out of the way of an errant inside pitch. It's even to the point now where guys like Alfonso Soriano and David Eckstein set up with their elbows in the strike zone. Call the proper strikezone and batters can back off the plate and still get some plate coverage, while now having to worry more about adjusting for high and low pitches.

WinningUgly!
08-03-2003, 02:37 PM
At the All-Star break, the ERA in games...
with QuesTec - 4.44
without it - 4.43

MarqSox
08-03-2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by ˇViva Mágglio!
I have been a longtime advocate of bringing instant replay to baseball. Yet, opposents of instant replay claim it would rob baseball of the human element. Why is there such a fixation with the human element? I think that is a load of crap!!!

I think we should have robots play, instead of humans, like they do in The Jetsons. The robots would never make errors, and thus the quality of play would be better.

maurice
08-04-2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Instant replay has slowed down football games to the point of becoming ridiculous. Worse, half the time they waste all that time and STILL get the call wrong (even though the announcers won't ever admit it.) . . . I wouldn't mind using cameras and computers to call balls and strikes. . . .

Ditto.

As for the impact on the game, it's a bit of a wash. Hard tossers would have a field day if the upper portion of the strike zone were called and soft tossers would lose the outside strike. MLB is increasingly a low-and-outside hitter league, which is a direct result of bad umpiring. It really burns me when players take off-speed pitches just above the belt but in the strike zone because the umps call it a "ball." It's a hanger; you're supposed to hit that out of the park!