Today (April 6) Laird is up with bases loaded and one out in the top of the 4th. Pitches go called strike, ball, called strike and swinging strike 3. They show the sequence again using pitch fx. The first two strike calls were clearly incorrect both were balls significantly off the plate. Laird struck out on what should have been a 3-0 pitch. In a one run game, that likely impacted the result of the game. I thought the goal of baseball this year was to get as many calls as possible correct. Apparently, I was wrong.
They’ve said all along that this rollout of replay was a three year process and that they will make adjustments. That said, I can’t see them messing with the home plate umpire on balls and strikes. For one thing, the games would be 5 hours long if they challenged those calls. If they were really going to do it, they’d use pitch trax, or what ever it’s called, and call balls and strikes that way. Which, frankly, is the right thing to do. But that will NEVER happen.
With the new replay rules in effect, balls and strikes are essentially the last remaining way in which the on-field umps have total authority over the game. Many umpires have a reputation for their strike zones (wide, or narrow, or skewed to one side). In the coming years, umpires will really be defined by how they call balls and strikes.
I think it will be a while before the technology exists that allows for quick and accurate ball-strike calls.
I do think perhaps in the not-too-distant future umpires will have little monitors in their pockets, the size of cell phones, that would allow them to double-check any call that is not obvious and that will replace the challenge system. Or maybe that’s just what I’m hoping for. I don’t think they are going to pay another umpire to sit a at a monitor for every game and can give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on every close play, which would be the best way to do things with the current technology in place.
Amazing what a good pitching performance will do for the team and the crowd. I was at the first two games this week and Harang’s deadly slow, full count every batter performance put the team and the crowd to sleep. The difference in energy that Santana brought to the stadium last night was unbelievable.
on the ball/strike call and replay, folks need to realize that pitch trax or whatever they call it isnt really completely accurate. they cant just set up some cameras and get the strike zone locked in. first of all, the zone is different for every player, plus its three dimensional. there are ways you can do it, but it wouldnt be easy.
my biggest problem with balls and strikes is that high strikes are never called. the strike zone is supposed to be from the knees to the letters. they havent changed that, as far as i know, but normally anything above the navel is called a ball. whats with that? they give alot east to west, but not north and south.
Do wish they would at least call what the rule book says:
Rule 2.00: The Strike Zone
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
Anyone know why J Hey has changed his stance this year? His stance is closed and his back foot is as far away from the plate as he can get it while staying in the batters box. Don’t know why he gets any middle-in pitches. That’s all I’ve seen him hit.
I got killed on here for saying I thought Freeman was better than Heyward and Mike Stanton. I still think he has a higher ceiling than both in that he will have a longer and more productive career than both Heyward ad Stanton.
Music Rec: get a turntable and buy records. My kids are really into the whole vinyl on a turntable thing that they’re so much more into that than the tv now. It’s really awesome for you and them. Plus, the packaging of records is so much better than any other format of buying music. If you buy stuff on amazon you can pretty much auto rip everything into your itunes in addition to having the vinyl. Pretty sweet, IMO. But if you’re like me, nothing beats a record store..
Wow go Braves. They have exceeded my expectations so far. Freeman has been off the charts so far but it’s early. I still think “obscure” stats win ball games and have value as well as traditional stats. We can’t discount what Heyward and Simmons’ defense does to help.