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Thread: Article: Catch Framing Predictability

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    Are you outright dismissing the limitations of pitch f/x ? Correct more often is hardly a solution
    Where did I say I was dismissing the limitations? It's not a perfect solution. I was saying that I believe, imperfections and all, it is still better than the human eye/brain combo.

    If "correct more often is hardly a solution" what does that say about our system of umpires today?

  2. #22
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    I will say this, there seems to be a lot of assumptions being made about what a pitch f/x umpiring system would look like. Keep in mind that the box often associated with Pitch f/x isn't actually a part of the system but rather an add on that has been superficially imposed.

    Any system that was actually used in games clearly wouldn't use an "average batter size" for determining the strike zone but rather the actual definitions. That software exists today. You see it all the time on facebook or your camera when it puts a box around a persons face. A computer certainly could determine where the knees, belt and shoulders of the batter are and thereby compute the vertical limitations. The horizontal is even easier.

    Would some money and time have to be spent creating and perfecting it? Yes. Would there have to be testing? Yes. Would the system have to be calibrated? Yes. However, all the components of the system are already in society today.

  3. #23
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    The problem I have with Pitch F/X has less to do with whether it is better than the umpires in determining balls and strikes, but the often unspoken assumption that it is perfect. Clearly people are using it to informally evaluate umpires, assuming I guess, that when they disagree on a call that Pitch F/X is right and the umpire is wrong. Much the same thing is happening with the pitch framing thing. If Pitch F/X says ball, the umpire says strike, it must be that the catcher "stole" a strike thru pitch framing.

    Since I believe Pitch F/X has limitations, and as a previous poster suggested, it is currently impossible to realisticly tell how many pitches Pitch F/X gets wrong, it certainly could be misleading to use it to evaluate umpires. Or for that matter, catchers either, though that is what the pitch framing metric is trying to do.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
    The problem I have with Pitch F/X has less to do with whether it is better than the umpires in determining balls and strikes, but the often unspoken assumption that it is perfect. Clearly people are using it to informally evaluate umpires, assuming I guess, that when they disagree on a call that Pitch F/X is right and the umpire is wrong. Much the same thing is happening with the pitch framing thing. If Pitch F/X says ball, the umpire says strike, it must be that the catcher "stole" a strike thru pitch framing.

    Since I believe Pitch F/X has limitations, and as a previous poster suggested, it is currently impossible to realisticly tell how many pitches Pitch F/X gets wrong, it certainly could be misleading to use it to evaluate umpires. Or for that matter, catchers either, though that is what the pitch framing metric is trying to do.
    Pitch f/x has gone through testing to ensure that it is indeed accurate. It's accuracy has been mathematically verified to be within 1 in. of the actual location of the pitch as of '08. I have also seen a video where they tested the data physically. They placed a giant sheet of paper across the plate. Then they compared the holes created by the ball to the data their system was creating.

    The strike zone graphic is created in different manners depending on the application of the data. In a broadcast that zone is created by a Sportsvision employee physically marking the top and bottom of the strike zone. This display, I would guess, is not particularly controversial. If you trust a human to umpire balls and strikes then it stands to reason you would trust a human to create a strike zone.

    The second way this graphic is created is by using the PITCH f/x data to determine the average players strike zone and then uses that to create a graphical overlay. That overlay is then used to determine if a pitch was a ball or a strike. This is the approach taken by FanGraphs pitch framing team. This approach would lead to a system where any individual strike/ball decision is indeterminable but because the number of pitches analyzed is in the thousands the system as a whole would be theoretically accurate.

    I think the biggest piece of supporting evidence to the accuracy of PITCH f/x data is the fact that MLB uses it to evaluate their umpires.

    I would just like to say that I do not blame the umpires for getting a ball/strike call incorrect. The human brain and eyes just aren't made to track objects moving at those velocities accurately. Not to mention the psychological effects of thousands of fans on Umpire decision making. It's not the umpires fault. It's just the way humans have developed.

    Here is an awesome website I found that curates many relevant pieces of literature on the PITCH f/x system.

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