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Front Page: "Robot Umpires" Coming to Some Affiliated Parks Next Season

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#21 spycake

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:08 AM

 

I would like to see a challenge system. Batters have 1 second to challenge. Umps push a button which displays a green or red light for ball or strike. It would take a total of 2 seconds.
It might even save time that would have been spent by the batter arguing.

Why bother with all of this just to avoid automated balls and strikes?

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#22 spycake

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:13 AM

 

And as several commenters pointed out, a four second wait for the call is not a four second delay. Catchers don't wait to throw the ball back till they hear the call. And umpires don't shout the call simultaneously with the ball's arrival now. In any case to speed of the computer will only increase.

A four-second wait for the call is pretty bad, though. MLB average time for a steal attempt of 2nd base is only 2 seconds. I think this will have to come down to play at the MLB level.

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#23 spycake

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:35 AM

 

Really, though, the best solution would be to flash the call immediately on the scoreboard. The ump could still shout it out too. But it makes no sense for the computer's call to go only to him. It should flash red or green on the scoreboard the second it registers. Problem solved. The only reason to make the whole stadium wait for him to relay it is to cater to the umpires' egos. Which is exactly what we are trying to get rid of. If the ump thinks there was a glitch and wants to review it he can call for a replay. But there's no reason to delay every call so the ump can think about whether he wants to overrule it, or worse yet, overrule it without even letting people know!

It's not necessarily about egos -- the most practical way to get the call is by looking at home plate. Everybody is already looking there for the pitch/swing. And beyond relaying the automated ball/strike call, there are immediate related calls too which may still be the subjective domain of the umpire -- check swing, foul tip, strike 3 in the dirt, etc.

 

You are correct that there will need to be some procedures to deal with system failures/errors. I'm not quite sure what that would look like yet, mainly because I don't know what the failures/errors will look like in the finished system, or how frequently they might occur. But a sensible procedure for dealing with them doesn't necessarily require using the scoreboard as auditor.


#24 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 12:17 PM

No, just no.Perhaps someday, many, many years down road... maybe. Now? With the technology where it is? Absolutely not.
 
I was talking with my son the other night about this exact same thing (he's a HS pitcher who is phenomenal at hitting his spots) and even he completely despised the idea of it.
 
I get it that it may be coming to baseball, but it doesn't mean that it isn't a bad idea.

I can respect that.

Is it the sinking breaking pitch that clips the bottom front of the plate that you don’t like? Would you be ok if the rulebook strike zone was changed, so that that pitch remained a ball, not a strike?
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#25 gman

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 12:49 PM

Lets give them some credit , professional hitters and pitchers will adapt. There has been too much emphasis made to learn how to steal pitches the past few years. Players have adapted to this and any fan watching TV can clearly see how wrong a truly stolen pitch is. The art of stealing pitches has just moved us closer to eliminating the human from calling pitches.Of course this we would also eliminate the call to first base or third base umpires for their opinion of the swing.

There will still be an umpire at home plate, but he will be calling plays like every other base umpire.

 

 

 

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#26 Thegrin

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 02:56 PM

10 years after they install robo-umps we will have forgotten why we ever worried about it.It will be natural and organic and "no big deal".:)

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#27 Platoon

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 04:30 PM

IIRC in the Atlantic league the plate umpire could overrule a "mistake" by the bot? Seems odd that such perfection would need correction by a mere mortal? I imagine Robo umps are coming. I really do not think they will improve the game. Something will be lost. That said, I will gladly be on board with Robo perfection once the players all play and the managers all manage to perfection, and the vendors don't spill any beer. Why do we expect perfection from 4 guys on the field, and not from the other 30,000 in the stadium? I would think that the fiascos the NFL is going through attempting to perfect football officiating would be enough forewarning?
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If I wanted balls and strikes called by a robot, I would get an Xbox!

#28 h2oface

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 04:30 PM

 

The problem as I see it now, is how they utilize the strikezone. Basically if the ball clips any part of it's electronically diagrammed zone, it's a strike. From seeing what does get called, it's clear this is currently too big. Big time 12-6 curveballs (can think of a few I saw from Shane Baz) that hit the dirt were getting called, because they clip the bottom of the front side of this zone. That's not a pitch hitters can hit, and has never been a strike. 

 

Now I don't know if the diagrammed zone is a cube around the plate or a plane at some point of it, but where this is and/or it's size needs to be seriously fine tuned and vetted in much stricter fashion than what they're doing now before it's viable. 

 

You will hate robot umpires more than the human ones in its current fashion.

 

That big time curveball IS a strike! It is a great pitcher's pitch, just what the game is supposed to do.... encourage the talent it takes to be able to make a pitch like that, that just barely makes it into the zone! To make a pitch that is a strike and the hitters can't hit! That is baseball. That is what a pitcher is supposed to do! Just because the umpires are too inadequate to make the right call, instead of the wrong call on those pitches, does NOT mean it isn't a great pitch, and a strike, and always has been, regardless of the umpire's error. This is like saying an umpire "was consistent", and that is OK, even if he was consistently wrong with his own imagined strike zone all game.

 

Amazing how one can call a pitch from a video from behind the catcher with the view of the ball totally blocked. I will not be one of the "you" that will hate the change.

 

If the system goes down, the ump just steps in and makes the call with no delay. He will already be standing there, just like the court judge is sitting in his chair at a tennis match. Not a big deal.

Edited by h2oface, 06 November 2019 - 04:46 PM.


#29 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 05:36 PM

IIRC in the Atlantic league the plate umpire could overrule a "mistake" by the bot? Seems odd that such perfection would need correction by a mere mortal? I imagine Robo umps are coming. I really do not think they will improve the game. Something will be lost. That said, I will gladly be on board with Robo perfection once the players all play and the managers all manage to perfection, and the vendors don't spill any beer. Why do we expect perfection from 4 guys on the field, and not from the other 30,000 in the stadium? I would think that the fiascos the NFL is going through attempting to perfect football officiating would be enough forewarning?

The NFL is trying to monitor discretionary calls such as pass interference. You could have 10 NFL reps all watch the same disputed PI call and get a 50/50 split the majority of the time. The strike zone should (theoretically) be a target that is immovable with each batter and not open to interpretation. It's either a strike based on the agreed upon zone or it isn't. I would be happy with balls/strikes being robot enforced and do away with the other replay in MLB and just play the game.

#30 gman

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 06:20 PM

Just pondering. This may be out thinking the box but do you analyze free agent pitchers differently after an announced shift to robots before you sign them.


#31 Platoon

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 06:32 PM

The NFL is trying to monitor discretionary calls such as pass interference. You could have 10 NFL reps all watch the same disputed PI call and get a 50/50 split the majority of the time. The strike zone should (theoretically) be a target that is immovable with each batter and not open to interpretation. It's either a strike based on the agreed upon zone or it isn't. I would be happy with balls/strikes being robot enforced and do away with the other replay in MLB and just play the game.

The NFL also replays whether balls are catches, or ground assisted. Or whether both feet touched down inside the line? And you still cannot get total agreement on some of those calls. I dont know is some of the pro Robo crowd are expecting controversy to end due to electronic balls and strikes. If so, they will be sorely disappointed.
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TwinsWorld: Did you hear we just updated the Stadium Club?

If I wanted balls and strikes called by a robot, I would get an Xbox!

#32 USAFChief

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:39 PM

Robot HP umpiring will be a massive mistake.

I'm not even convinced it will actually improve ball and strike calling.
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#33 DocBauer

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 11:23 PM

Just finished read in an article about this in the latest Baseball America. I'd encourage anyone and everyone to read it if possible. No way to know if the writer has a bias and only selected quotes/opinions that fit his article...I'd like to think that was not the case...but the consensus amongst both hitters and pitchers was they not only didn't like the loss of the human element, not just umpires but catchers as well.

There was a general feeling that the strike zone was actually expanded beyond the normal as the ball clipping even a fraction of the zone was called a strike, even on some pitches that hit the dirt. Steve touched on this in great detail. And while some felt the side to side of the zone may have been expanded, it wasn't entirely inaccurate, in their opinion. In fact, a few hitters felt it gave them an advantage. But those interviewed felt the horizontal plane for calls was not accurate/realistic. Again, Steve's comments touched on this.

There was also disparaging comments from both hitters and pitchers in regard to the 4 second delay.

I am sure everyone would simply adapt to the change. I'm sure tweaks could take place for more immediacy in the call, as well as plane adjustments for greater accuracy. I see no reason why a computer program couldn't also be adjusted so that a certain percentage of a ball must pass through the zone vs a tiny fraction.

But until those adjustments could be made, I'm not in favor of the robot ump and it appears the players are not either.
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#34 biggentleben

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 01:20 AM

Josh Norris is very anti-automated zone. My co-worker who was with him down in Arizona said it got to be almost comical to listen to Norris rant on the zone during automated games. I'd trust that article about as far as I can throw it.

 

Not saying all conclusions are biased, but from neutral co-workers that were at the AFL, that's not the overall consensus among players, umpires, and coaches.

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#35 Aerodeliria

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 02:39 AM

They'll make a movie called Robo Ump, where a robotic umpire goes rogue and starts killing batters who complain about the strike zone, but Bio Ump--half man, half machine saves the day by re-inventing the strike zone by making it so small no batter would ever complain. In Robo Ump II the pitchers get their revenge by installing robo pitchers who can throw a 273 mph fastball for a strike every single time. Rob Manfred finally finds the already retired Bio Ump living in a maintenance facility in Olympic Baseball Stadium in Montreal. He agrees to come out of hiding to save baseball once again. Bio Ump realizes he will have to destroy all of the robots and over the next two hours and seven minutes, he does just that and baseball is returned to the brutal sport that it once was.

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#36 Platoon

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:16 AM

In RU3 a RoboNator comes back from the future to kill a 14 year old Manfred before he can start his insidious destruction of baseball with replays of shoelaces still touching the bag, a helium filled baseball in 2019, and instigating the original Robo Ump 1. It all started innocently. Simple fair or foul. Then everything was up for review by some faceless nameless and apparently AI dimished human bot in NY. Soon the sight of two guys listening on headsets next to the dugout with a quizzical look on there face caused mass confusion. What took so long? It couldn't be the Nixon tapes, the missing gap was only 18 seconds. The newest long lost Elvis release? The audio book of War and Peace? (I date myself) Eventually as is now obvious Rob survives and RU3 is taken out by by his own lack of awareness. Having transformed himself into a beer vendor on opening day, RU3 discovered what all TD readers and posters already know. Beer, especially spilt beer and electronics don't mix! One slip pouring a double 12 oz. cup ($24.00 at Twins games) was all it took. Once the smoke from the short circuit cleared there was nothing left but a small puddle of warm, stale PBR. And Manfreds campaign to destroy our National Pastime moved forward, unabated by common sense, or the AI it spawned!

Edited by Platoon, 07 November 2019 - 04:17 AM.

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TwinsWorld: Did you hear we just updated the Stadium Club?

If I wanted balls and strikes called by a robot, I would get an Xbox!

#37 Steve Lein

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 08:03 AM

 

That big time curveball IS a strike! It is a great pitcher's pitch, just what the game is supposed to do.... encourage the talent it takes to be able to make a pitch like that, that just barely makes it into the zone! To make a pitch that is a strike and the hitters can't hit! That is baseball. That is what a pitcher is supposed to do! Just because the umpires are too inadequate to make the right call, instead of the wrong call on those pitches, does NOT mean it isn't a great pitch, and a strike, and always has been, regardless of the umpire's error. This is like saying an umpire "was consistent", and that is OK, even if he was consistently wrong with his own imagined strike zone all game.

 

Amazing how one can call a pitch from a video from behind the catcher with the view of the ball totally blocked. I will not be one of the "you" that will hate the change.

 

If the system goes down, the ump just steps in and makes the call with no delay. He will already be standing there, just like the court judge is sitting in his chair at a tennis match. Not a big deal.

 

You highlighted two sentences to argue that were immediately followed by explanations on why this is bad.

 

e.g.: Zone is too big and pitches hitters can't hit are getting called. 

 

Your statement "To make a pitch that is a strike and the hitters can't hit!" is not what I'm saying there. These aren't "pitchers pitches," these are pitches literally impossible to hit. To say those should be strikes is ludicrous.

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#38 Riverbrian

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 08:39 AM

You highlighted two sentences to argue that were immediately followed by explanations on why this is bad.

e.g.: Zone is too big and pitches hitters can't hit are getting called.

Your statement "To make a pitch that is a strike and the hitters can't hit!" is not what I'm saying there. These aren't "pitchers pitches," these are pitches literally impossible to hit. To say those should be strikes is ludicrous.


If the ball enters the zone. The ball can be hit.

The Backdoor slider that never reaches the backdoor yet called a strike is impossible to hit.

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#39 MN_ExPat

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 08:45 AM

I can respect that.
Is it the sinking breaking pitch that clips the bottom front of the plate that you don’t like? Would you be ok if the rulebook strike zone was changed, so that that pitch remained a ball, not a strike?


You know... I think it’s more of an old school purist approach. The fact that the tech is still in its developmental infancy doesn’t help any though.

 

I just read a post by (Platoon I think?) that spoke of problems with NFL replays and folks still can’t agree on those either, and I felt it was a good point. The human factor of baseball is one of the things that make baseball... baseball. I love it and I feel that most of us do as well.

If we didn’t have the ability to argue and fret over “bad” calls, what else would we talk about during the off-season :) . But on a more serious note, I genuinely feel that Robo umps are not going to the great Industrial Revolution that many proponents feel that it will be. In the end all it will do is direct their angst in a new direction.

Edited by MN_ExPat, 07 November 2019 - 08:48 AM.

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#40 snap4birds

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 09:04 AM

I think if you gave umps 4 seconds to think about a pitch, they'd get more ball/strike calls correct.They give an immediate call that allows everyone to react. This comes into play on steals, dropped 3rd strikes, etc.  

If they get that 4 seconds down to less than a second, I'm on board.(I haven't read all the articles....I'm assuming the current system provides a ball/strike call in less than a second?)

 




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