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poptart 05-28-2003 02:40 PM

Uniform electronic strike zone?
I've got to believe that the technology exists (or is damn close to existing) that would allow for a 100% accurate strike zone.

If such is the case, why not go with it?

Understand that I am against instant replay in football and generally champion the "human element" being present in sports, but you might be able to convince me that an electronic strike zone would be good for MLB.

Will somebody please explain to me how the strike zone can vay from umpire to umpire?
Isn't the rulebook clear cut as to what body parts are within the range of the strike zone?

Why not cut all the BS and call a ball a ball and a strike a strike with ZERO room for argument over it?

The NFL is so fond of telling us that it is important to "get the call right".......uhh........RIGHT?


Brandon 05-28-2003 02:46 PM

I can give you one reason why umpires have different strike zones, however, its not an excuse for them. Look at how they set up behind home plate. One ump will set up right above the catcher, another over his left shoulder, and another over his right. They're all going to have different views of the strike zone and where the ball is going. That's going to cause for somewhat of a different strike zone.

On the issue of replacing the home umpire with electronics. I don't fondly like the idea, but I wouldn't be 100% opposed to it happening in the future when the equipment is much more refined and advanced. The best we can do now is QuesTec. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's pretty accurate, but I wouldn't trust it in a game-time element right now.

It would be a fight if/whenever MLB decides to go with an electronic home plate strike zone. The umpires would not go down without a long and lengthy fight.

Marc 05-28-2003 09:08 PM

I can see it now:

Game 7, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, full count.

Then you look at the electronic screen and see: "MS WINDOWS ERROR: An illegal operature has occured. Please reboot the program and prepare to wait."

KevinBeane 05-28-2003 10:35 PM

I have a better idea: Why don't we let each pitch be called either ball or strike by TV viewers, who can dial either 1-900-WAS-BALL or 1-900-A-STRIKE? Only $2.99 per call, benefits go to George Steinbrenners' Pockets Foundation.

Heathen 05-28-2003 10:47 PM

:lol: Thats a good one Kev.

I like the human element to baseball.... people make mistakes.... sh!t happens.... deal with it.


poptart 05-28-2003 11:11 PM

LOL........Good point there, Marc. :P



Originally posted by Heathen
I like the human element to baseball.... people make mistakes.... sh!t happens.... deal with it.

We agree whole-heartedly.


Don Denkinger......AND the '85 World Series Champion KC Royals


MikeyChalupa 06-18-2003 12:38 PM

Different batters would have to have different strike zones. David Eckstein and Randy Johnson (batting) for example. Umps take this into account, a computerized system would have to be pretty sophisticated to be able to adjust to each guy.

Of course, something that can take the human error element out of the game is good, but I think we're a while off from some sort of fault-proof laserbeam rectangle strikezone or something.


HibachiDG 06-18-2003 01:15 PM

Mikey, with the computer system someone is sitting there at the computer and marking the strike zone for each different batter, so it won't make a difference between Johnson or Eckstein.

I like the idea of the strike zone being done by computers right now. The level of skill in Major League umpires is in drastic decline as Umpires come up and just want to be stars. The computer system will take this aspect of things away from the umpires and get the game back to basics.

Umpires refuse to call inside strikes, so batters crowd the plate, get hit with pitches and then charge the mound. The computer system will back these batters off the plate (or strike them out) and brawls will go down to a point where the only fighting in baseball is deserved fighting. Deserved fighting being the Phillies-Reds brawl on Friday night where Dunn plowed the catcher over with a 10 run lead. You just don't do that and a brawl has to happen.

The one thing that pisses me off watching a baseball game is when pitchers control an umpire. Al Leiter is a good example of a pitcher who lacks a lot of ability at this point in his career so the only way Leiter can find success is if he paints the corners and off of the corners. If he throws in the strike zone, he'll get lit up. Leiter sets the tempo in the first couple innings and works the umpire like crazy to get his calls. If he gets them, he'll be successful because hitters will have to swing at crap, or sit down after a K. That's not good baseball and if the computer strike zone gets rid of that, I'm happy.

Like Brandon mentioned, the strike zone changes depending on where the umpire sets up, that has always been a problem in the sport and if this can fix that, fine.

lmanchur. 06-18-2003 05:50 PM

It is impossible to have a "uniform" strike zone. For one thing, with the 7 electronic systems currently set up around the MLB right now to "double-check" the umps... well, it's different in every stadium. Secondly, you would have to change it from batter to batter because a strike zone is not a uniform place in space.... it is a uniform place in space according to EACH INDVIDIAUL PLAYER based on his height. With the system they have set up now, I don't see how umps can actually call within 90% accuraccy of the computerized system (as they are required to do in accordance to MLB rules) given that it doesn't adjust for each batter.

Brandon 06-18-2003 10:25 PM

It does adjust for each batter. There is a person responsible for giving the computer system the uniform defined strike zone as described in the rule book.

lmanchur. 06-19-2003 03:30 PM

Well nevermind then.

MountaineerDave 06-19-2003 03:37 PM


Originally posted by Brandon
It does adjust for each batter. There is a person responsible for giving the computer system the uniform defined strike zone as described in the rule book.
True. And they have had problems with that very thing, loading the individual strike zone, that is. That goes some length to determining why it calls balls on obvious strikes, and strikes on obvious balls from time to time. They need a better way to actually gauge the individual strike zone than what they do now.


catman 06-20-2003 05:43 PM

I would have no problem with the umpire calling the game and having the managers get a couple of "challenges" like the NFL has. If the manager is right, the pitch is called the way the machine saw it. If the manager is wrong, he forfeits the at bat, either a strike-out or a walk, depending on whether its the hitting or fielding manager that challenges the call.
I don't think the umpires would mind too much, either.

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