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Thread: MLB survey: What's the one thing you would change about baseball?

  1. #41
    MVP The Feral Slasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Seitzer View Post
    Calling balls and strikes on 80-100 mph pitches moving in crazy directions is a very difficult skill for a human. The MLB umpires are incredibly good at this. However, catchers receiving the ball they way the have for the last 60-80 years is a significant aid to the umpires in making the correct calls. The framing stuff that has been introduced in the last decade is a marginal change on top of that. But take away the catcher trying to receive the pitch at all in a way that helps the umpire, and the umpire would be quite a bit worse at it.

    But that's not really my point about how it would change the game. I don't think ABS would drastically change the strike zone. It would drastically change the offensive nature of the catcher position, and it would significantly change the look and feel of the game, way more than something like the shift has changed the game, just because of how it would impact the pitcher-catcher-umpire dynamic that's at the heart of how we are used to watching every pitch on TV. When the catcher is not trying to "frame" a pitch, i.e., he's not receiving it in a quiet and still fashion, it is very distracting to watch. Catchers lunging and gloves moving all over the place on every pitch is not aesthetically pleasing, but that's where we're headed if we go full ABS and the catcher doesn't have to care about how all the extra movement would mess up the umpire's ability to call strikes.
    I appreciate you taking the time to explain all this. Much more than I ever considered regarding an automated system.

  2. #42
    All Star GwynnInTheHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Seitzer View Post
    Calling balls and strikes on 80-100 mph pitches moving in crazy directions is a very difficult skill for a human. The MLB umpires are incredibly good at this. However, catchers receiving the ball they way the have for the last 60-80 years is a significant aid to the umpires in making the correct calls. The framing stuff that has been introduced in the last decade is a marginal change on top of that. But take away the catcher trying to receive the pitch at all in a way that helps the umpire, and the umpire would be quite a bit worse at it.

    But that's not really my point about how it would change the game. I don't think ABS would drastically change the strike zone. It would drastically change the offensive nature of the catcher position, and it would significantly change the look and feel of the game, way more than something like the shift has changed the game, just because of how it would impact the pitcher-catcher-umpire dynamic that's at the heart of how we are used to watching every pitch on TV. When the catcher is not trying to "frame" a pitch, i.e., he's not receiving it in a quiet and still fashion, it is very distracting to watch. Catchers lunging and gloves moving all over the place on every pitch is not aesthetically pleasing, but that's where we're headed if we go full ABS and the catcher doesn't have to care about how all the extra movement would mess up the umpire's ability to call strikes.
    It seems we value different things about baseball. I'm not at all concerned about pretty much anything that seems to concern you regarding the changes full ABS would usher in. I feel that getting it right, calling balls/strikes as accurately as they can be called using the technology at our disposal, is more important than the aesthetics, the job security, the evolution (change) to the catching position or Umpire Ego.

    If it's frustrating for me (a fan) to watch umpires miss calls (especially at crucial moments) It has to be infuriating for players who spend their lives learning how to #1 throw a pitch for a strike, then do only for it to be called a ball and #2 have pitches called incorrectly while in the batter box. I understand that this is hard for Umps. but we now have the tech to get it right. My belief is we should use that tech. I understand your reasoning for not wanting full implementation of ABS--I can indeed see your points. I just don't value them as much as you do. I hope that's OK.
    If I whisper my wicked marching orders into the ether with no regard to where or how they may bear fruit, I am blameless should a broken spirit carry those orders out upon the innocent, for it was not my hand that took the action merely my lips which let slip their darkest wish. ~Daniel Devereaux 2011

    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. #43
    All Star Kevin Seitzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GwynnInTheHall View Post
    It seems we value different things about baseball. I'm not at all concerned about pretty much anything that seems to concern you regarding the changes full ABS would usher in. I feel that getting it right, calling balls/strikes as accurately as they can be called using the technology at our disposal, is more important than the aesthetics, the job security, the evolution (change) to the catching position or Umpire Ego.

    If it's frustrating for me (a fan) to watch umpires miss calls (especially at crucial moments) It has to be infuriating for players who spend their lives learning how to #1 throw a pitch for a strike, then do only for it to be called a ball and #2 have pitches called incorrectly while in the batter box. I understand that this is hard for Umps. but we now have the tech to get it right. My belief is we should use that tech. I understand your reasoning for not wanting full implementation of ABS--I can indeed see your points. I just don't value them as much as you do. I hope that's OK.
    I haven't said that I don't value the things you value about full ABS. But I have to be very careful about how I talk about any of that. Employees of MLB are forbidden and can be disciplined for criticizing umpires publicly, which is a rule I understand the reasons for and intend to respect. On that note, this will be my last post in this thread.
    "Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.'"

  4. #44
    All Star GwynnInTheHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Seitzer View Post
    I haven't said that I don't value the things you value about full ABS. But I have to be very careful about how I talk about any of that. Employees of MLB are forbidden and can be disciplined for criticizing umpires publicly, which is a rule I understand the reasons for and intend to respect. On that note, this will be my last post in this thread.
    I understand and thanks for what you have contributed.
    If I whisper my wicked marching orders into the ether with no regard to where or how they may bear fruit, I am blameless should a broken spirit carry those orders out upon the innocent, for it was not my hand that took the action merely my lips which let slip their darkest wish. ~Daniel Devereaux 2011

    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by GwynnInTheHall View Post
    I understand and thanks for what you have contributed.
    Same for me. You provided a very interesting perspective.
    I'm just here for the baseball.

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