The Dog That Called the Pitch
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When batters had two strikes, the error rate for all umpires increased — incorrect calls happen 29 percent of the time, almost double the error rate when the batter had one or no strikes. We also found that the highest error rates did not come from younger, less experienced umpires; they came from the older, veteran umpires.
The average MLB umpire is 46 years old, with 13 years of experience. But the top performers between and had an average age of 33 years old and had less than three years of experience at the big league level.
Pitch, and bird song identification
Like professional baseball players, professional umpires seem to peak at a certain age. Despite years of data-driven evidence, MLB has notoriously resisted retiring poorly performing umpires and hiring better-performing ones. The league remains top heavy with aging umpires, making it difficult for fresh new talent to make impact. For all of the ways MLB has incorporated technology into the game — the radar gun, instant replay, pitch graphics, Doppler radar — the league has resisted deploying this technology to assist with calling balls and strikes.
But MLB does have a unique opportunity to use existing technology and strengthen human-software collaboration so umpires can do a better job.
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Umpires could easily be fitted with ear pieces connecting them to a control center that conveys real-time ball and strike information. These tech-assisted umpires could then make calls correctly, quickly and effortlessly.
Time-honored and much beloved behind-the-plate signs, signals and sounds would still exist. And umpires could remain the final arbiter, having override ability under certain circumstances, such as if a ball hits the ground before crossing the plate or if a system outage occurs. Strong recruiting, hiring and retention of superior performing umpires coupled with tech aids would reduce error rates and also help dampen biased pitch calling.
It would also reduce conflict between teams and umpires. And imagine how much the player and fan experience would improve if more than 34, annual incorrect calls vanished. A contemporary Robinsonade — York, York.
The polar oceans and global climate — Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. But at least it meant the Brazilian defenders stayed clear of me! Run away! Reportedly , Garrincha found this so amusing that he was almost unable to play on.
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