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Charles's avatar

Should balls and strikes be called electronically?

Asked by Charles (4804points) January 11th, 2012

Would you support it? Eliminate the umpire (just for balls and strikes)? I would – assuming it is essentially flawless which it can probably be made to be.

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22 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No. It sort of takes the human element out of the game.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Since professional baseball is not a sport, but rather a business designed for maximum profit, then sure, just have computers calculate balls and strikes. I propose those same computers could calculate accurate odds on winners and losers to the point where the games don’t even have to be played at all. Just input all data into the cloud and let it predict World Series winners for the next decade. We’d go to the stadium to see the players run onto the field, then run right back off into the dugout, without ever playing the inning. The computers would predict how the inning would turn out.

The same could be done for spell checking. That’s evolved to auto-word fill. Soon we’ll have auto-sentence fill, then auto-paragraph fill. Before you know it, your final college paper on the fall of the Roman Empire will be completely finished in the cloud.

Yes, let computers do everything. They can eat for me too. They’ll even take vacations for me. No need for me to actually go skiing in Denver… the computers will give me all I need to know for a satisfying experience.

rant over

Blackberry's avatar

Makes sense, I don’t watch sports often but know when the umpire is wrong.

MrItty's avatar

Yes. I despise the “human element” argument. The human element is the players, the coaches, the strategy they create and their abilities. You watch a game to enjoy watching two sets of players battle it out, to see who plays better. NO ONE watches a game to see whether or not the umpire is going to get the right call.

The absolute BEST umpire is one that you never notice. A computerized strike caller would never be noticed (assuming it worked correctly, of course).

For those who think we need a “human element” to judge balls and strikes, should we also have a human being eyeball the end of a sprint? Should a human being keep time in his head to determine who was the fastest skier? Of course not. Judging tiny time frames and close calls like that is a job for a computer, not a human being.

Charles's avatar

No. It sort of takes the human element out of the game.

The assumption is balls and strikes called electronically would reduce errors. We have electronics used for track meets and swim meets. Using the “human element” argument, we would replace the electronics used in those sports with humans who would “guess” who “probably” won.

CWOTUS's avatar

What I’d rather see is a penalty called on every intended pass receiver (in football) who misses a pass and jumps up and does a virtual “penalty flag throw”. That behavior should be penalized in itself.

Charles's avatar

What I’d rather see is a penalty called on every intended pass receiver (in football) who misses a pass and jumps up and does a virtual “penalty flag throw”. That behavior should be penalized in itself.

There’s already a thread for this.

In your favorite sport, what rule(s) would you like to see changed.

YoKoolAid's avatar

oh…i’m disappointed this wasn’t a bowling question

SavoirFaire's avatar

I reluctantly support the idea of using computers to call balls and strikes. Yes, there can be some sport to coaches and individual players having to adjust to and strategize around the variation one finds among umpires, but it’s really gone to far. When one umpire can have a 4’ x 1’ strike zone that hovers around a player’s knees and another can have a 2’ x 2’ box centered on a player’s belt, they’ve brought collective unemployment upon themselves.

judochop's avatar

Computers are killing the human element, one computer at a time. You can’t sit down at a coffee shop without everyone buried in their computer and or phone. You can’t eat out without someone placing their phone next to them just in case they get a text or feel the need to take a picture of their food and post it to facebook so why should we be surprised if Umpires are replaced by a computer? Sure, replace the Umpire the sport lost all it’s pizzazz long ago. Baseball is no longer the art that it once was, played because people love the sport…All of that has been destroyed by big business and sponsors that pit the players of the same team against each other. It now costs well over $100 to even get decent seats at these games and then it is $9 for a 20oz. beer and $8 for a shitty hot dog. Sure, bring on the computers, they are destroying humanity and interaction one at a time, why not bring it in to a sport that is already loosing credibility? Just wondering though, can a computer get pissed and throw it’s mask off and yell in the couches face and then kick him out of the game for being an ass, because that really is like the car crash of the baseball game. If your computer can do that, we really have outdone ourselves as a race.

MrItty's avatar

@judochop I would like to take this opportunity to point out that you just posted this rant against computers replacing human interactivity VIA A COMPUTER to a bunch of other humans ALSO USING A COMPUTER.

judochop's avatar

@MrItty I am not playing a baseball game. I am home alone, sitting on my bed with back against the headboard. I am also not doing this for a living. In this part of my life computers play a part. Where again do computers play a part in baseball?

sneezedisease's avatar

No. In baseball history the strike zone has constantly evolved. If the strike zone was controlled electronically it would remain static (hehe).
I also think the idea that computers would be error free is insane.

MrItty's avatar

@judochop nothing about your rant had anything to do with baseball. You were ranting against computers replacing human interactivity in social settings, such as going out to dinner or getting coffee.

MrItty's avatar

@sneezedisease that’s absurd. A computer can be modified, it is in no way “static”. A strike zone is SUPPOSED to be consistent. The human umpires that are “evolving” the strike zone are doing it WRONG. They are all supposed to be calling the same pitches as balls, and the same pitches as strikes. The strike zone is defined in the MLB rulebook. Any umpire that ignores it is not doing his job.

If the MLB community decides that the strike zone should be modified, the computers can be nearly instantaneously reprogrammed as appropriate. Human umpires, on the other hand, will (and have, and do) ignore whatever the rulebook says and call whatever the hell they feel like.

judochop's avatar

@MrItty yeah bro, you’re right. That rant had nothing to do with baseball.
*Baseball is no longer the art that it once was, played because people love the sport…All of that has been destroyed by big business and sponsors that pit the players of the same team against each other.
*Just wondering though, can a computer get pissed and throw it’s mask off and yell in the couches face and then kick him out of the game for being an ass, because that really is like the car crash of the baseball game. If your computer can do that, we really have outdone ourselves as a race.
*so why should we be surprised if Umpires are replaced by a computer? Sure, replace the Umpire
you got me…nothing in there about baseball.

Blueroses's avatar

I would support the consistency in the calls, it would probably make the game more fair all-around. The human element it would remove would be the entertainment value I get when I go to a live game from the creative things the fans call the umpires.

MrItty's avatar

@judochop I seriously have to spell this out for you? Are you 8? Your rant ABOUT TECHNOLOGY had nothing to do with baseball.

judochop's avatar

Not often do I feel like I am being attacked and I am sure that this will get removed but you are being a dick. I did state in the above why I feel you should not allow computers to monitor strikes and balls. Let me spell it out for you:
It removes the human element. Removing the human element and replacing it with a computer in my opinion is never a good idea. If you see it differently then fine, I don’t care. Replace it or don’t. I think that the interaction of man vs. computer is a lonely one and only creates segregation between interaction.

MrItty's avatar

And if you had left it there, I never would have replied to you. Instead, you went on a rant about how bad technology is, having nothing to do with baseball. Saying that any time a human being uses a cellphone or a computer to check text or communicate with people not actually physically in his presence is a bad thing. So I pointed out to you the obvious irony. That is not an attack.

judochop's avatar

say what you will. I mentioned baseball and the umpire quite a few times in the first reply. I was giving examples out and you disagreed with it, that is fine. Disagree please, because without it the discussion sort of just ends.I basically asked, what place do computers have in baseball and I still stand on that.

The irony ss there sure, but I just felt it was an attack because the assimilation between baseball and fluther and location of where I choose to compute was not clever nor did it hold any value, yet you got two GA’s on it so someone stands with you. Viva la computer.
You also sound like you are internalizing as well as misquoting and taking what I said out of text from the above. Anyway, we have veered from the subject. If you care to continue our differences in the chat room we can. I’d really prefer to not argue, it is all here in black and white and I am sure if left alone can be interpreted quite well. I welcome that you see it differently and wish you had not felt so heated by my comment. Cheers.

filmfann's avatar

I would love for them to start doing this! It’s hard to watch the television when they show where each ball was in the strikezone, and what it was called.

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