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philly97flyer

TBS Pitch trax

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To everyone who is having the (mis)fortune of watching the MLB playoffs on the TBS HD feed, is anyone else really annoyed with the pitch trax? Its there on every pitch, it never goes away, and it seems like half the time, pitches that are outside their little strike zone are called strikes, and pitches that are painting the corners are called balls. I understand if they want to show it on some replays (like FOX) but having it up in real time during the whole game is very distracting.

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I don't think it's calibrated well either. I mean, we all know that the umpiring has been terrible, but pitch trax gives an opposite reading for nearly every call.

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I like that thing. Not only do I not find it annoying, i find it an excellent little addition to the HD coverage...

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I like that thing. Not only do I not find it annoying, i find it an excellent little addition to the HD coverage...

I'm the opposite. I find myself watching it instead of the batter sometimes. I think the casual fan will be totally confused. As a long-time baseball coach, it's about when the ump sees it over the plate and not where the catcher catches it so the way to truly see this would be an overhead cam, which is totally unrealistic as far as watching live action.

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Every MLB stadium has been calibrated for the system that is shared by mlb.com, tbs, fox, etc. In fact the argument has been made that umpires may not be needed for ball/strike or fair/foul much longer COUGH PHIL CUZZI COUGH.

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One of the problems with that would be that these things seem calibrated to one specific height as opposed to a ranging height depending on the batter.

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One of the problems with that would be that these things seem calibrated to one specific height as opposed to a ranging height depending on the batter.

I have a friend who works at MLB who goes in at midnight during the season and gets assigned 2 games. His job is to define the strike zone for each pitch in a game, see if the call made by the ump corresponds with the defined zone, and mark the results (Swings obviously eliminated because you can't call a ball when you swing).

He says whether it's Adam Dunn or David Eckstein, and everyone inbetween, it's the same. That's not right...

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One of the problems with that would be that these things seem calibrated to one specific height as opposed to a ranging height depending on the batter.

I have a friend who works at MLB who goes in at midnight during the season and gets assigned 2 games. His job is to define the strike zone for each pitch in a game, see if the call made by the ump corresponds with the defined zone, and mark the results (Swings obviously eliminated because you can't call a ball when you swing).

He says whether it's Adam Dunn or David Eckstein, and everyone inbetween, it's the same. That's not right...

It may be coincidental, but ever since the umpires got rid of those external chest protectors, the strike zone has gotten smaller. How so?

For one, the umpire is able to squat lower behind the catcher, now that he doesn't have to hold up a mattress. Now that he's squating lower, he's looking up at some pitches that would be considered strikes in the rulebook, and calls them a ball.

I want to say I remember some old pitcher or catcher (Don Sutton, maybe?) saying that umpires loosely based the strike zone on whether or not the pitched ball would hit the external protector.

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One of the problems with that would be that these things seem calibrated to one specific height as opposed to a ranging height depending on the batter.

I have a friend who works at MLB who goes in at midnight during the season and gets assigned 2 games. His job is to define the strike zone for each pitch in a game, see if the call made by the ump corresponds with the defined zone, and mark the results (Swings obviously eliminated because you can't call a ball when you swing).

He says whether it's Adam Dunn or David Eckstein, and everyone inbetween, it's the same. That's not right...

It may be coincidental, but ever since the umpires got rid of those external chest protectors, the strike zone has gotten smaller. How so?

For one, the umpire is able to squat lower behind the catcher, now that he doesn't have to hold up a mattress. Now that he's squating lower, he's looking up at some pitches that would be considered strikes in the rulebook, and calls them a ball.

I want to say I remember some old pitcher or catcher (Don Sutton, maybe?) saying that umpires loosely based the strike zone on whether or not the pitched ball would hit the external protector.

Well wasn't it always AL has the external while the NL had them under the shirt?

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First off, I agree that the strikezone has been off all playoffs. If the Pitch Tracker wasn't calibrated correctly, it would be consistenetly off in one direction, but it isn't. It is off (compared to the upm's call) on both the left and right sides of the plate as well as high and low.

As for the smaller strikezone, I think it makes sense; MLB wants to increase offense. Shrinking the area the pitcher can throw the ball in would help accomplish that.

Rob

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This is just another reason why like every other sport, the jobs of the referees need to remain human and judgemental. It's in the blood of sports to have a set of persons who at the split second can make a judgement call. The argument of electronics controlling the strike zone takes away the "sacredness" of the sport of baseball. If you let this trend continue, what's next? Having high speed cameras analyze and determine what's a charge or not in basketball? My original intention was not to turn this into an argument about it, but just provide a point.

Now back on topic, I haven't watched many of the games on TBS, but the idea of having the Pitch Trax up constantly would become really annoying to me, no matter how large the picture in HD...

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The bad calibration is forcing the announcers to cover for it.

"That was close but ball 4....watch the PitchTrax.....and...(*marked as a strike*) hmm....well, it was outside....and these are just approximations..."

One of the pitches last night (I think it was Madson's in the 8th?) went over the ump and to the backstop, and it was marked as a high strike on the PitchTrax... :grin:

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