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Articles Tagged Tim McClelland 

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Google kindly suggests that you search for insults about umpires.

Last night, Bob Davidson screwed up a double switch in the Cardinals-Marlins game, costing the Cardinals Allen Craig for an inning. It was another in a long line of umpire mishaps that will only increase the calls for robot double switchers, though it could've been worse. Davidson admitted that he'd screwed up, and the Cardinals won the game. Dustin Parkes wrote about the incident here. One of the things he wrote was this:

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June 13, 2012 2:54 pm

Overthinking It: Who Is the Best Umpire?

14

Ben Lindbergh

The difference between the best umpire and the worst is seven correct calls per game. Ben looks for the one who gets those seven right.

While many of the most memorable umpire mistakes have come on force plays, tag plays, and “boundary calls,” the most common kind of blown call, by far, happens behind home plate several times a game. It’s possible to watch a game and forget about the base umpires, as long as none of them makes a glaring error. But it’s impossible to ignore the home plate umpire, who has to making a ruling on every single unstruck pitch. That’s why arguing balls and strikes leads to an automatic ejection—there are simply too many of them to make arguing each one permissible. Moreover, the strike zone is such a core component of baseball that questioning its consistency calls the integrity of the game into question.

Grousing about umpires is as old as the game itself, but the advent of instant replay—and more recently, ball-tracking technology—has made those complaints more numerous and provided conclusive evidence of occasional umpire incompetence. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re ready to do away with umpires, even if Major League Baseball would allow it. Even Mike Fast, a former Baseball Prospectus and current Houston Astros analyst who made his name by studying the data collected by Sportvision’s PITCHf/x system, has acknowledged that some significant technical hurdles would have to be cleared before an automated system could make more accurate calls in real time than human umpires. However, that hasn’t stopped, or even slowed, the steady stream of complaints about officiating coming from couches and clubhouse alike.

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2010-2011 umpire data and ball/strike charts for the umpire crew for the 2011 NL Championship Series

I worked up some umpire data for Mike Ferrin and the MLB Network Radio show for the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals, and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the data.

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Does the way an umpire positions himself behind home plate affect the boundaries of his strike zone?

We have known for several years that right-handed and left-handed batters do not see the same strike zone in the major leagues. The strike zone for left-handed batters shifts about two inches toward the outside. This observation goes back at least to Dr. John Walsh’s analysis of PITCHf/x strike zone data in 2007.

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October 21, 2009 12:00 pm

Prospectus Today: The Horror

87

Joe Sheehan

'Tis the season for frank realizations, about player greatness, permanent truths, and spectacular incompetence.

For such an interesting and entertaining night, we learned nothing new:

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May 20, 2009 12:13 pm

On the Beat: Mid-week Roundup

27

John Perrotto

The Rockies dream of days gone by, a malcontent computer in Tampa Bay, various scouting takes, and much more.

It was just two seasons ago that the Rockies made their mad dash to the World Series. They won 13 of their last 14 regular-season games, and then beat the Padres in a one-game playoff for the wild card before sweeping the Phillies in the National League Division Series and the Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series.

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October 2, 2007 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: The Men in Black Attack

0

Joe Sheehan

A great ballgame was marred only by the predictable failures of last night's umpiring crew.

I've been anticipating that bad umpiring would become a big story in the 2007 postseason, given the degradation in performance and decorum we've seen over the past couple of years. What I didn't expect was that the umpires wouldn't wait until the postseason to make themselves the story.

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A look umpire tendencies to see how much human error plays a role in calling pitches.

"I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes."
-- Leo Durocher


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