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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Comments

Great post as usual, JW. I agree completely about the pitchtracker -- it disrupts the pleasure of the game and turns us all into mini Bobby Coxes, yelling at the umps instead of watching the action. Careful with your español though: "mono y mono" means "monkey and monkey." "Mano a mano" sería mejor!

Would "mano a mono" work for "pitcher vs. Alex Rodriguez?"

Agreed on the pitchtracker. I'd much rather see their little graphic trick when they replay the pitch with that "tail" following it so you can better see the flight of the ball. At least that helps teach us baseball novices a little about the game.

The pitchtracker sucks because it doesn't account for an ump's consistency during the game, either. If he's calling balls/strikes in the same spot all night, that's fine as long is it's consistent for everyone. That little box doesn't adjust for the ump's unique strike zone.

Does anyone know if the pitchtrackers are the same data as Pitch F/X? I'm sorta indifferent about it. I do prefer the way TBS did it on the HD broadcast, with it off to the side, to the way that Fox brings it up once in a while.

@aig: A monkey pitcher vs. monkey batter match up would be pretty cool though.

Jason, I agree. I hate the pitch tracker. The media acts as if it is the gold standard. It often disagrees with what the naked eye sees.

It's like digital watches and weight scales; because they display to the second or the nearest ounce, we assume they are more accurate than a dial where we can't discern the smaller units.

What strikes me about the telecasts is that they use the pitch tracker constantly even when they have the overhead shot of home plate that is probably the best way to tell if a ball is off the plate.

Would have loved to see how far the pitch that Howard was called out on his last time up was from that angle. Maybe MLB says don't show it too much?

Combine that with a shot from either dugout camera to see high or low and you don't need the fancy technology.

Agreed. There have been some incredibly tiny strike zones this postseason and I would point to the pitchtrackers as the reason why. You can't make umpires scared to make bad calls.

the yankees will win beacuse the phillies are sh!t. You don't stand a chance. 27 world series and you only have 2 ha!

I am torn. I like the tech assistance but I don't like it when it fails. Certainly TBS's was off by a wide margin. I think Weitzel is on target as long as the technology is inaccurate by far th ebest is at ESPN still I don't know if it shows wher ethe ball crosses the plate. That said, the fact is that Selig is stubburn about not using technology of any kind, even though it is clear it would not be disruptive and would help especially in first base and SB situations.

I dont' usually pat much attention to it as it doesn't have any bearing on the outcome or dynamic of the game. I like the idea of it, but there is never any mention of it only representing where it makes the catcher's mitt. It's just another facet of a broadcasting non-issue that I've learned to phase out.

I watch the game and only the game. If the booth can add something of use...so be it.

@yankees fan:

k.

Gettin my head right... heading down to the bank in T-minus 3 hours...Never given up on Hamels, and I have a good feeling about tonight... LETS GO PHILS!

yankees fan,

Looking to your team's past accomplishments will not help them win this series. That's what I love about The Phils, they come out and prepare for every game, no excuses... WFC^2

Pitch tracker definitely puts unwanted attention on the Ump and takes away from the game.

Let's go, Cole!

Wasn't at Yankee Stadium but most of the time over the TV broadcast, it seemed very calm and quiet there. That will not be the case at the Bank. The place will be quite loud, especially if one of their pitchers starts getting wild.

Andy Petitt is a seasoned vet, though and probably won't be easily rattled.

Let's hope the good Cole shows up tonight. If so, we'll be up 2-0.

I'm so pumped for this!!!

I've always liked the pitch tracker, but I'm now finding it very distracting and ultimately inaccurate.

I'm still not feeling it....The pitcher formerly known as Cole Hamels and Blanton's career numbers vs. the Yankees scare me. I think they can split games 6-7 in the House of Pain, but to sweep there is unrealistic.

Thought this was clever, from Scott Lauber's blog:

"Happy Halloween. The Phillies are hoping Cole Hamels comes to the ballpark tonight disguised as Cole Hamels Version 2008."

Hats off to the Mets fanbase, btw, for routinely sending interesting trolls when the rivalry flares up. Yankee fans don't seem to have found the site yet.

I'm looking forward to seeing Sabathia batting even more than Petttittte.

Monarch,

All of us in the WWL are devastated you would butcher the sacred word Jabrone in the manner which you did.

The umpiring is atrocious and the little white zone box is the only way to keep pressure on baseball to fix their putrid problem. I love the box because it hammers home how truly poor the umpiring is.

Check out the Jib Jab Halloween by Corey at "We should be GMs" website. I found Charlie and Shane particularly amusing.

I'd love to see one of the pitchers (hint, hint). Maybe Dubee with Cliff, Pedro, Lidge and - hmm, so many to choose from - how about Chan Ho and Joe Blanton?

Would you rather see the Yankees put Matsui (all bat/no glove) or Swisher (no bat/some glove) in right field?

Or split the difference with Hairston or Gardner?

Maybe the most I have agreed with Clout in a long time:

Clout: "The Phillies starting pitching is better than the Yankees starting pitching."

The fact that the Yankees are having to go to a three man rotation, pitching CC on short rest, is telling of the lack of depth in their rotation.

That said, this paper advantage can be neutralized by certain disadvantageous outcomes. It seems to me that the Phillies have the advantage if the series is extended and goes 6 or 7 games. The Yankees would have to stretch CC, potentially exposing their porous bullpen and an aged Rivera, while the Phillies could throw fresher starters and use the depth of the starting rotation to strengthen the bullpen. I think a short series ends in a Yankees championship and a long series ends with a Phillies parade.


Speaking of the Mets' fan-base, if you want a good laugh go to Metsblog and scroll down to yesterday's post about how this series is "not easy." The comment section specifically is hilarious. "No, I hate THIS team more." "How COULD you?? I hate THAT team more." Hilarious stuff.

The pitch tracker is terrible. First of all, I don't like graphic additions (I don't like the blue line of scrimmage and yellow first-down line in the NFL broadcasts - is it really that hard to pay attention to where the ball is and where the markers are?)
Second, it's completely useless. It doesn't tell you where the ball was as it crossed the plate, much less adjust for an umpire's strike zone. The overhead camera and dugout cameras are nice, especially with pitches that have a lot of movement you can see them bend around the plate or drop below the knees, etc.
Eventually the broadcast will look like a video game, arm trackers and power meters for the pitchers, a little circle denoting the barrel of the bat...
There's a pretty clear line in my mind between better showing what is already there and interfering (adding to) what is already there.

With Hamels pitching, I'd rather have Swisher in, TEB. But if it's Matsui, I hope the Phils hit the ball to RF and run like mad!

Or maybe they'll put Matsui in LF and Damon in RF?

Any other Brooklyn-based Phils fans on here today? I've been watching most of the games from the safety of my couch with only Beerleaguer for company but I'm feeling a bit more daring tonight. Only problem is that most bars around here (Park Slope) will be overrun with Halloween types or something far more terrifying: Yankee fans. Would love to hear any recommendations or we could just pick a place and take it over. My costume of choice: smug reigning WFC.

Actually, they could fairly easily create an accurate electronic system for tracking pitches. Electronic sensors along the perimeter of the plate and electric sensors in the players' uniforms could make accurate calls all the time. In tennis they've gone over to electronic sensors as the final word on line calls because they are so accurate.

However, in doing so, you'd completely alter the game, and I don't think very many people would want to do that.

In the meantime, the tracking systems employed by TV broadcasts have no assured accuracy. So what's the point? Do we have any information that proves that those systems are any less subjective than a viewer sitting on his couch and watching the game while working on his sixth beer?

Unless they can provide an verifiable system they shouldn't be using any electronic system for calling balls and strikes. I suppose you could say the same thing about using replays for home run calls or for second-guessing bang/bang plays at first base - but at least they seem to be far more verifiable systems than the pitch trackers.

Great post. Completely agree with the pitch tracker. It is so useless. If I were an ump I'd want to shoot the guy that invented it. Time to rock CBP!!!

@ajg: My wife loves Halloween and I'm hanging with some non-Phils fans tonight, so I think I'm heading to tbd in Greenpoint. They have Halloween drink specials but also usually have tons of TVs with sports on.

Mike Francesa announced on the FAN yesterday that the Yankees would sweep the Phillies at CBP because their pitching is too good. Considering that they managed to win one out of three in California against an Angels team that played like a bunch of Girl Scouts, I found the comment interesting.

Joe, it certainly is possible the Yankees sweep us at home, but I doubt it's likely. It's also possible the Phillies sweep the Yankees at CBP. Please let the "real" Cole Hamels come tonight, the one who is calm, cool and collected, not to mention talented and in command.

Interesting that there are no comments yet about the potential rain. I was at Game 3 last year (going to Game 4 tomorrow) and I can't see any way MLB takes the chance to get as much grief as they did last year over that game, the Game 5 nonsense notwithstanding.

If the forecast holds (although looking at the radar it looks to me that it could slide north of Philly) I think they call this game early, like around 7:00 p.m. or so. No way they take the chance of a delayed game, the SP's getting out of whack by a lengthy delay or playing three inning and picking it up tomorrow. Not going to happen.

I just wish those Yankees fans/media were a little more confident in their team. /rolls eyes

Really, I don't mind the confidence--hell, you have to expect it--but it's the dismissive way they do it, as in "Phillies have NO chance; they don't even belong on the same field BS" that pisses me off.

hh, especially when it comes from so-called "experts".

Old Phan: I actually had a Yankee fan say to me that the Phillies should just go away and the series should be between the Yanks and Red Sox every year--the only two teams "that matter". At first, I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't.

I know not all Yankee fans are like this, and these are just the October-only fans being obnoxious, but these are the types that further the stereotype.

I went to the grocery store today and could not find Yankee Kool Aid on the shelves. I know it must be sold somewhere, because so many people seem to have drank it. Maybe they were just sold out of their supply. It sure must taste good. It had better taste good, washing down all that crow later this week for so many

Pblunts, I was just about to post about the weather, too. I hope your guess proves true that the rain passes to the north. Right now the chance of rain is greater at 10pm than 8pm (goes from 50% to 70%). So if they start the game, we could end up with a situation like last year's infamous game 5. Even if Cole is dealing, he could end up being taken out due to a rain delay. (Which if you think about it, is just the kind of thing that would happen to him this season.)

However, if it comes to that, I think we stand a pretty good chance of getting to the Yankee's BP and of our own holding them off.

And if it looks like rain is possible, it does seem MLB is being more cautious this year in regards to the weather, so I agree they would prefer to postpone the game at the start or put it off until tomorrow, rather than see it interrupted midway.

doubleh- you're exactly right, and somebody has already said it in a previous thread but this is a symptom known as 'entitle-itis.' These guys not only expect everything to be handed to them, but they get offended when other people don't oblige by willfully handing it over. It's startling.

On a side note, I'm looking for this year's EEEEEEEEEVAAAAAAA to be AAAAA-ROOOOOOID. I'd also like the fans to think of something for Pettitte but I'm pretty sure after all this time in the league nothing like that would get to him. But Rodriguez? Guy will be thinking of nothing but the hatred. I love it.

I highly doubt the Phillies fans will get to most of these Yankees, but CC & Burnett and these young relievers are another story. LA and Minn fans are not the same as the Phillies fans and NYY didn't play the Red Sox this postseason so they weren't exactly exposed to the nuttier fanbases yet. What some of these NYY fans don't know is how the fans are able to "interact" with the visitor bullpen. Should be interesting.

Somebody must like the pitch tracker since they use it so much. I liked it for a while. The more you watch, the less useful it seems. I find myself arguing with it especially on the top and bottom of the zone.

Doubleh:

That's what I find so frustrating. I think it stems from the fact that they don't follow this team and like Reagan used to say "They know so much that simply isn't true."

If nothing else, the fans buouy up our guys. I don't expect them to ruffle the Yankees much, and that's ok.

Reading the recent posts, I'm reminded of the adage, "Pride goes before a fall."

New thread, y'all.

@GBrettFan: that's part of the problem, the forecast looks worse later in the evening. All leads me to believe they call it early. Remember, the reason they started Game 5 in the first place last year is because just about every last clown weather forecaster said it wasn't going to rain hard or would rain much later (I don't remember which). So Selig & Co. are not going to lean that heavily on a forecast again. Should be interesting.

Bacl to game analsyis, I'm with the other poster that mentioned (might have been last thread) he doesn't like either pitching matchup for us in games 3 or 4. But if this team has shown us anything, it's that "on paper" matchups are meaningless. But I will feel a hell of a lot better-great in fact-if we are able to win Game 3, whenever it's played. Also excited to see Damon and potentially Matsui patrol the corner OF spots over the next few days. With their lineup, does Girardi really think they need to run the risk of having Matsu out there, even for six innings. Could very well cost them much more than the offense he brings to the table. Having said that, I still can't believe he golfed that damn pitch out the other night.

A-Rod is 0-8 w/6 SO. I think we would be better off to just cheer his outs, rather than wake him up.

The problem with Pitch Track is that it's 2 dimensional. The strike zone is 3D. What plane is it suppose to represent? The front of the plate? The back?

MLB should take a look at what they use for Cricket. They use 3D simulation, microphones, etc. You can really tell if it was truly a LBW or not. You can hear if it hit the bat. It looks like cutting edge science. By comparison, Pitch Trak seems like a sketch artist drawing a characture of what just happened.

Pitch tracker or no, I think balls and strikes have been horrible in the post season.

Having a miniscule and/or inconsistent stike zone benefits nobody.

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