The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Let's Get Rid of Second-Guessing Baseball Umpires by Video Review
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

I used to wonder how baseball umpires could be so decisive about calling baserunners safe or out on chaotic tag plays when the defender attempts to apply the glove with the ball in it to runner’s sliding body before he touches the base. I figured they must just be better at seeing what looked like a flailing mess than I am.

Eventually we got high speed / high resolution video and I found out: on really close plays, umpires couldn’t really tell if a runner’s foot or hand evaded the tag in time. In fact, even after watching super slo-mo replays, I am often still befuddled … as are the umpire’s overseers at the video center in New York tasked with watching appealed decisions from every angle and deciding whether to overrule the man on the spot.

What umpires actually do is make a decision based on the overall gestalt of the play: e.g., yeah, the throw got there in time and on the money, so, even though I can’t prove on this precise play that the runner didn’t elude the tag, most of the time he wouldn’t, so he’s OUT.

And now that I’ve seen the time-consuming alternative, I think the old way of doing it was good enough.

They should get rid of video reviews of baseball tag plays on the basepaths. They stop the action for several minutes and often don’t leave us able to make a definitive judgment of whether the runner was safe or out.

For example, in this play in the first game of the Houston Astros – Philadelphia Phillies World Series, the umpire decisively called little Jose Altuve safe at second base. The Phillies appealed. After quite a number of different camera angles, we were left with an interesting philosophical argument about when precisely is the thrown ball in the glove — when the ball enters the perimeter of the glove or when it wedges itself securely in the pocket. In this play, it looks like the time it takes for the ball to wedge itself in the glove is about equal to the time it takes Altuve’s foot to go the last inch or so to the bag. But I can’t tell definitively from any angle when his foot first touches the base.

On this play, the umpire called Altuve safe with confidence-instilling self-certainty. After several minutes of review, the umpire’s call was upheld on the grounds that the tie goes to the runner and there’s no proof that the umpire’s original call of at least a tie should be overruled.

Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game.

 
Hide 111 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps’ balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I’m embarrassed for the game.

    • Disagree: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Marquis
    @JimDandy

    That would be the one thing I’d support but it’s not really replay.

    Replay had just about ruined football for me. It is beyond boring at this point. If they could limit it to the one or two egregious calls a game, then maybe. But 90% of the game is dead time or litigating minor calls. Basketball is getting to that point too.

    I tend to actually tune in to watch the actual sport, not some midwit version of the peoples court. But I’m weird that way.

    , @AnotherDad
    @JimDandy


    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps’ balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I’m embarrassed for the game.
     
    Agreed. It's better for a game if there's simply an objective standard for the players to play to.

    Bastketball for instance has this with scoring. Every other aspect of the refereeing--fouls, traveling, etc.--is less objective, more crappy and more contentious.

    Umpire calling balls+strikes was necessary because it is not--in many cases--objectively clear to humans and players can't agree. (Remember your backyard?) But now our tech is sufficient to make this ridiculously straightforward--and objective. The game would be better if instead of "convincing the ump" it's just doing it.
    , @Mike Tre
    @JimDandy

    https://youtu.be/FYIlrxfgsiU

    , @CobraTalk
    @JimDandy

    In the Good Old Days, umpires had personalized strike zones that pitchers and catchers had to play to. Since the electronic strike zone came about, umpires have gotten way better at adhering to it.

  2. Have to give the gamblers the best chance of getting a correct call.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @Jim Christian

    Are you annoyed or offended by people betting on baseball?
    Is the implication that the games are rigged for the sake of connected gamblers?

    Seems like the players, and the vast majority of fans who do not bet on baseball, would also benefit from the fairness and consistency of an objective electronic strike zone.

    Replies: @Jim Christian

  3. Gotta disagree here Steve. The goal should be to get the call right, whatever the cost, within reason. A few-minute delay on a pivotal play that might have decided a World Series game is a small cost.

    I have long thought of umpiring as one of the major scandals in the game. One issue is the reason you said — the “close enough” approach when the play looks bang-bang (like the infamous cases turning a double play at second base). But those are hard to judge.

    Less excusable is the calling of balls and strikes. The strike zone is not the same for any two umpires, and some have been found to let it change over the course of the game. Star players probably get preferential calls. Teams even scout umpires to discover their strike-zone tendencies. (Not that it would be easy to tell whether a ball was a strike in any case.) This is outrageous and has no place in a sport.

    There should be robotic callers of balls and strikes. And maybe some kind of microchips inside bases, balls, gloves, and shoes could eliminate ambiguity on the basepaths?

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @EdwardM

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn't want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing -- making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that's an esoteric skill that doesn't add much to the typical fan's enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player's height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    Replies: @Hodag, @Ganderson, @Slim, @SafeNow

    , @Jack D
    @EdwardM

    Scoring for fencing has been electric for many decades. It goes so fast that it would be close to impossible with the human eye (before electric they had other methods to see if you left a mark).

    You could probably check for whether the player is touching the base but it still wouldn't answer all the questions. In the play Steve was talking about he caught the ball against the player's body. It wasn't in the glove when he caught it but at some point it was and at the same time the player's foot reached the bag. Even if you know the timing of the latter you can't judge the former electronically - the ball can be touching the glove without being IN the glove.

    Yes the umps call balls and strikes terribly but as long as they do it to all teams and players equally it all comes out in the wash. The question is whether they really do?

    Replies: @silviosilver

    , @Jonathan Mason
    @EdwardM

    The same controversy exists in English Premier League soccer where at close decisions now go to VAR.

    The issue is similar in any highly paid professional sport where tiny decisions of judgment make the difference between victory and loss and can affect the destination of championships and whole careers.

    The biggest problem is the possibility of bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, on the part of the umpire or referee. By definition, almost, the successful teams are the teams that get the most decisions in their favor.

    So what it comes down to is what the general public will accept. If referee decisions are going to cause riots, then it is probably best to go with VAR even if people hate it, just so long as they will accept that it is unbiased. After all it is much more difficult to bribe a VAR team than to bribe an individual umpire or referee.

    With the World Cup of soccer coming up very soon in Qatar, it will be interesting to see how controversies between nations are resolved when the US national men's team comes up against Iran on Nov. 29th. Hopefully the use of nuclear weapons can be averted.

  4. • Replies: @AndrewR
    @Dream

    The GOP is truly the party of cucks. When Rand Paul was assaulted by his neighbor, the Pelosis' daughter publicly praised the attack. Rand rightfully brought up her shameful behavior while taking the high road and condemning the attack on Mr. Nancy Pelosi. Shitlibs proceeded to pile on him anyway. Let's not forget he was at the baseball game that was attacked by the nutjob commie, so he has nothing to prove to these evil people.


    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/rand-paul-nancy-pelosi-daughter-husband-tweet-b2213101.html%3famp

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    , @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    @Dream

    Obvious inside job is obvious. Maybe a few normies will actually watch the J6 hearings now out of sympathy for Nasty Piglosi.

    , @RadicalCenter
    @Dream

    The attacker should share a jail cell with “Mr.” Pelosi, because it seems “Mr.” Pelosi was the cutest little jailbird that the “attacker” ever did see ;)

    Cue: Jailhouse Rock

    (credit to the brilliant commenter who started this practice)

    , @Barnard
    @Dream

    From Politico:


    In a brief press conference Friday, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that police officers were dispatched to the Pelosi residence at about 2:30 a.m. for a “priority well-being check,” and arrived on the scene to find Paul Pelosi and DePape holding a hammer.

    “The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it,” Scott said. “Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.”
     
    Nothing about the initial story is on the level. There is no way this guy broke into the house.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/10/28/nancy-pelosi-husband-assaulted-00063965
    , @Ron Mexico
    @Dream

    I'm going with the gay sex theory. According to the politico story the gay dude forced his way in the back door. Exactly. Maybe Pelosi is going to hog headlines to run interference for something... Hunter Biden... election cheating. Or maybe his / their time has come to exit.

    , @Dutch Boy
    @Dream

    Perhaps the attacker was a supporter of MADD?

  5. @EdwardM
    Gotta disagree here Steve. The goal should be to get the call right, whatever the cost, within reason. A few-minute delay on a pivotal play that might have decided a World Series game is a small cost.

    I have long thought of umpiring as one of the major scandals in the game. One issue is the reason you said -- the "close enough" approach when the play looks bang-bang (like the infamous cases turning a double play at second base). But those are hard to judge.

    Less excusable is the calling of balls and strikes. The strike zone is not the same for any two umpires, and some have been found to let it change over the course of the game. Star players probably get preferential calls. Teams even scout umpires to discover their strike-zone tendencies. (Not that it would be easy to tell whether a ball was a strike in any case.) This is outrageous and has no place in a sport.

    There should be robotic callers of balls and strikes. And maybe some kind of microchips inside bases, balls, gloves, and shoes could eliminate ambiguity on the basepaths?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn’t want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing — making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that’s an esoteric skill that doesn’t add much to the typical fan’s enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player’s height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    @Steve Sailer

    I strongly support the neighborhood play at second for double plays. It prevents infielders from getting their legs broken by Pete Rose types. It should never be subject to replay.

    Balls and strikes by robot plus shot clock for pitches should be implemented.

    This play is one way baseball has been changed by replay and sabermetrics. A caught stealing his a huge defensive win, 1/27 of your defensive output. Throwing the ball to a glove on the runner is risky - it could hit the runner and then he has a chance to go to 3d. But how often does that happen? That is quantifiable.
    However you save half a beat where the defender had to catch THEN apply the tag. All my life, until five or so years ago the ball was thrown waist high then dropped by the infielder. Remember Ozzie Smith gracefully dipping the glove down and getting out of dodge?

    Aside: a favorite baseball memory was the Padres playing the Cubs and Dave Kingman (Padres) went hard into 2d to break up a double play. Mick Kelleher, the Cubs jockey-like 2d baseman got bowled over, took exception, literally jumped on top of Kingman as he was laying there and pounded the hell out of his face.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Steve Sailer

    , @Ganderson
    @Steve Sailer

    “ an esoteric skill that doesn’t add much to the typical fan’s enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.”

    The people who run baseball, especially owners, GMs and field managers are, it seems to me, indifferent to hostile to the typical fan’s enjoyment of the game. I’d be in favor of getting rid of replay in all sports (well, at least the ones I follow, baseball and hockey).

    Mind you, we now have the technology to have off playing surface officials who can weigh in instantly- I’d support that, as well as electronic balls and strikes. Hockey could have a couple of refs in the stands to see behind the play fouls. Sadly, the PTB don’t solicit my opinion.

    BTW it may be that the above do care about the typical fan; it’s just that that group no longer includes me.

    , @Slim
    @Steve Sailer

    They are likely to implement ABS (that's what MLB calls RoboUmp) as another challenge system. That's how it was used in AAA Charlotte this season. Each team will get 3 challenges, they must be immediate and requested by catcher/ pitcher or batter. If you win the challenge you retain it. In practice most managers told pitchers they couldn't challenge -- they left it to catchers. There was little delay in play.
    The technology allows them to call every pitch with ABS. However, umpires have a union.
    ABS will not be employed next season but seems likely for 2024.

    Current replay allows a call to be confirmed, overruled, or to stand as called on field. I believe the Altuve play was neither confirmed nor overruled so the umpire's call was allowed to stand.

    , @SafeNow
    @Steve Sailer


    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player’s height, stance, and proportions… - Steve
     
    What if the technician sets the top and bottom at the moment the batter assumes his stance, awaiting the pitch, but then, when the pitch is on its way, the batter goes into a deeper crouch or a more erect crouch? How does it work now? Does the box change to reflect the change in stance? One virtue of using an umpire is that I presume the umpire’s call is based upon the final stance assumed by the player. (Forgive me if I sound naïve about this but I don’t watch much baseball now because I don’t like many of the players, even though I admire their athleticism.)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  6. Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game.

    The problem is that many calls in sports require a human to decide which of two things that happen at different places, happened first. This is often literally impossible to know because humans can only look at one place at a time. Call it the sportsball uncertainty principle.

    • LOL: silviosilver
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Hypnotoad666


    The problem is that many calls in sports require a human to decide which of two things that happen at different places, happened first. This is often literally impossible to know because humans can only look at one place at a time.
     
    Since there is an umpire fixed at first base, he is taught to listen to the sound of the ball hitting the firstbaseman's mitt vis-à-vis looking to see when the runner's foot touched first base. This may be a reason for Don Dekinger's call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, as Jack Clark soft-tossed the ball to Todd Worrell covering first base. The sound wasn't loud enough, leading to Denkinger calling Jorge Orta safe.

    The footnote is that because of the way baseball rotates umpires, the guy who is at first one day is behind the plate the next, leading to the Cardinals' manager and pitcher being ejected, as they were still hot from the night before. Also, the 1985 World Series was the last one in which each game was played in less than 3 hours.
  7. Nothing wrong with an insanely close call that could go either way going either way – even after video review. Your problem is more with the time wasted on the review than on the outcome itself. What you ought to suggest is that if video review can’t overturn an umpire’s call on the field within two seconds, then it stands.

    But the reviews are here to stay. Too much money is being bet on games now for the umpires to again be given full discretion in making calls, especially now that the leagues are increasingly involved in sport gambling. And too many cameras are pointing at the field for fans to ignore wrong calls.

    I would also like a robot-ump to call balls and strikes. I see more egregiously wrong calls at home plate in a single game than I do in the field in a month’s worth of games.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    @Pincher Martin

    CORRECTION:


    What you ought to suggest is that if video review can’t overturn an umpire’s call on the field within two minutes, then it stands.
     
    , @Graveldips
    @Pincher Martin

    "Too much money is being bet on games now..."
    All professional sports should die. Go watch your kid play.

  8. @Pincher Martin
    Nothing wrong with an insanely close call that could go either way going either way - even after video review. Your problem is more with the time wasted on the review than on the outcome itself. What you ought to suggest is that if video review can't overturn an umpire's call on the field within two seconds, then it stands.

    But the reviews are here to stay. Too much money is being bet on games now for the umpires to again be given full discretion in making calls, especially now that the leagues are increasingly involved in sport gambling. And too many cameras are pointing at the field for fans to ignore wrong calls.

    I would also like a robot-ump to call balls and strikes. I see more egregiously wrong calls at home plate in a single game than I do in the field in a month's worth of games.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Graveldips

    CORRECTION:

    What you ought to suggest is that if video review can’t overturn an umpire’s call on the field within two minutes, then it stands.

  9. @Pincher Martin
    Nothing wrong with an insanely close call that could go either way going either way - even after video review. Your problem is more with the time wasted on the review than on the outcome itself. What you ought to suggest is that if video review can't overturn an umpire's call on the field within two seconds, then it stands.

    But the reviews are here to stay. Too much money is being bet on games now for the umpires to again be given full discretion in making calls, especially now that the leagues are increasingly involved in sport gambling. And too many cameras are pointing at the field for fans to ignore wrong calls.

    I would also like a robot-ump to call balls and strikes. I see more egregiously wrong calls at home plate in a single game than I do in the field in a month's worth of games.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Graveldips

    “Too much money is being bet on games now…”
    All professional sports should die. Go watch your kid play.

    • Agree: Macumazahn
  10. In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.

    • Replies: @Macumazahn
    @Tony Tea

    It's the same in baseball, and (American) football too.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Tony Tea


    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.
     
    That helps speed the matches up-- to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don't turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.


    https://i0.wp.com/cricketaddictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-design-65.png


    That's by the individual, not the entire side. In one match.

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @meh, @meh

    , @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @Tony Tea


    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.
     
    With essentially ambiguous plays like the Segura tag at second on Altuve, I'm of the opinion that the Umpire should not make a call one way or the other - it should have gone to video replay without a presumption against or in favor of the put out. Let the frame by frame analysis get it as close to correct as humanly possible, especially in momentous games like the World Series where a runner in scoring position versus an out can be the difference in a game and a Series (the game was tied in the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs when Altuve stole second - Altuve would have scored on the next at bat and ended the game absent an outstanding defensive play in right field and the game would have gone to Houston instead of Philadelphia). Even if there is no clear answer delivered by the reply, fans will have a set of precedents with which to judge future similar plays.

    I'm also of the opinion that pacing reforms should be suspended in the playoffs. Slow pacing kills regular season baseball over 162 games for a low attention span audience of 2022, but in the playoffs and World Series I think the slow pacing adds to the rising action and augments the drama of each pitch. Particularly on two strike counts (and even more so in two out, two strike counts) it permits the full house crowds to amp up the fan noise and tension for the pitch. That's really the essence of baseball - building action that explodes with a ball that is truly "in play" for very brief periods of time. (Baseball is most like football in this respect in that the action before the snap is part of building up the drama of the ensuing play - so much so that in the anxiety of anticipating the snap players often misjudge it and commit false start/neutral zone infraction penalties).
  11. Kicking dirt and throwing bases at umpires is a great baseball tradition. Just ask Lou Pinella. I say ditch the electronics and let the bad guys in black suits make bad calls. Is it any worse than closers melting down and giving up home runs, or batters with bases loaded striking out looking? Take away the fuck ups and you take away the drama. Such is life.

  12. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    The GOP is truly the party of cucks. When Rand Paul was assaulted by his neighbor, the Pelosis’ daughter publicly praised the attack. Rand rightfully brought up her shameful behavior while taking the high road and condemning the attack on Mr. Nancy Pelosi. Shitlibs proceeded to pile on him anyway. Let’s not forget he was at the baseball game that was attacked by the nutjob commie, so he has nothing to prove to these evil people.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/rand-paul-nancy-pelosi-daughter-husband-tweet-b2213101.html%3famp

    • Thanks: Abe
    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @AndrewR

    Don't forget that Rand Paul and his wife Kelly (among others) were mobbed by Antifa/BLM types after leaving the 2020 RNC which was held outside on the White House grounds because the full-scale Convention scheduled to be held in Charlotte was screwed with on "public health" grounds by North Carolina's Democratic Governor. The left take on that was that his presence on the streets of the Nation's Capitol was "provocative" and therefore he deserved the rough treatment and physical threats.

  13. Baseball already moves at a snail’s pace so anyone willing to sit through that should probably be able to sit through a bit of video review. Maybe do it the NFL way, and issue each team with x number of challenges. It works in NFL because getting the challenge wrong costs you a timeout but (it seems to me) sometimes coaches are in a better position to see what happened than officials and they can confidently challenge. Imo this doesn’t interrupt the flow of the game much. As a bettor, it’s cost me games and won me games (not on any last play that I can recall, but I think there might have been a couple on the last score).

    Video review is the worst in soccer, totally interrupting the flow of the game as the ref has to trudge over to the screen, which is usually no where near where he is. (Can’t they just put two screens at the ground, one at each end near the goals, where the most controversial calls are going to happen anyway?) I don’t even watch soccer anymore so I don’t care, but it was on TV at my parent’s house so I caught a bit of the recent Barcelona vs Bayern (I think it was) game as I was waiting for my food to cook. Barcelona got a late penalty, and the players did their crowd-around-the-ref-and-protest thing, and just as I was thinking why do they bother with this, when does the ref ever change his mind, the ref after listening to a good 30 seconds maybe 1 minute of player protests drew a square sign in the air with his fingers, signifying he was going to video review it, and then he changed the call to no penalty. It was the ‘right’ call but isn’t spectator sport supposed to be about fun and drama? Well reversing calls like this completely sucks the fun and the drama out of it, almost as bad as provisionally declaring someone the winner but vowing to review the game over the weekend then and changing the score as needed.

    • Replies: @Anon7
    @silviosilver

    Speaking of soccer referees, you might enjoy this satirical video by British humorist Dominic Frisby, "I Am A Linesman For Notts County". With apologies to Glen Campbell.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmMe2O8G8sk

    , @Edward Haze
    @silviosilver

    It blows my mind that anyone puts up with it for soccer. It ruins the one best thing about soccer, which is the pure unbridled PANDAMONIUM on a goal. Now you have to wait for the replay! Totally ruins the emotional momentum for spectators.

    Replies: @silviosilver

  14. @Steve Sailer
    @EdwardM

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn't want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing -- making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that's an esoteric skill that doesn't add much to the typical fan's enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player's height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    Replies: @Hodag, @Ganderson, @Slim, @SafeNow

    I strongly support the neighborhood play at second for double plays. It prevents infielders from getting their legs broken by Pete Rose types. It should never be subject to replay.

    Balls and strikes by robot plus shot clock for pitches should be implemented.

    This play is one way baseball has been changed by replay and sabermetrics. A caught stealing his a huge defensive win, 1/27 of your defensive output. Throwing the ball to a glove on the runner is risky – it could hit the runner and then he has a chance to go to 3d. But how often does that happen? That is quantifiable.
    However you save half a beat where the defender had to catch THEN apply the tag. All my life, until five or so years ago the ball was thrown waist high then dropped by the infielder. Remember Ozzie Smith gracefully dipping the glove down and getting out of dodge?

    Aside: a favorite baseball memory was the Padres playing the Cubs and Dave Kingman (Padres) went hard into 2d to break up a double play. Mick Kelleher, the Cubs jockey-like 2d baseman got bowled over, took exception, literally jumped on top of Kingman as he was laying there and pounded the hell out of his face.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @Hodag

    Kelleher should have been soundly beaten and then prosecuted and jailed for battery. He reacted with illegal excessive dangerous violence in response to something expected and allowed as part of the game.

    Replies: @Hodag

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Hodag

    2nd basemen tend to have injury shortened careers because they get hurt a lot turning the double play.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  15. @JimDandy
    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps' balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I'm embarrassed for the game.

    Replies: @Marquis, @AnotherDad, @Mike Tre, @CobraTalk

    That would be the one thing I’d support but it’s not really replay.

    Replay had just about ruined football for me. It is beyond boring at this point. If they could limit it to the one or two egregious calls a game, then maybe. But 90% of the game is dead time or litigating minor calls. Basketball is getting to that point too.

    I tend to actually tune in to watch the actual sport, not some midwit version of the peoples court. But I’m weird that way.

  16. @Steve Sailer
    @EdwardM

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn't want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing -- making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that's an esoteric skill that doesn't add much to the typical fan's enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player's height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    Replies: @Hodag, @Ganderson, @Slim, @SafeNow

    “ an esoteric skill that doesn’t add much to the typical fan’s enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.”

    The people who run baseball, especially owners, GMs and field managers are, it seems to me, indifferent to hostile to the typical fan’s enjoyment of the game. I’d be in favor of getting rid of replay in all sports (well, at least the ones I follow, baseball and hockey).

    Mind you, we now have the technology to have off playing surface officials who can weigh in instantly- I’d support that, as well as electronic balls and strikes. Hockey could have a couple of refs in the stands to see behind the play fouls. Sadly, the PTB don’t solicit my opinion.

    BTW it may be that the above do care about the typical fan; it’s just that that group no longer includes me.

  17. @silviosilver
    Baseball already moves at a snail's pace so anyone willing to sit through that should probably be able to sit through a bit of video review. Maybe do it the NFL way, and issue each team with x number of challenges. It works in NFL because getting the challenge wrong costs you a timeout but (it seems to me) sometimes coaches are in a better position to see what happened than officials and they can confidently challenge. Imo this doesn't interrupt the flow of the game much. As a bettor, it's cost me games and won me games (not on any last play that I can recall, but I think there might have been a couple on the last score).

    Video review is the worst in soccer, totally interrupting the flow of the game as the ref has to trudge over to the screen, which is usually no where near where he is. (Can't they just put two screens at the ground, one at each end near the goals, where the most controversial calls are going to happen anyway?) I don't even watch soccer anymore so I don't care, but it was on TV at my parent's house so I caught a bit of the recent Barcelona vs Bayern (I think it was) game as I was waiting for my food to cook. Barcelona got a late penalty, and the players did their crowd-around-the-ref-and-protest thing, and just as I was thinking why do they bother with this, when does the ref ever change his mind, the ref after listening to a good 30 seconds maybe 1 minute of player protests drew a square sign in the air with his fingers, signifying he was going to video review it, and then he changed the call to no penalty. It was the 'right' call but isn't spectator sport supposed to be about fun and drama? Well reversing calls like this completely sucks the fun and the drama out of it, almost as bad as provisionally declaring someone the winner but vowing to review the game over the weekend then and changing the score as needed.

    Replies: @Anon7, @Edward Haze

    Speaking of soccer referees, you might enjoy this satirical video by British humorist Dominic Frisby, “I Am A Linesman For Notts County”. With apologies to Glen Campbell.

  18. In short, umpires and referees are really good at their jobs. I do like replay in the NFL though. It’s good to get call right if you can.

    That said, I’ve asked many people what big sports moments would’ve been different had there been replay.

    MLB – Don Denkinger 85 World Series for sure. Cardinals probably win that. So to your point Steve, Cards fans would disagree.

    NFL doesn’t have a big one. Maybe Dan Pastorini’s Oilers team wins the Super Bowl in 1979 if they don’t call Mike Renfro out of bounds. That was a close one though.

    College fball- Colorado probably doesn’t get a national title using a 5th down vs Missouri.

    Any other big misses before replay?

    • Replies: @Russ
    @Danindc


    "MLB – Don Denkinger 85 World Series for sure. Cardinals probably win that. So to your point Steve, Cards fans would disagree."
     
    OT: There is a great life-lesson from that incident. Later in that inning, Cardinals 1B Jack Clark and C Darrell Porter collided and let a very catchable foul pop drop, thus helping Kansas City complete its 9th-inning comeback in that 1985 WS Game 6. Fast forward to the 2003 NLCS: After the notorious Steve Bartman foul ball play, the Cubs shortstop (one Alex Gonzalez, I believe) soon let a perfect double-play ball go through his legs for a huge error benefitting the Marlins. The lesson is that after such a situation, it's imperative for the manager or head coach (or team leader ... captain ... what have you) to get out there and focus that team going forward, given the situation as it is.
    , @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    Wasn't the Immaculate Reception illegal since the football hit Franco Harris' teammate Frenchy Fuqua's helmet first before he caught it? At that time an offensive player couldn't catch it if it hit a teammate first, you could only catch a touched or tipped ball off of a defensive player. At least that's my recollection.
    In the NHL blind ref Leon Stickle blew an offside call giving the Islanders a Stanley Cup series win in tame 6 over the Flyers.

    Replies: @Danindc

  19. Take a tip from the NFL and cover everything with pellets. You can really tell when and where something makes contact because you can see the pellets flying up.

  20. @Steve Sailer
    @EdwardM

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn't want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing -- making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that's an esoteric skill that doesn't add much to the typical fan's enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player's height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    Replies: @Hodag, @Ganderson, @Slim, @SafeNow

    They are likely to implement ABS (that’s what MLB calls RoboUmp) as another challenge system. That’s how it was used in AAA Charlotte this season. Each team will get 3 challenges, they must be immediate and requested by catcher/ pitcher or batter. If you win the challenge you retain it. In practice most managers told pitchers they couldn’t challenge — they left it to catchers. There was little delay in play.
    The technology allows them to call every pitch with ABS. However, umpires have a union.
    ABS will not be employed next season but seems likely for 2024.

    Current replay allows a call to be confirmed, overruled, or to stand as called on field. I believe the Altuve play was neither confirmed nor overruled so the umpire’s call was allowed to stand.

  21. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    Obvious inside job is obvious. Maybe a few normies will actually watch the J6 hearings now out of sympathy for Nasty Piglosi.

  22. @JimDandy
    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps' balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I'm embarrassed for the game.

    Replies: @Marquis, @AnotherDad, @Mike Tre, @CobraTalk

    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps’ balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I’m embarrassed for the game.

    Agreed. It’s better for a game if there’s simply an objective standard for the players to play to.

    Bastketball for instance has this with scoring. Every other aspect of the refereeing–fouls, traveling, etc.–is less objective, more crappy and more contentious.

    Umpire calling balls+strikes was necessary because it is not–in many cases–objectively clear to humans and players can’t agree. (Remember your backyard?) But now our tech is sufficient to make this ridiculously straightforward–and objective. The game would be better if instead of “convincing the ump” it’s just doing it.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter, JimDandy
  23. They should get rid of video reviews of baseball tag plays on the basepaths. They stop the action for several minutes and often don’t leave us able to make a definitive judgment of whether the runner was safe or out.

    Baseball actually has the record for most incorrect calls by officials of any major sport.

    It’s very hard to put the video replay genie back in the bottle, the first time an egregicious call is made, people will flip out, particularly as online sports gambling in the US grows. So they’ll go back and then people will complain about it ruining the flow of the game and taking too long but I suspect people actually are willing to put up with those things to get calls right.

    Alternative methods are being investigated in other sports to get calls like this right faster attempting to introduce something like the ‘Hawkeye’ technology implemented for more complex things beyond if a ball was in during tennis or across the line in soccer or hockey.

    There have been trials of using AI offside calls and it will be used during the coming World Cup.

    You could implement new technology to make the calls faster and reduce decision load on officials. Of course, this also means that if the technology fails you’re back to the officials who may now be out of practice, a recent incident happened where a match in the English Premier League was stalled for 30-40 minutes while the VAR was down. And that speaks to how much things become dependent on this kind of technology. And it becomes dependent because ultimately people will put up with it for better calls.

    Other things will be adapted to improve flow, the technology won’t be removed. If you removed it people would be annoyed enough by bad calls and demand it be brought back.

    The technology does introduce new problems though for example it can draw a line for offside at such a minute level that a human linesman would always view as onside but a computer will say is offside. Basically the player was offside to the letter of the law but not in the spirit of the law which is interesting. But all these problems will never be enough to stop it, people won’t correct calls and are willing to pay a very high price for it.

    • Agree: mc23
  24. I thought the judgement of both replays were correct. I’d be in favor of leaving the calls to the umpires but the cameras are there and they’ll be used post game regardless of the official ruling. So it’s probably best to use them officially and cut down on harmful recriminations, not good for the sport. The only reason to oppose electronic strike zones is the mystique of the sport but that may be enough even if it’s not for the best.

  25. @JimDandy
    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps' balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I'm embarrassed for the game.

    Replies: @Marquis, @AnotherDad, @Mike Tre, @CobraTalk

    • Thanks: Paul Jolliffe
  26. @Jim Christian
    Have to give the gamblers the best chance of getting a correct call.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    Are you annoyed or offended by people betting on baseball?
    Is the implication that the games are rigged for the sake of connected gamblers?

    Seems like the players, and the vast majority of fans who do not bet on baseball, would also benefit from the fairness and consistency of an objective electronic strike zone.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    @RadicalCenter


    Are you annoyed or offended by people betting on baseball?
    Is the implication that the games are rigged for the sake of connected gamblers?
     
    Couldn't care less what people bet on. I only bet my weekly poker game. Replay in athletic sports keeps refs and umpires honest, however. Sports betting has become so huge, it requires replay to maintain credibility. And the masters know it.
  27. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    The attacker should share a jail cell with “Mr.” Pelosi, because it seems “Mr.” Pelosi was the cutest little jailbird that the “attacker” ever did see 😉

    Cue: Jailhouse Rock

    (credit to the brilliant commenter who started this practice)

  28. The video review is worse in college football with the constant stops in the game over out of bounds, whether it was a catch, or an illegal hit.

    Compare American sports to the English Premiere League where the soccer leagues do not get hung up on out of bound calls or fouls and limit the video review for scoring plays.

  29. @Hodag
    @Steve Sailer

    I strongly support the neighborhood play at second for double plays. It prevents infielders from getting their legs broken by Pete Rose types. It should never be subject to replay.

    Balls and strikes by robot plus shot clock for pitches should be implemented.

    This play is one way baseball has been changed by replay and sabermetrics. A caught stealing his a huge defensive win, 1/27 of your defensive output. Throwing the ball to a glove on the runner is risky - it could hit the runner and then he has a chance to go to 3d. But how often does that happen? That is quantifiable.
    However you save half a beat where the defender had to catch THEN apply the tag. All my life, until five or so years ago the ball was thrown waist high then dropped by the infielder. Remember Ozzie Smith gracefully dipping the glove down and getting out of dodge?

    Aside: a favorite baseball memory was the Padres playing the Cubs and Dave Kingman (Padres) went hard into 2d to break up a double play. Mick Kelleher, the Cubs jockey-like 2d baseman got bowled over, took exception, literally jumped on top of Kingman as he was laying there and pounded the hell out of his face.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Steve Sailer

    Kelleher should have been soundly beaten and then prosecuted and jailed for battery. He reacted with illegal excessive dangerous violence in response to something expected and allowed as part of the game.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    @RadicalCenter

    Almost everyone in baseball hated Kingman.

    Kelleher was a Fenian hero.

  30. If you’re interested in getting on with the game, consider how replay has basically eliminated all manager outbursts for any play not involving balls and strikes. We no longer have Lou Piniella pulling out first base and throwing it like a discus, or Billy Martin shoveling dirt on an umpire’s shoes. All of those histrionics took 5 to 10 minutes of game time. Yeah they were entertaining as hell, and I’m sure some boomers will argue that managers screaming and hollering with no chance of success is “real baseball.”

    A replay takes 2 minutes at most and they get the call right, or as close to right as it’s possible to be. If you oppose this, you’re sticking up for Don Denkinger just as anyone who doesn’t want ww3 over Ukraine is a Putin shill.

  31. If they used a computer for balls and strikes it wound not slow things down, prevent umpires from injecting themselves into the game with eccentric strike zones and give pitchers and batters a reliable strike zones. The thing about the other plays is that umpires didn’t get them wrong on purpose, so the errors came when it was close and neither team benefited over the long run.

  32. electronic strike zone was already tested in 1980 and worked accurately, according to what i’ve read. MLB just deliberately doesn’t want it and prefers the officials call a random strike zone. to their credit, MLB measures how accurate the officials are, and they’ve been getting better, year by year, for decades.

    ball review works extremely well in ATP. there is zero arguing about calls now, and no more McEnroe moments. this should be how pitches are handled in MLB.

  33. the grounds that the tie goes to the runner

    On my first day of training to be a little league umpire, the instructor, a silicon valley engineer, made this quip about the above quote, I paraphrase.

    “There is NO, “tie goes to the runner” in the rule book. If a runner gets to a base a second early, they’re safe. Can’t tell, go to tenth of a second. Still can’t tell, go the hundredth of second. Keep going to you can make the call. There is no “tie””.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Farenheit


    a silicon valley engineer, made this quip about the above quote, I paraphrase.

    “There is NO, “tie goes to the runner” in the rule book. If a runner gets to a base a second early, they’re safe. Can’t tell, go to tenth of a second. Still can’t tell, go the hundredth of second. Keep going to you can make the call. There is no “tie””.
     
    Sadly, this merely proves that the engineer can't read. Based on the way an out is defined in the rulebook, by implication a tie does indeed go the runner.
  34. the much bigger problem is figuring out where the hell the ball is in NFL action. was that a first down? was that a touchdown? the ball’s position in space could easily be measured with modern sensors. instead, they prefer wasting forever on a (bad) video review of whether that guy got the across the line, maybe, possibly, if you look at that one camera view here…

    even with the camera system, which is retarded, they don’t use 60 FPS or higher framerates, they don’t use higher resolution than the NTSC signal.

    NHL has sensors in the puck and has had them for years. you would think the richest sports league in the world could have that too. the electronic sensor system would clear up 99% of these calls in football. in rare cases of uncertainty or malfunction, video review would still be the backup, as it is in timed sports like track and swimming.

  35. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    From Politico:

    In a brief press conference Friday, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said that police officers were dispatched to the Pelosi residence at about 2:30 a.m. for a “priority well-being check,” and arrived on the scene to find Paul Pelosi and DePape holding a hammer.

    “The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it,” Scott said. “Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.”

    Nothing about the initial story is on the level. There is no way this guy broke into the house.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/10/28/nancy-pelosi-husband-assaulted-00063965

    • Agree: kaganovitch
  36. Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game.

    Agreed. Just because something is technology possible does not mean it will make things better.

    Electronic voting machines, for instance.

  37. From this angle the runner looks safe to me. The baseman is still sort of bobbling with the ball when the runner’s foot slams solidly into the bag. The ump got this one right, and he couldn’t even see what I see.

    I agree with Steve. Human decisions are part of sports. They are pretty much part of everything in human life, and, in high-trust societies at least, they tend to average out.

    Major League Baseball games don’t need any more pauses and sluggishness than they already have, either!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Man, it’s gonna be terrible if the ‘Stros win this series. Every jewish sportswriter in the country will be fallin all over himself writing how America be finally redeemed by Dusty winning the big one. See, Cito didn’t count cuz that was Canada and Dave don’t count cuz he sorta white.

  38. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    I’m going with the gay sex theory. According to the politico story the gay dude forced his way in the back door. Exactly. Maybe Pelosi is going to hog headlines to run interference for something… Hunter Biden… election cheating. Or maybe his / their time has come to exit.

  39. @EdwardM
    Gotta disagree here Steve. The goal should be to get the call right, whatever the cost, within reason. A few-minute delay on a pivotal play that might have decided a World Series game is a small cost.

    I have long thought of umpiring as one of the major scandals in the game. One issue is the reason you said -- the "close enough" approach when the play looks bang-bang (like the infamous cases turning a double play at second base). But those are hard to judge.

    Less excusable is the calling of balls and strikes. The strike zone is not the same for any two umpires, and some have been found to let it change over the course of the game. Star players probably get preferential calls. Teams even scout umpires to discover their strike-zone tendencies. (Not that it would be easy to tell whether a ball was a strike in any case.) This is outrageous and has no place in a sport.

    There should be robotic callers of balls and strikes. And maybe some kind of microchips inside bases, balls, gloves, and shoes could eliminate ambiguity on the basepaths?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason

    Scoring for fencing has been electric for many decades. It goes so fast that it would be close to impossible with the human eye (before electric they had other methods to see if you left a mark).

    You could probably check for whether the player is touching the base but it still wouldn’t answer all the questions. In the play Steve was talking about he caught the ball against the player’s body. It wasn’t in the glove when he caught it but at some point it was and at the same time the player’s foot reached the bag. Even if you know the timing of the latter you can’t judge the former electronically – the ball can be touching the glove without being IN the glove.

    Yes the umps call balls and strikes terribly but as long as they do it to all teams and players equally it all comes out in the wash. The question is whether they really do?

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Jack D


    The question is whether they really do?
     
    Well, you know who knows the answer to that, right?

    : )
  40. The controversy was made possible by the best catcher in baseball, JT Realmuto. Altuve should have made that steal easy. Then Realmuto wins the game in the 10th.

  41. If you were looking for a good analogy for modern policing, you could do worse than baseball umpires.

  42. @Dream
    https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1586088902292553731?t=OqgOBjNeo9kfhbSGN2S7fA&s=19

    Replies: @AndrewR, @Je Suis Omar Mateen, @RadicalCenter, @Barnard, @Ron Mexico, @Dutch Boy

    Perhaps the attacker was a supporter of MADD?

  43. Anonymous[310] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    From this angle the runner looks safe to me. The baseman is still sort of bobbling with the ball when the runner's foot slams solidly into the bag. The ump got this one right, and he couldn't even see what I see.

    I agree with Steve. Human decisions are part of sports. They are pretty much part of everything in human life, and, in high-trust societies at least, they tend to average out.

    Major League Baseball games don't need any more pauses and sluggishness than they already have, either!

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Man, it’s gonna be terrible if the ‘Stros win this series. Every jewish sportswriter in the country will be fallin all over himself writing how America be finally redeemed by Dusty winning the big one. See, Cito didn’t count cuz that was Canada and Dave don’t count cuz he sorta white.

  44. I agree. Let football do what it wants. Baseball wasn’t made for technological analysis.

  45. @Tony Tea
    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire's call stands.

    Replies: @Macumazahn, @Reg Cæsar, @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    It’s the same in baseball, and (American) football too.

  46. I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that “tie goes to the runner.”

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.

    Why is iSteve so hot about the pace of baseball games? It is one of the few sports that have no time clock for play. What’s the rush –having to post three more essays here by midnight?

    Baseball is best watched in a leisurely manner. Beer in hand or while reading something else and glancing up at the TV screen. In the ballpark expect a three or four hour event, with game and travel time (or even longer). You get your community experience in a live game, talk to your seat mates, etc. Expensive hot dogs beckon up and around back.

    Pro American football is a huge time sink. Yes, carefully timed but with (this is proven) about 19 minutes of actual “play” over a sixty minute official game. And that is stopped repeatedly for all kinds of things. So about 20 minutes of excitement (“look that oaf got a concussion!”) with say, a TV showing of at least two hours, often more. And numerous TV reffing challenges.

    Why not complain about that, every single TV game? Baseball has relatively few TV ump challenges.

    I agree that someday they may have electronic home plate “umps” along with the human one. I suspect the only reason why we don’t already see a “strike cube” on video/TV is that the Umpires Union won’t allow it. You’d need an overhead camera also, but doable (in outdoor ball fields, a drone camera).

    With flat 2-D video TV views, a lot of strikes look like balls due to curving, and vice versa.

    Basketball moves pretty fast overall but they do sometimes use video for some things, mainly whether shot clocks were running or stopped.

    I’m sure someday Zuck’s Meta thing will let you sit next to the umpires and make your own calls, virtually. I’d support that if you’d occasionally get hit by an errant throw or catch. “Ouch!”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Muggles

    There are 162 regular season games, a gigantic number. Getting them down to 2.5 hours on average would fit better into people's schedules. Let the home team's game end before a 13 year old has to go to bed. They are anticipating the pitch clock coming soon will cut something like 28 minutes off the game, which would be great.

    , @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @Muggles


    I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that “tie goes to the runner.”

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.
     
    Segura's glove touched Altuve before Altuve's foot touched second base. The question was whether the baseball was in Segura's glove to the extent that it was sufficient to count as a tag - i.e., was it just inside of the glove, or was it firmly in the pocket? Should that matter?

    Had the call on the field been an out, my guess is that would have stood against video review too - but only because you can't see inside of Segura's glove. That still doesn't answer the question of when the ball is "in" the glove for the purposes of a tag.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Muggles

    Major League games take a lot longer than they used to, to the point that they've become parodies of those great, old experiences we remember. I believe Steve crunched the numbers for us here a while back.

    With the added time, and less emphasis on fielding, it's gotten to be like four hours of watching golfers line up their putts and discuss club choices with their caddies, interspersed with occasional drives. Come to think of it, it's gotten to be like watching golf. (Which I actually sometimes enjoy, believe it or not.)

    Replies: @Feryl

  47. @Steve Sailer
    @EdwardM

    It sounds like robotic calling of balls and strikes can be implemented without slowing down the game, so why not?

    Catchers wouldn't want it because they get paid these days for pitch framing -- making balls seem like strikes to the umpire. But that's an esoteric skill that doesn't add much to the typical fan's enjoyment of the game compared to, say, getting a catcher who can hit or throw out base stealers.

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player's height, stance, and proportions, but it should solve the edge of the plate problem that exists with human umpires.

    Replies: @Hodag, @Ganderson, @Slim, @SafeNow

    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player’s height, stance, and proportions… – Steve

    What if the technician sets the top and bottom at the moment the batter assumes his stance, awaiting the pitch, but then, when the pitch is on its way, the batter goes into a deeper crouch or a more erect crouch? How does it work now? Does the box change to reflect the change in stance? One virtue of using an umpire is that I presume the umpire’s call is based upon the final stance assumed by the player. (Forgive me if I sound naïve about this but I don’t watch much baseball now because I don’t like many of the players, even though I admire their athleticism.)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @SafeNow


    Forgive me if I sound naïve about this but I don’t watch much baseball now because I don’t like many of the players, even though I admire their athleticism.
     
    https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-i-m-not-an-athlete-i-m-a-professional-baseball-player-john-kruk-70-3-0354.jpg
  48. @AndrewR
    @Dream

    The GOP is truly the party of cucks. When Rand Paul was assaulted by his neighbor, the Pelosis' daughter publicly praised the attack. Rand rightfully brought up her shameful behavior while taking the high road and condemning the attack on Mr. Nancy Pelosi. Shitlibs proceeded to pile on him anyway. Let's not forget he was at the baseball game that was attacked by the nutjob commie, so he has nothing to prove to these evil people.


    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/rand-paul-nancy-pelosi-daughter-husband-tweet-b2213101.html%3famp

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    Don’t forget that Rand Paul and his wife Kelly (among others) were mobbed by Antifa/BLM types after leaving the 2020 RNC which was held outside on the White House grounds because the full-scale Convention scheduled to be held in Charlotte was screwed with on “public health” grounds by North Carolina’s Democratic Governor. The left take on that was that his presence on the streets of the Nation’s Capitol was “provocative” and therefore he deserved the rough treatment and physical threats.

  49. @silviosilver
    Baseball already moves at a snail's pace so anyone willing to sit through that should probably be able to sit through a bit of video review. Maybe do it the NFL way, and issue each team with x number of challenges. It works in NFL because getting the challenge wrong costs you a timeout but (it seems to me) sometimes coaches are in a better position to see what happened than officials and they can confidently challenge. Imo this doesn't interrupt the flow of the game much. As a bettor, it's cost me games and won me games (not on any last play that I can recall, but I think there might have been a couple on the last score).

    Video review is the worst in soccer, totally interrupting the flow of the game as the ref has to trudge over to the screen, which is usually no where near where he is. (Can't they just put two screens at the ground, one at each end near the goals, where the most controversial calls are going to happen anyway?) I don't even watch soccer anymore so I don't care, but it was on TV at my parent's house so I caught a bit of the recent Barcelona vs Bayern (I think it was) game as I was waiting for my food to cook. Barcelona got a late penalty, and the players did their crowd-around-the-ref-and-protest thing, and just as I was thinking why do they bother with this, when does the ref ever change his mind, the ref after listening to a good 30 seconds maybe 1 minute of player protests drew a square sign in the air with his fingers, signifying he was going to video review it, and then he changed the call to no penalty. It was the 'right' call but isn't spectator sport supposed to be about fun and drama? Well reversing calls like this completely sucks the fun and the drama out of it, almost as bad as provisionally declaring someone the winner but vowing to review the game over the weekend then and changing the score as needed.

    Replies: @Anon7, @Edward Haze

    It blows my mind that anyone puts up with it for soccer. It ruins the one best thing about soccer, which is the pure unbridled PANDAMONIUM on a goal. Now you have to wait for the replay! Totally ruins the emotional momentum for spectators.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Edward Haze

    You're right, you're absolutely right.

    I wonder how they handle it in south America. Do the announcers actually wait for the "correct signal" before they commence the cacophonous, repetitive, unimaginative GOOOOOOOOOL!!!!! calls? (Apparently, it was written into their constitutions at time of independence that that is the only permissible way for announcers to celebrate a goal.) Or do they it twice, once for the presumptive goal and again for the confirmation?

    I must say though, I get a kick out of a call being reversed in NFL, seeing the players' long faces after they've squandered their elaborately rehearsed end zone dances.

  50. @Tony Tea
    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire's call stands.

    Replies: @Macumazahn, @Reg Cæsar, @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.

    That helps speed the matches up– to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don’t turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.

    That’s by the individual, not the entire side. In one match.

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Reg Cæsar

    As they say in Aotearoa, "Black Caps Matter". Or, in that other sport, "All-Black Lives Matter".

    , @meh
    @Reg Cæsar


    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?
     
    Yes, Lord's, the home of the MCC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marylebone_Cricket_Club

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s#MCC_Museum_and_Library

    MCC Museum and Library

    The Ashes urn on display at the Lord's Museum

    Lord's is the home of the MCC Museum, which is the oldest sports museum in the world, and contains the world's most celebrated collection of cricket memorabilia, including The Ashes urn.[130] MCC has been collecting memorabilia since 1864, the collection being originated by Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, who subsequently became the club Treasurer.[131] These items were originally displayed in the pavilion, limiting access to the collection to MCC members. Following the Second World War the collection had outgrown its home in the pavilion, with a decision made to relocate the collection and open it to the public. The MCC moved the collection to a disused rackets court, which had fallen into disrepair during the war, with this location also acting as a memorial to the fallen members of the MCC from the two world wars.[132] They appointed Diana Rait Kerr, "to whom the game owes a great debt", to be the first full-time creator of the museum and library, a position she held from 1945 to 1968.[131] The museum was officially opened to the public as the Imperial Memorial Collection by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. During her tenure as curator, Rait Kerr secured donations of pictures, equipment and other artefacts from around the world.[132] Rait Kerr was succeeded as curator by Stephen Green in 1968.[131] The museum today welcomes around 50,000 visitors per year.[132]

    Amongst the items on display include cricket kit used by Victor Trumper, Jack Hobbs, Don Bradman, Shane Warne, and others; many items related to the career of W. G. Grace; and curiosities such as the stuffed sparrow that was 'bowled out' by Jahangir Khan of Cambridge University in delivering a ball to T. N. Pearce batting for the MCC on 3 July 1936. It also contains the battered copy of Wisden that helped to sustain E. W. Swanton through his captivity in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War. It continues to collect historic artefacts and also commissions new paintings and photography.[132] It contains the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre, a cinema which screens historical cricket footage for visitors. The museum collaborates with a number of national museums and schools through active loans, in addition to community and tour programmes. It is a member of the Sporting Heritage network.[130]

    Lord's also has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of books and publications dedicated to cricket. The library includes over 20,000 volumes and grows by around 400 volumes a year. The library encourages donations from authors and publishers. The library operates as a private library for MCC members on match days, but is open by appointment on non-match days.[130] It was expanded in the 1980s with the opening of a new library in the tennis court block to the rear of the pavilion,[133] having previously been housed in a small office in the pavilion.[134] In 2010, a selection of 100 duplicates from the library's collection was offered for auction by Christie's with proceeds going to support the library.[135]
     
    Lord's and Cooperstown did a museum exchange maybe 10-15 years ago, where there was a baseball history display at Lord's followed by a cricket history display at Cooperstown.
    , @meh
    @Reg Cæsar


    That helps speed the matches up– to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don’t turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.
     
    Cricket has different formats. There's the five day international test match. The four day "first class" match (for instance county cricket in England). And it's not like they play from sunup to sundown; IIRC it's like a six hour day with breaks for lunch and tea. And there's more recent innovations; the one day international (ODI), about six hours, and the twenty twenty or T20, about three hours.

    You should try thinking of the long format cricket matches in terms of a seven game series in baseball: the fact that it is considered a single match is simply a matter of adjusting your expectations about what a "match" or "game" is.

    Or try thinking of it in terms of golf: no one thinks it odd that a golf tournament lasts four days or more.

    Just as few people have the time to watch an entire golf tournament but they may keep track of it throughout the day or throughout the week, so also cricket fans follow their sport. Or so I have heard.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  51. @Reg Cæsar
    @Tony Tea


    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.
     
    That helps speed the matches up-- to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don't turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.


    https://i0.wp.com/cricketaddictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-design-65.png


    That's by the individual, not the entire side. In one match.

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @meh, @meh

    As they say in Aotearoa, “Black Caps Matter”. Or, in that other sport, “All-Black Lives Matter”.

  52. @SafeNow
    @Steve Sailer


    It would still put some judgment in the hands of the technician who sets the top and bottom of the strike zone relative to each player’s height, stance, and proportions… - Steve
     
    What if the technician sets the top and bottom at the moment the batter assumes his stance, awaiting the pitch, but then, when the pitch is on its way, the batter goes into a deeper crouch or a more erect crouch? How does it work now? Does the box change to reflect the change in stance? One virtue of using an umpire is that I presume the umpire’s call is based upon the final stance assumed by the player. (Forgive me if I sound naïve about this but I don’t watch much baseball now because I don’t like many of the players, even though I admire their athleticism.)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Forgive me if I sound naïve about this but I don’t watch much baseball now because I don’t like many of the players, even though I admire their athleticism.

  53. @Danindc
    In short, umpires and referees are really good at their jobs. I do like replay in the NFL though. It’s good to get call right if you can.

    That said, I’ve asked many people what big sports moments would’ve been different had there been replay.

    MLB - Don Denkinger 85 World Series for sure. Cardinals probably win that. So to your point Steve, Cards fans would disagree.

    NFL doesn’t have a big one. Maybe Dan Pastorini’s Oilers team wins the Super Bowl in 1979 if they don’t call Mike Renfro out of bounds. That was a close one though.

    College fball- Colorado probably doesn’t get a national title using a 5th down vs Missouri.

    Any other big misses before replay?

    Replies: @Russ, @Catdompanj

    “MLB – Don Denkinger 85 World Series for sure. Cardinals probably win that. So to your point Steve, Cards fans would disagree.”

    OT: There is a great life-lesson from that incident. Later in that inning, Cardinals 1B Jack Clark and C Darrell Porter collided and let a very catchable foul pop drop, thus helping Kansas City complete its 9th-inning comeback in that 1985 WS Game 6. Fast forward to the 2003 NLCS: After the notorious Steve Bartman foul ball play, the Cubs shortstop (one Alex Gonzalez, I believe) soon let a perfect double-play ball go through his legs for a huge error benefitting the Marlins. The lesson is that after such a situation, it’s imperative for the manager or head coach (or team leader … captain … what have you) to get out there and focus that team going forward, given the situation as it is.

  54. Stave-

    I think you may have the most thoughtful comments section for any blog.

    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @BosTex


    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).
     
    The problem with this is that the networks have multiple camera angle instant replays and for the NFL the networks have former officials to watch the replay by multiple camera angles and cite the rule as to which outcome is correct. So in your prescription the on the field officials are going to get things obviously wrong without correction, and people will notice.

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.
     
    I think people watching something else is the problem. Kids never getting to know the game and playing something faster paced, and in turn never becoming spectators is a big fear of MLB. Without television viewership the revenues would not support the costs of the MLB.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Colin Wright
    @BosTex

    'Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.'

    It used to be a lot faster-paced. Those patient 19th century types never had to sit still for a three hour baseball game. Try an hour and a half/two hours.

  55. Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year) was to entertain clients and business associates at the corporate box in Foxboro (this was years ago).

    Frankly, became a loathsome chore, nobody wanted to do it: not the junior sales reps, not the senior sales reps, not the client account managers:
    No One! Certainly: not me.

    Pro Football is tiresome to watch, live. Even worse, would take hours to get to the game and park and then hours to leave. I recall one game where I didn’t get home until 2 am for a 6 am wake up. The entire day,
    From leaving the house to arriving home was greater than 12 hours.

    Clients and other business partners would typically only go once: they didn’t realize what a huge time suck the entire “game experience” was.

    ————————————————————————————-

    By comparison: entertaining at Fenway or at the Garden for the Celts was terrific. Fun games with a short commute home.

    Everyone loved those invites, especially the Celts were the best since an old time player would always visit the box at half.

    super easy to bring your kids, etc. you weren’t going to be sitting in a car until 2 AM so not a chore to bring even a little one.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @BosTex


    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year) was to entertain clients and business associates at the corporate box in Foxboro (this was years ago).

    Frankly, became a loathsome chore, nobody wanted to do it: not the junior sales reps, not the senior sales reps, not the client account managers:
    No One! Certainly: not me.

    Pro Football is tiresome to watch, live. Even worse, would take hours to get to the game and park and then hours to leave. I recall one game where I didn’t get home until 2 am for a 6 am wake up. The entire day,
    From leaving the house to arriving home was greater than 12 hours.

    Clients and other business partners would typically only go once: they didn’t realize what a huge time suck the entire “game experience” was.
     
    This seems to be due to the fact that Fenway and the Garden are in Boston proper and accessible from all directions by public transportation which would permit people to disperse after a game rather efficiently. This is not the case everywhere - plenty of MLB and other stadiums are outside of the urban core and accessible by a highway alone which would present the same problem you had at Foxboro. It's like that in Philadelphia - all four major teams play in stadiums in an industrial part of far South Philadelphia pretty much right off of I-95, so a few tens of thousands of cars can all be leaving the parking lot at the same time - some trying to go to the bridges to NJ, others to 95 North to Northeast Philadelphia and the Northern Suburbs, others to 95 South for the Southern and Western suburbs, etc., which is horrible and an enormous waste of time (it would seem to make sense to segregate parking lots depending on which way you want to go when you leave).

    You were probably also a victim of the Patriots being good for so long that they were more commonly playing 4:00 or Sunday Night games (for national television purposes) instead of 1:00 starts.

    It would seem to me that a couple of extra bucks for a hotel in Foxboro might have been well spent.
    , @kaganovitch
    @BosTex

    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year)

    Excellent typo, bro!

    Replies: @BosTex

  56. @RadicalCenter
    @Jim Christian

    Are you annoyed or offended by people betting on baseball?
    Is the implication that the games are rigged for the sake of connected gamblers?

    Seems like the players, and the vast majority of fans who do not bet on baseball, would also benefit from the fairness and consistency of an objective electronic strike zone.

    Replies: @Jim Christian

    Are you annoyed or offended by people betting on baseball?
    Is the implication that the games are rigged for the sake of connected gamblers?

    Couldn’t care less what people bet on. I only bet my weekly poker game. Replay in athletic sports keeps refs and umpires honest, however. Sports betting has become so huge, it requires replay to maintain credibility. And the masters know it.

  57. Totally agree.
    Let the umpires, on the field, decide.
    The cry of we must get it right strikes me as typical of the superficial nature of all our public debates. From war and peace, to social strife, and everything in between we seem incapable of conducting a mature public debate.
    Instead we are bombarded with slogans, memes, bathos, outrage and juvenile behavior that makes even silly arguments presented quietly with complete sentences seem quaintly old fashioned by comparison. That the arguments put forward are often silly, and inconsistent seems besides the point so starved are we for some sign, no matter how faint, that we are a nation of grown ups.

  58. @Tony Tea
    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire's call stands.

    Replies: @Macumazahn, @Reg Cæsar, @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.

    With essentially ambiguous plays like the Segura tag at second on Altuve, I’m of the opinion that the Umpire should not make a call one way or the other – it should have gone to video replay without a presumption against or in favor of the put out. Let the frame by frame analysis get it as close to correct as humanly possible, especially in momentous games like the World Series where a runner in scoring position versus an out can be the difference in a game and a Series (the game was tied in the bottom of the 9th inning with two outs when Altuve stole second – Altuve would have scored on the next at bat and ended the game absent an outstanding defensive play in right field and the game would have gone to Houston instead of Philadelphia). Even if there is no clear answer delivered by the reply, fans will have a set of precedents with which to judge future similar plays.

    I’m also of the opinion that pacing reforms should be suspended in the playoffs. Slow pacing kills regular season baseball over 162 games for a low attention span audience of 2022, but in the playoffs and World Series I think the slow pacing adds to the rising action and augments the drama of each pitch. Particularly on two strike counts (and even more so in two out, two strike counts) it permits the full house crowds to amp up the fan noise and tension for the pitch. That’s really the essence of baseball – building action that explodes with a ball that is truly “in play” for very brief periods of time. (Baseball is most like football in this respect in that the action before the snap is part of building up the drama of the ensuing play – so much so that in the anxiety of anticipating the snap players often misjudge it and commit false start/neutral zone infraction penalties).

  59. @Muggles
    I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that "tie goes to the runner."

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.

    Why is iSteve so hot about the pace of baseball games? It is one of the few sports that have no time clock for play. What's the rush --having to post three more essays here by midnight?

    Baseball is best watched in a leisurely manner. Beer in hand or while reading something else and glancing up at the TV screen. In the ballpark expect a three or four hour event, with game and travel time (or even longer). You get your community experience in a live game, talk to your seat mates, etc. Expensive hot dogs beckon up and around back.

    Pro American football is a huge time sink. Yes, carefully timed but with (this is proven) about 19 minutes of actual "play" over a sixty minute official game. And that is stopped repeatedly for all kinds of things. So about 20 minutes of excitement ("look that oaf got a concussion!") with say, a TV showing of at least two hours, often more. And numerous TV reffing challenges.

    Why not complain about that, every single TV game? Baseball has relatively few TV ump challenges.

    I agree that someday they may have electronic home plate "umps" along with the human one. I suspect the only reason why we don't already see a "strike cube" on video/TV is that the Umpires Union won't allow it. You'd need an overhead camera also, but doable (in outdoor ball fields, a drone camera).

    With flat 2-D video TV views, a lot of strikes look like balls due to curving, and vice versa.

    Basketball moves pretty fast overall but they do sometimes use video for some things, mainly whether shot clocks were running or stopped.

    I'm sure someday Zuck's Meta thing will let you sit next to the umpires and make your own calls, virtually. I'd support that if you'd occasionally get hit by an errant throw or catch. "Ouch!"

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Alec Leamas (working from home), @Buzz Mohawk

    There are 162 regular season games, a gigantic number. Getting them down to 2.5 hours on average would fit better into people’s schedules. Let the home team’s game end before a 13 year old has to go to bed. They are anticipating the pitch clock coming soon will cut something like 28 minutes off the game, which would be great.

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
  60. @JimDandy
    I think of myself as a purist, but I totally support an electronic strike zone. The umps' balls-strikes calling is so bad sometimes that I'm embarrassed for the game.

    Replies: @Marquis, @AnotherDad, @Mike Tre, @CobraTalk

    In the Good Old Days, umpires had personalized strike zones that pitchers and catchers had to play to. Since the electronic strike zone came about, umpires have gotten way better at adhering to it.

  61. @BosTex
    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year) was to entertain clients and business associates at the corporate box in Foxboro (this was years ago).

    Frankly, became a loathsome chore, nobody wanted to do it: not the junior sales reps, not the senior sales reps, not the client account managers:
    No One! Certainly: not me.

    Pro Football is tiresome to watch, live. Even worse, would take hours to get to the game and park and then hours to leave. I recall one game where I didn’t get home until 2 am for a 6 am wake up. The entire day,
    From leaving the house to arriving home was greater than 12 hours.

    Clients and other business partners would typically only go once: they didn’t realize what a huge time suck the entire “game experience” was.

    ————————————————————————————-

    By comparison: entertaining at Fenway or at the Garden for the Celts was terrific. Fun games with a short commute home.

    Everyone loved those invites, especially the Celts were the best since an old time player would always visit the box at half.

    super easy to bring your kids, etc. you weren’t going to be sitting in a car until 2 AM so not a chore to bring even a little one.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home), @kaganovitch

    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year) was to entertain clients and business associates at the corporate box in Foxboro (this was years ago).

    Frankly, became a loathsome chore, nobody wanted to do it: not the junior sales reps, not the senior sales reps, not the client account managers:
    No One! Certainly: not me.

    Pro Football is tiresome to watch, live. Even worse, would take hours to get to the game and park and then hours to leave. I recall one game where I didn’t get home until 2 am for a 6 am wake up. The entire day,
    From leaving the house to arriving home was greater than 12 hours.

    Clients and other business partners would typically only go once: they didn’t realize what a huge time suck the entire “game experience” was.

    This seems to be due to the fact that Fenway and the Garden are in Boston proper and accessible from all directions by public transportation which would permit people to disperse after a game rather efficiently. This is not the case everywhere – plenty of MLB and other stadiums are outside of the urban core and accessible by a highway alone which would present the same problem you had at Foxboro. It’s like that in Philadelphia – all four major teams play in stadiums in an industrial part of far South Philadelphia pretty much right off of I-95, so a few tens of thousands of cars can all be leaving the parking lot at the same time – some trying to go to the bridges to NJ, others to 95 North to Northeast Philadelphia and the Northern Suburbs, others to 95 South for the Southern and Western suburbs, etc., which is horrible and an enormous waste of time (it would seem to make sense to segregate parking lots depending on which way you want to go when you leave).

    You were probably also a victim of the Patriots being good for so long that they were more commonly playing 4:00 or Sunday Night games (for national television purposes) instead of 1:00 starts.

    It would seem to me that a couple of extra bucks for a hotel in Foxboro might have been well spent.

  62. @Muggles
    I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that "tie goes to the runner."

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.

    Why is iSteve so hot about the pace of baseball games? It is one of the few sports that have no time clock for play. What's the rush --having to post three more essays here by midnight?

    Baseball is best watched in a leisurely manner. Beer in hand or while reading something else and glancing up at the TV screen. In the ballpark expect a three or four hour event, with game and travel time (or even longer). You get your community experience in a live game, talk to your seat mates, etc. Expensive hot dogs beckon up and around back.

    Pro American football is a huge time sink. Yes, carefully timed but with (this is proven) about 19 minutes of actual "play" over a sixty minute official game. And that is stopped repeatedly for all kinds of things. So about 20 minutes of excitement ("look that oaf got a concussion!") with say, a TV showing of at least two hours, often more. And numerous TV reffing challenges.

    Why not complain about that, every single TV game? Baseball has relatively few TV ump challenges.

    I agree that someday they may have electronic home plate "umps" along with the human one. I suspect the only reason why we don't already see a "strike cube" on video/TV is that the Umpires Union won't allow it. You'd need an overhead camera also, but doable (in outdoor ball fields, a drone camera).

    With flat 2-D video TV views, a lot of strikes look like balls due to curving, and vice versa.

    Basketball moves pretty fast overall but they do sometimes use video for some things, mainly whether shot clocks were running or stopped.

    I'm sure someday Zuck's Meta thing will let you sit next to the umpires and make your own calls, virtually. I'd support that if you'd occasionally get hit by an errant throw or catch. "Ouch!"

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Alec Leamas (working from home), @Buzz Mohawk

    I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that “tie goes to the runner.”

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.

    Segura’s glove touched Altuve before Altuve’s foot touched second base. The question was whether the baseball was in Segura’s glove to the extent that it was sufficient to count as a tag – i.e., was it just inside of the glove, or was it firmly in the pocket? Should that matter?

    Had the call on the field been an out, my guess is that would have stood against video review too – but only because you can’t see inside of Segura’s glove. That still doesn’t answer the question of when the ball is “in” the glove for the purposes of a tag.

  63. @Danindc
    In short, umpires and referees are really good at their jobs. I do like replay in the NFL though. It’s good to get call right if you can.

    That said, I’ve asked many people what big sports moments would’ve been different had there been replay.

    MLB - Don Denkinger 85 World Series for sure. Cardinals probably win that. So to your point Steve, Cards fans would disagree.

    NFL doesn’t have a big one. Maybe Dan Pastorini’s Oilers team wins the Super Bowl in 1979 if they don’t call Mike Renfro out of bounds. That was a close one though.

    College fball- Colorado probably doesn’t get a national title using a 5th down vs Missouri.

    Any other big misses before replay?

    Replies: @Russ, @Catdompanj

    Wasn’t the Immaculate Reception illegal since the football hit Franco Harris’ teammate Frenchy Fuqua’s helmet first before he caught it? At that time an offensive player couldn’t catch it if it hit a teammate first, you could only catch a touched or tipped ball off of a defensive player. At least that’s my recollection.
    In the NHL blind ref Leon Stickle blew an offside call giving the Islanders a Stanley Cup series win in tame 6 over the Flyers.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    @Catdompanj

    Good call on Steelers but Oakland lost in next round iirc. Need to look up Stickle. Never heard of that

    Replies: @Catdompanj

  64. @Hypnotoad666

    Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game.
     
    The problem is that many calls in sports require a human to decide which of two things that happen at different places, happened first. This is often literally impossible to know because humans can only look at one place at a time. Call it the sportsball uncertainty principle.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    The problem is that many calls in sports require a human to decide which of two things that happen at different places, happened first. This is often literally impossible to know because humans can only look at one place at a time.

    Since there is an umpire fixed at first base, he is taught to listen to the sound of the ball hitting the firstbaseman’s mitt vis-à-vis looking to see when the runner’s foot touched first base. This may be a reason for Don Dekinger’s call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, as Jack Clark soft-tossed the ball to Todd Worrell covering first base. The sound wasn’t loud enough, leading to Denkinger calling Jorge Orta safe.

    The footnote is that because of the way baseball rotates umpires, the guy who is at first one day is behind the plate the next, leading to the Cardinals’ manager and pitcher being ejected, as they were still hot from the night before. Also, the 1985 World Series was the last one in which each game was played in less than 3 hours.

  65. @Farenheit

    the grounds that the tie goes to the runner
     
    On my first day of training to be a little league umpire, the instructor, a silicon valley engineer, made this quip about the above quote, I paraphrase.

    "There is NO, "tie goes to the runner" in the rule book. If a runner gets to a base a second early, they're safe. Can't tell, go to tenth of a second. Still can't tell, go the hundredth of second. Keep going to you can make the call. There is no "tie"".

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    a silicon valley engineer, made this quip about the above quote, I paraphrase.

    “There is NO, “tie goes to the runner” in the rule book. If a runner gets to a base a second early, they’re safe. Can’t tell, go to tenth of a second. Still can’t tell, go the hundredth of second. Keep going to you can make the call. There is no “tie””.

    Sadly, this merely proves that the engineer can’t read. Based on the way an out is defined in the rulebook, by implication a tie does indeed go the runner.

  66. @Muggles
    I was always taught (in the scrub school kids ball park) that "tie goes to the runner."

    The Altuve play looked like that in all of the vids.

    So a very close call. I have seen field umps make the wrong call clearly seen on videos. Usually not challenged either.

    Why is iSteve so hot about the pace of baseball games? It is one of the few sports that have no time clock for play. What's the rush --having to post three more essays here by midnight?

    Baseball is best watched in a leisurely manner. Beer in hand or while reading something else and glancing up at the TV screen. In the ballpark expect a three or four hour event, with game and travel time (or even longer). You get your community experience in a live game, talk to your seat mates, etc. Expensive hot dogs beckon up and around back.

    Pro American football is a huge time sink. Yes, carefully timed but with (this is proven) about 19 minutes of actual "play" over a sixty minute official game. And that is stopped repeatedly for all kinds of things. So about 20 minutes of excitement ("look that oaf got a concussion!") with say, a TV showing of at least two hours, often more. And numerous TV reffing challenges.

    Why not complain about that, every single TV game? Baseball has relatively few TV ump challenges.

    I agree that someday they may have electronic home plate "umps" along with the human one. I suspect the only reason why we don't already see a "strike cube" on video/TV is that the Umpires Union won't allow it. You'd need an overhead camera also, but doable (in outdoor ball fields, a drone camera).

    With flat 2-D video TV views, a lot of strikes look like balls due to curving, and vice versa.

    Basketball moves pretty fast overall but they do sometimes use video for some things, mainly whether shot clocks were running or stopped.

    I'm sure someday Zuck's Meta thing will let you sit next to the umpires and make your own calls, virtually. I'd support that if you'd occasionally get hit by an errant throw or catch. "Ouch!"

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Alec Leamas (working from home), @Buzz Mohawk

    Major League games take a lot longer than they used to, to the point that they’ve become parodies of those great, old experiences we remember. I believe Steve crunched the numbers for us here a while back.

    With the added time, and less emphasis on fielding, it’s gotten to be like four hours of watching golfers line up their putts and discuss club choices with their caddies, interspersed with occasional drives. Come to think of it, it’s gotten to be like watching golf. (Which I actually sometimes enjoy, believe it or not.)

    • Replies: @Feryl
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Salaries are so high now that players have huge levels of anxiety about every damn pitch. There could be literally millions of dollars hinging on how well you play. Games between the Red Sox and Yankees are the longest because of the high profile nature of them, which tenses up the players.

    On a similar level, football players, depending on position, used to do little to no body-building and dieting back in the days when pay was unremarkable. Nowadays some wide receivers have bulging rippled muscles.

  67. @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    Wasn't the Immaculate Reception illegal since the football hit Franco Harris' teammate Frenchy Fuqua's helmet first before he caught it? At that time an offensive player couldn't catch it if it hit a teammate first, you could only catch a touched or tipped ball off of a defensive player. At least that's my recollection.
    In the NHL blind ref Leon Stickle blew an offside call giving the Islanders a Stanley Cup series win in tame 6 over the Flyers.

    Replies: @Danindc

    Good call on Steelers but Oakland lost in next round iirc. Need to look up Stickle. Never heard of that

    • Replies: @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    How could Oakland lose in the next round? The Illegal Reception knocked them out that year.

    Replies: @Danindc

  68. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Muggles

    Major League games take a lot longer than they used to, to the point that they've become parodies of those great, old experiences we remember. I believe Steve crunched the numbers for us here a while back.

    With the added time, and less emphasis on fielding, it's gotten to be like four hours of watching golfers line up their putts and discuss club choices with their caddies, interspersed with occasional drives. Come to think of it, it's gotten to be like watching golf. (Which I actually sometimes enjoy, believe it or not.)

    Replies: @Feryl

    Salaries are so high now that players have huge levels of anxiety about every damn pitch. There could be literally millions of dollars hinging on how well you play. Games between the Red Sox and Yankees are the longest because of the high profile nature of them, which tenses up the players.

    On a similar level, football players, depending on position, used to do little to no body-building and dieting back in the days when pay was unremarkable. Nowadays some wide receivers have bulging rippled muscles.

  69. Video review would’ve made Don Denkinger’s life much more pleasant, as well as mine

  70. This one in 1987 was even worse

  71. @BosTex
    Stave-

    I think you may have the most thoughtful comments section for any blog.

    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home), @Colin Wright

    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).

    The problem with this is that the networks have multiple camera angle instant replays and for the NFL the networks have former officials to watch the replay by multiple camera angles and cite the rule as to which outcome is correct. So in your prescription the on the field officials are going to get things obviously wrong without correction, and people will notice.

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.

    I think people watching something else is the problem. Kids never getting to know the game and playing something faster paced, and in turn never becoming spectators is a big fear of MLB. Without television viewership the revenues would not support the costs of the MLB.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    Blockbuster movies these days have gotten longer, maybe 2:30 or 2:40, but three hours is too long, it makes problems for movie theaters. Baseball games should aim for 2:30 during the regular season.

    I could, though, see rules finetuned to let the 9th innings of close games slow down, the way basketball and football games take forever to play the last two minutes of close games.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  72. “Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game.”

    Agreed, but this play was just plain embarrassing, even for way back in the day…

    https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/world-series-game-1-orioles-reds-cincinnati-usa-6654435c

    Famous play from 1970 WS, when CIN baserunner Bernie Carbo slides across home plate and C BAL Elrod Hendricks tags him with his glove, but the ball is in his other hand. Carbo was called out.

    The whole television audience saw an MLB umpire make an egregious call. Carbo was clearly safe.

    IF the argument becomes “Well, come on, obviously the ump would’ve made the correct call if his back wasn’t to the plate and he didn’t have a good view of the play”, then that strengthens the case made for letting those kinds of decisions be overruled in favor of the video camera.

    For the most part, instant review works in the NFL, and the majority of fans are satisfied with it.

    In the NFL, a similar play occurred in the 1979 AFC Championship game, where the HOU TE caught a ball with both feet in bounds. Unfortunately, the head referee had his back turned and ruled it an incomplete catch. At the time, the NFL did not have instant review of on field plays, as they do now.
    Experts have pointed to this play as being crucial in the NFL adopting instant review later on.

    The point being whether in the playoffs or in the WS, these are the biggest games in a sport’s season, the postseason. If a particular league can’t make an accurate call for whatever the reason, perhaps the ultimate decision should be made at the top, from the league headquarters.

    The standard is not to make an egregious call, even one time, let alone on the biggest stage of the sport (e.g. WS, postseason), because then the story isn’t about the positive aspects of the sport, but about the inaccuracies of the sport’s officials and how their inaccurate calls directly impact the game itself.

    Because come on, Steve. Bernie Carbo was clearly safe. Instant replay in 1970 clearly demonstrated that fact. And this play occurred during the WS, that’s definitely a bad look for the sport.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Why did the umpire get between the sliding baserunner and the catcher?

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Mike Tre
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The play that brought IR back to the NFL for good (it was tried and voted away in the late 80's)
    was this QB sneak from 1998, in a game that had plenty of poor officiating up to that point. The ball Vinnie Testaverde was carrying was clearly a good foot short of the goal line when he was tackled, but the result was ruled a touchdown anyway. Seattle was bounced from the playoffs and their coach was fired.

    https://youtu.be/OHt5bX1QxP8

  73. “I used to wonder how baseball umpires could be so decisive about calling baserunners safe or out on chaotic tag plays when the defender attempts to apply the glove with the ball in it to runner’s sliding body before he touches the base. I figured they must just be better at seeing what looked like a flailing mess than I am.”

    My son (who is into all things baseball …) went to umpire school (not the one for MLB, but he can call high school games …). They *TEACH* you to call things emphatically. Even if you aren’t sure, you act like you are certain.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Mark Roulo


    They *TEACH* you to call things emphatically. Even if you aren’t sure, you act like you are certain.
     
    I learned that myself from playing tennis with friends. The more emphatic you are about the ball being out - duuude, it wasn't just out by a bit, it was waaaay out - the quicker your opponent will back down. At worst you'll replay the point.
  74. @RadicalCenter
    @Hodag

    Kelleher should have been soundly beaten and then prosecuted and jailed for battery. He reacted with illegal excessive dangerous violence in response to something expected and allowed as part of the game.

    Replies: @Hodag

    Almost everyone in baseball hated Kingman.

    Kelleher was a Fenian hero.

  75. @Hodag
    @Steve Sailer

    I strongly support the neighborhood play at second for double plays. It prevents infielders from getting their legs broken by Pete Rose types. It should never be subject to replay.

    Balls and strikes by robot plus shot clock for pitches should be implemented.

    This play is one way baseball has been changed by replay and sabermetrics. A caught stealing his a huge defensive win, 1/27 of your defensive output. Throwing the ball to a glove on the runner is risky - it could hit the runner and then he has a chance to go to 3d. But how often does that happen? That is quantifiable.
    However you save half a beat where the defender had to catch THEN apply the tag. All my life, until five or so years ago the ball was thrown waist high then dropped by the infielder. Remember Ozzie Smith gracefully dipping the glove down and getting out of dodge?

    Aside: a favorite baseball memory was the Padres playing the Cubs and Dave Kingman (Padres) went hard into 2d to break up a double play. Mick Kelleher, the Cubs jockey-like 2d baseman got bowled over, took exception, literally jumped on top of Kingman as he was laying there and pounded the hell out of his face.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter, @Steve Sailer

    2nd basemen tend to have injury shortened careers because they get hurt a lot turning the double play.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    And also all the collisions they endure by baserunners attempting to break up the DP.

  76. @Steve Sailer
    @Hodag

    2nd basemen tend to have injury shortened careers because they get hurt a lot turning the double play.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    And also all the collisions they endure by baserunners attempting to break up the DP.

  77. @Jack D
    @EdwardM

    Scoring for fencing has been electric for many decades. It goes so fast that it would be close to impossible with the human eye (before electric they had other methods to see if you left a mark).

    You could probably check for whether the player is touching the base but it still wouldn't answer all the questions. In the play Steve was talking about he caught the ball against the player's body. It wasn't in the glove when he caught it but at some point it was and at the same time the player's foot reached the bag. Even if you know the timing of the latter you can't judge the former electronically - the ball can be touching the glove without being IN the glove.

    Yes the umps call balls and strikes terribly but as long as they do it to all teams and players equally it all comes out in the wash. The question is whether they really do?

    Replies: @silviosilver

    The question is whether they really do?

    Well, you know who knows the answer to that, right?

    : )

  78. @EdwardM
    Gotta disagree here Steve. The goal should be to get the call right, whatever the cost, within reason. A few-minute delay on a pivotal play that might have decided a World Series game is a small cost.

    I have long thought of umpiring as one of the major scandals in the game. One issue is the reason you said -- the "close enough" approach when the play looks bang-bang (like the infamous cases turning a double play at second base). But those are hard to judge.

    Less excusable is the calling of balls and strikes. The strike zone is not the same for any two umpires, and some have been found to let it change over the course of the game. Star players probably get preferential calls. Teams even scout umpires to discover their strike-zone tendencies. (Not that it would be easy to tell whether a ball was a strike in any case.) This is outrageous and has no place in a sport.

    There should be robotic callers of balls and strikes. And maybe some kind of microchips inside bases, balls, gloves, and shoes could eliminate ambiguity on the basepaths?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jack D, @Jonathan Mason

    The same controversy exists in English Premier League soccer where at close decisions now go to VAR.

    The issue is similar in any highly paid professional sport where tiny decisions of judgment make the difference between victory and loss and can affect the destination of championships and whole careers.

    The biggest problem is the possibility of bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, on the part of the umpire or referee. By definition, almost, the successful teams are the teams that get the most decisions in their favor.

    So what it comes down to is what the general public will accept. If referee decisions are going to cause riots, then it is probably best to go with VAR even if people hate it, just so long as they will accept that it is unbiased. After all it is much more difficult to bribe a VAR team than to bribe an individual umpire or referee.

    With the World Cup of soccer coming up very soon in Qatar, it will be interesting to see how controversies between nations are resolved when the US national men’s team comes up against Iran on Nov. 29th. Hopefully the use of nuclear weapons can be averted.

  79. @Edward Haze
    @silviosilver

    It blows my mind that anyone puts up with it for soccer. It ruins the one best thing about soccer, which is the pure unbridled PANDAMONIUM on a goal. Now you have to wait for the replay! Totally ruins the emotional momentum for spectators.

    Replies: @silviosilver

    You’re right, you’re absolutely right.

    I wonder how they handle it in south America. Do the announcers actually wait for the “correct signal” before they commence the cacophonous, repetitive, unimaginative GOOOOOOOOOL!!!!! calls? (Apparently, it was written into their constitutions at time of independence that that is the only permissible way for announcers to celebrate a goal.) Or do they it twice, once for the presumptive goal and again for the confirmation?

    I must say though, I get a kick out of a call being reversed in NFL, seeing the players’ long faces after they’ve squandered their elaborately rehearsed end zone dances.

  80. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game."

    Agreed, but this play was just plain embarrassing, even for way back in the day...

    https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/world-series-game-1-orioles-reds-cincinnati-usa-6654435c

    Famous play from 1970 WS, when CIN baserunner Bernie Carbo slides across home plate and C BAL Elrod Hendricks tags him with his glove, but the ball is in his other hand. Carbo was called out.

    The whole television audience saw an MLB umpire make an egregious call. Carbo was clearly safe.

    IF the argument becomes "Well, come on, obviously the ump would've made the correct call if his back wasn't to the plate and he didn't have a good view of the play", then that strengthens the case made for letting those kinds of decisions be overruled in favor of the video camera.

    For the most part, instant review works in the NFL, and the majority of fans are satisfied with it.

    In the NFL, a similar play occurred in the 1979 AFC Championship game, where the HOU TE caught a ball with both feet in bounds. Unfortunately, the head referee had his back turned and ruled it an incomplete catch. At the time, the NFL did not have instant review of on field plays, as they do now.
    Experts have pointed to this play as being crucial in the NFL adopting instant review later on.

    The point being whether in the playoffs or in the WS, these are the biggest games in a sport's season, the postseason. If a particular league can't make an accurate call for whatever the reason, perhaps the ultimate decision should be made at the top, from the league headquarters.

    The standard is not to make an egregious call, even one time, let alone on the biggest stage of the sport (e.g. WS, postseason), because then the story isn't about the positive aspects of the sport, but about the inaccuracies of the sport's officials and how their inaccurate calls directly impact the game itself.

    Because come on, Steve. Bernie Carbo was clearly safe. Instant replay in 1970 clearly demonstrated that fact. And this play occurred during the WS, that's definitely a bad look for the sport.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mike Tre

    Why did the umpire get between the sliding baserunner and the catcher?

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Actually this sort of thing isn't uncommon in MLB, where the umpire gets caught in between the baserunner and the C. Another example, is during Super Bowl XIII, when one of the referees was standing in the middle of the field, and HOF PIT RB Franco Harris barrels past him for a TD, while DAL S Charlie Waters bumps into the referee. The referee was originally standing in that part of thei field, but, wasn't fast enough to get out of Harris's way as he was racing by him toward the end zone.

    Perhaps the home plate umpire wasn't nimble enough to get out of the baserunner and C's way to avoid the collision. But this sort of thing for home plate umpires (as well as referees in the NFL) occur all the time, as they aren't athletes and weren't fast enough to get out of the way of the play occurring in real time. It does happen, and that's part of the human factor for officials making decisions in real time.

    But in the NFL, this sort of thing is avoided now due to instant review and thus allowing the officials to make the most accurate call (if the multi camera angles for the play can determine the most accurate call to make). MLB would be well served to allow this sort of thing to happen for all major decisions moving forward. If they refuse to allow it in all major decisions regarding controversial plays, then the specter of Bernie Carbo/Elrod Hendricks WS miscalled play looms as large as before.

    As accurate as the NFL has improved in making accurate on field calls, periodically there does appear these sorts of mistakes (e.g. a wrong "no call" call). And in this case, it was during the NFC Championship game and definitely impacted the outcome of the game.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjvZHMod_3E

    Replies: @Feryl

  81. @Alec Leamas (working from home)
    @BosTex


    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).
     
    The problem with this is that the networks have multiple camera angle instant replays and for the NFL the networks have former officials to watch the replay by multiple camera angles and cite the rule as to which outcome is correct. So in your prescription the on the field officials are going to get things obviously wrong without correction, and people will notice.

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.
     
    I think people watching something else is the problem. Kids never getting to know the game and playing something faster paced, and in turn never becoming spectators is a big fear of MLB. Without television viewership the revenues would not support the costs of the MLB.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Blockbuster movies these days have gotten longer, maybe 2:30 or 2:40, but three hours is too long, it makes problems for movie theaters. Baseball games should aim for 2:30 during the regular season.

    I could, though, see rules finetuned to let the 9th innings of close games slow down, the way basketball and football games take forever to play the last two minutes of close games.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    I have suggested two ways for MLB to speed up their games' duration.

    1. Just as pitchers today operate on a pitch count, MLB can impose on all batters a pitch limit. In other words, a batter will see 6 or 7 total pitches. (3 balls, 2 strikes, a grace pitch, and then the bll must be put into play). If after 6-7 pitches there is no outcome, then the batter is automatically called out. This is a large part as to why MLB instituted the first two fouls during an AB would be counted as strikes around 1904, to speed up the game. And remember, during the Dead Ball era and for decades beyond, most MLB games averaged about 1:45-2:20 in duration.

    2. Impose a four fouls rule. The first two fouls during an AB are already called strikes, so if a batter fouls off four fouls during an AB, he is automatically called out.

    These two minor adjustments, particularly the mandatory pitch limit per AB for all batters, would definitely serve to speed up most MLB games by 15-20 minutes.


    And also a third way, (though it has been suggested elsewhere)

    3. Once the pitcher's foot is on the pitching rubber, they would have a 10 second time clock where they must release the ball to home plate or else they would commit a balk. Do that enough times and the pitchers would definitely adapt to have quicker deliveries to the plate. Similar to the 24 second shot clock in the NBA, it helps to speed up the game.

  82. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Why did the umpire get between the sliding baserunner and the catcher?

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Actually this sort of thing isn’t uncommon in MLB, where the umpire gets caught in between the baserunner and the C. Another example, is during Super Bowl XIII, when one of the referees was standing in the middle of the field, and HOF PIT RB Franco Harris barrels past him for a TD, while DAL S Charlie Waters bumps into the referee. The referee was originally standing in that part of thei field, but, wasn’t fast enough to get out of Harris’s way as he was racing by him toward the end zone.

    Perhaps the home plate umpire wasn’t nimble enough to get out of the baserunner and C’s way to avoid the collision. But this sort of thing for home plate umpires (as well as referees in the NFL) occur all the time, as they aren’t athletes and weren’t fast enough to get out of the way of the play occurring in real time. It does happen, and that’s part of the human factor for officials making decisions in real time.

    But in the NFL, this sort of thing is avoided now due to instant review and thus allowing the officials to make the most accurate call (if the multi camera angles for the play can determine the most accurate call to make). MLB would be well served to allow this sort of thing to happen for all major decisions moving forward. If they refuse to allow it in all major decisions regarding controversial plays, then the specter of Bernie Carbo/Elrod Hendricks WS miscalled play looms as large as before.

    As accurate as the NFL has improved in making accurate on field calls, periodically there does appear these sorts of mistakes (e.g. a wrong “no call” call). And in this case, it was during the NFC Championship game and definitely impacted the outcome of the game.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The refs blew several calls in the '09 championship game between The Saints and the Vikings. Particularly egregious was a phantom pass interference call on a Vikings linebacker in OT which put the Saints in position to kick the game winning field goal. The other calls also favored the Saints. Plus it eventually was exposed that the Saints defense was so mediocre that they were resorting to paying their defenders to take cheap shots. Thank God Karma has bit them in the ass ever since.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  83. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas (working from home)

    Blockbuster movies these days have gotten longer, maybe 2:30 or 2:40, but three hours is too long, it makes problems for movie theaters. Baseball games should aim for 2:30 during the regular season.

    I could, though, see rules finetuned to let the 9th innings of close games slow down, the way basketball and football games take forever to play the last two minutes of close games.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    I have suggested two ways for MLB to speed up their games’ duration.

    1. Just as pitchers today operate on a pitch count, MLB can impose on all batters a pitch limit. In other words, a batter will see 6 or 7 total pitches. (3 balls, 2 strikes, a grace pitch, and then the bll must be put into play). If after 6-7 pitches there is no outcome, then the batter is automatically called out. This is a large part as to why MLB instituted the first two fouls during an AB would be counted as strikes around 1904, to speed up the game. And remember, during the Dead Ball era and for decades beyond, most MLB games averaged about 1:45-2:20 in duration.

    2. Impose a four fouls rule. The first two fouls during an AB are already called strikes, so if a batter fouls off four fouls during an AB, he is automatically called out.

    These two minor adjustments, particularly the mandatory pitch limit per AB for all batters, would definitely serve to speed up most MLB games by 15-20 minutes.

    And also a third way, (though it has been suggested elsewhere)

    3. Once the pitcher’s foot is on the pitching rubber, they would have a 10 second time clock where they must release the ball to home plate or else they would commit a balk. Do that enough times and the pitchers would definitely adapt to have quicker deliveries to the plate. Similar to the 24 second shot clock in the NBA, it helps to speed up the game.

  84. @Mark Roulo
    "I used to wonder how baseball umpires could be so decisive about calling baserunners safe or out on chaotic tag plays when the defender attempts to apply the glove with the ball in it to runner’s sliding body before he touches the base. I figured they must just be better at seeing what looked like a flailing mess than I am."

    My son (who is into all things baseball ...) went to umpire school (not the one for MLB, but he can call high school games ...). They *TEACH* you to call things emphatically. Even if you aren't sure, you act like you are certain.

    Replies: @silviosilver

    They *TEACH* you to call things emphatically. Even if you aren’t sure, you act like you are certain.

    I learned that myself from playing tennis with friends. The more emphatic you are about the ball being out – duuude, it wasn’t just out by a bit, it was waaaay out – the quicker your opponent will back down. At worst you’ll replay the point.

  85. ‘…They should get rid of video reviews of baseball tag plays on the basepaths. They stop the action for several minutes and often don’t leave us able to make a definitive judgment of whether the runner was safe or out…’

    And this is one of the things that’s killing the game: all the pauses. First it was pauses to allow time for TV commercials, then it was pauses for the ever-increasing number of pitching changes, and now it’s this.

    Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Colin Wright

    A reasonable candidate for greatest baseball game of all time is The Mazeroski Game, the 10-9 victory of the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates over the uber-dog Mantle-Maris-Ford-Berra New York Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, the final game of the classic 1901-1960 era of 16 MLB teams and 154 game seasons.

    Everybody had seen Mazeroski rounding the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but it appeared that the film of the entire game had been lost forever until the experimental video was discovered in the wine cellar of the late Bing Crosby, a co-owner of the Pirates and an investor in video tech firm Ampex around a dozen years ago. This ancient video finally explained a complex play with one out in the top of the ninth in which, with the Pirates leading 9-8, with Yankees Gil McDougald on third and Mickey Mantle on first, Yogi Berra had ripped the ball right at the feet of Pirate first baseman Gene Nelson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UQ3mBb8QIM

    Nelson couldn't quite catch the ball in the air, so he grabbed it on one bounce. Then he faced a decision for the ages. Should he step on first and throw home for the World Series winning tag play? Should he throw to second to start the World Series winning double play back to first? Or should he step on first and then tag out Mantle for the World Series winning double play? Nelson chose the last, which in retrospect seems like the percentage play. But, even with Mickey Mantle being frozen with indecision, Mantle was Mantle and he eluded Nelson in diving back to the bag while McDougald scored the tying run.

    That required Mazeroski to come up in the bottom of the ninth and he homered.

    That 19 run game only took 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    Replies: @Pat Kittle, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Colin Wright

    "Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?"

    Not sure about the Thirties, but during the Dead Ball Era (1901-20), MLB games averaged 1:45-2:20. Remember, no MLB ballpark had lights and so night baseball didn't exist until post WW2 (it had been experimented with in the '30s but not a permanent fixture til the late '40's). Many MLB teams didn't start playing until around 4PM on the weekdays, so obviously they had to finish the game before sunset.

    The longest inning game was between BOS and BRK of 26 innings, and it lasted about 3 hrs. It was called because there was less than an hr left of daylight.

    Around 1911 or 1912, PHI played NYG in a full 9 inning game, and the game took exactly 58 minutes to play. A FULL 9 inning game, played in under one hour. That's an example of how fast the game could be played. If a batter stepped in the batter's box, that meant the pitch was coming. No stepping in and out asking for time to adjust the shoes, tap dirt from them, etc.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  86. @Colin Wright
    '...They should get rid of video reviews of baseball tag plays on the basepaths. They stop the action for several minutes and often don’t leave us able to make a definitive judgment of whether the runner was safe or out...'

    And this is one of the things that's killing the game: all the pauses. First it was pauses to allow time for TV commercials, then it was pauses for the ever-increasing number of pitching changes, and now it's this.

    Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    A reasonable candidate for greatest baseball game of all time is The Mazeroski Game, the 10-9 victory of the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates over the uber-dog Mantle-Maris-Ford-Berra New York Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, the final game of the classic 1901-1960 era of 16 MLB teams and 154 game seasons.

    Everybody had seen Mazeroski rounding the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but it appeared that the film of the entire game had been lost forever until the experimental video was discovered in the wine cellar of the late Bing Crosby, a co-owner of the Pirates and an investor in video tech firm Ampex around a dozen years ago. This ancient video finally explained a complex play with one out in the top of the ninth in which, with the Pirates leading 9-8, with Yankees Gil McDougald on third and Mickey Mantle on first, Yogi Berra had ripped the ball right at the feet of Pirate first baseman Gene Nelson.

    Nelson couldn’t quite catch the ball in the air, so he grabbed it on one bounce. Then he faced a decision for the ages. Should he step on first and throw home for the World Series winning tag play? Should he throw to second to start the World Series winning double play back to first? Or should he step on first and then tag out Mantle for the World Series winning double play? Nelson chose the last, which in retrospect seems like the percentage play. But, even with Mickey Mantle being frozen with indecision, Mantle was Mantle and he eluded Nelson in diving back to the bag while McDougald scored the tying run.

    That required Mazeroski to come up in the bottom of the ninth and he homered.

    That 19 run game only took 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
    @Steve Sailer

    Faded memories, thank you.

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    I believe that there were no SO's the entire game, very unusual feat then as now. Yes, 1B Nelson was a replacement for Dick Stuart, who was one of PIT's worst fielding 1B at the time. It also shows just how fast making a decision in real time is for MLB players. The percentage play made sense and under most circumstances it would have been sufficient to win the championship for PIT. Mantle's quick thinking saved the Yankees' season, and also allowed the tying run to score.

    The Crosby recording is also unique in that it gives a glimpse into just how fast the pace of MLB was 60 plus yrs ago. Instant replay wouldn't come into existence for another ten yrs or so. There was no wasted motion, or time spent with P's walking around the mound, adjusting their caps, etc. A bit surprised that the network that broadcasted the game didn't bother to save it in their archives.

    Question: Why exactly do you think so little of Mazeroski's walk off HR? It's one of the greatest walk off HR's in all of 20th Century MLB. Game 7 of the WS. Many experts would concur that it is the greatest Walk Off HR, as it set the standard for all Walk Off's that followed it. Thompson's HR was a great plyaoff HR, and Gibson's HR was in game 1 of the WS, but they both aren't comparable. Fisk's walk off HR almost compares, as it capped the end of the greatest game 6 in WS history. But, it was only game 6.

    Game 7 of the WS separates the men from the boys. There is no greater game to be played in MLB so anything that occurs during a game 7 will be heads and shoulders above every other game played at least for that specific season.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  87. If, for example, the ball just has to enter the perimeter of the glove, does it have to go entirely through the perimeter, or just one molecule through?

    What about impurities on the ball — leather treatment, dirt, sweat, grass stain, (spit)? Do they count as part of the ball in electron microscopically close calls?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  88. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Actually this sort of thing isn't uncommon in MLB, where the umpire gets caught in between the baserunner and the C. Another example, is during Super Bowl XIII, when one of the referees was standing in the middle of the field, and HOF PIT RB Franco Harris barrels past him for a TD, while DAL S Charlie Waters bumps into the referee. The referee was originally standing in that part of thei field, but, wasn't fast enough to get out of Harris's way as he was racing by him toward the end zone.

    Perhaps the home plate umpire wasn't nimble enough to get out of the baserunner and C's way to avoid the collision. But this sort of thing for home plate umpires (as well as referees in the NFL) occur all the time, as they aren't athletes and weren't fast enough to get out of the way of the play occurring in real time. It does happen, and that's part of the human factor for officials making decisions in real time.

    But in the NFL, this sort of thing is avoided now due to instant review and thus allowing the officials to make the most accurate call (if the multi camera angles for the play can determine the most accurate call to make). MLB would be well served to allow this sort of thing to happen for all major decisions moving forward. If they refuse to allow it in all major decisions regarding controversial plays, then the specter of Bernie Carbo/Elrod Hendricks WS miscalled play looms as large as before.

    As accurate as the NFL has improved in making accurate on field calls, periodically there does appear these sorts of mistakes (e.g. a wrong "no call" call). And in this case, it was during the NFC Championship game and definitely impacted the outcome of the game.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjvZHMod_3E

    Replies: @Feryl

    The refs blew several calls in the ’09 championship game between The Saints and the Vikings. Particularly egregious was a phantom pass interference call on a Vikings linebacker in OT which put the Saints in position to kick the game winning field goal. The other calls also favored the Saints. Plus it eventually was exposed that the Saints defense was so mediocre that they were resorting to paying their defenders to take cheap shots. Thank God Karma has bit them in the ass ever since.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Feryl

    "Plus it eventually was exposed that the Saints defense was so mediocre that they were resorting to paying their defenders to take cheap shots."

    Really shouldn't make too much about bountygate, as most NFL defenses for decades have done similar things. The Saints' problem was that they actually left a paper trail.

  89. @Steve Sailer
    @Colin Wright

    A reasonable candidate for greatest baseball game of all time is The Mazeroski Game, the 10-9 victory of the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates over the uber-dog Mantle-Maris-Ford-Berra New York Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, the final game of the classic 1901-1960 era of 16 MLB teams and 154 game seasons.

    Everybody had seen Mazeroski rounding the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but it appeared that the film of the entire game had been lost forever until the experimental video was discovered in the wine cellar of the late Bing Crosby, a co-owner of the Pirates and an investor in video tech firm Ampex around a dozen years ago. This ancient video finally explained a complex play with one out in the top of the ninth in which, with the Pirates leading 9-8, with Yankees Gil McDougald on third and Mickey Mantle on first, Yogi Berra had ripped the ball right at the feet of Pirate first baseman Gene Nelson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UQ3mBb8QIM

    Nelson couldn't quite catch the ball in the air, so he grabbed it on one bounce. Then he faced a decision for the ages. Should he step on first and throw home for the World Series winning tag play? Should he throw to second to start the World Series winning double play back to first? Or should he step on first and then tag out Mantle for the World Series winning double play? Nelson chose the last, which in retrospect seems like the percentage play. But, even with Mickey Mantle being frozen with indecision, Mantle was Mantle and he eluded Nelson in diving back to the bag while McDougald scored the tying run.

    That required Mazeroski to come up in the bottom of the ninth and he homered.

    That 19 run game only took 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    Replies: @Pat Kittle, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Faded memories, thank you.

  90. @BosTex
    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year) was to entertain clients and business associates at the corporate box in Foxboro (this was years ago).

    Frankly, became a loathsome chore, nobody wanted to do it: not the junior sales reps, not the senior sales reps, not the client account managers:
    No One! Certainly: not me.

    Pro Football is tiresome to watch, live. Even worse, would take hours to get to the game and park and then hours to leave. I recall one game where I didn’t get home until 2 am for a 6 am wake up. The entire day,
    From leaving the house to arriving home was greater than 12 hours.

    Clients and other business partners would typically only go once: they didn’t realize what a huge time suck the entire “game experience” was.

    ————————————————————————————-

    By comparison: entertaining at Fenway or at the Garden for the Celts was terrific. Fun games with a short commute home.

    Everyone loved those invites, especially the Celts were the best since an old time player would always visit the box at half.

    super easy to bring your kids, etc. you weren’t going to be sitting in a car until 2 AM so not a chore to bring even a little one.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home), @kaganovitch

    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year)

    Excellent typo, bro!

    • Replies: @BosTex
    @kaganovitch

    Lol! Damn this crazy auto correct!

  91. @Danindc
    @Catdompanj

    Good call on Steelers but Oakland lost in next round iirc. Need to look up Stickle. Never heard of that

    Replies: @Catdompanj

    How could Oakland lose in the next round? The Illegal Reception knocked them out that year.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    @Catdompanj

    Sorry Pitt lost in next round. Point being the missed call had no major reprocussions

    Replies: @Catdompanj

  92. @kaganovitch
    @BosTex

    Regarding (American) football: one of my work duties (on occlusion, not every game; typically once or twice per year)

    Excellent typo, bro!

    Replies: @BosTex

    Lol! Damn this crazy auto correct!

  93. @BosTex
    Stave-

    I think you may have the most thoughtful comments section for any blog.

    I’ll be a traditionalist:

    Leave things as they are though certainly improve/provide greater feedback to the home plate umps calling balls and strikes (way too much variability ump to ump and subjectivity with each ump) regarding the strike zone.

    Too much of life has been de-humanized and made mechanical and and technological: let’s leave the national pastime alone. It is a really beautiful and elegant part of our national tradition. (God I sound like that worthless gasbag, George Will;
    however even worthless gasbags can have a good point, once in awhile).

    Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas (working from home), @Colin Wright

    ‘Regarding pacing: what’s the damn rush? It is a slow 19th century game. Watch something else if the pacing is too slow for you.’

    It used to be a lot faster-paced. Those patient 19th century types never had to sit still for a three hour baseball game. Try an hour and a half/two hours.

  94. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "Let’s let the umpires go back to doing their jobs and get on with the game."

    Agreed, but this play was just plain embarrassing, even for way back in the day...

    https://www.shutterstock.com/editorial/image-editorial/world-series-game-1-orioles-reds-cincinnati-usa-6654435c

    Famous play from 1970 WS, when CIN baserunner Bernie Carbo slides across home plate and C BAL Elrod Hendricks tags him with his glove, but the ball is in his other hand. Carbo was called out.

    The whole television audience saw an MLB umpire make an egregious call. Carbo was clearly safe.

    IF the argument becomes "Well, come on, obviously the ump would've made the correct call if his back wasn't to the plate and he didn't have a good view of the play", then that strengthens the case made for letting those kinds of decisions be overruled in favor of the video camera.

    For the most part, instant review works in the NFL, and the majority of fans are satisfied with it.

    In the NFL, a similar play occurred in the 1979 AFC Championship game, where the HOU TE caught a ball with both feet in bounds. Unfortunately, the head referee had his back turned and ruled it an incomplete catch. At the time, the NFL did not have instant review of on field plays, as they do now.
    Experts have pointed to this play as being crucial in the NFL adopting instant review later on.

    The point being whether in the playoffs or in the WS, these are the biggest games in a sport's season, the postseason. If a particular league can't make an accurate call for whatever the reason, perhaps the ultimate decision should be made at the top, from the league headquarters.

    The standard is not to make an egregious call, even one time, let alone on the biggest stage of the sport (e.g. WS, postseason), because then the story isn't about the positive aspects of the sport, but about the inaccuracies of the sport's officials and how their inaccurate calls directly impact the game itself.

    Because come on, Steve. Bernie Carbo was clearly safe. Instant replay in 1970 clearly demonstrated that fact. And this play occurred during the WS, that's definitely a bad look for the sport.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mike Tre

    The play that brought IR back to the NFL for good (it was tried and voted away in the late 80’s)
    was this QB sneak from 1998, in a game that had plenty of poor officiating up to that point. The ball Vinnie Testaverde was carrying was clearly a good foot short of the goal line when he was tackled, but the result was ruled a touchdown anyway. Seattle was bounced from the playoffs and their coach was fired.

  95. Grown men being concerned about baseball is creepy

    • Replies: @Catdompanj
    @Legba

    Grown men being so concerned as to read articles about baseball, then comment on them is creepier.

    Replies: @Legba, @GomezAdddams

  96. @Legba
    Grown men being concerned about baseball is creepy

    Replies: @Catdompanj

    Grown men being so concerned as to read articles about baseball, then comment on them is creepier.

    • Replies: @Legba
    @Catdompanj

    Hey Nazi, just because I have a cock doesn't mean I'm a a man or read the article

    , @GomezAdddams
    @Catdompanj

    How about Pro Wrestling --George W Bush ( brother of Marv at World Trade Centre) ---he liked Towers of Doom and he also liked Undertaker and Mankind ----this was destiny that fateful Tuesday.

  97. @Steve Sailer
    @Colin Wright

    A reasonable candidate for greatest baseball game of all time is The Mazeroski Game, the 10-9 victory of the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates over the uber-dog Mantle-Maris-Ford-Berra New York Yankees in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, the final game of the classic 1901-1960 era of 16 MLB teams and 154 game seasons.

    Everybody had seen Mazeroski rounding the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but it appeared that the film of the entire game had been lost forever until the experimental video was discovered in the wine cellar of the late Bing Crosby, a co-owner of the Pirates and an investor in video tech firm Ampex around a dozen years ago. This ancient video finally explained a complex play with one out in the top of the ninth in which, with the Pirates leading 9-8, with Yankees Gil McDougald on third and Mickey Mantle on first, Yogi Berra had ripped the ball right at the feet of Pirate first baseman Gene Nelson.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UQ3mBb8QIM

    Nelson couldn't quite catch the ball in the air, so he grabbed it on one bounce. Then he faced a decision for the ages. Should he step on first and throw home for the World Series winning tag play? Should he throw to second to start the World Series winning double play back to first? Or should he step on first and then tag out Mantle for the World Series winning double play? Nelson chose the last, which in retrospect seems like the percentage play. But, even with Mickey Mantle being frozen with indecision, Mantle was Mantle and he eluded Nelson in diving back to the bag while McDougald scored the tying run.

    That required Mazeroski to come up in the bottom of the ninth and he homered.

    That 19 run game only took 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    Replies: @Pat Kittle, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    I believe that there were no SO’s the entire game, very unusual feat then as now. Yes, 1B Nelson was a replacement for Dick Stuart, who was one of PIT’s worst fielding 1B at the time. It also shows just how fast making a decision in real time is for MLB players. The percentage play made sense and under most circumstances it would have been sufficient to win the championship for PIT. Mantle’s quick thinking saved the Yankees’ season, and also allowed the tying run to score.

    The Crosby recording is also unique in that it gives a glimpse into just how fast the pace of MLB was 60 plus yrs ago. Instant replay wouldn’t come into existence for another ten yrs or so. There was no wasted motion, or time spent with P’s walking around the mound, adjusting their caps, etc. A bit surprised that the network that broadcasted the game didn’t bother to save it in their archives.

    Question: Why exactly do you think so little of Mazeroski’s walk off HR? It’s one of the greatest walk off HR’s in all of 20th Century MLB. Game 7 of the WS. Many experts would concur that it is the greatest Walk Off HR, as it set the standard for all Walk Off’s that followed it. Thompson’s HR was a great plyaoff HR, and Gibson’s HR was in game 1 of the WS, but they both aren’t comparable. Fisk’s walk off HR almost compares, as it capped the end of the greatest game 6 in WS history. But, it was only game 6.

    Game 7 of the WS separates the men from the boys. There is no greater game to be played in MLB so anything that occurs during a game 7 will be heads and shoulders above every other game played at least for that specific season.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    It wasn't a do or die situation. There wasn't all that much pressure on Mazeroski. He mostly was facing opportunity. There wasn't any drama yet building in the bottom of the 9th inning. The announcer was mostly talking about the Berra-Mantle play in the top half of the inning, when Maz, the first batter up, hit the second pitch out. If Maz hadn't hit a homer, the Bucs would have had two more outs and if those guys didn't score, the game would just go to extra innings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Og0gUKfvc

    Of course, it's a highly worthy ending to what might be the greatest baseball game ever, which was the last game of baseball's Classic Order from 1901-1960 of 16 teams playing 154 game seasons. The following April began the Expansion Era.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  98. @Feryl
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The refs blew several calls in the '09 championship game between The Saints and the Vikings. Particularly egregious was a phantom pass interference call on a Vikings linebacker in OT which put the Saints in position to kick the game winning field goal. The other calls also favored the Saints. Plus it eventually was exposed that the Saints defense was so mediocre that they were resorting to paying their defenders to take cheap shots. Thank God Karma has bit them in the ass ever since.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Plus it eventually was exposed that the Saints defense was so mediocre that they were resorting to paying their defenders to take cheap shots.”

    Really shouldn’t make too much about bountygate, as most NFL defenses for decades have done similar things. The Saints’ problem was that they actually left a paper trail.

  99. @Colin Wright
    '...They should get rid of video reviews of baseball tag plays on the basepaths. They stop the action for several minutes and often don’t leave us able to make a definitive judgment of whether the runner was safe or out...'

    And this is one of the things that's killing the game: all the pauses. First it was pauses to allow time for TV commercials, then it was pauses for the ever-increasing number of pitching changes, and now it's this.

    Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?”

    Not sure about the Thirties, but during the Dead Ball Era (1901-20), MLB games averaged 1:45-2:20. Remember, no MLB ballpark had lights and so night baseball didn’t exist until post WW2 (it had been experimented with in the ’30s but not a permanent fixture til the late ’40’s). Many MLB teams didn’t start playing until around 4PM on the weekdays, so obviously they had to finish the game before sunset.

    The longest inning game was between BOS and BRK of 26 innings, and it lasted about 3 hrs. It was called because there was less than an hr left of daylight.

    Around 1911 or 1912, PHI played NYG in a full 9 inning game, and the game took exactly 58 minutes to play. A FULL 9 inning game, played in under one hour. That’s an example of how fast the game could be played. If a batter stepped in the batter’s box, that meant the pitch was coming. No stepping in and out asking for time to adjust the shoes, tap dirt from them, etc.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The fastest games in the past were often the last game of the season when teams had tacit or explicit agreements to get it over and done with.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  100. @Reg Cæsar
    @Tony Tea


    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.
     
    That helps speed the matches up-- to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don't turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.


    https://i0.wp.com/cricketaddictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-design-65.png


    That's by the individual, not the entire side. In one match.

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @meh, @meh

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    Yes, Lord’s, the home of the MCC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marylebone_Cricket_Club

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s#MCC_Museum_and_Library

    MCC Museum and Library

    The Ashes urn on display at the Lord’s Museum

    Lord’s is the home of the MCC Museum, which is the oldest sports museum in the world, and contains the world’s most celebrated collection of cricket memorabilia, including The Ashes urn.[130] MCC has been collecting memorabilia since 1864, the collection being originated by Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, who subsequently became the club Treasurer.[131] These items were originally displayed in the pavilion, limiting access to the collection to MCC members. Following the Second World War the collection had outgrown its home in the pavilion, with a decision made to relocate the collection and open it to the public. The MCC moved the collection to a disused rackets court, which had fallen into disrepair during the war, with this location also acting as a memorial to the fallen members of the MCC from the two world wars.[132] They appointed Diana Rait Kerr, “to whom the game owes a great debt”, to be the first full-time creator of the museum and library, a position she held from 1945 to 1968.[131] The museum was officially opened to the public as the Imperial Memorial Collection by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. During her tenure as curator, Rait Kerr secured donations of pictures, equipment and other artefacts from around the world.[132] Rait Kerr was succeeded as curator by Stephen Green in 1968.[131] The museum today welcomes around 50,000 visitors per year.[132]

    Amongst the items on display include cricket kit used by Victor Trumper, Jack Hobbs, Don Bradman, Shane Warne, and others; many items related to the career of W. G. Grace; and curiosities such as the stuffed sparrow that was ‘bowled out’ by Jahangir Khan of Cambridge University in delivering a ball to T. N. Pearce batting for the MCC on 3 July 1936. It also contains the battered copy of Wisden that helped to sustain E. W. Swanton through his captivity in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World War. It continues to collect historic artefacts and also commissions new paintings and photography.[132] It contains the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre, a cinema which screens historical cricket footage for visitors. The museum collaborates with a number of national museums and schools through active loans, in addition to community and tour programmes. It is a member of the Sporting Heritage network.[130]

    Lord’s also has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of books and publications dedicated to cricket. The library includes over 20,000 volumes and grows by around 400 volumes a year. The library encourages donations from authors and publishers. The library operates as a private library for MCC members on match days, but is open by appointment on non-match days.[130] It was expanded in the 1980s with the opening of a new library in the tennis court block to the rear of the pavilion,[133] having previously been housed in a small office in the pavilion.[134] In 2010, a selection of 100 duplicates from the library’s collection was offered for auction by Christie’s with proceeds going to support the library.[135]

    Lord’s and Cooperstown did a museum exchange maybe 10-15 years ago, where there was a baseball history display at Lord’s followed by a cricket history display at Cooperstown.

  101. @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    How could Oakland lose in the next round? The Illegal Reception knocked them out that year.

    Replies: @Danindc

    Sorry Pitt lost in next round. Point being the missed call had no major reprocussions

    • Replies: @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    Tell that to the Raiders.

    Replies: @Danindc

  102. @Danindc
    @Catdompanj

    Sorry Pitt lost in next round. Point being the missed call had no major reprocussions

    Replies: @Catdompanj

    Tell that to the Raiders.

    • Replies: @Danindc
    @Catdompanj

    Good point. The Steelers lost a close one in next round to undefeated Dolphins. Who knows because the Raiders had owned the dolphins up to that point.

  103. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Colin Wright

    "Ever looked up how long the average baseball game lasted in the Thirties compared to now?"

    Not sure about the Thirties, but during the Dead Ball Era (1901-20), MLB games averaged 1:45-2:20. Remember, no MLB ballpark had lights and so night baseball didn't exist until post WW2 (it had been experimented with in the '30s but not a permanent fixture til the late '40's). Many MLB teams didn't start playing until around 4PM on the weekdays, so obviously they had to finish the game before sunset.

    The longest inning game was between BOS and BRK of 26 innings, and it lasted about 3 hrs. It was called because there was less than an hr left of daylight.

    Around 1911 or 1912, PHI played NYG in a full 9 inning game, and the game took exactly 58 minutes to play. A FULL 9 inning game, played in under one hour. That's an example of how fast the game could be played. If a batter stepped in the batter's box, that meant the pitch was coming. No stepping in and out asking for time to adjust the shoes, tap dirt from them, etc.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The fastest games in the past were often the last game of the season when teams had tacit or explicit agreements to get it over and done with.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    I also stated that during the Dead Ball Era, MLB games averaged 1:45-2:20. Playing a standard game during the season (not at the end) in under 2 hrs would be amazing today. Unlikely to occur.

  104. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    I believe that there were no SO's the entire game, very unusual feat then as now. Yes, 1B Nelson was a replacement for Dick Stuart, who was one of PIT's worst fielding 1B at the time. It also shows just how fast making a decision in real time is for MLB players. The percentage play made sense and under most circumstances it would have been sufficient to win the championship for PIT. Mantle's quick thinking saved the Yankees' season, and also allowed the tying run to score.

    The Crosby recording is also unique in that it gives a glimpse into just how fast the pace of MLB was 60 plus yrs ago. Instant replay wouldn't come into existence for another ten yrs or so. There was no wasted motion, or time spent with P's walking around the mound, adjusting their caps, etc. A bit surprised that the network that broadcasted the game didn't bother to save it in their archives.

    Question: Why exactly do you think so little of Mazeroski's walk off HR? It's one of the greatest walk off HR's in all of 20th Century MLB. Game 7 of the WS. Many experts would concur that it is the greatest Walk Off HR, as it set the standard for all Walk Off's that followed it. Thompson's HR was a great plyaoff HR, and Gibson's HR was in game 1 of the WS, but they both aren't comparable. Fisk's walk off HR almost compares, as it capped the end of the greatest game 6 in WS history. But, it was only game 6.

    Game 7 of the WS separates the men from the boys. There is no greater game to be played in MLB so anything that occurs during a game 7 will be heads and shoulders above every other game played at least for that specific season.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    It wasn’t a do or die situation. There wasn’t all that much pressure on Mazeroski. He mostly was facing opportunity. There wasn’t any drama yet building in the bottom of the 9th inning. The announcer was mostly talking about the Berra-Mantle play in the top half of the inning, when Maz, the first batter up, hit the second pitch out. If Maz hadn’t hit a homer, the Bucs would have had two more outs and if those guys didn’t score, the game would just go to extra innings.

    Of course, it’s a highly worthy ending to what might be the greatest baseball game ever, which was the last game of baseball’s Classic Order from 1901-1960 of 16 teams playing 154 game seasons. The following April began the Expansion Era.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    "The following April began the Expansion Era."

    For the AL, not the NL (Mets and Astros' inaugural seasons were in '62).

    Dunno, most MLB experts rank Maz's HR as the greatest Walk Off HR ever of the 20th Century. Arguing about it sounds a bit petty. Did it win the game, and therefore the championship? Yes, it certainly did. By definition a Walk Off occurs during the 9th inning, and it wins the game for home team. Maz's HR did both and in grand fashion as it won the championship for PIT. It can't be underestimated that that HR is probably a major factor for why Maz was inducted into Cooperstown. That's primarily what he's remembered for. Another great HR is Carlton Fisk's, that was during extra innings, but it was only game 6.

    The fact that it also occurred vs NY, which is MLB's most winningest franchise (by way of WS Championships) also lends a special drama to the story.

  105. @Catdompanj
    @Legba

    Grown men being so concerned as to read articles about baseball, then comment on them is creepier.

    Replies: @Legba, @GomezAdddams

    Hey Nazi, just because I have a cock doesn’t mean I’m a a man or read the article

  106. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The fastest games in the past were often the last game of the season when teams had tacit or explicit agreements to get it over and done with.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    I also stated that during the Dead Ball Era, MLB games averaged 1:45-2:20. Playing a standard game during the season (not at the end) in under 2 hrs would be amazing today. Unlikely to occur.

  107. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    It wasn't a do or die situation. There wasn't all that much pressure on Mazeroski. He mostly was facing opportunity. There wasn't any drama yet building in the bottom of the 9th inning. The announcer was mostly talking about the Berra-Mantle play in the top half of the inning, when Maz, the first batter up, hit the second pitch out. If Maz hadn't hit a homer, the Bucs would have had two more outs and if those guys didn't score, the game would just go to extra innings.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Og0gUKfvc

    Of course, it's a highly worthy ending to what might be the greatest baseball game ever, which was the last game of baseball's Classic Order from 1901-1960 of 16 teams playing 154 game seasons. The following April began the Expansion Era.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “The following April began the Expansion Era.”

    For the AL, not the NL (Mets and Astros’ inaugural seasons were in ’62).

    Dunno, most MLB experts rank Maz’s HR as the greatest Walk Off HR ever of the 20th Century. Arguing about it sounds a bit petty. Did it win the game, and therefore the championship? Yes, it certainly did. By definition a Walk Off occurs during the 9th inning, and it wins the game for home team. Maz’s HR did both and in grand fashion as it won the championship for PIT. It can’t be underestimated that that HR is probably a major factor for why Maz was inducted into Cooperstown. That’s primarily what he’s remembered for. Another great HR is Carlton Fisk’s, that was during extra innings, but it was only game 6.

    The fact that it also occurred vs NY, which is MLB’s most winningest franchise (by way of WS Championships) also lends a special drama to the story.

  108. @Reg Cæsar
    @Tony Tea


    In cricket the umpire makes his initial call, then if the video footage is inconclusive the umpire’s call stands.
     
    That helps speed the matches up-- to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don't turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.


    https://i0.wp.com/cricketaddictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-design-65.png


    That's by the individual, not the entire side. In one match.

    Does cricket have a counterpart to Cooperstown?

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @meh, @meh

    That helps speed the matches up– to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don’t turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.

    Cricket has different formats. There’s the five day international test match. The four day “first class” match (for instance county cricket in England). And it’s not like they play from sunup to sundown; IIRC it’s like a six hour day with breaks for lunch and tea. And there’s more recent innovations; the one day international (ODI), about six hours, and the twenty twenty or T20, about three hours.

    You should try thinking of the long format cricket matches in terms of a seven game series in baseball: the fact that it is considered a single match is simply a matter of adjusting your expectations about what a “match” or “game” is.

    Or try thinking of it in terms of golf: no one thinks it odd that a golf tournament lasts four days or more.

    Just as few people have the time to watch an entire golf tournament but they may keep track of it throughout the day or throughout the week, so also cricket fans follow their sport. Or so I have heard.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @meh

    Goodness, when its being described, Cricket sounds even more boring than baseball. I take for granted that the UK's most popular sport, soccer, is faster paced and that soccer matches are over long before a Cricket game.

    In Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 film "The Lady Vanishes", two of the main actors in the cast re going on and on about trying to read the papers, listen to the wireless, trying to get information about the Test Match being played in Manchester. They even intercept a call from someone in London to enquire about the Match. When it turns out that the caller has no idea about it, they abruptly hang up on him.

    The thing is, they weren't in the UK, as the film takes place in an unnamed Central European nation, which is obviously on the primitive side compared to England in the sense of gathering information.

    One line that stands out. They're looking through old international/US newspapers trying to get information on the Test Match:

    "There's nothing in here but baseball. You know, we used to call it Rounders. Children play it with a rubber ball and a stick. Not a word about Cricket. Americans have no sense of proportion."

    At the film's end, when the two finally reach London, they see big headlines from newspapers:

    TEST MATCH ABANDONED DUE TO FLOODS

  109. @meh
    @Reg Cæsar


    That helps speed the matches up– to four-and-a-half days.

    Why the people who insist baseball is improved by more scoring don’t turn to cricket as a model is a mystery.
     
    Cricket has different formats. There's the five day international test match. The four day "first class" match (for instance county cricket in England). And it's not like they play from sunup to sundown; IIRC it's like a six hour day with breaks for lunch and tea. And there's more recent innovations; the one day international (ODI), about six hours, and the twenty twenty or T20, about three hours.

    You should try thinking of the long format cricket matches in terms of a seven game series in baseball: the fact that it is considered a single match is simply a matter of adjusting your expectations about what a "match" or "game" is.

    Or try thinking of it in terms of golf: no one thinks it odd that a golf tournament lasts four days or more.

    Just as few people have the time to watch an entire golf tournament but they may keep track of it throughout the day or throughout the week, so also cricket fans follow their sport. Or so I have heard.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Goodness, when its being described, Cricket sounds even more boring than baseball. I take for granted that the UK’s most popular sport, soccer, is faster paced and that soccer matches are over long before a Cricket game.

    In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 film “The Lady Vanishes”, two of the main actors in the cast re going on and on about trying to read the papers, listen to the wireless, trying to get information about the Test Match being played in Manchester. They even intercept a call from someone in London to enquire about the Match. When it turns out that the caller has no idea about it, they abruptly hang up on him.

    The thing is, they weren’t in the UK, as the film takes place in an unnamed Central European nation, which is obviously on the primitive side compared to England in the sense of gathering information.

    One line that stands out. They’re looking through old international/US newspapers trying to get information on the Test Match:

    “There’s nothing in here but baseball. You know, we used to call it Rounders. Children play it with a rubber ball and a stick. Not a word about Cricket. Americans have no sense of proportion.”

    At the film’s end, when the two finally reach London, they see big headlines from newspapers:

    TEST MATCH ABANDONED DUE TO FLOODS

  110. @Catdompanj
    @Danindc

    Tell that to the Raiders.

    Replies: @Danindc

    Good point. The Steelers lost a close one in next round to undefeated Dolphins. Who knows because the Raiders had owned the dolphins up to that point.

  111. @Catdompanj
    @Legba

    Grown men being so concerned as to read articles about baseball, then comment on them is creepier.

    Replies: @Legba, @GomezAdddams

    How about Pro Wrestling –George W Bush ( brother of Marv at World Trade Centre) —he liked Towers of Doom and he also liked Undertaker and Mankind —-this was destiny that fateful Tuesday.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
From the Leo Frank Case to the Present Day
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement