Re: Umpires Suck, The Science

1

Interesting. I'd love to get hold of that data.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 10:28 PM
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Do umpires tend to be white to the drastic degree I'm assuming they do?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 10:34 PM
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Baseball insiders have long suspected what our research confirms: that umpires tend to make errors in ways that favor players who have established themselves at the top of the game's status hierarchy.

I suspect something similar happens with peer-review for academic journals. In my field, we have some peer-reviewed conferences that require papers to be submitted anonymously. It feels quite different reviewing an anonymous paper... not knowing the author makes you more cautious about dismissing it, in case it turns out to be by someone important.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 11:04 PM
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I suspect something similar happens with peer-review for academic journals. In my field, we have some peer-reviewed conferences that require papers to be submitted anonymously.

Indeed, I suspect the second sentence is evidence for the first.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-28-14 11:06 PM
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This is probably not baseball for all I know, but can the fucking Wildcats please lose post haste so I don't have to read all the facebook updates from people I grew up with CATS CATS CATS CATS WOOOOO CATS yeah I know I like them too, they make wonderful pets.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 12:42 AM
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That is indeed very much not baseball.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 1:07 AM
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7

5: Word. If they play like they did last night, they should be out soon (in which case people will wail and rend garments and put up gifs commemorating the tragedy) but none of the other teams look particularly good either.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 4:19 AM
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umpires tend to make errors in ways that favor players who have established themselves at the top of the game's status hierarchy

So John Roberts was right after all!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 4:38 AM
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9

++


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 4:53 AM
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10

I'd like to see the umpire's error rates for not calling strikes when Derek Jeter is at bat.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 5:21 AM
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11

Not necessary, he'll just ground into a double play regardless of the count.
I think there are two black umpires currently (out of 69 regulars)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 5:49 AM
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I do have to push back on the notion that major-league umpires suck anymore than most of us at our jobs. Thinking so is all part of the cult of deluded self-competency which although probably psychologically necessary is a significant contributor to why we can't have nice things.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:00 AM
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13

Ironically, part of my job is assessing how well various coders are doing at consistently scoring things the same way. I'm very good at it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:03 AM
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12 strikes home, amusingly - I delivered a big (tenure-protected) rant at a senior admin dude last week, who wanted us to ramp up our self-assessment so that we'd get more meaningful data to inform us about how well we teach. I basically said " look, I'm happy to turn out a great assessment report for the accreditation agency. But what makes a great teacher is developing relationships with your students, collaborating with other teachers (blah blah blah - I was ranting). And I will NOT go along with the internal farce that assessment will actually make us better teachers!"

Anyway, I do believe it - our data is so absurdly small and poor, that to try to pretend it tells us whether our students have trouble framing a problem vs understanding vocabulary vs etc is terribly stupid. Like those categories are even real and well-defined, for example. Oh look, I'm ranting again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:11 AM
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My next-door neighbor is the son of a fairly well-known umpire. His kids were sports nuts but he said the specter of seeing his father routinely get booed by thousands of people pretty much turned him off baseball permanently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:17 AM
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If an honorable man like Frank Drebbin can be influenced by the crowd when calling a game, I don't see how a lesser mortal can be expected to do better.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:37 AM
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8 was well played. 12 is also right. Just limited to lawyering, the number of things people think, with basically no evidence that this is true one way or the other and no real data about the results, are necessary or important to "good" lawyering is staggering.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 12:26 PM
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I don't know that this is really the point, but the closing sentence of that article is wrong: all evidence is quite clear that the "high speed camera systems" (aka PitchF/X) are better at calling inside/outside than umpires, but worse at high/low than umpires.*

It's kind of ridiculous that the NYT would print such an unequivocal yet wrong claim. Not surprising, but ridiculous.

*reasons for this are unclear, but the most common theory is simply that, unlike the width of home plate, the height of the strike zone changes with every batter and, to some extent, every pitch. I haven't seen anyone (in power) offer any realistic solution to this problem, and until you solve it, you don't gain much from swapping PitchF/X for umps


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 4:13 PM
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Easy to solve it, you add some computer-visible marking to the uniforms so they can judge the height relative to the front and rear of the plate correctly. If a ball passes through the prism defined by the sides, front and rear of the plate plus the markings on the uniform, it is a strike. (I'm not sure what the rule is as far as height when the pitch is released vs. when it reaches the batter if the batter changes how bent over they are as the ball is delivered, but I'm sure it's defined somewhere.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 6:12 PM
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12, 17 -- We just got home from watching a movie, Falcon Song. A real reminder just how much work and talent goes into making a decent film.

I'm sure they didn't spend vast amounts making this movie, but it wasn't free. I have no idea at all how they expect to make any of that money back. I'd have asked the director, who was at the theater tonight, but it seemed a little rude.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 9:34 PM
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Have you ever read Ivan Doig's This House of Skys?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 9:54 PM
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Have you ever read Ivan Doig's This House of Sky?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 9:55 PM
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Oh sure. More than once.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:19 PM
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Easy to solve it, you add some computer-visible marking to the uniforms so they can judge the height relative to the front and rear of the plate correctly equip the umps with Google Glass. People already hate them, so no big deal.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:24 PM
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A whole different thing, of course, but if you ever want to severely test your internal restraints on violent behavior, watch your kid ref or ump a game where he/she is being ridiculed or yelled at by adults coaches and spectators.

I recommend staying away from organized youth sports entirely, but anyone so inclined will not listen to me. And *I* wouldn't listen to me. But I'd probably think about it a bit more.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:48 PM
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Why am I still up adding not-very-interesting comments to all these threads?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:58 PM
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I think it's because this night is like many other nights.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 11:00 PM
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I laughed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 2:17 PM
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And people died.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 2:21 PM
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Relevant to the thread, via oudemia at the other place: in the first official challenge under new MLB rules, the umpire's call was upheld. The Cubs lost the challenge and then the game, marking another historic milestone for the franchise.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 2:33 PM
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