Hine: Official scorers consider bad hops, bad throws — and now exit velocity

From Chris Hine at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on June 26, 2018, with mention of SABR member Stew Thornley:

Stew Thornley waited before looking at his laptop.

The official scorer first wanted to make his call — hit or error — after the Twins’ Brian Dozier reached base safely following a grounder he hit to White Sox third baseman Yolmer Sanchez on June 5. Sanchez didn’t field the ball cleanly, and his throw to first was in the dirt. Thornley took into account all the aspects of the play to determine whether it would require more than “ordinary effort,” the threshold for scorers to distinguish between a hit and error, for Sanchez to make the play.

Thornley, one of three official scorers for the Twins, doesn’t hesitate to make a call even on close plays. This time, he took his time. He watched a replay in the Target Field press box on his 17-inch TV screen, which he keeps on an eight-second delay for just this purpose, and delivered his verdict: Hit.

“We treat each part of the play [catch and throw] separately and it was a 50-50 play,” Thornley said. “Each one leaned a little above 50 on the hit side for me.”

But what Thornley did next might drive baseball purists to drink, especially when somebody like the official scorer, a position that has been around almost as long as the game itself, is doing it.

Read the full article here: http://m.startribune.com/official-scorers-consider-bad-hops-bad-throws-and-exit-velocity/486518431/

Originally published: June 27, 2018. Last Updated: June 27, 2018.