Kagan: The physics of robo-umpires

From SABR member David Kagan at The Hardball Times on January 23, 2018:

“It ain’t nothin’ ‘til I call it.” Bill Klem thus defined the role of the umpire. He would know, since he officiated major league baseball for 37 years and still holds the record for working 18 World Series.

There has been a lot of discussion lately about having balls and strikes called robotically using MLB’s Statcast technology. In response, Commissioner Rob Manfred stated, “In all candor, that technology has a larger margin of error than we see with human umpires” as reported by Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.

That sounds like an invitation to think about the physics associated with Statcast to understand the potential sources of these errors. First, let’s just be sure we understand the meaning of the “error” as it is used by physicists.

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-physics-of-roboump/

Originally published: January 23, 2018. Last Updated: January 23, 2018.