Lemire: QuesTec’s legacy, 20 years later

From Joe Lemire at SportTechie at November 9, 2017:

Pedro Martinez was never ejected from a major league game for arguing balls and strikes, but the Boston Red Sox’s Hall of Fame pitcher admits he should have been once. In a start against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on July 25, 2003, Martinez began his tirade by wagging his finger at home plate umpire Dana DeMuth.

He and Yankees starter David Wells were annually among the sport’s stingiest at issuing walks. Wells had walked only six in 19 prior outings that season, yet walked five that afternoon. Martinez issued four free passes — more than he had in his four previous starts combined.

A base on balls to Derek Jeter in the seventh inning sparked Martinez’s eruption, which escalated beyond the initial disapproving finger. He framed the strike zone box with his hands, asking, “Where is your strike zone? Is it up? Is it down? Is it in? Or is it out?”

DeMuth replied, “I’m trying to do my job.”

Martinez’s retorted, “So am I. Why don’t you try and do mine? And I will try and do yours.”

As he said that, Martinez removed his glove, extended his arm and offered the mitt to DeMuth.

The real culprit of his infamous outburst, Martinez contended, was Umpiring’s Big Brother, an evaluation system that included a pair of cameras literally lurking over each shoulder.

“They brought out the QuesTec,” Martinez said, “so he was hesitant to call anything around the plate a strike.”

QuesTec, a small Long Island-based company, made its national debut 20 years ago last month as a camera- and software-based broadcast system for rendering the strike zone during NBC’s coverage of the 1997 National League Championship Series and World Series.

Read the full article here: https://www.sporttechie.com/questec-legacy-20-years-strike-zone/

Originally published: November 27, 2017. Last Updated: November 27, 2017.