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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pitchers accountable for strikeouts, walks and homers. I disagree.

I was just starting to read an article, which sets this as an accepted basis upon which new stuff can be based.

Time out.  Time the heck out.

I never signed on to this.

1. Strike outs and walks are based on the calling of balls and strikes by the plate umpire, to say nothing about the notorious pitch framing by catchers who now get compensated for successfully deceiving the plate umpire.  See Russell Martin.

Who the heck thinks that is within the control of the pitcher?  I do not.

2. Home runs are a function of the distance from home plate of the fences and the height of those fences.  All of that is far beyond the control of the pitcher.

So what the heck are people talking about with this true event stuff?

Changes I have long advocated that would make this logical:

1. Balls and strikes should be determined by whether a pitch hits a fixed target.  This should certainly not be done by guessing whether a pitch has passed through an imaginary, irregularly shaped three dimensional area that varies in height  from batter to batter.  A bull's eye on a tripod would do nicely.  Low tech and inexpensive.

Boston Red Sox tribute to Ted Williams July 22, 2002 by Cavic Steve Lipofsky via Wikimedia Commons

2. Home runs should be determined by requiring that the ball travel on a fly over fences that are the same height and the same distance from home plate in all directions in all ball parks.

These changes would make the game much more fair and also provide a foundation for the types of data analysis that is being introduced.  There's an old data saying:

Garbage in, garbage out.

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