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How Home Plate Umpires Effect MLB Baseball. Antonia Ferguson December 2, 2009. Are umpires the most accurate way to call balls and strikes?. On average umpires are 90% accurate in calling balls and strikes. This means that on average 30 pitches are called incorrectly during a game.

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how home plate umpires effect mlb baseball

How Home Plate Umpires Effect MLB Baseball

Antonia Ferguson

December 2, 2009

are umpires the most accurate way to call balls and strikes
Are umpires the most accurate way to call balls and strikes?
  • On average umpires are 90% accurate in calling balls and strikes. This means that on average 30 pitches are called incorrectly during a game.
  • Umpires have been found to consistently call a strike zone that is not defined by the MLB rulebook.
  • An electronic strike zone is 99.99% accurate. This system is already installed in all MLB stadiums, and is currently used to track the accuracy of the home plate umpire.
umpire background
Umpire Background
  • 17, four man crews
  • Rotation
    • Home, third, second, first, back to home
  • Assigned randomly to a series
    • Series is 3 consecutive games with the same two teams
  • All umpires should have similar statistics
strike zone
Strike Zone
  • “The Strike Zone is defined as that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”
why is a consistent strike zone important
Why is a consistent strike zone important?
  • Batter and Pitcher rely on it
  • Coaches are forced to make different decisions based on who is behind the plate
  • Game outcomes have the potential to be different.
what does this mean
What does this mean?
  • Coaches pitch pitchers based on the home plate umpire
    • Low BBPG and high KPG pitch a strike out pitcher
    • High BBPG and low KPG pitch a ground ball pitcher
  • Andy Pettitte
    • 10/2 K/BB with Laz Diaz (15 friendliest) behind the plate
    • Two starts later had ¾ K/BB with Jerry Layne (15 strictest) umpping
  • 32 starters stats were examined on games umpped by John Hirschbeck
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Umpires are inaccurate
    • No instant replay for balls and strikes
    • Call cannot be overturned
  • Solutions
    • Electronic strike zone
    • Redefine the strike zone
works cited
Works Cited
  • Beyond the Boxscore
    • http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/7/3/937376/why-it-matters-umpires-computers
  • Hardball Times
    • http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/that-was-a-strike/
  • Sports Illustrated
    • http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/fantasy/07/21/sixty.feet/1.html
  • Zimbio
    • http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/QibolqmSAFg/Los+Angeles+Dodgers+v+St+Louis+Cardinals+Game/c2MffaMeF3Z/Albert+Pujols