Thursday, November 7, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, November 7, 2019 -- "Calling Balls and Strikes"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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"What we know without a doubt, though, is that the system is going to call the pitch based on where it is when it crosses the plate. It’s not going to be influenced by what the catcher does after the fact. For that reason alone, the system is better than human umpires out of the box. For many, the measurement of what we call 'pitch framing' quantified the importance of catchers. For me, it quantified the inability of human umpires to do their job. Those numbers, which have driven the careers of many people on and off the field, should not exist in a fair game. The batter doesn’t get the information of 'framing' to decide whether to swing or to take. Batters have been woefully underrepresented in this conversation."