Baseball Viewing Is Getting Nerdier And Nerdier

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Old school Baseball heads look immediately to Moneyball as the reason for Baseball becoming run by nerds, but the entire game is going through a nerdy over-haul. Well according to FOX Sports the movement isn't slowing down now....

Earlier this month in San Francisco, Sportvision Inc., the sports-entertainment technology company that helped develop the system, hosted a Pitch f/x "summit." By the end, the stats wonks, engineers and nine team representatives in attendance could barely contain themselves.

Nearly everyone at the conference believed such advancements in measuring fundamentals could finally bring a "why" to the "what" of box scores and stat sheets. The same technology will spread to hitting and fielding, they say, and could be applied to other sports.

"Instead of saying, 'There's a hard smash to third base' we could say, 'That ball was hit 106 mph and the third baseman had a third of a second to react.' " says Peter Jensen, a statistician and summit attendee who has written for the Hardball Times, a baseball analysis site. "That adds some context that's been lacking so far."

Not everyone is infatuated with this technology — a fact that became clear during Pitch f/x's debut on 2006 postseason telecasts on FOX. After its cameras clocked pitches from Detroit's Joel Zumaya at the unheard-of speed of 103 mph, some fans assumed it was broken. Sportvision says the system was measuring the ball's speed at the release point rather than in mid-flight, as radar guns do.
I think more information is a good thing just so long as that a**hole "Slider" "Scooter" isn't passing it on to us. However, there is a point where enough has to be enough. If you want to use it as a scout that's fine, but as a viewer I could care less about reaction times.

Baseball's nerd machine (FOX Sports)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:05 PM

8 Comments:

a**hole "Slider"? You mean "Scooter"? If so, good for you for being more distanced from that horrible thing than I am that you can already forget its name.

May 29, 2008, 2:40:00 PM  

Damn you're right SOTG. I wanted to rid my brain of that nonsense.

May 29, 2008, 3:04:00 PM  

I don't see what's bad about having as much information as possible. If it leads to more insightful discussions about baseball, then I think that's a great thing. If we can get people to stop thinking that batting average and wins are good stats, then we're on the right track.

Anonymous said...
May 29, 2008, 3:12:00 PM  

I like hearing about the reaction times and other new statistics, as long as they're handled with care -- not by former players who don't even know their times tables.

For instance, on one Sunday night broadcast, Joe Morgan was talking about the elapsed time between pitcher's release and the batter's decision to swing and ultimately make contact, and he just couldn't handle the decimals and concept of thousandths of a second.

I think it would be a cool, though slightly gimmicky, broadcast if ESPN decided to do a game with a statistician like Bill James as the color commentator, discussing the numbers of the game instead of the usual ins and outs.

Jay said...
May 29, 2008, 3:45:00 PM  

the spreadsheet warriors are out of control.

Anonymous said...
May 29, 2008, 3:48:00 PM  

Moneyball was the worst book that I ever read. And I read Ron Jeremy's autobiography.

GMoney said...
May 29, 2008, 4:13:00 PM  

Putting Bill James in the booth would be like having Joe Morgan in there. Oh, wait...

Bruce said...
May 29, 2008, 10:23:00 PM  

Listen to the old timer haters who can't (or won't take the time) understand new stats.

If you think that batting average and wins are good measureables of a player, then it's obvious you shouldn't be commenting on baseball or baseball statistics.

You don't have to like 'moneyball' the book to appreciate what a genius Billy Beane is.

'Spreadsheet warriors'? You mean the guys who work their ass off to make baseball a better game by putting better players on the field and leaving worthless players off it? if so, count me in with the warriors.

Also, to count Morgan as an equal to James is ridiculous. Morgan is an old buffoon who shouldn't be calling a little league game, let alone MLB games.

Anonymous said...
May 30, 2008, 9:05:00 PM  

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