We sat through an awesome 5 hour game in The Fens on Sunday. Awesome because any day spent in The Fens, win or lose, beats a day pretty much anywhere else. The great thing about The Sox stinking up their diamond is that there are always box seats behind home plate to be had by us Bleacher Denizens. So we had a perfect view of the field. And we really noticed how many mistaken calls the home plate ump makes.
This study by Columbia and Northwestern Universities show that nearly 20% of calls on balls/strikes are incorrect. I’m not sure which is more startling - that Columbia and Northwestern are spending tuition fees to study this or that 20% of all calls are wrong!
On Sunday the pitchers threw 447 pitches, which means that *90* of them were called wrong. That’s not just a blown call, that’s a stadium full of blown calls! And that’s fucking ridiculous.
Every MLB park is fitted with Pitch Fx, which is an automated tool that identifies a ball/strike (that’s how we know the umps calls are wrong). It’s time to eliminate the human factor in calling balls/strikes. Keep a couple umps on the field for balks, did the batter swing, tags on bases, etc. But let’s get the balls/strikes down from a 20% error rate by using technology that we already have in place. Sweet jesus, some games carry 6 umpires. There’s only 9 players on the field. 6 umpires? What is this, the umpire employment plan? 6 umpires and we still get 90 blown calls each game? Yo Blue, it’s time to say enough.
90 blown calls in one game. Every game! If there’s an average of 400 pitches in a game, 161 game/year, that’s 12,880 blown calls per season for just ONE team! Thirty teams, that’s 386,400 blown calls in MLB just this season. Figure we live 77 years and that’s 29,752,800 blown calls in our lifetime. And that’s not even considering our kids’ lifetimes. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
29 million blown calls in our lifetime. It don’t have to be.
p.s. And I didn’t even get around to talking about our 3rd Base Coach, Brian Butterfield, getting ejected in the 7th inning for arguing with the 2nd base ump about the fact that their pitcher was balking left and right….more blown calls!