Saturday, October 23, 2021
RoboUmp's Odd Strike Zone Gets AFL Game Called Early
According to Keith Law at The Athletic, several rule changes were in use during the game, including a variable pitch clock, ban on shifts, and of course an automated strike zone that rendered HP Umpire Alex McKay little more than a computer mouthpiece. (If you're wondering what happens to the MiLB call-ups during the offseason, you can find some working the Arizona Fall League; McKay's crew included 1B Umpire Malachi Moore, 2B Umpire Ryan Wills, and 3B Umpire Kyle McCrady).
Returns from the game indicate an issue that has plagued electronic zones since their very inception: an unforgiving, and in this case small, strike zone that continues to fall short of the standard to which human umpires call balls and strikes. The Atlantic League version, for instance, occasionally fell prey to the opposite problem: strike zones that were too large.
Related Post: Checking in With RoboUmp's Auto Ball/Strike System (7/10/21).
For this reason, our postseason plate performance scores continue to be given in a three-metric format: UEFL f/x with a roughly one-inch margin of error nestled between the larger buffer of Zone Evaluation Equivalent and the zero-error model the viewing audience sees known as ML Public (although our version of ML Public features postgame processing data point correction whereas what fans see on TV is raw and uncorrected).
Related Post: About UEFL f/x 3.0 Plate Scores for Postseason (9/29/20).