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There’s a show on NESN (carries the Sox and Bruins) called Sox Kids. I caught part of a show that was very interesting. The kid asked a representative from Boston Dynamics if a robot could be built and programmed to play baseball. Imagine! No more hanging curveballs. Every pitch where it’s intended to be. No more getting fooled on breaking pitches. No more errors on routine plays. Perfect execution on every defensive play.

The human element could be  completely removed from the game. We would finally have “real” baseball.

Think of the possibilities. Next could be robotic fans who are programmed to understand the game. No more having someone sitting next to you yelling ignorant, uninformed stuff and/or asking you stupid questions. No more emotional debates. Everything will be logical. 

The Boston Dynamics rep said it’s possible to build robotic players. But it’s years off. Right now there are too many complex decisions that must be made instantly for robots. 

Does anyone remember The Twilight Zone episode Mighty Casey? He was a dominant robot pitcher until he had a heart installed. Then he didn’t want to strike out hitters and upset them.

Last edited by RJM

Interview with a pitcher and a catcher in the Atlantic league on fangraphs.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/ef...-and-catcher-report/

Unfortunately the catcher sound quality isn't great due to phone but neither really likes it. They said it not only call strange pitches as strikes that real umps don't call but it even is inconsistent batter to batter which is exactly what it should avoid. The pitcher says he thinks it will get better but right now it is not ready. Not sure if that is perception or reality.

Pitcher also says robo ump favors tall over the top guys with big straight down breaking balls but side to side pitches like cutters and sliders and lower arm slots are in a disadvantage. That makes sense because real umps call a shorter and wider zone than the real zone so robo ump gives more strikes up and down and less in and especially out than real umps.

Stats however didn't change that much with robo ump, walks slightly down and Ks and runs basically the same so maybe in the end it all cancels out somehow and maybe those two guys really just had a different perception.

JCG:

Love that twitter site. Doesn't surprise me that C and P don't like it. As a dad of a hitter and seeing a few questionable (outside square) strikes called this summer, I am sure RipkenSon would welcome it, as would a number of disciplined hitters. I think we would see less of the automatic 3-0 strikes called as well. Takes "framing" pitches out of the equation.

 

RJM posted:

There’s a show on NESN (carries the Sox and Bruins) called Sox Kids. I caught part of a show that was very interesting. The kid asked a representative from Boston Dynamics if a robot could be built and programmed to play baseball. Imagine! No more hanging curveballs. Every pitch where it’s intended to be. No more getting fooled on breaking pitches. No more errors on routine plays. Perfect execution on every defensive play.

The human element could be  completely removed from the game. We would finally have “real” baseball.

Think of the possibilities. Next could be robotic fans who are programmed to understand the game. No more having someone sitting next to you yelling ignorant, uninformed stuff and/or asking you stupid questions. No more emotional debates. Everything will be logical. 

The Boston Dynamics rep said it’s possible to build robotic players. But it’s years off. Right now there are too many complex decisions that must be made instantly for robots. 

Does anyone remember The Twilight Zone episode Mighty Casey? He was a dominant robot pitcher until he had a heart installed. Then he didn’t want to strike out hitters and upset them.

Q: Can you pass a Turing test?

A: Would you like to play chess?

 

RJM, still not sure if your post above was serious or not... but assuming it was mostly serious, I don't foresee any danger of removing humans from sports. Sports is a quintessential human activity, and without humans it would be meaningless. It does need improvement in my opinion - at all levels - but particularly at the youth levels where strike zones can be so arbitrary and seemingly one-sided that it can often ruins an otherwise enjoyable game. Yes, it can be that bad.

Take a quick test to see if you are good enough to be a tennis line judge (similar to a strike zone but much, much easier to call).

Check it out: http://graphics.wsj.com/are-yo...a-tennis-line-judge/

 

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