We've all told jokes about "blind" umpires, right? Well...it seems that MLB umpires may want to make "blind as a bat" their new union motto. At least after a recent study that will give all those idiots that want them to be replaced by robots (yeah, I’m against it) all the ammo they need. And that would be the new study put together by graduate students at Boston University which evaluated nearly four million pitches over the span of the last 11 MLB seasons. They found that “in 2018, MLB umpires, made 34,294 incorrect ball and strike calls for an average of 14 per game or 1.6 per inning.”
The data was collected by MLB-owned Statcast and Pitch f/x and was sorted, formatted, and superimposed on a standard strike zone map. The folks doing this study—and by folks, I mean people who have never played baseball in their lives—then used the info to grade umpires. “Botched calls and high error rates are rampant. MLB home plate umpires make incorrect calls at least 20% of the time–one in every five calls. In the 2018 season, MLB umpires made 34,246 incorrect ball and strike calls for an average of 14 per game, or 1.6 per inning. Last season, 55 games–2.2% of the total played –ended with an incorrect call. But here’s the fact that proves how little they genuinely understand the game as they found that “When batters had two strikes, the error rate for all umpires increased–incorrect calls happen 29% of the time, almost double the error rate when the batter had one or no strikes.” Because that is the very time the zone stretches and the same pitch on the corner at the knees that was called a ball on a 2-2 count would be called a strike on a 3-2 count.
That’s baseball, Ray.