May 09, 2003

(*)(*)(*)(*) Balls, Strikes and Videotape.: "[Mets video coordinator] Scarola and his assistants record almost every major league game - more than 2,000 a year - off the DirecTV satellite service onto Hi-8 videotape. Hundreds of those tapes are fed into a PC-based video editing system. Then comes the hard part: Scarola and his crew break down each game into separate video clips for each pitch. They annotate more than 40 variables for each play, including the type of pitch, its location, which bases were occupied, whether the batter was right- or left-handed, the result, and so on ... The product is a searchable database of video - a baseball fan's dream, perhaps, but increasingly a player's workaday tool." [You guys are going to love me now, aren't you? Baseball, technology, backroom perspective, local link. I think I deserve four boobies ... I mean, stars.]

posted by worldcup2002 to baseball at 01:09 PM - 5 comments

We've talked about this subject a little before, in regards specifically to a high-dollar player in Curt Schilling (who is something of a geek, to his credit). It's not surprising teams are more and more embracing this technology; as we'd expect the player of today and tomorrow will be increasingly close to that theoretically perfect player- and if everyone's doing it, the competition will be fierce and the talent and skill unbelievable. Players will be stepping on the field with a memorized Cliff Notes version of incredible data mining; the pitcher/hitter battle will become as complex as chess, as psychological as poker, and I predict- hope, even- we'll see the day when a smart young manager will pace the dugout with a mouthful of chaw, and a WiFi PDA in his hand, churning out real-time updated game, series, season, and career stats for all manner of scenarios. If perfected statistical analysis could help you win an extra 2% of the time... that's ~4 more wins a year, critical wins to teams on the cusp of the playoffs, and at a cost of a cheap low-end utility infielder. Are any other sports doing this? Football, b-ball, and others have game films, but it seems only baseball has this kind of breakdown; Tony Gwynn for years would review each at-bat on video, over and over again, and I referenced the Schilling thread above. I've not heard of Kobe analyzing every shot he takes, over and over, and having a cross-referenced digital video database of every shot against any player, team, or scenario, etc. Does wc2k's beloved "footie" use similar technology at all, or are murrikans more on the cutting edge, and in particular with baseball (the most discrete of sports to break down into individual actions for statistical analysis)? One last thing: what's this boobie/star thing being done on posts now? Did I miss a Locker Room conversation?

posted by hincandenza at 04:04 PM on May 09, 2003

I'll dig through the link later, but I just wanted to add that I remember seeing (perhaps before they were sold) that a large part of the Mariners scouting budget went to this instead of traditional in-the-field scouts in an attempt to cut costs.

posted by yerfatma at 06:09 PM on May 09, 2003

Scattered around Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, for example, are stations where Palm users with infrared connections can beam themselves information about the day's lineups and statistics on a game in progress. I used this once in SF, but was a little underwhelmed. I think I remember a bug or limitation thay annoyed me, and I gave up after 2nd inning. And a nice improvement would be to step up from just infrared sync-ing (maybe a couple times a game) to wireless real-tims stats.

posted by msacheson at 11:06 PM on May 09, 2003

ps WC2002...good link, I had missed this story. side note/question: what's the (*)(*)(*)(*) about?

posted by msacheson at 11:07 PM on May 09, 2003

Hal and msacheson: Go look at this - read the small text at the bottom of the post. And click on the boobies.

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:28 PM on May 09, 2003

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