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May 23, 2008
by Jeff Pyatt
An article today in the Wall Street Journal proclaims the death of baseball's box score at the hands of a digital video revolution:
Since 2006, Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP, baseball's swashbuckling digital arm, has quietly spent approximately $4 million installing sensor cameras in major-league stadiums that can track and record the trajectory of every pitch. The system, called Pitch f/x, made its public debut in the 2006 postseason. This season it became operational in all 30 major-league parks.
So with video data violently usurping the box score, how will this change the way we talk about baseball?
"Instead of saying, 'There's a hard smash to third base' we could say, 'That ball was hit 106 mph and the third baseman had a third of a second to react.' " says Peter Jensen, a statistician and summit attendee...
Those statisticians really know how to have fun...
And a ball hit out of the stadium would be: Reacting in 0.42 seconds, Ortiz hit a 96-mph tailing fastball 120 mph in a 56 degree angle 5.7 inches from the end of the bat into a tailing 7-mph wind. The ball carried 395 feet, clearing a seven-foot wall, hitting a windshield on a 1997 Nissan Maxima. The maxima gets 24mpg.
Yes, you could say that... but I'd still rather not.