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Umpires make calls based on race

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Flash, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    This ought to start something good ... or at least it should get locked in a hurry.


    Major league umpires sometimes give breaks to pitchers of their own ethnic background, according to the co-author of a study on balls and strikes.

    On average, it affects only one or two pitches per nine innings and likely won't influence the outcome of a game, Chris Parsons, a McGill University assistant professor of finance, said Tuesday.

    The study titled Strike Three: Umpires Demand For Discrimination, was co-authored by Parsons, University of Texas economist Daniel Hamermesh, Auburn University assistant professor Michael Yates and Texas graduate student Johan Sulaeman.

    Parsons says the point of the study was not to attack umpires or expose discrimination in baseball, but to show that the facts and figures used to evaluate a worker's performance in any industry can be affected by ethnic bias.
  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Major League umpires aren't that smart.
  3. Terence Mann

    Terence Mann Member

    They recorded every pitch thrown in the major leagues from 2004 to 2006 _ a total of 2,120,166 _ of which 53 per cent resulted in balls or strikes called by home plate umpires. Pitchers and umpires were divided into four types: white, black, Hispanic and Asian.

    They found that on average, an umpire calls strikes on 32.1 per cent of pitches when the pitcher is of the same ethnic profile, but only 31.5 per cent are strikes when the pitcher is of a different ethnic group. The batter's background makes no difference.

    Looking for the part in the story where someone says they evaluated whether these pitches actually were balls or strikes. Can't find it. You know, that could make a difference too.
  4. ThomsonONE

    ThomsonONE Member

    So we are talking about 0.6% of pitches as the discrepancy, which is well within the margin of error. This report goes to show how most people don't understand statistics well enough to use them properly.
  5. Agreed, which is why I'd hope no sports section would run the subject line of this thread as a headline over this story. Huge overstatement at best, and (at worst) based on a story with a poor understanding of statistical analysis.
  6. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Terrence, I think your point should be THE bottom line on this argument. Was it a strike or ball to begin with? Wouldn't a more accurate representation be that IF the ball was technically in the strike zone, then was it called a ball or a strike more or less based on certain racial groups?
  7. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I wonder if any of the slapdicks who did this study have ever seen baseball game.
  8. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Sorry ...
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Maybe all of the calls were correct, Alley, and the study proves that pitchers throw with slightly more confidence and accuracy when someone of their ethnic group is calling balls and strikes!
  10. It said they were all baseball fans.

    Here's the study, for those interested.

    I just skimmed the introduction and found the link between baseball umpires and employee evaluators a bit dubious.

    I'm not smart enough to understand the raw data, but my one concern would be the extremely limited sample size of Hispanic (3) and black (5) umpires.
  11. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Now if the study determined Angel Fucking Hernandez was the worst umpire in the history of professional baseball I might be inclined to agree with them.
  12. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Is that his full name?
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