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August 19, 2007



Easy, conscious bias, consciously suppressed, unconsciously guilt ridden and self-correcting.


I would broaden the test. I suspect umpires unconsciously favor the pitcher and have to work to suppress that.





My son, who is a graduate of professional umpire school and worked on the college and semi-pro levels until he went back to school and then became a college baseball coach, says this is just plain hooey.


I haven't been around for a few days, so I don't know if you all got the link for the latest Amicus Brief filing on the Libby case? If this is old news, sorry but here it is:

Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation has filed an amicus brief with the appellate court in the Libby case.

He discusses it here -and there’s a link to a PDF of the brief.


Yup, Sara, Comey pulled a sly one, and it just will not stand.

Attila (Pillage Idiot)

Tell it to Tom Glavine, who rarely gets a break on calls on the corners from white umpires or anyone else.

More seriously, the results of this study sound like your typical baseball statistics offered by an announcer with too much time to fill: "Mike Lowell is 4 for 6 from the 10th inning on in extra inning games played on the road in stadiums built after 1995."

Serenity Now

TM - The effect disappears in big spots or with big crowds? Weird - if it is an unconscious bias, why would the context make it go away?

People are lazy to varying degrees. When you're being lazy, your biases play a bigger role in the decisions you make. When you're under a lot of scrutiny, you put more effort into getting the decision right, and the role played by lazy bias diminishes.

Isn't that common sense? It doesn't mean the study's right, but the underlying mechanism is an obvious aspect of human nature.

Sara - My son, who is a graduate of professional umpire school and worked on the college and semi-pro levels until he went back to school and then became a college baseball coach, says this is just plain hooey.

Professionals can be mistaken about their lack of bias.


I've seen referee bias with my own eyes. A few months ago I was watching the Miami Heat playing the Detroit Pistons. The white referees where calling fouls only on the black basketball players, all 10 of them.


I've seen referee bias with my own eyes.

I thought we were talking baseball, not basketball. Basketball is a whole different issue. No one can trust their refs.

A couple weeks ago, there was a big news blurb about fewer blacks welcome in baseball. Since my son does recruiting, I asked him why this might be. He said, "they don't want to play baseball." The good athletes have choices and usually pick basketball or football. And secondly, we've done such a good job of telling minorities that there are other more promising ways with much better odds to make it in America, they've actually begun following those paths and not coming into sports at all. Then he quipped, "like being the next big rap star."


John Hawkins and Bob Novak at RightWingNews on Plame. Ta! Ta!


The Plame Affair, long and notorious as it has been, is just taking off. It amazes me that Clinton has accepted Joe, who may be Richardson's Trojan Horse to the Clintonista Camp. Thompson is the only one speaking as if he knows the truth of the matter and that is that Libby is innocent, Russert is a perjuror, Fitzgerald is an unconstitutionally appointed obstructer of justice, and that Joe Wilson and Jay Rockefeller are traitors. I even consider that Val has been victimized, sometimes I do.

Patrick R. Sullivan

OT-the latest in Scott Beauchampgate, and it looks like Franklin Foer is in denial.

The Monday after the party, at the magazine’s offices, Foer was locked in a long serious conversation with Leon Wieseltier, the bear-shaped intellectual who has run the magazine’s literary section with distinction since 1983. They were talking about Beauchamp. Foer couldn’t understand why anyone would just make things up.

Wieseltier did. “Maybe he [Beauchamp] is a sociopath.”

As new details about Beauchamp’s strange private life emerged, Wieseltier’s initial assessment would prove to be on target. Wieseltier did not return phone calls regarding the incident.

Nick Kasoff

Kind of like how the press jumps on conservative politicians every chance they get. But when somebody is actually paying attention to the bias, they suddenly become very balanced. Yep, I believe it.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

Crunchy Frog

"I would broaden the test. I suspect umpires unconsciously favor the pitcher and have to work to suppress that."

There's nothing unconscious about it. The more strikes that get called on the margins, that faster the game gets over, and the sooner everyone gets to go home. In a game between a couple of cellar dwellers in the middle of August, wouldn't you want to get the hell out of there as soon as possible?


Hummmm some economists clearly have too much time on their hands. Must be that publish or perish syndrome.


Really wierd report..I imagine it will get ripped apart by the folks at ESPN just like when the Basketball report came out.. BTW the report likened itself to that study in the 2nd paragraph..one number stood out..
White pitchers strike out white batters more often..I'm not sure what that means..
Also there are no Asian Umps so it must mean that when an asian comes to bat all the umps are a different race..That must be backed by stats right?
That Asians hit poorly because more strikes would be called on them? How can a Japanese player hold the all-time major league record for hits in a season?
This report will be shown to be nonsense..

Jack is Back!

Actually, this study is a vain and aimless attempt to inject subjective academic inquiry into baseball in order to set the table for the discussion: "Why are there less and less African-American baseball players"? Because, everyone can see that balls and strikes work against them. Ask Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa (okay he is not an African-American more like a African-Dominican). But more seriously and in an objective manner, how do you know if you can't see the pitch from the exact same perspective of the umpire? Until you address that little conundrum you have a BS paper not worthy of Mrs. Larry David's bidet.

hit and run

I have concluded a study in which I reviewed, in my mind, every at bat in my college baseball career. I swung equally as hard, and with the same (high) level of ill-intent against all pitchers, regardless of race.

I am currently conducting the same review of my pitching career (although I note that I only pitched in highschool) and without pre-biasing my study, believe the result will be the same.

I will however note my last act as a highschool baseball player involved being thrown out of the game. It was divisional playoffs, and we were in the last inning, trailing by 2 runs. I was on first base and the batter hit a ground ball to the second baseman. I slid into second base to try and take out the shortstop who was attempting to turn the double play. I caught his leg and his throw ended up offline and took the first baseman away from the bag.

However, the umpire ruled that I had slid outside the baseline and declared the batter out as well.

My study of this incident has revealed that I do not remember the race of this umpire, and thus I conclude that my actions exhibit color-blindness and pure motives of arguing a bad call and not simply an attempt at imposing my inner hidden white supremicist tendencies, if he were non-white, which again, I have no idea if he was.

In the meantime, while writing this comment, I have concluded the study of my pitching career and again have determined that I threw with equal intent of retiring each batter I faced without regard to his race. Nor, I may add with regard to his religion or lack thereof, sexual orientation, height, or amount of facial hair.

This study is inconclusive with regard to gender, as I only faced male pitchers as a batter and male batters as a pitcher.


Hit & Run
My secret as a left handed pitcher in school was this...
I always hit the first batter in an important game..Didn't matter about race..
It kept the knees buckling for innings with the curve..
Well..my secret is out...


I know some things don't have logical connects but can anyone explain to me how the National Association of Manufactures is the main blog following the travails of the Pants Judge issue.


No SlimGuy,

but continuing in the same vein, can anyone explain why NASA is involved in promoting global warming instead of just providing the science - ie. facts.


For Slimguy and all:

Remember this guy from the Foley fracas?

Not so “Innocent” Lane Hudson


As the NBA goes through it current bad times regarding referees, I am reminded of a comment by a retired Charles Barkley.

He said that when he was in Phoenix and Houston, he and his teammates knew every night who was going to win based solely on the talent of the teams/players on the floor, but when he was in Phildelphia, the referees decided who won. It seemed in Philadelphia, the talent of the teams/players was secondary.

Nick Kasoff

What I found even more interesting is the number of anti-Korean bigots bashing the victims of this frivolous action, in this Washington Post blog. Truly disgusting.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report

hit and run

Might as well note that the investigation of the NBA ref scandal has a couple of new faces:

NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today that the NBA has named Lawrence B. Pedowitz, a former Chief of the Criminal Division in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and current partner at law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, to lead a comprehensive review of the league's rules, policies, and procedures relating to gambling and its officiating program.
David B. Anders, who joined Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz after serving more than seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will be assisting Pedowitz.
Pedowitz said, “With full recognition of the seriousness of the task and the careful scrutiny required, I accept the responsibility placed on me by the Commissioner. I have received a broad mandate from the NBA, including the authority to retain the additional experts and consultants needed to complete a searching review. We intend to thoroughly examine those areas of the NBA's operations that could affect the integrity of the game.”

Best of luck to these gents in helping the NBA regain its credibility and restore a trust in its integrity.


I'm glad to see the Southern District of New York enter the fray, er game. It's about time they started picking on someone their own size rather than the Executive Branch.


The highest paid state employee in some states is the basketball coach of AMATEUR players. You think I'm joking.


We agree, but why and where did you come from?

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