Thanks to everyone who visited the debut of Enhanced Gameday during the Cardinals at Padres game on Tuesday, and especially to those who provided feedback and comments on the product!
Below is a brief Q&A that we hope will address many of the questions and comments raised during the course of yesterday’s game. Enhanced Gameday is underway for today’s Athletics at Twins game, and we will be offering this feature for additional selected games throughout the postseason, so look for continued improvements as we work to make this the most informative and fan-friendly application possible. Thanks again for your feedback!
Q: What happened to my old Gameday?
A: Enhanced Gameday is not a replacement for Classic Gameday, but instead is a complement to it. Our goal is to provide new and informative information about the batter vs. pitcher matchup, which has never before been available before in real time. However, we did not want to disrupt the current display so we added Enhanced Gameday as a new window and provided the ability to quickly toggle back and forth between the two. The two views will be more seamlessly integrated in future versions.
Q: Where is the runners-on-base indicator?
A: This was added during the game in response to your feedback.
Q: Where are the box score, lineup tab, field graphic and play-by-play?
A: These features are still available in Classic Gameday, which can be accessed by clicking the Gameday icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
Q: Where does this data come from?
A: A series of high-speed cameras are installed in the ballpark, which record dozens of images of each pitch in real time. From those images we are able to determine the speed, trajectory and location of the pitch at any point along its path from the pitcher towards home plate. That pitch data is merged with the stats data entered by our scorekeepers in the ballpark and then presented in Enhanced Gameday.
Q: Why are the pitch locations different in Enhanced Gameday vs. Classic Gameday?
A: The pitch locations in Classic Gameday are entered by our scorers in the ballpark, but are not exact; they are the best human attempt to approximate the location of the pitch. The high-speed camera system in Enhanced Gameday makes it far more accurate than the locations previously available in Classic Gameday.
Q: Why show two speed values for each pitch?
A: The first value represents the speed of the pitch as it leaves the pitcher’s hand, and the second shows the speed of the pitch as it crosses the front of the plate. Wind resistance, spin and gravity cause the ball to decelerate starting the instant the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, so any single speed value doesn’t tell the entire story about the pitch.
The following color scale describes the variation in pitch trajectory colors based on the average pitch speed:
Q: Why is break provided as on value instead of one each for horizontal and vertical?
A: We consulted with players, front-office staff, broadcasters and physicists before settling on one number to represent the overall break of the pitch. A pitch does not move in separate horizontal and vertical planes, but rather follows a smooth curve as it goes from the pitcher to home plate, so the single break value takes this overall movement into account. Look for further explanation of "break", and possibly more data, in the near future.
Q: Why not display pitch type (fastball, curve, etc.)?
A: This is a feature we expect to add during the 2007 season.
Q: Will I be able to view the pitch data presented in other ways (by pitcher, average speed, etc.)?
A: We will continue to expand the presentation of the pitch data during the 2007 season, based largely on user feedback of how the data would be most useful.
Q: Can I mouse over the pitch graphic for more information?
A: This is a feature we hope to add during the postseason but if not it will be included during the 2007 season.
Q: Why use the 3/4 view instead of straight-on?
A: Using a straight-on view would limit our ability to display the trajectory of the pitch, so we slightly rotated the view to provide the best possible perspective. (The standard camera angle when watching on TV is also slightly offset from center.) Currently you can choose between a 3/4 view from behind the pitcher or behind the pitcher, and future versions of Enhanced Gameday will allow you to customize the angle and vantage point from which the pitch is displayed.
Q: Why are the strike zone and previous pitch lines so dim against the black background?
A: We will adjust the color scheme in the near future to make these features more prominent