We finally launched brand-new Gameday 2007 last week with the debut of Mexican League Games. Despite the last minute rush, we dare say it was much more smooth sailing than we anticipated. This past Thursday March 29, Gameday moved on to Spring Training. There are still a few wrinkles to iron out, but for those of you who want a sneak-peek of the new Gameday before the season opener, be on the lookout for Gameday icons appearing on the Homepage and Scoreboard page in the next few days. We may even have 3D pitch data available for the Freeway Series Games (LA Angels vs LA Dodgers).
This season we have incorporated many of the changes suggested in the comments received so far from last year’s Postseason Games. This includes: merging of "Classic" mode and "Enhanced" mode together so you don’t have to switch between modes to see core game information; adding pitch number in the 3D area; improving and expanding the user interface of Game Archive; improving visibility of scoreboard design; expanding camera angle options; and modifying the break calculation to better represent baseball fan’s definition of breaks (more on this later). You may also notice a new statistics captured — the pFX number. In the next few months we will be providing more information about these new statistics as well as tidbits about Gameday you might enjoy.
While we try to make the application as robust as possible, there are always inevitable bugs here and there. If you are experiencing problems with Gameday 2007, feel free to report it in the comments section.
We’ve started a collection of links to articles around the web that mentioned the new Enhanced Gameday. If you’ve seen more or have written about us, let us know!
In addition to Enhanced Gameday, we have also launched a new version of our Gameday Chat product. The chat supports a live online community allowing fans to interact with each other while following the game. A chat room is available for each team while that team’s game is in progress and can be accessed using the links in the top-right of the Gameday window.
The new version of chat features an upgraded user interface and a more scalable platform driving the backend of the system. We hope the chat feature provides you with a more integrated community experience to further increase your enjoyment of Gameday.
Please share your comments on any improvements you’d like to see in chat for 2007. Thank you.
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
To all who have provided feedback, thank you very much for the comments. We’re now through our first game with the new data and appreciate all of the suggestions very much. As some have noted, we added baserunners to make viewing in the enhanced gameday view a bit easier, and will provide more detailed response to your additional comments tomorrow here on the blog.
Because we’re still testing the system, it will not be available for all post-season games, and in the instance that it is not, you’ll be defaulted back to the classic mode you’re all used to. Thanks for “tuning in”!
Thanks very much for all of the feedback so far, keep it coming!
For those that want the classic view, please note you can very easily click to flip back and forth from enhanced to classic and vice versa, in the top left corner of Gameday.
With the start of the 2006 Postseason, the MLB.com Gameday team has some exciting announcements for Gameday fans, principally the launch of the trial of our Enhanced Gameday service. We’ve spent the season installing equipment in select ballparks to very accurately track pitch trajectory, break, and speed. What you’re seeing in Enhanced Gameday are the real time results of that data capture, designed to allow you, the fan to better understand what each batter faces on a per-pitch basis.
We hope you enjoy the product on the select games we’re covering this post-season. We’ll be running it on a more widespread basis during the 2007 season. Stay tuned here for additional announcements regarding the product, and feel free to privde feedback via comments on the blog.
A few quick notes to help you better understand the product:
- Speeds are displayed with two values, indicating speed as the ball is released from the pitcher’s hand, and speed as it crosses the plate.
- Break is currently defined as the measurement of the distance between the location of the actual pitch thrown over the plate, and the calculated location of a ball thrown by the pitcher in the same way, with no spin.