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It’s Time To Eject Researchers

Thursday, August 16, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Posted by Duane Patterson

One of Yahoo’s top stories circulating right now is about a group of researchers at the University of Texas, Austin who have studied every called pitch in the Majors between 2004 and 2006, and have found that umpires are racists. I kid you not. Here’s the story.

Major League Baseball umpires are more likely to call strikes for pitchers of the same race or ethnicity, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin analyzed every pitch from the 2004 through 2006 major league seasons to explore whether racial discrimination factored into umpires’ decisions to call a pitch a strike or a ball.

Just as discrimination in the labor market can affect disparities in wages, promotion and performance evaluation, the researchers said, possible discrimination by umpires could affect the outcome of games and careers.

During a typical baseball game, umpires call about 75 pitches for each team (they call about 400,000 pitches over the whole season-this figure excludes foul balls), so an umpire’s evaluation heavily influences pitcher productivity and performance.


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