Why don’t they have a straight-on center field camera?


When we’re watching a baseball game from home, for the most part it’s from a center field camera. The only problem is that it’s not quite dead center. Instead the camera comes in at an angle, skewing our view of the action. It’s the main reason why so many fans at home get upset over ball and strike calls.

Why is the camera offset rather than dead center? I’ll let this nifty video explain.

I have nothing to add, other than a vocal desire to see the Yankees implement a dead center primary camera next year.

Categories : Musings


  1. Cool video; I’d definitely like to see a dead center camera. Maybe I’m assuming too much in the way of video technology but isn’t there a way for them to develop an unmanned, smaller camera to be the dead center one?

  2. Chris says:

    Personally, the off-center camera angle doesn’t bother me. If I want to know if a pitch was truly a strike (or know the movement on it), then I’ll just check Gameday. That’s much more accurate than even a straight-on center field camera.

    • Zack says:

      Yeah, but some people want to just watch the game and not check their computer every pitch for the correct location (and velocity), because well that is what those networks are being paid to do.

    • Jamie says:

      I agree. I have almost been conditioned to the strike zone from the off-center camera style.

      • SF Yanks says:

        Yep. I have become so conditioned to the off-center view that I honestly think I can accurately call a ball or strike 95% of the time. Having a center-placed camera will take some time to get adjusted to the accuracy that we ALL have with the off-set cameras.

        Still, I wouldn’t mind a dead-center cam.

  3. Colin says:

    I couldn’t watch the video because I’m at work. But I go to school in Boston and I know NESN uses a dead center camera for the red sox games. Its definitely better than the standard view as far as pitches go. And you can see the break on RHP balls a lot better from the center angle

  4. Upstate Nick says:

    Agreed, and while we’re on the issue of balls and strikes, I’d like to see YES use something like K-zone, too (though not necessarily on the screen full time like what TBS is doing… just for reviewing after the fact).

    I have no idea what the angle of inclination would have to be like, but there’s plenty of space on top of the sports bar for a camera. You’d probably have to tear out some of those seats in front of the food court back there, though.

    • Jamie says:

      Yankees are completly against k-zone and all that. Kinda unrelated but they were one of the last – if not the last – to even have MPH at the stadium

  5. Mike Pop says:

    Wow, it looks so much better in my opinion.

    Come on Cashman, you jerk. Sign a check, get us a dead center camera.


  7. Zack says:

    Why did FOX say they’ll only use it for replays? If you have it then use it correctly

  8. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Did anyone out there really think that Feliciano’s slider started well outside the batter? Who was that video made for, people who have never witnessed a baseball game ever?
    I do think the dead center camera angle shows just how much a fastball moves. You can really appreciate how much movement AJ’s pitches have, and you can also see how dead straight a fastball that Daniel Bard throws.

  9. Cam says:

    The dead center field cam is nice, but I could really go either way. Use the current angle most of the time, the center field cam for replays, whatever. But I actually do like the K zone that TBS has on screen all the time. With wide screen TVs, all that space on the left and right is dead space. And even with tons of graphics hogging the screens of sports telecasts, having that there isn’t really that disctracting and almost helps you understand the game a little better in that we know what the umps zone is like. Anyone watching on a regular, non-widescreen TV? Does the graphic show up? Now, if the announcers just stopped ignoring it…

    • Evan NYC says:

      I think that thing is so inaccurate compared to say nESPNs K-Zone. Well it’s either inaccurate or the umpires have been terrible. CCs inning where he let up his ER, the Twins got 4 outs. According to Pitch Trax, that was a strike to (Cabrerra I think?) on the outside corner.

      • Cam says:

        Yeah, there were a couple real bad calls that game on pitches on the lower outside corner to batters. Given, it’s a difficult pitch to call accurately, but I think there were 2 or 3 times during the game when the ball was clearly in the k-zone and were called balls.

    • Zack says:

      The kzone only shows up on the HD feed.

  10. John C says:

    I appreciate that a dead CF camera gives the viewer proper horizontal K zone perspective, but a potential problem with the view is it can skew vertical perspective–the discussion will shift from inside/outside to high/low. It’s really a matter of picking your poison.

    ESPN broadcast their games from dead center a couple years ago, but abandoned the view because they felt it wasn’t framed as well as the traditional offset view. Then again, what do they know? All they care about is football, anyway.

  11. vin says:

    Has anyone seen a Nationals broadcast? If I’m not mistaken, they have a dead-centerfield camera, but it’s elevated probably 30-50 feet higher than normal. It has an aerial/wide-angle feel to it. It’s completely unwatchable. Good thing I usually only encounter it on highlights.

  12. CountryClub says:

    I have to tell you, the first side by side example they gave us didnt make me think I need to see a dead center view. The guys said the off center view made the ball look far outside and then the dead center showed it to be just off the plate. i didnt think the the off center view made it look way outside. As a matter of fact, I thought both views showed the pitch to be the same distance outside the zone.

    I did like the second split screen they showed with the slider. You could see a real difference there. But as someone said above, does anyone really think that someone’s slider starts off behind the batter?

    I have HD so get to see the k zone that TBS has on the screen for every pitch. They have it in the corner of the screen and with the widescreen tv’s it doesnt interfer with the picture at all. But very rarely do I see a pitch live and get surprised when I see where it shows up on the k zone.

  13. TheZack says:

    Clearly the reason the Sox have a dead center camera has nothing to do with the fans, and everything to do what has long been suspected and even accused: stealing signs etc. For YEARS people were claiming the Sox used CF to steal signs. Damn cheatahs!

  14. Mike Axisa says:

    They have a dead CF camera at the College World Series too. I love it, I wish every baseball broadcast had it.

  15. Rob in CT says:

    I would like a dead center camera too. It would skew high/low a bit, but I bet less than the current side-to-side situation. And they have cameras they can show you replays from to give you high/low.

  16. Dominik says:

    Could not disagree more. ESPN tried it a few years ago. It was horrible and disorienting. It higher angle ruins high / low perception, so it creates a new problem. I hope the offset is here to stay.

    • Stultus Magnus says:

      Dead center cameras that are elevated too high make it look like the teams are playing on a little league field. I was watching a Marlins game and it looked like the pitcher was 30 feet from the batter.

  17. [...] morning, River Ave. Blues linked to this video (posted below) which explains the visual difference between center and [...]

  18. Kenny F says:

    Way cool video. Let’s see FOX, ESPN, TBS, MLB, and so forth, go to the straight-on camera.

  19. ShuutoHeat says:

    The more you learn…

  20. Ari says:

    Count me in as wanting (dying for) the dead-center cam next year. As someone for whom pitching is the most interesting aspect of the game, to actually be able to see what the pitches do would be beyond great.

  21. Stultus Magnus says:

    This dumb video hardly tells baseball fans anything. Is it not obvious that the camera angle is not dead center and that it therefore alters the perception of the pitch?

    They could have just said this: FOX will try to have a dead center camera for playoff games.

    That’s the news. A two second blip.

  22. dudes says:

    as someone who lived in new england for the last four years, i can say that mo’s cutter looks so much filthier from nesn’s dead center camera than yes’s off center camera.

  23. [...] Why don’t they have a straight-on center field camera? – River Avenue Blues [...]

  24. ramses says:

    because all you would see is the pitcher, not the batter. they put it at an angle so you can see both.

  25. army mos says:

    Good read , I am going to spend more time learning about this subject

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