Like it or not, machines are inching in on the game of baseball. Indeed, on Wednesday night some big news broke that MLB will be operating an electronic zone for nine games in Florida this spring.
Buster Olney has the full report over at ESPN, and if this issue is something that you’re passionate about; you want to make sure you give it a read.
Umps' union clarifies use of electronics in spring training. https://t.co/Ij1sh6kxWE
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 23, 2020
For clarity, here is the direct statement from the MLB Umpire’s union released on Wednesday night:
“Reports that MLB will use ‘robo-umps’ to call balls and strikes in spring training games this year are completely inaccurate. … Our understanding is that a camera-based tracking system will be running in the background during some spring training games for technology development and training purposes. But any game in which a Major League Baseball umpire is working will have a human calling balls and strikes.”
In short, I don’t like it. However, I’ve learned over the course of time and in talking to other fans on social media that I am hardly in the majority. While I view baseball as a game that is perfect because it is imperfect – human element and error included – other fans look forward to accuracy. For instance, many fans point towards the work of one Angel Hernandez for their reasoning that they look forward to the day we have robot umpires.
If you’re one of those fans, I think you will someday have your wish. Certainly, this is a nod towards the fact that baseball is more than thinking about making a big change to the game we presently know.
Finally, I ask you where you sit. Are you alright with robot umpires if they’re coming in the future? Or are you like me – you want the purity of a strike zone that varies? Let us know in the comment section below why you feel the way you do.