Baseball purists would argue that human error is as much a part of the game as hitting, pitching, and fielding. Over the years, several bad calls have left disappointed MLB fan bases fuming. The current commissioner of the game wants to try and change that.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN that the sport is aiming to start using robotic umpires by the year 2024. The automated strike zones would theoretically be far more accurate than the human eye. European soccer leagues have had great success with a similar video review system.
Manfred says that removing subjective strike zones from the game will help level the playing field. It would also help speed up the game, which is a common complaint among fans. That, in turn, could bring even more spectators out to the ballpark.
The system is currently being experimented with in the minor leagues. Rob Manfred said he and other MLB officials are happy with the results thus far. It is only a matter of time before the big leagues make the switch.
There is no word on how such a system in MLB would work. Some ideas include having an umpire on the field who receives the calls from the press box. Another proposal would give managers the ability to challenge ball and strike calls on demand.
MLB fans might not get to enjoy the excitement of on-field arguments between players and umpires for much longer. If the commissioner has his way, we’re just over a season from the big change. Time will tell whether its effect on baseball is positive or negative.
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