- Major League Baseball announced that it will be instituting robot umpires for the 2022 Triple A season.
- Baseball fans were quick to react to this news and were surprisingly split in their support of the announcement.
- Read more news about MLB here.
On Thursday, we reported that a survey of 11,500 sports fans revealed some of the changes they would like to see made with Major League Baseball.
Highest on the list were the way the league handles minor league pay and living conditions, broadcast blackouts, and teams tanking.
What we didn’t mention was the fact that 31.9% of those fans also want Major League Baseball to implement an automatic ball/strike system.
Apparently they are tired of watching umpires like Angel Hernandez butcher the strike zone.
According to a massive study of the 2018 Major League Baseball season, MLB umpires made 34,294 incorrect ball and strike calls for an average of 14 per game or 1.6 per inning that year.
Related: Survey Of 11,500 Fans Reveals Major League Baseball’s Biggest Problems, Changes Fans Want Made
So, despite my good friend Grayson claiming robot umpires are going to ruin baseball last year, it is still going to happen.
This week, Major League Baseball posted a job notice for an ABS Tech. ABS stands for Automated Ball and Strike system.
The listing reads…
Major League Baseball (MLB) will be operating the Automated Ball and Strike system (ABS) in select Spring Training venues in Florida, in AAA West and Low-A Southeast, and potentially in other non-MLB games and venues.
ABS will leverage optical tracking data to determine and communicate ball and strike calls to plate umpires. It is critical we provide quality support to the umpires and the technology while capturing data around system performance.
MLB is accepting applications for all markets, but are actively recruiting for the for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma Rainiers.
“The ABS Tech will be located at field level to physically support the plate umpire including his device, its functionality, and wiring,” the listing also states. “The ABS application is a simple phone app operated on an MLB-supplied iPhone with a WiFi connection.”
Baseball fans, upon hearing this news, took to social media to express their feelings about this landmark development.
@mlb @MLBNetwork It’s about time, what is next? Robot Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA)? That will be great. At least they will be able to select Hall of Famers by their stats, and not stupid personal issues. pic.twitter.com/iuoCgjTWzv
— 🇵🇷 Junito Guasa 🇵🇷 (@JunitoGuasa) January 21, 2022
All for this as a training aide to help umpires hone their strike zone and become more consistent. But the machine taking the place of the ump, not a fan. A bad call every now and then is part of the game…adds to the drama. Don’t replace the Blue!
— Gary Bleazard (@gbleaz02) January 21, 2022
How about robo players too. Or maybe just an animated version of baseball that we all watch. Or maybe just have 2 owners flip a coin 162 times to determine who wins each game. Problem solved, no bad calls and speedy games. Maybe baseball just needs to be baseball.
— Nick (@NickBridgeman81) January 21, 2022
There is going to be an absolutely egregious strike 3 call by a robot umpire and i can not wait for when that happens
— Nicholas Gagnon (@ngagnon_) January 20, 2022
Keep the real umpires in the game and have the robot umpire immediately overrule them when they’re wrong https://t.co/MOEZIuxIun
— Andrew Gibson (@Gibs_Mr716) January 20, 2022
Our robot umpire overlords are coming for you next @MLBUA https://t.co/sjhJ6S448M
— Brian (@Donahue12) January 21, 2022
I say this could be the end or at the very least the devaluation of the catching position.The lack of a running game has made a throwing catcher less important.A robot umpire makes receiving less important. You’ll just need a big HR guy who can keep ball from going to the screen https://t.co/BOTHQ1lEm3
— Chris Howard (@ChrisHoward45) January 21, 2022
Just give me any umpires if it means we’ll get baseball this season.
— Mike Marvaso (@Migilini) January 21, 2022
Even if this robot umpire ends up becoming skynet and destroys us all, it will still be better than Angel Hernandez.
— Dorf on Iowa (@DorfOnIowa) January 21, 2022
Truer words have never been spoken.