Umpires are a crucial part to any baseball game and there’s lingering believe they someday could be replaced by robots.
Sure, it’s a long shot to happen, but it is being tested in the Atlantic League, as well as some other rules that Major League Baseball may implement. Even with the advanced technology, it won’t all be perfect, as we’ve seen in the Atlantic League when a manager was ejected for arguing the automated strike zone.
The umpires still stand behind the plate. The only difference is they don’t call the balls and strikes based on what they see. They wear an Apple AirPod connected to an iPhone, which is connected to the press box software. Umps then are told what the call should be.
If you ask some players around the league, they’re not on board with the idea.
“It’s hilarious how they’re trying to change every single facet of this game now,” Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Jones told Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller.
“Doesn’t seem like baseball to me,” San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “It takes away the human element. Unless it’s 100 percent accurate, it would be tough to implement in the big leagues.”
“I’m not in favor of it,” New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ said. “I don’t know, I’ll have to see how the tests go. I think it would change the zone and be an adjustment for both sides.”
Happ’s teammate CC Sabathia wouldn’t say if he was for or against robot umps, but did say more players probably would be “all for it” if it could be completely accurate.
There’s still plenty of kinks to work out and it may never be integrated in the big-league level. But as it stands, the idea doesn’t seem to be well-received by current players.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports