There should be little surprise,we knew it was coming,it was not "if" but "when". It was announced Saturday that umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball on a new system of an automated ball and strike system at the plate, as part of a five-year deal contract.The Computer Plate Umpires could make an appearance in MLB anytime during the next five years.It will be the independent Atlantic League the first organized professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at their All-Star Game on July 10. A plate umpire wore an earpiece that is connected 6o an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar. (More on that below)
A Doppler radar is a specialized radar that uses the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance. Most people are familiar when they learned that is the common practice use by TV meteorologist in on-air-weather reports. Decades ago,the umpires only knew Doppler when they were checking the weather for a game, the possibility of a rain out, rain coming or not,and stuff like that.
"This idea has been around for a long time and it's the first time it's been brought to life in a comprehensive way," Morgan Sword, MLB's senior vice president of economics and operations, said on the night the Atlantic League experiment started. Humans still will determine checked swing and making sure TrackMan doesn't call a strike on a pitch that bounces and goes through the strike zone. And other crazy stuff that always finds its way to a baseball diamond.
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt said in October;"We have replay everywhere else in the game. Like it or not, replay gets the call right.” Meanwhile MLB has discusses installing the system at Class A Florida State League for 2020 season. If the test is satisfactory,the computer umpires could de used in Triple-A in 2021 as if it works there,then they will come to the Major Leagues. It is not clear whether the Major League Baseball Players Association would need to approve computerized ball and strikes.
Soon an umpire could ride in a car that drives itself to the park and then another computer that tells him what happened.Yes, we are on the eve of another decade
This time is all about TrackMan!