Robot Umpires

Buried in an ESPN story on Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is something I’ve been screaming about for years—robot umpires.

Generally, Manfred wants to speed the game up and hears the complaints about three hour games and that game needs fixing.

He tells me, in terms far more certain than he has laid out publicly before, that he fully supports revamping the game with pitch clocks, the elimination of the shift and, in 2024, some form of robo-umpires.

Yes. A million times yes. It will call balls and strikes significantly better than humans AND speed up the game. Robot umpires have been tested minor league baseball games for the last couple of years and, guess what, it works.

June 30, 2022

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