Should Baseball Have Computers Call Balls and Strikes?
Baseball is an old fashion game. The same rules have been implemented for over a hundred years. Now people want a change. People are complaining more and more about the strike zone. So now, the question comes up, should the umps continue to call balls and strikes or should this be left to a computer?
Over he past couple of years, fans have been complaining more and more about the strike zone. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that every broadcast that is televised has the “K Zone.” Most fans think that this is an exact zone that is simple, a ball inside that zone is a strike and a ball outside that zone is a ball. End of story. This is not the case, during the telecast this K Zone is imposed on the screen. There is nothing official about it. It makes it easier for fans to see where the pitch was, or during a replay, the television broadcast crew and easily show a pitch by pitch analysis.
If one day Major League Baseball does impose a computer called balls and strikes, what will stop them from completely doing away with umpires and have replay make every call. We as fans already see that replay doesn’t always work. Most of the time, the replay system makes the game longer. Now a days everyone is talking about pace of play and speeding up the game, this could actually take longer than the games do now. Another issue with using a computer automated system to call balls and strikes actually came from Major League Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred. He stated that in a November 30, 2015 article that the strike zone is different for every hitter. My question would be how quickly could these cameras adjust to set up for each individual hitter?
I feel like this automated technology could be used in order to assist the umpire rather than completely replace them. For example, if a pitch is thrown at 100 miles per hour, from 60 feet 6 inches away it could be very difficult to judge the pitch. This could also add jobs. Not only would there have to be technicians to ensure that the camera for the automated strike zone don’t go down, but there would also have to be another umpire stationed at the computer to vocalize whether he pitch was a ball or a strike.
Baseball purists, of course will argue against the use of computers to determine the strike zone all day. New school baseball minds will tell you that having a perfect strike zone will enhance the game. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t mind seeing this in action in the lower levels of baseball before ultimately seeing this in the Major Leagues. My stance right now is that the strike zone has been something for the umpire to decide for over 100 years, why change it now?