Envisioning a New Way of Playing the Game

While there are many things that make human beings so special, we cannot deem any of those as more important than our ability to grow on a rather consistent basis. This ability, in particular, helps us big time by widening our horizons, and when that’s the dynamic you are playing with, you can always expect to hit on some notable along the way. Talk about the ones we have stumbled upon so far, each one has enhanced our living experience in its own unique manner. However, despite all the uniqueness, technology stands a cut above others quite comfortably. Technology’s emergence seems like such an anomaly because, unlike all the other concepts, it was able to impact each and every area on our spectrum. In fact, even after revolutionizing everything about our lives, the creation will continue to find inroads for scaling up our floor under one capacity or the other. This very pattern looks set to be on full display again, if MLB goes ahead with an ambitious plan.

Major League Baseball will likely introduce an Automated Strike Zone System from 2024 onwards. According to certain reports, these robot umpires will call all balls and strikes before instantly relaying the decision to an on-plate umpire. There is also another application in play, with the stated robot umpires possibly becoming a part of the replay review system, which allows managers to challenge calls. The league has already been testing the technology in minor league, Atlantic Triple-A league since 2019. There, it seemingly used a doppler radar system, which was developed by TrackMan, a company best known for its line of golf speed measuring devices. Talk about how the system works in a more actionable sense, a CBS report explains it in the following way:

“Pitch gets thrown, TrackMan tracks and identifies the pitch’s location, phone tells umpire whether it’s a ball or strike, umpire physically makes the call behind the plate.”

The most interesting part of using this system was how it made the games shorter by a meaningful nine minutes. Hence, if it ends up proving itself as sustainable on the big stage, the technology can very well bolster the overall MLB pull, something that is currently on a downright negative trend. Nevertheless, it’s not to say that having an Automated Strike Zone System will make things better right away. You only have to look at soccer and its controversial VAR technology to understand the potential flipside of using advanced technology in sports, so to avoid a similar fate; the MLB must ensure consistent implementation across the board. Only once that is achieved, it will be fair to deliver a final verdict.

Icon pic credits: Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times

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