Robot umpires make their professional baseball debut

Somerset Patriots

Somerset Patriots

Homeplate umpire, Brian deBrauwere, wore an earpiece during the game that connected to an iPhone in his back pocket. deBrauwere then relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.

OK, so maybe it's a long shot the rule ever goes into effect at the big league level, but the Atlantic League - an independent baseball league that recently entered into a three-year agreement with MLB to serve as a testing ground for potential rule changes - will allow batters to "steal first base" in the second half of its season, according to The Washington Post.

The game between the Liberty Division and Freedom Division all-stars ended in a 3-3 tie. In a trade for the rule changes, the MLB agreed to scout more players from the Atlantic League and provide better scouting equipment, the Post said.

He crouched in his normal position behind the catcher and signaled balls and strikes. Additionally, there is a slight delay, which led to some awkward moments as players were unsure if they had struck out on close pitches. The league is set to roll out the automated balls and strikes system to each of its eight ballparks in the coming weeks. All this as human umpires themselves are becoming more accurate: A 2019 Boston University study estimated that home plate umpires made the proper ball-strike call 90.79 percent of the time in the 2018 season. A square array well behind home plate monitors the strike zone.

The strike zone system, provided by Major League Baseball, was created by Trackman, a sports data firm. "But it would be nearly impossible to be consistent with [that pitch without Trackman] because it's at the bottom of the zone, but also because catcher's influence is real".

Sword said Major League Baseball hasn't received much pushback from umpires. "We're in touch with our umpires' union, and this is the first step of the process". "Tell people you were here", the stadium's emcee announced before the game, telling the crowd of 6,773 they were about to witness history.

"This is just another plate job and I just get a little help on this one so I feel very relaxed going into this one", he said. "It's different to see them called a strike", Atkins told the Record. If MLB were to implement robotic strike zones, it would stratify itself not only by talent but also by content: There would be a marked, fundamental difference between the game played by Baldwin High School and its home state's professional team. We kind of feel it's incumbent on us to figure out whether we could make it work.