It’s time for Major League Baseball to let a computer call balls and strikes.
Anyone watching televised games can see the automated technology works. Its accuracy is indisputable. This is an easy call (and one I’m making at the suggestion of WNY baseball hall of famer Pat Ruggiero). The Sportsvision Pitchf/x system uses three cameras to track the trajectory of pitches, and the cameras already are in place at major league ballparks. Even Cubs manager Joe Maddon last month endorsed the automated strike zone.
This is not a knock on home-plate umpires. They do a great job. But humans simply can’t be as accurate as the computer technology. And this is a case in which, unlike a lot of instant replays, the call can be made just as fast as the human ump makes the call. Furthermore, why should baseball continue to live with the fact different umpires have different interpretations of the strike zone? The home plate umpire still would be in place, because there are calls only humans can make quickly, including fair and foul balls, plays at the plate, catcher interference and others.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred seems like a forward-thinking guy. The automated strike zone is inevitable.