“Baseball–Blame These Guys”
Major League Baseball.
You hit .181-you likely get DFA’d off the roster
Your ERA is 6.67-you are assigned outright
Your are Rob Manfred or Angels Hernandez you get contract extensions
Introducing to you “ABS”….automated balls and strikes.
Computer generated robo umpires.
Likely coming to Petco Park and others yards within a year.
They will go to full bore experiments in AAA-this year with “ABS”.
Half the games will have the system in place to actually call balls and strikes.
The other half of the league will have it for use on 3-managerial challenges per game.
They’ve used it on an experimental basis in Class A-ball and in the rookie leagues with a fair amount of success.
Now it goes into the Pacific Coast League and the International League and if it is well received, it could be in Fenway Park, Dodgers Stadium and every other yard on opening day 2024.
Still to be decided is whether the computer graphic system, used in Grand Slam Tennis events, will be adopted to replace the human element calling all balls and strikes, or whether it will be available for only the 3-in game challenges the managers in both dugouts can invoke on pitches in critical situations in games?
But I think “ABS” will have a real challenge. In the New York-Penn League, where I broke in decades go with the Utica Blue Sox, pitchers did not have the repertoire of pitches. Hell, they couldn’t control what they did have,fastballs and flat curves, so ABS wouldn’t have that much of a challenge determining strike or ball.
Think Yu Darvish, he of 7-different pitches and arm slots, will cause ABS computers to short circuit with his level of ball movement? How about any of the closers in baseball, who throw gas that has bite and moves all over the place, how is ABS going to deal with that heat? Meltdown coming?
And then we have the catchers, framing pitches, a malady that has hurt the umpires views of the strike zone because those guys wearing the tools of ignorance are always moving around back there.
And we will have the debate of ‘what is the strike zone, knees to the uniform letters? And what happens to the high strike? And where does launch angle and exit velo stand in this argument. And by the way, add in the ban on the shift in 2023. The game may have a real different look.
When you think of ABS just think of Rob Manfred, the Commissioner, who this spring implements the pitch clock, further limits mound visits, batter box antics, no shifts, etc, all in an attempt to improve the pace of play.
And when you think ABS, think of the crap strike zones, that seemed to move every inning last year, in what I think was the worst year of balls-strikes calls I have ever seen. We no longer have Greg Maddux dotting the black with pin point control. Everyone throws 96-98-100 but sometimes they don’t know where it’s going.
And when we get ABS, think about Angel Hernandez, who is probably the lowest rated ump, for his inconsistencies, and yet keeps getting contract extensions and keeps blowing calls.
Guess (.184) hitters and (6.67-ERA) pitchers get treated worse thanl bad umpiring, for these guys in blue keep getting rehired.
And in the mode of Cowboy Joe West, quit bitching. The umps brought this on by poor work performance behind the plate, and Manfred rubber stamped it by not doing a better job of handling people like Angel Hernandez.
They are taking the human element behind home plate out of the game. The legendary umpires like Jocko Conlin and others would be arguing about this forever.
Robo umps to replace real umps behind the plate. Technology baby.
No BS…ABS is coming to Petco Park, like it or not.