The past couple of seasons are littered with missed calls from MLB umpires that have determined the outcome of games. Controversial check swing rulings defined both the Dodgers and the Giants seasons in 2021.
In the golden age of the internet, everyone is aware of each and every mistake umpires make. Every baseball fan is aware that the majority of those mistakes are made by Angel Hernandez.
Any baseball fan knows those clips are just a drop in the Angel Hernandez bucket of bad calls.
All too often umpires rob fans of the right call. Well, it seems MLB is approaching a solution to address that issue.
Robots Coming Soon to MLB?
Robot umpires have been promoted to Triple-A for the 2022 season. . The Low-A Southwest League implemented robot umpires to call balls and strikes in 8 of the 9 stadiums. The Arizona Fall League also utilized robo-umps in 2019.
Now the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters, and Tacoma Rainiers will all be utilizing robot umpires this year.
Although there is no assurance that robotic umpires will be used in the majors, the Major League Baseball Umpires Association has agreed to work with their Skynet co-workers if they get the call to the bigs.
While umps blowing calls is frustrating, having robot umpires call balls and strikes chips away at the romanticism of baseball. It could also have a huge effect on a catcher's ability to frame a pitch and in turn, how pitchers manage the strike zone.
For now, robot umpires will stay in Triple-A, but who knows, they could be in major league ballparks sooner, rather than later.