The Baltimore Orioles have seen their share of bad calls over the years. And the fact of the matter is that we all know balls and strikes are one of the toughest things to call in sports. As a home plate umpire, you have to keep your strike zone consistent for nine innings. The good ones make it look easy. The subpar ones struggle. And we all know who they are.
Anyone who watched last night’s World Series game knows that the Washington Nationals have a serious beef with the strike zone. While that wasn’t why they lost, it is incredibly frustrating when you can’t buy a call. Thus today we’re hearing a lot about robot umpires taking over balls and strikes.
Unfortunately for purists such as myself, that’s something which is probably coming. But I hope that ends up not being the case. Yes folks, there is and should always be a human element to the game. But there’s another reason as well.
MLB and all professional sports are about to jump into bed with the gaming industry. Legalized sports gambling is becoming a thing. While there will still be a home plate umpire to make safe/out calls and to operate the machines, the balls and strikes will be called by computers. In this age where sports gambling is becoming a thing, do we not think there’s a chance that people could abuse the system and find a way to hack into the systems?
In terms of fixing results, when there’s a will there’s a way. As long as someone stands to make or lose a lot of money, there’ll always be someone out there willing to cheat. And with the know-how to do so. And yes, robot umpires take away from the tradition and the human element of the game. That’s not something that should ever change.