We’re well into the 2016 season for Major League Baseball. Each year, MLB adjusts the rules to resolve safety issues and to improve fairness. Unfortunately, there is still a part of baseball that continues to be unfair, the calling of balls and strikes by the home plate umpire.
The technology to accurately call balls and strikes has existed for several years. During TV broadcasts of games, networks frequently show a display after pitches, which shows whether or not the ball was in the strike zone. Some umpires do a good job of calling pitches. However, even the best umpire does not get pitch-calls right every time. The result is that not every batter gets a fair at-bat.
I really like to watch baseball. However, I am disgusted every year by the fact that the MLB will not adopt a computerized system for calling balls and strikes. There is only one reason this change is not made, and that is umpire egos. The show put on by most umpires behind home plate when they call strikes and ring up batters is apparently more important than having a fair contest.
Computerized calling of balls and strikes would not eliminate the need for the umpire behind home plate. Calls still need to be made as to whether the batter checks his swing, for plays at home plate, and for plays in the infield. Umpires are not needed to call accurate and consistent balls and strikes. MLB will never truly be in the 21st century as long as the broadcast networks have a better means of calling balls and strikes than the players get in the game.
I couldn’t care less whether umpires’ egos are bruised by eliminating them from calling balls and strikes. I want to see games that are fair to all of the teams and all of the players.