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Computers should call balls and strikes and baseball is an institution of anachronism


Barnaby Graves

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With cameras and technology and solid state drives and the transistor radio and penicillin, by this point, it's technologically feasible to track a baseball. It happens all the time. For several years now I have been able to use MLB gameday to see exactly where a pitch was during each millisecond of its life.

So how come umpires can't do that?

Let's pretend every single person in the world has a cell phone tuned through the internet to watch an Orioles game on MLB Gameday. Every single person except the home plate umpire who just happens to be C.B. Bucknor.

So here comes the pitch and it's a strike. It's a strike but the catcher had to move his glove to get the ball. He framed it on the lower outside corner, it came in high and inside but low and behold, according to the rules of baseball, it was a strike.

But C.B. Bucknor saw the catcher move his glove to catch the ball. Therefore the pitcher did not do his job and it was a ball.

Think this is unrealistic? This happens all the time and it's terrible. In fact even if you disagree with my premise you've seen this kind of thing happen and you know I'm not making it up. And it's garbage.

I don't care if one team is winning by 20, or Greg Maddux is pitching to some douchebag rookie, strikes and balls should follow the rigid rules set forth by the rulebook. There should be no room for negotiation. It degrades the integrity of the game to give wiggle room. But before, we could realistically say, it's impossible to call balls and strikes because technology is not there.

But we cannot say that anymore. The only reason not to get things right is laziness. I'm ready for the robots.

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He's the one Palmer said "isn't a good umpire, and never has been," right?

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I remember several years back there was a game (playing the Jays I think?) where Bucknor missed at least 20 pitches per Pitch FX. Like almost 10% of what was thrown in that game. It was absolutely ridiculous.

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