‘Robot umpires’ debut in independent Atlantic League

‘Robot umpires’ debut in independent Atlantic League

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an eight-team league with clubs on the East Coast and a singular Texas squad, introduced the concept during it's All-Star game on Wednesday. The home plate umpire has a lot more to do than call balls and strikes and he's going to be asked to do all of that. Similarly, the software will grant pitchers a high strike that umpires generally will not because the ball appears too high as they crouch behind the plate. Trackman system concludes whether the pitch is a ball or strike and then relays it to bluetooth earpiece being warn by the umpire. The iPhone was loaded up with the TrackMan computer system, which uses a Doppler radar to track the pitches. deBrauwere, positioned right behind home plate, called the pitches as he received the information from the program. "Tell people you were here", the stadium's emcee announced before the game, telling the crowd of 6,773 they were about to witness history.

As the independent minor league prepares to expand the use of "robot umpires" leaguewide, Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League added four more rules to the second half of the season.

But players, managers and umpires in the Atlantic League have been quick to endorse the system in the name of consistency, even if the long-established boundaries of the strike zone change because of technology.

"This strike zone is different than what every player has known in the past", said Atkins, the York pitcher.

"I have seen this coming".

Much like a dropped third strike or wild pitch on a swinging strike three that allows batters to attempt to run to first, under these new rule proposals, hitters would be allowed to sprint to first base no matter what the count, making every pitch of a game that much more important. In an effort to shorten game times, the period between innings and pitching changes were additionally reduced from two minutes and five seconds to one minute and 45 seconds. And if you want to be on board with this, you have to keep up.

"It's uncharted territory", said deBrauwere, who told reporters he would have called the pitch a ball.

"If that was the one blunder", Terdoslavich said, "I didn't really hear any complaints from anyone". "So if this helps the game and the officiating of the game, that's what we're here for", deBrauwere told the Record. We kind of feel it's incumbent on us to figure out whether we could make it work.

Finally, the check swing rule will now heavily favor batters.

When the agreement between the two leagues ends, it is possible that the MLB could institute some or all of the changes across league teams. The umpire does have the authority to change the call.

"Technically, they're strikes, but umpires never called them", Atkins said.



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