Home Sports Automated Strike Zone Could Be On the Horizon for MLB

Automated Strike Zone Could Be On the Horizon for MLB

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Umpire

In past years, more so recently, there has been talk within the baseball world about Major League Baseball possibly switching to an automated strike zone, in the future.

The reasoning behind arguments for an automated strike zone are as follows: there are several miss called balls and strikes that often alter the result of the game; hitting is hard enough as it is, why should pitchers get an advantage from select umpires who are pitcher friendly?; strikeout numbers are up, home run numbers are down, leading to a steady decline in annual attendance.

The main argument against the automated strike zone is that it would undermine the purity of the game, much like the new replay system. Moreover, there are other options to increasing offense, like lowering the mound, lowering the seams on the baseball, shrinking the strike zone, etc.

The close calls make the game human: that split second between the pop of the catcher’s mitt and the umpire’s “strike three!” or the crowd’s relentless boos after the batter is awarded first base. That is the beauty in the game. Like a classic play, the drama of the scene holds the audience at bay until the last possible moment, and then brings them to their feet, all at once, in a roar that is equal parts jubilation and humiliation. In those moments, heroes are made and scapegoats are burned to memory. The suspense is in the human aspect of game; without that, the game might as well be simulated by a computer. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.