Originally Posted by mdccclxix
The rules were written before computers though. Computers weren't even dreamed of yet. I don't know baseball history well at all, so maybe others can offer in some insight. I want to say at some point there weren't even umpires.
And yet, the plate has precise measurements that are consistent from park to park. And yet, the rule book provides very specific guidelines about how to define the height of the zone by player.
Clearly, the task given to the umpire is to assess whether or not the ball crossed through the zone. That's what the rulebook says his job his. We have evidence that certain players can and do systemically abuse the umpires' physical limitations in doing their job.
The question becomes, which is the bigger affront? Changing our rule enforcement mechanism, to which some people seem to have great affinity, or allowing players to gain an advantage through their skill in abusing the limitations of our current mechanism?
The umps are there to enforce the rules. MLB should be doing what it can to allow them to do their jobs as well as possible. Choosing not to so when they clearly have a solution available is an insult to anybody who thinks that the game should be decided by the players' ability to score and prevent runs within the rules rather than their ability to abuse the limitations of our ability to enforce them.
I've yet to see anybody make a compelling argument against a solution such as the one BCubb described. I'm sure the umps would resist, but that's the only reason, that's sad.