Re: Why we need computers calling balls and strikes
Originally Posted by Caveman Techie
I like the idea of automated balls and strikes. I just don't see us making the jump all at once. I think we will have to step in to it. Start out with giving instant feedback to the umpire after he has made a bad call (someone earlier suggested this). I think that would make a big improvement. Then once the umpires start to get used to it, change over to an incentive/reward system, the umpires with the fewest percentage of bad calls get a bonus every year (that helps the union swallow it). After a few years with the carrot, then we bring in the stick. The umpires with the worst percentage (over a certain line of course) of bad calls over the course of two seasons (gives em plenty of time to fix it) gets demoted to the minors. Then finally after a while maybe the number of bad calls is so small that it becomes a non-issue, or if the number is still high enough then we move to an all automated ball-strikes call.
I think this way is fair, it gives the umpires a chance to fix the situation however if they don't they will be losing a major part of their jobs.
This is a great idea and one I have brought up many times over the years, unfortunately the umpires union for now will not allow it. Computerized balls and strikes like I said will not happen anytime soon so a real threat of it being used as leverage to get the umpires union to demote underperforming umpires does not exist. One day down the road when technology can more accurately call balls and strikes then MLB will have a strong card to use to get the unions to demote underperforming umpires.
Till then I think the Questec or whatever else is used to judge an umpires strike zone is a valuable tool to help umpires improve.
"Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard