The electronic strike zone graced headlines this week – as the Cubs and the other 29 big league teams briefly believed it would be coming to games this spring.
As Cubs fans turned the page on the annual Cubs Convention, Major League Baseball made one of the biggest announcements in the history of the game – at the very least, the next biggest thing since instant replay. The league did so in passing fashion by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who tends to casually drop bombs during his public appearances.
Within 24 hours of the announcement, the MLB umpires’ union clarified what exactly this would mean once Spring Training games kick off next month.
“Reports that MLB will use ‘robo-umps’ to call balls and strikes in spring training games this year are completely inaccurate. … Our understanding is that a camera-based tracking system will be running in the background during some spring training games for technology development and training purposes. But any game in which a Major League Baseball umpire is working will have a human calling balls and strikes.”
I give Manfred credit. Maybe he wanted fans to believe this was coming in mere…