The MLB Needs To Implement This Strike Zone Challenge Technology Immediately

MLB player

Major League Baseball is one of the oldest professional sports leagues in existence, and it took them quite some time to get out of the Stone Age and start adopting technology and bringing it into the game.

This might sound crazy, but instant replay was only implemented into the major leagues in August of 2008. Before then, whatever happened on the field and was called by the umpires stood unchanged and unchallenged. And even in 2010, the instant reply process was only utilized to confirm or reverse home runs balls.

Which led to this absolute travesty of a call to end a game between the then Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, which is now referred to as the “Imperfect Game.”

This blown call almost single-handedly helped bring baseball into the modern, review-every-play era of sports:

Still so incredibly brutal to watch…

But now, in 2023, the game of baseball has come a heck of a long way. Managers have challenges so things like that above don’t happen, their is a universal designated hitter across the American and National league, and the MLB instituted a pitch-clock to speed up the game.

Seemingly using the COVID-shortened season as a guinea pig, the MLB has tinkered and tried out a plethora of rule changes in the past couple of years. It’s actually been cool to see the league be so experimental, and if something works, they keep it, and if something doesn’t, they kick it to the curb.

However, even with baseball catching up to the rest of the world, they still are clinging to one of the traditional and most controversial roles in all of sports: the home plate umpire.

The masked man cloaked in black (and small advertisement patches) behind the plate is still in charge of determining balls and strikes, all while pitches continue to get faster and faster.

Just look at how hard it is to tell if the pitch is in the zone or not:

If you’ve watched baseball on TV before, you probably know that they overlay the strike zone onto the screen to show viewers what is a ball and what is a strike.

They also have automatic ball-strike technology (ABS Systems) that can track pitches and call balls and strikes, but they still choose to just let a guy do it and willingly bring in human error to the game, which can lead to some occasional problems.

There’s even a Twitter account dedicated to giving umpires feedback on how they did versus the ABS system:

Some people have called for human umpires to be replaced all together, but it seems like this video below from a minor league game is the way to go for the future of calling strikes.

The person providing commentary in the video states:

“The pitch looks low and outside, umpire calls the pitch a friendly strike. The batter protests, the umpire checks the ABS system, it’s a ball, the call is reversed.”

So freaking simple, and truly the best of both worlds. Why can’t the MLB immediately put this into effect?

Take a look:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock