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Robot Umpires Newsbeat

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Baseball’s ‘robot umpires’ are here. And you might not even notice the difference.

The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas, will become the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on Wednesday night in York, Pa.

“It’s amazing how good these robots look. They look just like the actual umpires,” league president Rick White joked in a phone interview. “I think once people actually see this happening, they’re going to realize it’s not that big a deal.”

League officials have quietly tested software, created by sports data firm Trackman and provided by Major League Baseball, for weeks during real games in New Britain, Conn., and Bridgewater, N.J. For a few innings or an entire game, umpires have heard “ball,” “strike” or “did not track” through the earpiece, then conveyed Trackman’s call, only overturning the software on a technical glitch. Home plate umpires continue to rule on check swings, foul tips, catcher’s interference and plays at the plate. (While the program has been provisionally tested, with managers being informed before the game when Trackman would be used, Wednesday’s All-Star Game begins the league’s formal rollout.)

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Atlantic League Expected To Add Robo-Umps, Other Changes From New MLB Agreement

The independent Atlantic League has long been an innovator, and they have long been happy to blaze a trail for Major League Baseball to follow.

Now, the two sides have formalized what was already happening informally, as the league and Major League Baseball announced a three-year agreement that will allow MLB to use the independent league as a testbed for rules and equipment changes.

And those rules changes will be significant. While no one with the Atlantic League would confirm the changes, it is expected that the rules tweaks will involve moving back the mound and using Trackman to call balls and strikes, both rules changes that have long been suggested, but are significant enough to require plenty of in-game testing.

Some of you will be overjoyed by this- until Robot Joe West comes into being….

 

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, robot umpires, robots are made of metal, robots are strong

 

 

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