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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Granillo: “Rise of the Robot Umpires”

It troubles me that the world is just one big rip-off of Ferro Lad.

xc

We’ve all thought it. Heck, many of us have even said it. Watching the exploits of Eric Gregg, Phil Cuzzi, Jim Joyce, and so many others, it’s hard not to believe it at least once. “We want robot umpires!”

A new project by Dan Levy is working to explore just what might happen if baseball ever heeded that call. Rise of the Robot Umpires is a graphic-style novel set in the not-too-distant future where the commissioner finally listens to the fans and eliminates all human umpires.

  Flash forward a decade, and the game has never been better…until things start to go wrong. With his 100th birthday approaching, readers are taken on an adventure to decide how The Commish will handle the sudden rise of the robot umpires. Can baseball be saved?

  Well, it can, if the reader chooses the right path along the way. In a throwback to the Choose Your Own Adventure books popularized in the 1980s, Rise of the Robot Umpires puts the decisions in the hands of the readers, choosing which path they think will lead to Big Baseball’s salvation.

Each of the many branches in this chooseable-path adventure will be written by top-notch baseball writers, many of whom are very familiar to the Baseball Prospectus crowd. King Kaufman and Will Carroll are scheduled to contribute to the project along with Will Leitch, Lang Whitaker, Dave Brown, Erik Malinowski, Dan Steinberg, Jay Busbee and many more, including yours truly. And the art will be done by Stephen Slesinski, who has done some beautiful work around the web and who currently works as an illustrator on the F/X show Archer.

 

Repoz Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:31 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: site news

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   1. Benji Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4416635)
If Rod Serling was still alive he would write about an Angel Hernandez robot ump.
   2. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4416653)
Robot umps, I feel, will somehow lead to the dystopia portrayed in the greatest game ever, Baseball Ninja Batman.
   3. Drexl Spivey Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4416672)
Jose Molina is weeping somewhere.
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4416687)
Baseball Ninja Batman.


That turned out to be even weirder than it sounds.
   5. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4416699)
EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
   6. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4416706)
Ferro Lad was not a robot!
   7. Tripon Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4416710)

That turned out to be even weirder than it sounds.


Common laws of sanity do not apply to Japanese game developers.
   8. Matthew E Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4416724)
Ferro Lad was not a robot!
I was tempted to point this out, but thought, nah, I shouldn't always... So I'm doubly glad you did.
   9. Dale Sams Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4416766)
Repoz, of all people, will know that Ferro Lad is not a robot.

   10. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4416798)
Common laws of sanity do not apply to Japanese game developers.

For those that don't want to mess around with the video, here's a screenshot of how Japanese computer guys 20 years ago imagined what robot ninja versions of Jose Canseco, Ryne Sandberg, Roger Clemens, and Darryl Strawberry would look like.

Ninja Baseball Batman
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4416837)
Why does it need a mask?
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4416883)
And what if the catcher sports a kryptonite uniform?
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4416888)
I think you'd need a robot umpire to keep up with all the action of multi-blern play.
   14. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4416910)
For those that don't want to mess around with the video, here's a screenshot of how Japanese computer guys 20 years ago imagined what robot ninja versions of Jose Canseco, Ryne Sandberg, Roger Clemens, and Darryl Strawberry would look like.


No matter what you imagine in your head before you click the link...you're wrong. Great googly moogly, you're wrong.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4416921)
DANGER, ROBINSON CANO! DANGER!
   16. Dale Sams Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4416951)
{EXT. The robot umpire is strangling Tim Lincecum. Tim is turning blue and obviously is about to die.}

ROBOT UMPIRE: "STRIKE THREE-YOU'RE..."

{Suddenly his grip releases. We pull back to see a baseball sized hole in his head. His positronic brain in tatters. The robot collapses and we see...}

RANDY JOHNSON: "Upon further review...your ass is grass."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note #134: If we can't get Randy, I recommend Will Smith as a time-travelling Satchel Paige.
   17. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4417006)
#15 and #16 are awesome.
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4417080)
No, seriously. Why does it need a mask?
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4417131)
No, seriously. Why does it need a mask?


To help it hit the sweet spot of the uncanny valley?
   20. BDC Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4417138)
No matter what you imagine in your head before you click the link...you're wrong. Great googly moogly, you're wrong

So it's not a boudoir shot of Madeleine Albright?
   21. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4417168)
No matter what you imagine in your head before you click the link...you're wrong. Great googly moogly, you're wrong


I just used robotic ninja Roger Clemens to fight walking baseball gloves who attacked with tongues that sprung out of the palm of the glove. The boss of the level was identified as 'windy airplane', which attacked Robo-Rog while it was on (of course) an actual airplane. There was a pink heart powerup that spawned a team of baseball cheerleaders. They threw fruit at Robo-Clemens to increase its health.

After two minutes of gameplay I'm more than ready to call this the game of the century.
   22. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4417420)
Cripple hitter, have you beaten it? I don't want to spoil what happens after you collect all the golden memorabilia and what the final boss is.
   23. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:52 AM (#4417629)
No, I took a break for dinner and never got back to it. I'll have to finish it now that I know there's something worth getting to.
   24. GEB4000 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4417863)
We already have the technology to have a machine call balls and strikes. That would be a nice place to start.

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