First Step Taken in Mass Replacement of Umpires with Androids

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So we've got instant replay in baseball now. Camp Tiger Claw and I argued about the prospect of such a rule change back in May, and we agreed that we both were wrong and each others' opinion was ridiculously wrong. Turns out the umpires' union and the MLB corporation were far more agreeable, as they finally buried the hatchet and signed an agreement to allow instant replay starting this season:

"I told our members that it's just another tool that we can use to get the play right, not to look at it as a negative, but a positive," World Umpires Association president John Hirschbeck said. "As hard as you try, as much as you hustle, sometimes with just the landscape of the ballparks nowadays, it's hard to tell. So if we can get it right, you know what, let's use it as a tool to get it right."

Hirschbeck seems like a gentleman and a good communicator, but he obviously knows that umpires are a cloistered sort and quite protective of their craft. Naturally, they should be. No other institution in sports takes more abuse than the baseball umpire, despite their pretty decent record of making the right call. Yes, you've got your Don Denkingers and your Rich Garcias who made questionable calls in tight playoff situations, but for the most part, umpires know their shit.

So now, Bud Selig and his band of merry CEOs are figuring out how to implement new technologies to get home run calls right:

Umpire crew chiefs will determine when replay will be used and will make the final decisions on calls. Up to three umpires will be able to look at the replays, which will be provided from a "war room" at Major League Baseball Advanced Media in New York. It's possible as many as five umps could review the replays during postseason.

Will umpires on the field have iPhones in their back pockets? Will the umpires in the war room push the video out to the umpires on the field via AT&T's 3G network? What if videos like this accidentally show up on Hunter Wendelstedt's iPhone?

Perhaps the real question is: how many different ways can Bud Selig screw this up?


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11 Comments

Is that Jimmy Piersal talking to the robot? Because that would actually make sense.

Why is it that every time a couple of people get in a room together to watch a video they call it a "war room"? I am going to start calling the conference room at my office a war room. Whenever customers come in I will tell them that we will be meeting in the war room. We'll see how that works.

"Hey guys. Grab the bong. We're gonna watch Half Baked, IN THE WAR ROOM."

"Ok, all you ladies were paid for a reason. So, strip naked. Lube yourself up with that Crisco over there. Then, into the WAR ROOM."

"Was that a home run?"
"I dunno."
"Looked like a home run."
"Oh shit, it's the red phone, that's commissioner Selig. Hello?"
"Send up the Bat Signal, wouldja?"
"The what?"
"Oh, that's my way of saying talk to the war room."
"The fuck's a war room?"
"Bat signal, I crack me up."

"With the 22nd overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Major League Baseball Umpires select.. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame."

Kiper: I still CAN NOT get over how all of these other teams passed him up.
Young: So, he is gonna watch home runs?
Smith: His delay in repetoiring to the stage to greet Commissary Goodell leads me to beliefs he is also consumer with this pick.

All the androids will be made from old Buicks in Selig's back yard.

I killed my work computer a couple days ago. I was checking out With Leather when everything went to shit. Prolly just a coincidence...

@phillas

Go up to NoLasCo and find Ufford. He'll reimburse you.

I think you left Eric Gregg out in the bad ump examples.

Eric Gregg's only shortcoming was his inability to keep croissants out of his belly.

@CTC

Consider my existence justified.

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