Umpires Are Bitchy; Hate Accountability

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Remember when umpires got their shorts in a knot a couple years back about QuesTec? It was a program that monitored strikes and probably used lasers or robots or satellites, but definitely used computers. The "humanity of calling a baseball game" was trotted out, as it is always is when umps feel like pouting because baseball dares to try and hold them accountable for their work.

One real complaint about QuesTec was that it was only installed in 1/3 of baseball stadiums, and thus could alter the way a guy called a game behind the plate could be altered if he cracked under the pressure of QuestTec's unblinking eye. Well this season that's been remedied, as QuesTec has been thrown out and replaced with Zone Evaluation. ZE is going to be in all 30 parks and the information is going to available to the public on ITunes (?), and guess what: The umpires are pissed about this thing too.

"It's an upgrade from where we were," (baseball's VP for umpiring Mike) Port said in a telephone interview. "The umpires, they don't want to miss a pitch any more than a batter wants to strike out. Where the Z.E. system will give us a lot of help is more data to help identify any trends: 'The last three plate jobs, you missed seven pitches that were down and in. Here's how one of the supervisors can help you adjust your head angle or your stance to have a better chance of getting those pitches.'"

Asked if umpires had such concern about the new arrangement that they might consider going on strike -- as early as opening day, which is Sunday --(ump union spokesman) McMorris again declined comment.

Whee! An ump strike! The last time they did that it purged a bunch of terrible umpires like Ken Kaiser from the league. I'd be more than happy to let them do it again, but even umpires can't be stupid enough to not have learned from that mistake. With QuesTec having been in place for a handful of years, and last year's introduction of Instant Replay the umpires must be used to technological oversight of their jobs. Any opposition to ZE by the union must simply be out of principal to slow down their eventual replacement by cyborgs. I for one, welcome Zone Evaluation and like any other advance in technology, look forward to its implementation in the bedroom.

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12 Comments

Curt Schilling just challenged the Zone Evaluation robot to a 28-hour marathon game of World of Trollcraft.

Eric Gregg just ate the Zone Evaluation robot.

Steve Garvey + Pickup Lines Incorporating the Phrase "Zone Evaluation" = 18% of all LA County births from 1982-1991.

On one hand, I can certainly see how making strike zones more uniform would help to increase baseball's level of play and provide a legitimate standard by which to judge umpire performance.

On the other hand, umpires should be allowed to do whatever they want and show favortism to wily veterans and punish players that they don't like by calling balls and strikes however they see fit.

Yeah, my second point isn't as strong.

I look forward to the day that Bobby Cox gets thrown from a game by a Terminator Robot.

@Honeynut
As long as the computer has a special feature that causes it to call a ball every time Jeter scissors at the waist to get out of the way of a ball, not matter where it's pitched.

Robots also hate Brandon Phillips' antics.

Eric Gregg. Now there was an ass you could set your watch to.

matt_T just set up a joke so awful that even I'm not going to use it. Congratulations!

I'll be OK with an ump strike if it means we don't have to deal with Angel Hernandez anymore.

Can we keep Laz Diaz? Dude can kick some azz.

I hope the ump robots kill Cowboy Joe West first

I'm sure all of you that have hatred for someone you dont even know is reasonable. As well I am sure all of you are at the top of your profession like a Joe West, Sam Holbrook, Tim McClelland, or my personal favorite(yes I have a favorite umpire) Ed Hickox he is an outstanding person. Once you get to know him.

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