Major League Baseball to use 'robot umpires' in spring training

Ross Houston
January 24, 2020

Spring training games in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues get underway in late February.

MLB experimented with the automated balls and strikes system during the second half of last season in the independent Atlantic League, and the Arizona Fall League used it for a few dozen games at Salt River Fields.

According to Manfred, the camera makes a call which is then communicated to an umpire through an earpiece for announcement. The human umps decide on checked swings and other plays.


However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking for the first time since the investigation, suggested it would be hard to alter past World Series results at this stage. "It will reduce controversy in the game and be good for the game".

"The current strike zone design is actually three-dimensional", Manfred said, "and a camera is better at calling a three-dimensional strike zone than the human eye". Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred subsequently released a statement, penalising Astros of $5 million and 4 draft picks along with suspensions to several key Astros officials including GM Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch.

Despite Houston Astros owner Jim Crane stating that the players on his team would be apologizing for the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked Major League Baseball when they report to spring training, there were those (myself included) who figured there was no way the MLBPA was ever going to let that happen.


Cora had been bench coach for the Astros before leading Boston to the title, and an investigation into the Red Sox is ongoing.

Making matters all the more frustrating for the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, their opponent in the 2018 World Series, remain under investigation for illicit actions as well.

"We had an idea that things were going on in real time", he said last week.


Agent Scott Boras does not believe the Astros' players should apologize, not when their superiors promoted the team's illegal use of electronics to steal signs. "I think there's a long tradition in baseball of not trying to change what happened".

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