Last month, during the third game of the 2012 World Series, there was a pitch that was called as a third strike. Seconds after the call, which ended the at-bat for whichever team was up for that inning, there was a graphic shown of the strike zone and the location of the ball as it passed the plate. It was clearly outside the strike zone and, therefore, should not have been called a strike.
It got me thinking. We use technology to help us with a lot of things and it seems to me calling balls and strikes ought to be one of the things we consider using it for. I have no doubt the technology not only exists, but that it’s currently being used during baseball games. They showed the graphic and, frankly, inasmuch as they’ve been able to obtain the speed of the ball using radar for years, I see no reason they can’t use it to ascertain the exact track of the ball.
Now, I no longer watch much baseball. Ever since the game showed their disdain for their fans by canceling the 1994 World Series through the inability of the players and owners to reach an agreement on how they would divvy up the enormous sums of money they garner each season, I have determined not to be a contributor. Amazingly enough, I have managed to make it through most every season without paying attention and my life has continued rather nicely. I have, on occasion, attended a game or two in all these years, but only because I was invited and did not wish to ignore the generosity of someone whom I respect.
I have also watched many of the games in the World Series over the years, though not much lately. The one I watched this year was – I believe – the third game of the series between San Francisco and Detroit. It was the first game I had seen all year. Frankly, I’d rather watch golf; I’d actually rather play golf, but that’s another story. Besides, it’s difficult to play golf in the dark. I’ve heard Stevie Wonder does it. 🙂
Since I began writing this particular post, I’ve spoken to several friends who are baseball fans and asked them what they thought about the concept of using technology to replace the home plate umpire. Not one of them thought it a good idea. I’m not surprised. There is something to be said about the human factor in games involving humans. After all, if we could replace the umpire with a near-infallible robot, why not seek to replace the batter/runner with a robot capable of calculating the trajectory of the ball when pitched? That would suggest the possibility of a home run each at bat, obviating the need for fielders. Oy! Now my head hurts thinking about this.
I’m sorry I brought it up.