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Count New York Mets manager Buck Showalter as another person who’s in favor of using an Automated Strike Zone System, colloquially known as a Robo-Ump.
Showalter talked about the technology Tuesday. It seems likely to make its way to baseball in some form.
“I can’t wait until they get the automatic strike zone in a lot of ways, so we can get away from all this stuff,” Showalter said. He mimed a catcher framing a pitch when he said this.
“That really irritates people, all the framing.”
Showalter is the latest manager or player keen on the idea of an automated strike zone.
Other sports have benefitted from using technology to aid officials. Tennis and soccer are two notable examples.
Robo-Umps are already in use in minor league baseball. The Pacific Coast League rolled them out in May. Albuquerque Isotopes play-by-play announcer Josh Suchon told the Denver Post that just a few months later, fans didn’t realize an Automated Ball-Strike System, or ABS, was making calls.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has said he expects an Automated Ball-Strike System to be introduced ahead of the 2024 MLB season.
Manfred mentioned several ways the league could use the technology. One is to use it for every pitch with umpires wearing earpieces that give them the call. Another option is to allow teams pitch challenges to use throughout the game.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle