Playoff Umpiring Is About To Turn Baseball Into Robots

Umpiring crews for the NL and AL Division Series have been made official, and baseball fans are not happy. Angel Hernandez trended no. 1 this morning, but he’s not the only umpire failing at his job this year. Umpires have been dismal across the board, and their mistakes may now lead some to suggest using robots instead.

MLB officiating has always been bad, but now social media has shone a light on their repeated failures. Twitter accounts like “MLB Auditor” are not only entertaining to follow, but they can be quality resources that help us recognize the need for change. How can someone who misses THIS call be awarded the privilege of umpiring in a Dodgers-Padres playoff series:

There’s never been a job on earth where people mishandle their responsibilities so publicly and so consistently without repercussion, aside from MLB umpires. MLB umpires butcher calls and then have the audacity to eject players and managers for arguing with them. We will see frustration from both sides in the Division Series, but no serious adjustments. 

C.B. Bucknor is suddenly a factor in the heated Rays-Yankees series, where there is little room for error. It’s probably a good idea to start grading umpires and rewarding them with assignments, like the playoffs, based on such assessments. If the elite of a particular profession can miss a call by the length of a Subway sandwich, then the entire profession should be on its way out.

Momentum

Umpires swiftly agreed to pay cuts last May, indicating that they know public opinion is not on their side. Electronic strike zones have already been tested, so these umpires are right to be defensive. A robot umpire is like the man Angel Hernandez’s girlfriend told him not to worry about. 

We obviously hope the playoffs run as smoothly as possible, with no questions about legitimacy, but the odds aren’t good. Major League Baseball just hired Nicolas Cage and is praying for a good movie. For now, let’s all cross our fingers and hope for changes next year.

We’ll leave you with one last clip of the worst call of the year:

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

6 Comments

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  1. I miss Doug Harvey! Had the opportunity to get to know him on a personal level starting in 96′ when I was 18, and it completely changed the game of baseball for me.

    I wish more umps would take the approach he had when it came to a disputed call. “Players knew they had 10 seconds to say anything they wanted to me, and they could stay in the game. But after that 10 seconds, if I was still getting it, they were gone.”

    As far as accuracy of calls, they called Harv “God” for a reason. We miss you Harv. Hopefully baseball can figure it out.

    Great article Sheff.

  2. Great article! Only thing I will add is that being a Weatherman/Weatherwoman is THE only job that you are allowed to be wrong more than an MLB Umpire and still be retained.

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