I really like umpires. I don’t like to hate them like different baseball followers do although. I’ve at all times leaned within the path of leniency. I do know that officiating in any sport is tough, thankless, and downright hazardous to your well being in some conditions. Umpires get it the worst although, maybe as a result of they’re concerned in each play, or maybe as a result of they’ve been the topic of a lot debate over the past a number of years in figuring out whether or not or not MLB ought to rid themselves of umpires altogether.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has claimed he needs to implement a completely automated balls and strikes (ABS) system by the 2024 season. I’ve nothing in opposition to that. What I do have an issue with is the New York Occasions making it seem to be umpiring is simple work. It’s not. It’s unfathomably laborious and whereas after years and years of umpires working their method as much as the MLB stage, you’d count on higher accuracy and consistency from them, I doubt any of us regular, common, on a regular basis metropolis folks, may do any higher.
The New York Times’ umpiring game throws seven pitches at you, all of which have been referred to as incorrectly through the 2022 MLB season. It’s your job to look at a diagram of the pitch and decide whether or not or not each was a ball or strike. There’s no seen strike zone, no pitcher, and no level on the diagram exhibiting you the place the ball crossed the plate, only a fast re-play and two choices labeled “Ball” or “Strike.” I’m not attempting to brag, however I went 7-for-7 with solely the final pitch giving me a tricky time. It’s not even actually price boasting about contemplating the success that different folks have had.
At the least the final man has some sense. It’s not simply far more tough in actual time the place you have to decide moments after the ball hits the catcher’s glove, it’s additionally the angle at which the umpire sits. For this sport, now we have the luxurious of sitting proper behind the plate at an excellent eye-level with the strike zone. There’s no catcher obstructing our view, and we don’t want to fret about taking the hitters’ peak under consideration, as a result of the hitter isn’t in our peripherals, he’s in our direct line of sight. That’s not going to be the case for many umpires. The catcher can impede their view to balls low within the zone, therefore why many of the pitches within the sport have been down low.
I cherished enjoying this sport, and I hope the NYT realizes how cool it’s and turns it right into a full-fledged web site with constant updates so I can spend my off hours convincing myself I may do higher than Ángel Hernández. That mentioned, this sport additionally propels the notion that umpires aren’t good at their job, which frankly, isn’t true in any respect. They deserve extra respect. I doubt they’ll get it after so many individuals received so lots of their incorrect calls proper.