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 route 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 during the last 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 desires to implement a totally 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 Instances making it look like umpiring is simple work. It’s not. It’s unfathomably laborious and whereas after years and years of umpires working their approach as much as the MLB degree, you’d anticipate 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 Instances’ umpiring recreation throws seven pitches at you, all of which have been known as incorrectly throughout 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 troublesome time. It’s not even actually price boasting about contemplating the success that different folks have had.
A minimum of the final man has some sense. It’s not simply far more tough in actual time the place it is advisable to decide moments after the ball hits the catcher’s glove, it’s additionally the angle at which the umpire sits. For this recreation, we’ve got the posh of sitting proper behind the plate at a fair eye-level with the strike zone. There’s no catcher obstructing our view, and we don’t want to fret about taking the hitters’ top 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 recreation have been down low.
I beloved taking part in this recreation, 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 stated, this recreation 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 a lot of their incorrect calls proper.