There is a bit of a push going on now to get the baseball world even deeper into the 21st century by eliminating the calling of balls and strikes by human umpires. The idea, which you may recall was the same idea when replay umpires hidden in a cavern beneath the bar on the ground floor of an 88 story skyscraper in New York City were appointed to review certain plays that managers chose to appeal, is to “get it right.” Well, that certainly was a noble idea. Like many noble ideas, it hasn’t really worked, but everybody gets another beer break. And it fits in well with the direction our society as a whole is going.
Look at all the time that had been wasted while the likes of Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, and Lou Piniella snarled from the dugout or even marched on to the playing field to contest the balls and strikes that mere humans were calling to the detriment of their players. My goodness, isn’t it better now that the invisible gods of video recording can look at all angles, throw the Ching, and pronounce the scientific facts? Well, of course it is. It’s fair (or foul)! And it’s the future, which is always better. We are sold on the fact that robots are better than people, perhaps even for sex. Those pot bellied umpires don’t need the work. In San Francisco, New York, all major and minor cities, the neighborhoods of old are being replaced by towering buildings with impressive views of other towering buildings. Inside some of those tall structures, the rich will bed down with other rich folks and they will have robots repairing their driverless cars, robots shopping for their bland food, and robots setting up their electronic viewing rooms. They can choose to watch Korean television if they like and watch Kim Jong-un, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, tell his victorious people that they no longer need to fear a nuclear strike from the United States. Or they can choose to watch the latest version of MLB, as long as it isn’t on Facebook Watch.
No reason to stop with the umps. Players are antagonistic, temperamental, and prone to injury. Our new wave of fans by and large prefer video games anyway. Why shell out millions of dollars to schlubs like Mike Trout, Max Scherzer, or Bryce Harper when a new VGX1157R will work for years with just a few battery charges and still produce 32 degree launch angles at exit velocities of 101 mph ? I can dig it.