Judgement Day? 'Robot umpire' debuts in Atlantic League

Home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere left huddles behind Freedom Division catcher James Skelton of the York Revolution as the official wears an earpiece during the first inning of the Atlantic League All Star minor league baseball game Wednesday July

Atlantic League to experiment with batters “stealing first base”

That's because, in the Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday night, robots were responsible for balls and strikes.

The Atlantic League, which has been the MLB's guinea pig when it comes to revolutionary rule change proposals including extended instant replay, banning defensive shifts, pitch clocks, three-batter minimums for pitchers, and even robotic umpires, is now ready to introduce perhaps its most weird experiment yet. The umpire does have the authority to change the call.

White said the system will be implemented leaguewide over the next few weeks.

As you're no doubt aware, Major League Baseball and the independent Atlantic League recently entered into a three-year agreement in which the Atlantic League will adopt experimental rules suggested by Major League Baseball to study their effects on game play.

The TrackMan system does not evaluate check swings and now rules a ball that bounces and crosses the plate as a strike. Software in the press box relays the call to a smart phone, which relays to the Bluetooth earpiece the umpire wears.

"One of our focuses is not to replace the umpire", Sword said. For what it's worth, the Major League Baseball claims the technology is meant to help busy home-plate umpires and pinky swears that human umps are still needed and is working with the union to keep everyone happy. The home plate umpire has a lot more to do than call balls and strikes, and he's going to be asked to do all of that. "It's inevitable", Atlantic League umpire Derek Moccia told the Post. "The game is bigger than you, bigger than any player". Allowing a player to steal first base. In March, they announced the first set of rules, including the TrackMan radar system for calling balls and strikes, the ban of the shift and a three-batter minimum for pitchers.

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