Stark: An electronic strike zone is coming to the Atlantic League

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on May 16, 2019:

For a century, here’s how a strike was called in baseball games across the world: An umpire peered intently as the pitch soared toward home plate. Then that umpire rose up out of his crouch. He thrust a finger, dramatically, into the air. He let out a mighty “Stee-rike” call. Rinse and repeat.

But next month in the Atlantic League, that time-honored scene is about to be altered forever – because once the technology is in place and umpires get the gist of it, an electronic TrackMan radar tracking system will be making those ball/strike calls. And you know who will be watching closely?

Major League Baseball, of course. You were expecting maybe Enrico Pallazzo?

Joe West will be delighted to learn that there will still be umpires stationed behind the batter’s box in the Atlantic League. But their jobs will never be the same. Their role in this process, once the technological wizardry is up and running, will be mostly to relay those electronic strike/ball calls, which will be communicated via their earpieces.

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Originally published: May 17, 2019. Last Updated: May 17, 2019.