HAVING A COMPUTER CALL BALLS AND STRIKES. I posted here a year ago about Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt’s position that a computer and not an umpire should call balls and strikes. Well, it’s happened. This article on the Wired site by K.M.McFarland describes a game in an independent minor league, the Pacific Association, in which balls and strikes were called by a computer. Eric Byrnes, a former major leaguer, looked at a monitor and loudly called out after each pitch what the monitor showed.
The computer was part of the PITCHf/x system, which provides the visuals for the strike zone box which is familiar to fans watching on television. The PITCHf/s system is also used to evaluate how accurately every major league game is umpired. It “uses three cameras to triangulate a baseball’s position in space from the moment it leaves the pitcher’s hand.” Eric Byrnes wrote on Instagram after the game that the use of the system was an “awesome success”.