HOW DO FANS FEEL ABOUT ROBOT UMPIRES CALLING BALLS AND STRIKES? Baseball America in its issue for December 8-22 reported on the results of a telephone survey in October of 715 adults, of whom about one third were baseball fans. One of the questions in the survey asked for opinions about robot umpires calling balls and strikes. About 75% of the fans were in favor of human umpires; about 10% would rather have robots.
I am in favor of the robots, and I think that the change will come rather quickly because the pitch fX camera shows too many mistakes by human umpires.
However, I do have one doubt. This wikipedia article says that each side of home plate is 8.5 inches long. A lot happens in those 8.5 inches (think of a curve ball breaking across the back of the plate or a curve ball breaking across the front of the plate). The pitch fX cameras on television show the plate as if it were a flat plane (with no distance between front and back). Right now, a pitch is a strike if it crosses any part of the plate—either in the front of the plate or the back of the plate. I’d like to see how the robot would deal with this issue.