Chicago Cubs: It’s time to activate the Electronic Strike Zone

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The ESZ is all about business

After I penned my positive article on the ESZ last year, many reporters decided to investigate further and draw their own conclusions. Forgive the baseball pun, but some of these guys were way ‘off base,’ like Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, who racked up a couple of errors in his reporting like,

"Contrary to Zobrist’s suggestion, there hasn’t been a groundswell among the Major League Baseball rank and file, a large portion of whom grew up on video games, to push for electronic umps."

Actually, many players and managers ‘are’ calling for the ESZ because the bottom line is that baseball is a game and a business. The business is losing at the cost of human error, and that won’t stand for any owner. Players want to make it to Cooperstown and need an accurate reflection of their tour at bat and aren’t getting that with human error. The simple fact that teams are now being manned with players that have been playing video games their whole life, make the current temperature very favorable for a change.

The other big mistake Dupont made was not looking further into what Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told the New York Daily News about owners soon facing a decision about the technology. Dupont chose only to write about Manfred’s concerns over taking away the umpire’s role instead of reporting the news Manfred was making:

"“I think we are much closer than we were a year ago to having the technological capability to actually call the strike zone,” Manfred said. “The accuracy is way up – way better than what it was a year ago. The technology continues to move… and it actually moved a little faster than I might have thought.”"

I had suspected early on that MLB was going to make serious changes this season and the ESZ was going to be one of those changes. So it must have been surprising to Mr. Dupont of the Boston Globe when in February this year, MLB announced a three-year agreement that will allow MLB to use the independent Atlantic League as a test-bed for rules and equipment changes. Those include moving the pitcher’s mound and more importantly; using Trackman to call balls and strikes, essentially an ESZ.