Should the MLB switch to robo-umps?

It is no secret that MLB umpires are anything but perfect. Because of this, the question has been raised pertaining to whether or not the league should make the switch to automatic umpires. Currently, no official word has been given about the possible switch; however, the idea has sparked some interest from the public and from within the league. The idea even being thrown around has raised controversy. On one side, determining balls and strikes may be more accurate by use of a machine, but it also eliminates known parts of the game that have been around as long as the game has, such as framing. Is it time to severely alter a game as old as time with elements that are new age and artificial?

At first glance, one may say the answer is obvious that the removal of the human element is needed to perfect the game. Many do think that all errors should be eliminated, but many also believe that errors are a natural part of the game. The issue is divided into two areas: plate umps and field umps. One aspect of baseball comes from behind the plate while the other aspect comes from the opposite direction in the field. Errors are made in both areas, but the reasons can be different.

When an umpire is behind the plate, his main job is calling balls and strikes. From a young age, a catcher is trained to do what is called framing the pitch. This is where the catcher moves his glove into the strike zone after he catches what would normally be called a ball in order to try and fool the umpire. The computer will not see this act being done by the catcher. Simply because of this, maybe the plate ump should not be replaced. If you replace the umpire, you remove a part of the game. You remove a fundamental part of the game that has been around as long as the game itself. This should never change.

Now the other part to this dilemma is a little more up in the air so to speak. When determining whether or not field umpires should stay, the evidence is more on the side that they should go. The error that occurs in the field is purely human error. What you see is what you get from the players in the field. Fielders are simply attempting to field the ball and throw it, and runners are not trying to mask anything as they attempt to make their way from base to base. There is no way to impact those elements of the game whatsoever. So for that reason, most believe at least those umpires should be replaced by some other method of officiating what occurs on that side of home plate. Despite this, I believe they should stay. It is how the game has always been played.

I am going on record and stating that I do not believe any part of the game of baseball should be replaced by robotics. In fact, this goes for other sports too. Games have always been played with the opportunity for error, and although error brings frustration and anger, it makes the game interesting. It is simply another part of the game that both athletes, coaches, and fans alike should have to do deal with. Human error brings in the mental aspect as well. Forcing the athletes to cope with umpires’ mistakes forces them to actually act like mature adults and keep their cool. The human element is meant for a game that is played by humans, and baseball should be untouched by machines in this day and age.