First Ever Robotic Umpire Debuts Behind Plate in MLB-Owned Atlantic League

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The Atlantic League has become the first professional baseball league to the debut of robot umpires this week during their All-Star Game.

The rule change was mentioned as part of a longer piece on the implementation of "robot umpires" in the Atlantic League, but it's a rather insane concept that certainly would increase the importance of defense behind the plate and control on the mound.

The Atlantic League altered a number of rules to begin the season, including enlarging bases by three inches on each side, banning mound visits and the defensive shift and requiring pitchers to face at least three batters. The iPhone was loaded up with the TrackMan computer system, which uses a Doppler radar to track the pitches. deBrauwere, positioned right behind home plate, called the pitches as he received the information from the program. "What we know is technology can help umpires be more accurate, and we're committed to that. The game is bigger than you, bigger than any player".

If you're one of those fans who have grown exhausted of umpires blow ball and strike calls, we have some good news for you.

"I like the human umpire, but I've been playing a long time". In a trade for the rule changes, the MLB agreed to scout more players from the Atlantic League and provide better scouting equipment, the Post said.

Among the first changes discussed was an automated balls and strikes regime, run via a panel above home plate made by sports data firm Trackman.

"This is just another plate job and I just get a little help on this one so I feel very relaxed going into this one", he said.

Atlantic League and MLB officials called the night a success and heralded deBrauwere's poise officiating the game and players' willingness to take part in an experiment in baseball's future.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said there's no timeline on when the technology will be used in the majors. It's just different. Every pitch I've thrown (high in the strike zone) has been a ball my whole career, since I was 6 years old until now.

Baseball purists have been bracing themselves for years for the digital strike zone, what opponents derisively call "robot umpires", fearing it could open the door to more structural changes that quicken the game's pace or at least inject more offense. It obviously has broadcasting uses. We kind of feel it's incumbent on us to figure out whether we could make it work.

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