LAS VEGAS – Most baseball fans won't forget the controversial call in Game 6 of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals when runner Trea Turner was ruled out because of interference. Umpire accuracy is a frustration for fans and players in nearly every game. This season, MLB has launched so-called "robot umpires" in 11 Pacific Coast League Triple-A teams, putting it one step away from reaching the major leagues, to improve accuracy and reduce delays. The automated balls and strikes system (ABS) debuted in a Las Vegas Aviators' game earlier this month. As cool and bizarre as it would be to see "Jetsons"-style robots on the field, most fans won't notice the actual device -- eight surveillance-looking cameras at the top of the bleachers.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Robotic umpires that use an automated system for determining ball and strike calls will now be used in Triple-A baseball for the 2022 season, MLB officials announced. This puts the Automated Ball and Strike (ABS) system, which has seen success after experimental adoption by some ballparks in the minor leagues, just one level below the major leagues. MLB'S SNAIL-PACED LOCKOUT TALKS TO RESUME WITH UNION OFFER MLB is currently seeking personnel to operate the system at ballparks for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma Rainiers, FOX 13 of Seattle reported.
Major League Baseball will "likely" introduce an Automated Strike Zone System starting in 2024, commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. The so-called robot umpires may call all balls and strikes then relay the information to a plate umpire, or be part of a replay review system that allows managers to challenge calls. "We have an automated strike zone system that works," Manfred said. The comments come in the wake of fan outrage over umpire's missed calls in recent games, including a brutal low strike error during a Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins tilt. Give me robo umps already," tweeted Grand Rapids ABC sports director Jamal Spencer. MLB has been experimenting with robo umps in minor league Atlantic Triple-A league since 2019.
Former major league umpire Ken Kaiser, a colorful figure between the lines who briefly moonlighted as a professional wrestler to make ends meet while working in the minor leagues, has died. The World Umpires Association said Thursday he died in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., on Tuesday. Kaiser had diabetes for years. The 6-foot-3 Kaiser, who wrote in his book, "Planet of the Umps: A Baseball Life from behind the Plate," that when he graduated from high school in 1964 his "long-range plan was lunch." He weighed just under 300 pounds and often was criticized for that portly physique during the more than 3,000 big-league games he umpired.
Fox News Flash top headlines for June 17 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com Hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks are all baseball stadium staples. Cameras during a Memphis Redbirds game caught one fan snacking on a jar of mayonnaise in the stands Saturday as the St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate took on the Las Vegas Aviators. The Redbirds' Twitter account posted several videos of the unnamed fan snacking on the condiment.