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.
Robot umpires have been given a promotion and will be just one step from the major leagues this season. Major League Baseball is expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A, the highest level of the minor leagues. MLB's website posted a hiring notice seeking seasonal employees to operate the Automated Ball and Strike system. MLB said it is recruiting employees to operate the system 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. The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game in July 2019 and experimented with ABS during the second half of that season. It also was used in the Arizona Fall League for top prospects in 2019, drawing complaints of its calls on breaking balls.
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.