Since the inauguration of Rob Manfred as commissioner in January of 2015, multiple rule changes of the game have occurred. The basis behind these rule changes, i.e. the instant replay, have been to speed up game and add new fans. But, huge rule changes are not yet here. However, the subject of the electronic umpire has become a louder topic of discussion lately.
The electronic umpire would eliminate the arguing of balls and strikes at the surface. So, the basics for it is understandable. However, not only would this take thousands of jobs (human umpires), but more importantly, severely hurt the integrity of the game.
Baseball is and always will be America’s game. Baseball is in every way “life.” The strategics, the emotions, the history, etc, of the game is beautifully perfect. Taking away the human umpire simply takes away one of the biggest parts of baseball. The arguing of balls and strikes, fair or foul balls, etc, have been photographed, told through stories/memories, written about, etc since the beginning. “Integrity” is the state of being whole/honest, having moral principles. America is not fully honest all the time, no one is.
Wanting to add excitement to the game is not adding yet another computer. The general baseball fan is won’t come home and tell their family and friends about an exciting 1-0 pitching duel. They come home and talk about a 8-7 slugfest or 3-2 game in which the benches cleared or a few players got ejected due to arguing balls and strikes.
In the end, the electronic umpire may make the game quicker. But, what’s going to draw more fans, a quicker game, or more exciting game? The MLB games only count on the field with real players and umpires and fans, not in a video game. The electronic umpire would take away the purity of the game.