After many discussions, anticipations and disappointments, the "robot referees" finally made their way into professional baseball.
On Wednesday, the independent Atlantic League, partner of Major League Baseball, made its debut in the electronic strike zone during its all-star game, becoming the first American professional league to do so.
How it works:
Home referee Brian deBrauwere wore an earphone connected to an iPhone in his pocket. The listener relayed bullets and blows after receiving it from a TrackMan computer system using a Doppler radar and Brauwere called them when he received them.
Since the system is still in its infancy, an arbiter is needed at home in case the system fails to grab a field, register a totally incorrect field, or fail completely.
In the current state of affairs, a bouncing ball in the area is considered as a strike and control raises are not evaluated, thus requiring the use of one or more referees.
It should also be noted that referees also have the option to bypass the e-call.
If you're wondering what it looks like, check out:
As you can see, there is a short delay between when the tone is intercepted and when the call is signaled.
How players and referees reacted
The beginnings of the electronic strike zone were widely welcomed, with many players having already taken note of the new changes.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" Once, I had already taken over the receiver's ball, and he waved, "Daryl Thompson pitcher & nbsp;says to the AP. "data-reactid =" 35 ">" Once, I had already picked up the receiver's ball and he had signaled the goal, "said pitcher Daryl Thompson at the AP.
Thrower Mitch Atkins noticed that higher throws in the strike zone were called strikes, something that is often missing.
"Technically, these are strikes, but the referees never called them," Atkins said.
Another player noted a few cases of players who were written off and were waiting because the call had not been relayed.
DeBrauwere, the referee behind the plate, also had no problem with the change.
"This is just another plaque work, and I'm just getting some help on this one, so I feel very relaxed to get into this one," he said.
Atlantic League President Rick White said the electronic strike zone will be in place throughout the Atlantic League starting with the All-Star Game.
"We are very excited about this not only for our league, but for the future of baseball," said White. What we do know is that technology can help referees be more specific, and we are committed to it. The Atlantic League is a pioneer of all this sport. "
The Atlantic League is testing all kinds of rule changes
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Throwing on an unclaimed count in flight will be considered a live ball and a hitter may run to first base, as a third catch lost.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "In addition to the electronic strike zone and to fly in first base, the Atlantic league & nbsp;will also experiment with mounds that are further back. "data-reactid =" 48 "> In addition to the electronic strike zone and the first goal flight, the Atlantic League will also experiment with more remote mounds.
After the season, the MLB will evaluate the data and determine the best way to go forward.
Despite this, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred slowed down the electronic strike zone and further rule changes immediately resulted in MLB-level games.
"We have to see how it works, first in the Atlantic League, then probably elsewhere, that is to say in other minor baseball games, before moving on to Major League Baseball," said Manfred. "We feel that it is up to us to determine if we could make it work. And that's what we do. "
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "More from Yahoo Sports:"data-reactid =" 52 ">More from Yahoo Sports: