By: Jordan Cope, Sports Editor
One of my favorite memories of my time at Towson has been inviting friends over on weeknights, popping open a few ice-cold beers and watching an Orioles game.
However, this particular evening I’m a little bit frustrated — not at my friends and not at the fact that the $10 six-pack I bought was skunk, but at the inconsistent strike zone of the home plate umpire.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been a problem in Major League Baseball since I was a kid, but it seems that the problem has developed into a disaster within the past five years.
As the game progresses, former Orioles great and team color commentator Jim Palmer mentions how a pitch that was thrown off the outside corner of the plate has been called a strike all night by James Hoye.
Palmer, as he does best in his analyses, states the obvious and says that hitters will have to make a mental note of the strike zone and make adjustments in their next at-bats.
But why should hitters have to be subjected to swinging at pitches that aren’t strikes? And why should pitchers have to adjust their pitches if they are being pinched? It is time that MLB umpires are held accountable for their actions.
There are many more Minor League baseball teams than there are Major League teams in the United States, so the number of MILB umpires outweighs the number of MLB umpires.
That said, Major League Baseball has a huge pool to choose from in Minor League Baseball if they want to start holding their umpires accountable.
If Major League Baseball does not want to do that, which, let’s be honest, looks to be the case, then the league needs to implement technology that will make the right calls.
Any baseball fan has probably watched a game broadcasted on ESPN, and what do we see every game on every pitch? An electronic tracker that shows fans where the ball fell in the classic letters to knees strike zone.
If we have the technology to call a ball or a strike to the T, why is Major League Baseball not taking advantage of it?
I love the game of baseball. I always have, and I always will, but it is time that Major League Baseball gives the players — especially the players — and the fans what they want, an accurate strike zone.
Whether it be disciplining current umpires for missed calls or implementing the technology that we have, it is time to make a change.