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Rob Manfred Announces Decision On Automated Strike Zone

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 10: Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions during an MLB owner's meeting at the Waldorf Astoria on February 10, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Manfred addressed the ongoing lockout of players, which owners put in place after the league's collective bargaining agreement ended on December 1, 2021. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of advocacy for Major League Baseball to switch to an automated strike zone in order to replace error-prone umpires. 

Today, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the idea of introducing the automated strike zone. Following the end of today's owners meetings, he said that he doesn't see it being added to the agenda for the coming year.

Major League Baseball recently formed a competition committee that would oversee rules changes. But an automated strike zone won't be one of their topics. 

As a result, there will be no automated strike zones in Major League Baseball in 2023. Any changes will now come in 2024 at the earliest.

MLB fans are largely mixed on the idea of automated strikes zones anyway. Some are certain that MLB umpires would never allow the league to implement them since it would cost them their livelihood.

"Umps will never allow it. But there should be something automated to judge strikes that are clearly outside the zone, ie the umps can miss something a ball’s width outside, for example, but an e-system would flag it if they called one any further outside the zone," one user replied.

Others think that the more efficient solution would just be to allow coaches to challenge suspicious strike and ball calls. 

"Implement it like the cyclops in tennis. Each team gets a handful of challenges. Takes a few seconds to review. If implemented with the pitch clock it won't add more than a minute or two to game times," wrote another.

Sooner or later there's going to be some kind of big change to how strike zones are dealt with. But not this year.