Manfred offered two possibilities for how robo-umpires would function during baseball games. The first is that the robo-umpires would serve as an automated system, calling each pitch and communicating balls and strikes to human umpires via an earpiece. A second option would be for robo-umpires to work as a review and replay system of balls and strikes that lets managers challenge calls.
The move arrives amid calls by some MLB fans who were unhappy with umpires over the past season. Manfred, however, “ insists the adaptation of robo-umpires should not be seen as an indictment of [umpires’] abilities,” according to ESPN.
The robo-umpire system is already being tested in minor leagues and has reduced game times by an average of nine minutes, per MLB data.
In other sports news, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz earned a maiden Formula 1 Win at the British Grand Prix.