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Rangers’ Max Scherzer envisions relegation system for worst umpires

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


ROUND ROCK — Automated balls and strikes, in one form or the other, is likely coming to the major leagues.

Officials have implemented all kinds of other technological advances in the name of bettering the game, and the ABS seems to be next up.

It’s currently being tested in two forms at the Triple A level, and on Wednesday night Rangers right-hander Max Scherzer experienced the truest sense where a machine called balls and strikes.

“I’m not a fan,” he said. “It feels too weird back there having a robot call the game.”

But that’s not all Scherzer said on the subject after his first rehab start with Triple A Round Rock.

He wants a relegation system for umpires.

Here it is:

“I’ve kind of thought about this,” he said. “I think when you talk to the guys, we want the human element of the game. The human element is good, and we need to keep that in baseball. I think we’ve done so much in baseball to try to remove the human element.

“For me going forward, how I’ve conceptualized what the electronic strike zone should be used is we need to rank the umpires. Let the electronic strike zone rank the umpires, and then we need to have a conversation about the bottom 10 percent or whatever you want to declare what the bottom is and talk about relegating those umpires to the minor leagues and getting the best umpires in the game.

“That way that the umpires are going up against themselves. There’s still a human element of how you rank umpires. It’s amongst themselves. Policing the bottom is the way to go.

“When I’m out there pitching, if you told me I have the 10th best umpire or the 75th best umpire, you don’t really notice much between them because they’re really good at their jobs. The umpires are actually really good. It’s really the bottom umpires we all have a problem with. If there was a mechanism to make the umpires on the bottom better, I think that would be a better to address this.”

Bad umpiring has been highlighted often this season, particularly when Angel Hernandez rung up Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford on three straight pitches out of the strike zone April 12 at Houston.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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  1. T Ball April 24, 2024

    I’m on board. Will never happen, no way the union ever agrees to any part of that.

  2. deGrom Texas Ranger April 25, 2024

    Unions should be illegal. They always seem tohamper positive improvements.


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