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Mike Schmidt says umpires should not call balls and strikes

Apr 10, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT


Usually, when a baseball star of yesteryear talks about technology in the game, it’s to decry it. Mike Schmidt is not your usual baseball star of yesteryear. As he told 97.5 The Fanatic today, he thinks umpires should get out of the balls and strikes business:

“I think the umpire at home plate should not call balls and strikes. I think they should have a force field over home plate and if the pitcher throws and the ball touches the force field a little bell goes off and it’s a strike . . . we’re going to see at some time – my guess is within the next 10 years – that you’ll see the balls and strikes being treated just like they treat the line calls in tennis. You’d think it would be something very easy to do with what they can do electronically in our world today.”

I think he’s right about that. Not about “force fields,” because that’s not what they are (and his use of that term is adorable) but using some variation of the QuesTec/Pitch/FX technology to actually call balls and strikes seems like an inevitability to me. The only issue now is speed, as there is, I am told a small but significant enough delay between pitches and the actual register of the pitch that it could cause problems to the flow of the game.

But that’s the sort of thing that’ll get fixed soon, if it isn’t already being addressed. Then Mike Schmidt will get to see his force fields.

  1. jcioffi1485 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    did Mike visit us from 1975 with the “forcefield” remark?

  2. willclarkgameface - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Mike Schmidt should just go back to crying about his career because that’s more interesting than hearing him talk.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Crying about his career? Why – because he think he would do better in today’s game? Yea….him and 97% of players from by-gone era’s think that.

      I think you are confusing him with that bitter racist who played for the Giants in 80’s and 90’s….the name is escaping me….

      • willclarkgameface - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        Will Clark is not a racist bro. He hated everyone equally. #gameface

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        I was talking about Candy Maldanado :)

        But interesting you assumed I meant Clark….

      • anxovies - May 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I knew Candy when he played for AAA Albuquerque in the 1980s. He used to show up at Okies across from the University, the greatest bar of all time. He wasn’t a racist, he drank German beer.

      • don444 - May 21, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Hmm, have never heard anything about the Puerto Rican Maldonado having been racist, but it’s long been speculated that Clark, a good ol’ boy Southerner through and through, was never overly fond of his minority teammates. I’m black and was a big fan of Clark’s growing up in the 80s, but who knows, only those who were around him on a daily basis can answer that definitively.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        I was joking about Maldanado. I was indeed talking about Clark

      • don444 - May 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Just as an aside I thought I’d add that I’ve always felt Clark had the purest swing I’ve ever seen. His body began to break down in his late 20s and he was never the same athlete after that, but for four or five seasons he was truly “The Natural” (always preferred that to “The Thrill”) and a guy who was playing at a HOF level.

      • fpstratton - Jun 5, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        I don’t know about his racial views, but Will Clark was an outstanding hitter for the Giants for many seasons. Who can forget his “game face”, nicknamed “Nuschler”, I believe, by then-catcher Bob Melvin (I think it was Bob Melvin!).

  3. don444 - May 21, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Just for future reference, Craig, “adorable” is a largely effeminate word that’s better left to the utterances of girls and women. My apologies if you’re gay, but if not then you’d do well to strike that one from your general vocabulary.

  4. runninggun1024runninggun1024 - Jun 7, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    One day baseball as we no it will be a thing of the past it will be all digital no players no umpires no coaches just robots on the field in uniform playing .It will be just like the ones you see on x box or ps1 or whatever you call them.Don’t think it will happen? then what about instant replay? they laughed about that years ago but they are not laughing anymore.

    • don444 - Jun 17, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      Uh, no. I’d say that’s a grand exaggeration (delusion?) all things considered, but yeah, I’m sure you’re thoroughly convinced it’s the very essence of foresight.

  5. georgebrett - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I’ve been saying it for quite a few yrars that MLB should quit calling balls and strikes. Although a bell wouldn’t be the answer. Instead using a light flash inside the umpires mask when a strike is thrown and the umpire would then put his arm up signaling the strike. Nothing needed for a ball. People on TV would be ablyto see the same thing with it being on the screen.

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