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Balls and strikes are probably the most important calls in all of sports; every pitch is determined by the one before, and this pitch affects the next pitch in this at-bat or the next.  The difference between a 1-2 count and a 2-1 count is measureable and significant.  With so much riding on every pitch, the time has come to make sure as many pitches as possible are made correctly; the time has come for an electronic strike zone in Major League Baseball.

The strike zone is one of sport’s most unique things because every batter that has ever played in Major League Baseball has had their own.  The height and batting stance of a hitter in the batter’s box determines what their strike zone is.  Just look at how many walks Hall of Famer Ricky Henderson drew in his career, 2,190; do you think any of them helped him become the all-time leader in stolen bases or runs scored? I would say so.

With so much money as well as the integrity of the game on the line with every call of every pitch, baseball can’t afford to wait much longer to implement an electronic strike zone.  With the increasing number of bets made on sporting events, baseball can’t afford to have a blown call of any kind call into question what was going on with that umpire; and whenever a ball is put in play after a questionable ball/strike call, doubts and conspiracies are born.

Don’t think for a second that sports gambling is not a factor in this conversation.  With websites and bookmakers willing to cover a portion of the losses some people lost on this year’s Kentucky Derby over a judgement call to disqualify a horse, it is hard to think that one day down the line, a ball/strike call won’t cause millions of dollars to change hands in one direction rather than another after the call is make.

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No one cares about a problem until if effects them, which is why baseball can drag their heels on this issue; the game’s Stewarts don’t always act, and more often react.  There is, however, a better saying, which says the best way to deal with a problem is preventing it from happening, which is why baseball needs to be proactive and perfect the technology of electronic strike zones.

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