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Recent Blogs

Ron Gardenhire Asks What the Rules Are for Yelling at Robots

The former Twins manager knows the future is coming but has some questions about how it’s implemented.
Image courtesy of © Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
High-profile blown calls and ridiculous strike zones in the 2019 playoffs have only enhanced the call for robot umpires. One “old school” MLB manager accepts that something needs to be done. However, he urges caution.

“I just need to know this: can I yell at the robots?” asked Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire. “If the guys are out there getting after it, picking it and taking it the other way, I want blue to keep it fair. If they’re missing calls, they need to hear about it.”

The former Twins manager and notoriously fiery baseball lifer allowed that making the strike zone more consistent was necessary.

“If I got my guy out there rocking and firing, I want the strikes to be strikes and the balls to be balls. But if they have a robot back there and one of their wires gets crossed, I’m going to defend my guy. Is it a person-shaped robot like The Terminator? Is it just a goldang laptop on a card table? I’m going to give it what for regardless, but I just need to know if I can do that.”

A spokesperson for Major League Baseball said that no determination on changes in umpiring have been made, and likely wouldn’t be until the Winter Meetings. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the ghost of Earl Weaver issued a statement that Weaver wants all robot umpires to know that, like their human forebears, they can perform a physically impossible sexual act upon themselves and then do the same to their mothers, grandmothers, and a startling variety of woodland creatures.

For his part, Gardenhire just wants there to be clear guidelines when there are issues to be addressed.

“Robots are one thing, but what if they use one of them flying robots,” said Gardenhire, referring to drones. “Nothing gets my blood up more than an umpire who turns his back on me when I’m saying my piece. They get a robot that can fly away? Not gonna happen, not on my watch. I gotta hear your bleeps and bloops, you're gonna hear me, that's for certain.”

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17 Comments

Loved it, Stu.Thanks!

Gardy, watch out for certain phrases. For instance "That. Does. Not. Compute." or "Danger. Will. Robinson." which were in common parlance in the 1960s, are considered greatly demeaning in these modern times, and will probably get you a league fine in addition to an ejection. Don't call a person-of-metal "Robby" or "Are Tee Doo Too", either.

    • glunn and DocBauer like this

"I want blue to keep it fair."

 

missed opportunity for "I want Deep Blue to keep it fair" 

 

 

    • ashbury and glunn like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 01 2019 06:15 AM

oh wow... I started laughing the moment I read the title...

 

 

Well Done...

    • ashbury and glunn like this
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John Bonnes
Nov 01 2019 06:49 AM

Spit out my tea at "startling variety of woodland creatures".

    • ashbury, glunn and Sssuperdave like this

As long as our robot overlord umpires have tails, that can be battled off, Gardy will learn to tolerate.

    • ashbury, glunn and goulik like this

So. the funny thing is that this is really a thing. People don't know who to get upset with. In the Arizona Fall League, you'd see the ump wait, hear the call in his ear, and make the call. The batter would turn, react and the ump would point up.. Then the players would look up annoyingly at the Trackman machine while huffing and puffing their way back to the dugout. 

    • glunn, Hosken Bombo Disco and DocBauer like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Nov 01 2019 07:40 AM
The call needs to be instantaneous, or the adjustment will be too bumpy. Sounds like AFL had an intermediary whispering in the home plate ump’s ear? Here is a video I found. https://m.youtube.co...h?v=a4bJ-MfC24o Strike zone will be higher, and that pitch at 1:03... hoo boy :) Gardy will come out to argue that.
    • glunn likes this
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Dave The Dastardly
Nov 01 2019 07:58 AM

I heard a rumor that the robot behind the plate will be armed with a taser gun and as soon as a manager steps out of the dugout to contest a call he'll get zapped. I think it will be kind of funny watching Gardy flop around on the ground, his tongue hanging out while making odd gurgling sounds. I might even pony up for MLB-TV to see that.

 

However given Americans love of schadenfreude I think the fans will be begging the managers to challenge the robot, just like race car fans want to see high-speed crashes, instead of cheering on the players. Maybe the robot can be programmed to randomly zap the occasional infielder just for the hell of it... or maybe just after they go into a shift.

    • ashbury and gil4 like this

Maybe Frank Viola could offer Gardy some advice on what not to do.

    • gil4 likes this

Might be time for Gardy to walk softly and carry a big stick.

    • ashbury likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 01 2019 10:03 AM

the more important question...

 

Can the robot eject Gardy?

    • SQUIRREL, ashbury and glunn like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Nov 02 2019 06:00 AM
Gardenhire, " Alexa that was not a strike. You blew that call and I am really upset. You a bleeping, bleeping, bleep." Alexa, " Gardy, you have to leave now. Goodbye.
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sampleSizeOfOne
Nov 02 2019 11:53 AM
Gardie's gotta work on his machine language...
    • ashbury likes this

Some people like chocolate, some vanilla and others strawberry......

 

Stu likes rocky road

    • ashbury likes this

 

the more important question...

 

Can the robot eject Gardy?

The robots won't eject you; they'll just go online and screw up your credit report. 

    • ashbury and DocBauer like this
Would MLB rules allow for a binary speaking coach in the dugout?

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