Ron Gardenhire Asks What the Rules Are for Yelling at Robots
Image courtesy of © Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY SportsHigh-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.”
- Dantes929, Dave The Dastardly and In My La-Z-boy like this