Welp:

Nightengale is reporting from Rob Manfred’s media availability out in Seattle ahead of the All Star Game.

This means Angel Hernandez and CB Bucknor are allowed to be on their bullshit for at least another year.

Looking at the responses to that tweet is interesting. Seems like a sampling of fans would compromise on robot umps for a player challenge instead. They’re experimenting with both at the minor league level, as explained in this May article from Kyle Glaser at Baseball America:

The automated ball-strike system (ABS), known colloquially as robo-umps, uses the Hawk-Eye tracking system to determine whether a pitch is a ball or strike and relays the call to the home plate umpire via an earpiece. ABS was used in 11 Triple-A stadiums last year and was expanded to all 30 stadiums this year. The Pacific Coast League has been using ABS since Opening Day. The International League began using it April 25.

There are two key differences in how ABS is being used this year at Triple-A.

The first is that “full” ABS, where the system determines balls and strikes, is only being used for the first three games of each series. The final three games of each series are using a “challenge” system where the home plate umpire calls balls and strikes and teams can challenge calls. ABS is used to verify whether the call was correct or not.

The latter seems like a good middle ground here, or at least the first step. Going from human umps directly to robot umps feels like you’re going from point A to point C. But switching from human umps to a challenge system backed up by technology feels like you’re going from point A to point B, and then point C is available if you really want to go there at some point.

Here’s how the challenge system works, if you haven’t seen it before: