Could Google Glass Be the Future of Umpiring?


Ahmed Fareed of CSN threw out the statement on Twitter yesterday that he thought that umpires would be using Google Glass to call balls and strikes within two years. It raised an interesting scenario, and truthfully, seems like it could be a match made in heaven. If baseball is truly wanting to embrace technology to make the game better, and to get the right calls, it seems like an option to explore.

Then Wendy Thurm jumped in and blew my mind away. She sent a link to the video below, which is a Google Glass user enjoying a San Francisco Giants baseball game.

This specifically is an app called “Blue” and looks pretty cool. It makes me want to run out and drop $1,500 on some Google Glasses. You know, if I had $1,500 just laying around. I don’t, so I’ll have to settle for dreaming of what the future of baseball could look like.

Listen, we all watch Game Cast, and we can all see when the plate umpire clearly blew a ball/strike call. Case in point: Oakland Athletics pitcher Scott Kazmir got ejected yesterday for arguing a ball call that resulted in a walk.


The pitch that upset him? The #7 pitch that was called a ball. Had pitch #1 not been a called strike, then the umpire could have set the tone he wasn’t calling low strikes. However, he set the tone early, and cost Kazmir a walk. Then he ejected him when Kazmir called him out on it.

Truthfully though, that’s not even the worst of it. Not even close. So, if a tool like Google Glass could help umpires set their strike zone and better see where the balls are coming in, I say use it.

I do get that baseball is a human game. Nothing is ever going to be 100% accurate, but since baseball has taken the route with replay and trying to get calls right, why not give it a try? There will still be blown calls for fans to get up in arms about. But with replay, the most glaring deficit in the game right now is ball and strikes, and managers aren’t even allowed to argue them.

I’m not sure how it would work, but I do think the technology is there. Things like, each batter having a different strike zone would have to be addressed, and potential delay in data coming, or heaven forbid, network issues, could all be major problems to work through.

What do you all think? Would you welcome a tool to help umpires do their jobs better on the field?