“Baseball is a pitcher’s game…”
“Baseball is a pitcher’s game…”
The new year of 2024 is just around the corner and spring training hasn’t even started yet, but the topic of conversation in the KBO is the new systems being introduced. Confusion persists among clubs and players over the introduction of the Automatic Ball-Strike System (ABS), also known as “robot umpires,” pitch clocks, and restrictions on bunting.
The KBO announced the introduction of ABS, pitch clocks, and restrictions in October last year. The KBO has been piloting the ABS system in the Futures League for four seasons, starting in 2020, and has been upgrading the system. “We have achieved results such as improving the precision and consistency of ball and strike judgment and reducing the time it takes for the results to reach the umpire,” the KBO said.
ABS is a system in which the umpire wears an earpiece and makes a strike or ball call as the ball crosses home plate, and the signal is transmitted to the umpire through the earpiece. The umpire simply relays the information received from the ABS. 토토사이트 The decision was made in response to a number of recent call controversies in the KBO, which have led to a loss of trust.
The KBO said, “Pitch Clock also comprehensively analyzed changes in game duration, changes in game indicators such as stolen bases, and spectator satisfaction in Major League Baseball, which also implemented it this season. We also analyzed the average pitching interval of all pitchers in the KBO, and detailed indicators such as the average number of blocking attempts and when the batter is ready to hit were also analyzed.”
Pitch clocks and limitations on the number of pitches were already introduced by the Major League Baseball last year, and they have made a big splash by fulfilling their intended purpose of speeding up the game. They proved effective, with the average game length dropping from 3 hours and 4 minutes in 2022 to 2 hours and 40 minutes last year. This year, Major League Baseball plans to further reduce the pitch clock with runners on base from 20 seconds to 18 seconds.
However, there is still a lot of skepticism about the KBO’s immediate adoption. Especially in the case of ABS, the major leagues are still hesitating whether to fully adopt it, so confusion is inevitable. The final checks will be completed in spring training and exhibition games, but the concerns are not going away.
The KBO is well aware of these concerns.
Last December, KBO umpires practiced using pitch clocks and ABS simulations at Icheon Baseball Park, but there is still a lot of skepticism about the radical changes. Initially, there is a need for consensus across the KBO league to establish the strike zone and call changeups.
LG Kim Hyun-soo, president of the Korean Professional Baseball Players’ Association (KPBPA), said, “If robotic umpires are introduced, the ball judgment will be consistent, but there are times when a ball that you can’t really hit with your eyes passes through the strike zone. I’m worried about how such balls will be judged. The pace of the game will definitely increase, but it’s all about how the players adjust to that.”
Regarding the pitch clock, Kim Hyun-soo said, “It is said that a pitch clock will be introduced instead of the 12-second rule, but I am most worried about whether it will be utilized well because Korean baseball has a lot of signs.” He added, “I am worried because too many things are changing at once, but the KBO said that they will help us adapt well, so we will follow along and see what kind of confusion the players experience.” He also spoke for the players.
Samsung’s Kang Min-ho, who holds the record for most games played by a catcher
He recently appeared on KBSN sports commentator Kim Tae-gyun’s YouTube channel, “Kim Tae-gyun [TK52],” and said, “As a catcher who has played in the KBO for 20 years, my personal opinion is that robot umpires should not be allowed to come in.
He said, “The authority of the umpires is also an authority, but I think the wrong call is one of the beauties of professional baseball. If robot umpires are introduced, I honestly think you can bring in anyone to officiate,” he said.
“The umpire will have experience, and if there is an error in a critical situation during the game, you can use video review, and different umpires use different strike zones,” he added.
He added, “You don’t have to throw it exactly right. Pitchers who can throw their hardest pitches anywhere in the strike zone are now favored, and pitchers who are good at throwing one outside like they used to be are now at a disadvantage. I don’t think they’re going to call that a strike anymore,” he said.
And most importantly, the introduction of robot umpires will favor the batter.
“I think it will definitely favor the batter. The pitcher’s outside pitch, which he has been throwing since he was a child, becomes a ball, so the batter has to narrow his zone to get it inside (the strike zone). It’s a narrower zone, so the hitter has an advantage.”
Veteran pitcher Lee Yong-chan (34), who has won 61 of his 500 career games and 157 saves, also expressed his opinion. Speaking to reporters after the NC’s New Year’s Day ceremony on Jan. 8, Yong-chan shared his thoughts on the new systems, including ABS and Pitch Clock, and gave his final remarks.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and it’s going to be hard for pitchers. Pitch clock is pitch clock, but robotic umpiring is something we’ve never done before. We’ll have to see how it goes in camp, but I think it’s going to be a lot harder on the pitchers. All their stats are going to go down,” he said.
“Honestly, I think the hitters are going to have an advantage and the runners are going to have an advantage. “Honestly, baseball is supposed to be a pitcher’s game, but I feel like the pitcher is getting more and more disadvantaged,” he explained.
While ABS can be used to fairly judge pitches
He believes it will eventually touch the psychological aspect of human baseball. “If you think a ball is 100% in the strike zone and it’s not called, 사설 토토사이트 it’s going to affect you,” he said. “It’s the same for hitters, but it’s going to throw them off balance. Pitchers will be more sensitive. “Pitchers will be more sensitive because one strike can end the game, and it can happen two or three more times,” he said, reiterating his belief that pitchers’ lives will be threatened.
The introduction of robot umpires and pitch clocks, which have been heavily debated, will be finalized by the KBO’s board of directors at its meeting on April 11.