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Computer plate umps allowed in new labor deal

Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract
Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 10, 2019, file photo, home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere, left, huddles with officials while wearing an earpiece connected to a ball and strikes calling system before the Atlantic League All-Star minor league baseball game in York, Pa. DeBrauwere wore the earpiece connected to an iPhone in his ball bag which relayed ball and strike calls upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar. The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let the computer call balls and strikes during the all star game. Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract announced Saturday, Dec. 21, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because those details of the deal, which is subject to ratification by both sides, had not been announced. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Computer plate umpires could be called up to the major leagues at some point during the next five seasons. 

Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract announced Saturday, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. 

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level. 

The independent Atlantic League and Arizona Fall League experimented with the system last season. 

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