The Mets and Dodgers (who already have a lot of bad blood going back to last year, when Chase Utley of the Dodgers broke the leg of Ruben Tejada of the Mets while trying to break up a double play) had a series in Queens, and before their game on Saturday, the Dodgers used a laser range-finder to denote defensive positioning in the outfield. The Mets weren’t too happy about this, and they contacted Major League Baseball about the matter.
In their attempts to modernize the game, they’re making it a completely different game. At this rate, we might as well just play it with robots.
The Dodgers say it’s standard practice to use technology and analytics to establish defensive positions. The Mets say using lasers to figure out where their outfielders should stand, and then marking spots on the field, is going over the line. They also didn’t like that Dodgers left fielder Howie Kendrick was spotted by cameras glancing at a positioning card during Friday’s game.
This is all getting pretty stupid, if you ask us. We agree with the Mets. Teams shouldn’t be allowed to use lasers to tell their players where to stand. This is one of the reasons MLB is getting worse and worse. In their attempts to modernize the game, they’re making it a completely different game. At this rate, we might as well just play it with robots. Or better yet, just plug in each teams’ analytics, run the game on a computer and just send out the results to everyone. We don’t even have to bother watching the game or showing up for the game. It will save us all a lot of time.
Because let’s review: Due to analytics, there aren’t second basemen and shortstops anymore. There are three people between first base and second base, or three people between second base and third base. Half the calls every game are reviewed by instant replay. It used to be a part of the baseball experience to claim that the umpire blew a call that cost you a game. Now you can’t say that because everything is reviewed, so yeah, every call is eventually called correctly, but all the drama of live baseball is taken away because you know every call on the field is just a preliminary judgement. Now there’s talk of K-Zone eventually replacing the umpire to call balls and strikes, and guys are coming up to the plate with massive elbow guards that make them look like cyborgs. Oh, and there are no collisions at home plate and the pitchers are going to wear helmets and you can’t take anyone out at second base to break up double plays anymore.
Remember that old Konami video game Base Wars, in which you controlled robots playing baseball in the future? We’re not too far from that.
Here’s a tip, MLB: Remember when baseball was a simple game played by men in baggy uniforms on grass fields with wooden bats, and there was no instant replay, no robotic elbow guards, no timers for the pitchers, no analytics, no infield shifts and no lasers? Go back to that, please.