Given that my team is getting their butt kicked in the world series, I was getting kind of bored last night, and started questioning the utility of the umpire. I mean, this poor human being sits in the most uncomfortable position possible for hours on end, and his judgments are subject to disagreement, and are sometimes wrong. He's not an athlete or anything, so I don't see how he is critical to the game. I thought of a few ways to get rid of him, while also improving gameplay.
So the first thing I would do is get rid of the umpire. I'm going to retrofit home plate with a 3D holographic projector like this one
. This is going to give us an objective, indisputable representation of the strike zone that the pitcher, batter and fans can all see. I'm also going to embed infrared sensors into home plate that can detect the precise position of the ball in 3D. It seems like they've already got information similar to this available, but the only place I see it is in replays and web visualizations - not for realtime gameplay. We can stick a speaker in home plate as well so that it can call the pitches.
I think this and possibly other improvements would go a long way to improving the game of baseball. I can imagine real time biofeedback devices that help the pitcher and batter improve the precision and accuracy of their gameplay, but that might be over the tech horizon. With all the money dumped into the support, I think it's totally feasible that home plate could be totally "pimped" out, to the enjoyment of all...
Oh, one more thing. No more lousy calls on close situations such as Manny Ramirez at home plate last night. There should be some kind of 360 degree replay available from multiple perspectives, and lets let the fans choose... What would you do? Any takers?