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MLB Streams MLB Strike Zone - Link 2 Online

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MLB Strike Zone - Link 2 Online

The official strike zone is the area over home plate from the midpoint between a batter's shoulders and the top of the uniform pants -- when the batter is in his stance and prepared to swing at a pitched ball -- and a point just below the kneecap. In order to get a strike call, part of the ball must cross over part of home plate while in the aforementioned area.

There was the horrific strike zone of plate umpire Ed Hickox in a recent series finale against the Yankees. That one benefited the Cardinals more than the Yankees but left both teams befuddled. It altered the game.

Of course, all of these examples trail what Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner experienced back in May. After clashing with home plate umpire Ryan Wills regarding the strike zone, Bumgarner had to endure a long and incredibly awkward interaction during the now-standard check for sticky substances on the pitching hand. But this check was not standard. Umpire Dan Bellino baited Bumgarner with an intense stare. Never looked at his hand. It was a stunt. Something meant for pro wrestling, not baseball. Then Bellino ejected Bumgarner as soon as the pitcher reacted.

Throughout the game, Cleveland's pitchers targeted Judge with breaking balls down and away on the outer half of the plate. When Judge received pitches he could hit in the middle of the strike zone, he swung late, a consistent theme throughout the first two games against Cleveland.

BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey -- When Major League Baseball first announced its experiment with the electronic strike zone in the Atlantic League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league, the news was met with skepticism. But the implementation of the automated ball-strike system was also accompanied with a bit of intrigue.

At the end of July, it was announced that robot umpires would continue to be used in the Atlantic League for the remainder of the 2019 season. So with a little less than a month left in the Atlantic League's regular season, I watched the electronic strike zone get put to use once again during a game between the Somerset Patriots and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Here's how it worked.

TrackMan, or "robot ump," sits up above home plate (at all eight Atlantic League ballparks), and looks like a black box from afar. In reality, the box is a 3-D Doppler radar dish that analyzes each pitch thrown. Using a three-dimensional strike zone, TrackMan is able to calibrate each batters' size and stance, adjusting the strike zone accordingly. So, the system works so that it doesn't allow a 6-foot-7 player to have the same strike zone as a 5-foot-7 player.

All the while, up in the press box sits a TrackMan tech crew sent by MLB. They man the equipment: A laptop, which shows the strike zone graphic for each batter, adjusting ever so slightly to the specific height and stance. In terms of what the TrackMan software looks like, it's awfully similar to the GameTracker appearance seen when following along with a game online.

That's not to say the system hasn't experienced glitches, or guarantees that it won't during the continuation of its experimental phase. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done as far as the consistency for the strike zone across the different Atlantic League ballparks as well as making sure the connection between the TrackMan software and the umpire's iPhone and earpiece stays strong for the entire game.

TrackMan obviously affects everyone involved on a baseball team, but how has it been for the umpires? Many of which have had to essentially tweak their entire career and approach to calling balls and strikes. After initially being taken aback by the news of an electronic strike zone, Atlantic League umpire Freddie DeJesus now recognizes its game-changing potential.

Those who are anti-electronic strike zone argue that, by using a machine, it's removing a human element from the game. They'll be less

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