Robot Umps Have Arrived, TV Deals, Cornhole DRAMA, and Other Bullets

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Robot Umps Have Arrived, TV Deals, Cornhole DRAMA, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, MLB News and Rumors

I watched the Bob Lazar/UFO documentary on Netflix last night, and it was definitely interesting. Although I think it is fairly irrational to believe we are alone in the universe among intelligent life, I also think it is extremely unlikely that intelligent life from another planet has visited ours during this tiny slice of intelligent human existence on Earth. There are just so many mathematical and cosmological headwinds to actually putting together a scientifically plausible story of such a visit. I guess I’m just a skeptic.

That said, at least in the way the doc was presented, much of what Lazar offered was compelling. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to watch, but I would say only that, as a skeptic, I was … intrigued, and I want to do more reading.

  • We have crossed the Rubicon: robot umpires have been deployed in a professional baseball game. No, it’s not MLB just yet, but in the independent Atlantic League, MLB is testing various new protocols and rules changes in a live environment, and the latest was an electronic strike zone:

  • The league had been getting the system ready to go – using Trackman technology – for the first half of the season, and unveiled it last night for their All-Star Game. The home plate umpire, who is still tracking pitches for times when the system goes down, had an AirPod in his ear so he could be relayed the balls/strikes and then call them on the field. Apparently, for one night, the whole thing went off pretty seamlessly, *despite* the system going down for an inning (the ump just called balls and strikes), and *despite* some pitches not looking like strikes to the batter (tough noogies).
  • There is little doubt in my mind that, over time, the strike zone will either become entirely electronic, or partly (through reviews or corrections or whatever).
  • Pfft. Boring:

  • I laughed:

  • Kerry and Sarah Wood, doing good:

  • A notable little bit that underscores something we’ve hypothesized – i.e., that the Cubs being partnered with Sinclair on their new channel Marquee is going to help them in any carriage negotiations:

  • The rub, of course, is that this does not do anything to help move the broadcasting of the games forward in a world where cable bundles are dying. There’s still a ton of money in that space, so I understand why the Cubs (and other teams, and MLB, and Sinclair) are sticking to it, but medium term, there simply has to be a broader shift to some kind of a la carte streaming option.
  • Our latest episode of the ‘Onto Waveland’ podcast.
  • Bryan got into a breakout prospect:

  • Maybe it’s because there was no baseball to watch, but man, this was awesome:

  • Hoverboards and clothes aplenty are among your deals today at Amazon.
  • Can’t say I’m confident they can pull this off, but it IS the right way to think about things, IMO:


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.