Bet 899

Duration 8 years (02022-02029)

“By the year 2030, a computerized system will be used to call balls and strikes in the majority of Major League Baseball games” Detailed Terms »

John Mantia

David Abrams


will go to Move United if Mantia wins,
or Friends of the IDF if Abrams wins.

Mantia's Argument

The current MLB season and previous MLB season showcased poor strike zone officiating. There is already technology which exists to evaluate the number of "missed" calls by umpires. This is just a natural next step. It's fairer, less complicated, and higher in accuracy.

Abrams's Argument

Tradition is very important to Major League Baseball and its fans. People still stand up and stretch half way through the 7th inning, carrying on a tradition that is well over 100 years old. Stadiums are still not standardized in terms of layout. It took decades before electric lights were finally installed at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

I think people prefer to have a man in the job of umpire, making the calls even if he gets it wrong sometimes. And I do think the game is more enjoyable to watch with a human umpire than it would be if calls were made by machine.

So I am willing to bet that even if the technology for making these calls is perfected by 2030, it will take a lot longer to come into use in Major League Baseball, if it ever does.

To be clear, I believe that there may be some kind of computer assistance or challenge system in place, however, per the terms of the bet, I predict that generally speaking the calls will be made by a human being.

Detailed Terms

A human umpire may still be part of the process, and a challenge system may be in place, but 80%+ of the ball/strike decisions will be determined/confirmed via a computer system