“Say you heard it on the ball”–Suspicious conversations from the umpires

A major controversy has erupted over the automatic pitch judgment system (ABS).

In the Samsung-NC game in Daegu on Thursday, an umpire’s ABS call of ‘strike’ was changed to ‘ball’ and a suspicious conversation between the umpires was exposed on the live broadcast.

In the bottom of the third inning, with NC leading 1-0, umpire Moon Seung-hoon called a ball on the second pitch thrown by NC starter Lee Jae-hak against Samsung’s Lee Jae-hyun. The count was 1-1, and a video review was conducted to determine if Kim Ji-chan stole second base. When Lee threw three more pitches to bring the count to full, NC manager Kang In-hwon ran onto the field. Lee’s second pitch, which was previously declared a ball, was labeled as a strike on the ABS tablet provided by the KBO.

The KBO introduced ABS, a system that allows the umpires to call a strike or a ball by listening to a voice through an in-ear device. The umpire made the wrong call and the game went on.

When the players realized this, they protested, but were denied. First base umpire Lee Min-ho, the team leader of the umpiring group, said, “The voice was transmitted as a ball, but the ABS monitor confirmed it as a strike. NC appealed the call, but the statute of limitations for appealing the call was over before the next pitch was delivered, so it was a full count,” he explained on the microphone.

Lee Jae-hyun, who should have already been called out due to the ABS call, remained at the plate, and Lee Jae-hak drove him in with a single on the very next pitch. Two consecutive singles followed, giving up three runs and dropping the score to 1-3.

The KBO’s ABS situation room confirmed that the mechanical review of the pitch was called a strike. Given the circumstances, it is very possible that the 토토사이트 umpire misheard. If he felt he didn’t hear it correctly, he should have checked, called it correctly, and let the pitch go through.

The bigger controversy came from the “conversation” that the umpires had when they gathered to discuss the call. The umpire team leader said, “Tell them that you clearly recognized it as a ball. You know, we’re out…that’s all there is to it,” the head of the umpiring team was caught on live TV. This has been interpreted as an attempt to blame the umpires for the machine error. We need to see the full context, but it’s hard to avoid suspicion and controversy. A very clear explanation is needed.

It is possible that the word “strike” was misheard as “ball” in the crowd noise. Whether or not the umpire himself realized that he had misheard the call is also important. If the umpires’ conversation on this day was a ‘mock’ of ‘no matter what the actual call is, we should always go with what we hear as a ball’, then it is a disgrace.

“We strongly protested to the KBO over the phone, and we also plan to apologize for the content and demand appropriate measures through an official letter,” the NC club said. The KBO has decided to get a statement of explanation from the umpires.


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