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MLB Stopped Hitters From Seeing Strike Zone On iPads To Protect Umpires

It's no secret that Major League Baseball has an umpiring problem.

Thanks to the introduction of the strike zone box on television broadcasts and the rapid proliferation of umpire score card social media accounts, fans, coaches and players have been able to almost instantly make judgments about an umpire's calls. And while immensely valuable for observers, it's made umpires' lives that much harder. In the case of now-retired umpire Angel Hernandez, it essentially ran him out of the league.

READ: MLB Fans Exhale As Most-Hated Ump Angel Hernandez Officially Retires

Especially because players would return to the dugout after a contentious call, check their MLB-provided iPads and see that the umpire got the call wrong. Sure enough, they'd let the umps hear about it during their next at bat. Well, they used to let umpires hear it before the league stepped in at the umpires' request.

According to a new report from The Athletic, the league issued memos that they would disable the automatic strike zones visible on player iPads because umpires had complained about the treatment they were getting. 

"This was done in direct response to a perceived increase in the incidence of Players and other On-Field Personnel using the dugout tablets — in particular, the feed that includes the strike zone graphic — to argue balls and strikes, and in some cases to berate, harass and embarrass Major League umpires," a memo sent to the teams said, according to The Athletic. 

Have the umpires considered doing a better job calling balls and strikes?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 06:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez works a game between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium on August 06, 2023 in the