MLB News: Umpires to Wear Microphones to Explain Review Calls in 2020

Umpires get some of the most emphatic blame placed on themselves for bad calls and for showing up players on countless occasions. It has certainly become an ‘Ump Show’ and the league is taking measures to try to bridge the divide between players, fans, and the officiating crew for Major League Baseball games.

According to Pedro Gomez of ESPN, Major League Baseball will begin giving microphones to umpires during the 2020 season to explain the results of reviewed calls. Fans who are watching on television or listening on the radio will both be able to hear the audible explanation of the crew chief. They may also explain the reasoning, per Gomez.

As Gomez notes, this is very similar to what the NFL referees currently do for penalty calls. The NHL does this to a lesser degree for penalties, as well. MLB has been long overdue for something like this as hostility grows between players and umpires with soaring ejection rates the last few seasons.

Gomez also continued that only crew chiefs will be mic’d up in the early stages of this new aspect of the game:

The thing about this, though, is that no matter how good the line of communication is, the New York replay room and the umpires on the field will never be perfect. This is only a way for them to communicate their side of the story that we do not often get to hear. If the play was too close to overturn or not overturn, we will hear it and why that is.

This is a good step forward for Major League Baseball in their efforts to help both umpires and players alike.

NEXT: Robo-Umps to See Action in Spring Training

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