Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire. Yet, he was actually right to do so.
Electronic strike zone, anyone? The system currently being tested in MLB-affiliated leagues could make its way to the bigs if moments like the one in Friday afternoon’s game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks continue to occur with regularity.
For players, knowing there is perhaps a more optimal strike zone translator out there doesn’t make them feel any better, as it’s currently not employed at the MLB level. Instead, we have umpires like Ryan Addition, who despite being perfectly capable at his job got a strike call wrong on Contreras.
When Contreras argued, he was promptly ejected.
Uh, more like Addition by subtraction.
Cubs: Willson Contreras was right to argue
Addition called a ball a strike, at least per the broadcast’s strike zone. Now, there’s a chance that either the network’s strike zone was incorrect, or perhaps that Addition was calling inside pitches strikes all game, and Contreras should have adjusted.
If it’s the latter, that is still not Contreras’ fault, but instead the byproduct of a broken system. The human element does make the game fun, in some cases. Umpires should remain part of the game, just not in terms of calling actual balls and strikes.
Crew chiefs, as well as first and third base umpires remain essential to the game itself. So does instant replay, and hell, let’s put someone behind home plate anyway just to monitor the electronic strike zone when it makes its grand entrance into MLB.
But Contreras should not be getting tossed for this. His response wasn’t very measured, but he had a right to be upset.