A change just announced by league is going to be interesting, and is already causing a little controversy. The MLB is planning to have officials scoring from home as a way to reduce the exposure of COVID-19 in the ballparks as much as they can.  Although many don’t agree with this decision, the scorers will reportedly have access to all the tools they need in order to their job, and might even be able to do it better.  Since fans can’t travel to games this year, MLB is also given them a chance to determine the level of fan noise heard during live broadcasts.

MLB Officials Home Scoring Planned

The job of an official scorer is regarded with contempt and sometimes ridiculed, though it is essential for the game’s existence.  Many people may criticize rudely the decisions taken by the scorers, but these guys are doing their job.  And someone has to make the hard decisions if a hit was an error or not.  This season, the MLB officials scoring will watch the games differently because, according to the Associated Press, scorers will be located in remote locations, most likely from their homes.

This is another requirement established for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  MLB is doing this in order to comply with the health and safety guidelines; they are trying to reduce the number of people inside the ballparks.  The less people there are, the fewer chances of people getting infected or being exposed to the virus.

Reduced Fields Of View For Scoring

League authorities believe that official scorers can carry out their jobs working from home without any problem – although only time will tell.  Scorers will be provided with video equipment upgrades to strengthen their abilities and making decisions that should be equal to those made if they were at the ballpark.  However, some members of MLB consider that sending officials scoring from home will make their job now even more difficult than it is already.  That is because the scorers are not present in the game so the ability to judge and observe is not the same.

Let’s consider some of the pros and cons.  The first point is an unprecedented number of video feeds.  According to Chris Marinak, MLB executive vice president for strategy, technology and innovation, ”There are a lot of roles that have historically been in the ballpark that we had to look at, and the official scorer was a tough one.  When we looked at the job, and the technology available to them, we felt like they can do the entire job they have to do from home.”

On the same matter, the camera angles and improved features will give plenty of visual evidence, that seems to be enough on the surface.  But, the truth is, even though baseball can sometimes turn into a slow game, the action happens fast, and the situations are best analyzed at the right moment.

Some Managers Aren’t Convinced

Another aspect to be considered is losing perspective.  Both managers Terry Francona and Dave Roberts agree on the fact that being in the camp gives the best perspective on each play.  Francona told the Associated Press his concern, explaining, ”Probably a touch unfair to the officials scoring, which could end up affecting the MLB players.  It’s tough enough for officials scoring when they’re sitting up high.  When you get down low and you see actually how fast the ball’s moving or the hops it’s taking or the topspin, you get a much better version of what’s really happening.”

Baseball Fans To Bring The Noise

While we’re on the subject of baseball, MLB is hoping it can get fans more involved from home since they can’t attend games in person.  Fans will be allowed to cheer the games by using a mobile app in the MLB App that can produce crowd noise, allowing baseball players will get their fans’ support remotely.  Darren Rovell of Action Network says that the league will encompass all fans who use the app and cheer or boo a specific team during a game.  Staff members will be able to match the responses with the volume of cheers or boos in the empty stadium.

Those fans who log into the mobile app can select which team they want to support.  The app will maintain tabs on the number of fans who are cheering for each team, as well as how they react.  Then, staff inside the stadiums can stimulate the fake crowd noise coming from the app.  All this is being mainly done for the players, as a way to let them know that fans out there are committed to honor their effort and hard work.