Chicago Tribune

Paul Sullivan: With MLB front offices relying more and more on analytics, could robo-managers be in their future?

A three-year agreement between Major League Baseball and the independent Atlantic League will allow MLB to implement rule changes that could include robotic umpires calling balls and strikes.

It's just an experiment, but baseball seems to be moving closer to the era of the robo-ump, taking advantage of modern technology to ensure a more accurate strike zone.

Meanwhile, we're still a ways away from the introduction of the robo-manager.

If you haven't heard of it, that may be because I made it up. But rest assured, it's coming to a ballpark near you. Maybe not in our lifetime, but somewhere down the road, when technology overtakes every aspect of the game, we'll no longer need a human being making humanoid decisions from his dugout perch.

A computer will be programmed to calculate the best possible decision on every strategic move, and it won't dribble tobacco juice down its uniform because it won't have one.

Let's face it: Managers are an endangered species.

We've already seen the virtual elimination of the managerial tirade - the hat-tossing, dirt-kicking, profanity-spewing displays you couldn't

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