Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


First Advisor

Richard Alloway

Second Advisor

John Shrader

Third Advisor

Jennifer Sheppard

Date of this Version

Fall 12-1-2021

Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Journalism and Mass Communications, Under the Supervision of Professor Richard Alloway. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2021

Copyright © 2021 Bob Greene


A qualitative analysis of the Major League Baseball industry’s perspective on the use of technology within the game, specifically the incorporation of an automated strike zone in place of traditional umpires, through targeted survey results from current MLB broadcasters and journalists or media members. Evidence from the research suggests that though those who are in favor of umpires being replaced by technology within the game, at least in some fashion, there are concerns that the technology in place is currently ready to provide the type of experience desired for MLB play when it comes ruling on balls and strikes with an automated system. In addition, there was a sentiment that the human element within the game as it relates to umpires has value and the complete loss of the human element would not be wanted.

The evidence also shows there is a belief that an automated strike zone within MLB games could have a profound impact on the balance between offense and pitching that could change the game considerably. In terms of the impact an automated strike zone would have on the work of media and broadcasters, it was generally considered limited, though broadcasters did note that there would be a change in their rhythm and timing of calls on pitches and the data illustrate that a move to automated strike zone would provide a new topic for media to discuss.

Advisor: Richard Alloway