MLB's umpires have always drawn criticism, but they've come under even more scrutiny in recent years as replay technology as evolved, revealing countless blown calls on a daily basis.
Now, the already-shaky quality of MLB's officiating is potentially set to decline in 2023 following the retirement of several veteran umps.
MLB Umpires Retiring
According to a report by ESPN on Thursday, a whopping 10 MLB umpires are set to retire this offseason -- the most since 1999. That includes seven crew chiefs, who tend to be more senior and respected leaders.
This exodus is occurring at a critical inflection point in the game's history when technology is becoming increasingly integrated into the sport. Many fans are already in favor of robo-umps calling balls and strikes, which would eliminate much of the human error that is inherently part of the game.
If the quality of umpiring in 2023 suffers as a result, those cries will become even louder and continue to gain momentum. It's hard to justify games being ruined by poor officiating when there are more accurate alternatives.
There probably won't be a noticeable drop-off, as it's still incredibly hard to become a qualified major-league umpire. It's always good to bring in fresh blood and start training the umpires of tomorrow, assuming they aren't ultimately replaced by robots.