Robot umpires by 2024 or we riot. That has to be the mantra for many baseball fans after the last couple of months as missed calls, terrible decisions, ump shows, and just absurd moments seem to have become commonplace in Major League Baseball and other leagues.

Thursday we were treated to a missed strike call that stunned everyone watching, including the announcers.

It happened in the top of the 2nd inning of Thursday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Sox pitcher Dylan Cease delivered an 0-1 curveball right down the middle to Dodgers hitter Cody Bellinger. By all accounts, it was a clear-cut strike. But don’t tell that to home-plate umpire Eric Hickox, who called it a ball.

“Whoa…whoa whoa whoa whoa,” was not only the announcer’s reaction but just about everyone else’s, except for Hickox.

“That’s a perfect pitch and I think Ed Hickox when he sees that is gonna realize that he absolutely missed it,” said NBC analyst Steve Stone, summing things up.

Even the Dodgers booth couldn’t help but be gobsmacked, as summed up by Joe Davis’s reaction.

As with so many terrible calls and no-calls this MLB season, social media lit up over the blown call and renewed their desire for robot umpires to finally put us all out of our misery.

It doesn’t appear that MLB is too concerned about this daily madness, and so we’ll meet back here tomorrow for the next truly awful umpire call…unless it happens tonight.

[Vinnie Parise]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to