Skip to content
July 31, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Play ball and move it.

Heat-crazed August: strange returns.

The Sugar Land Skeeters ALPB baseball team has gone to the dogs with their new bat boy, Kovu, a Belgian Shepherd.

Smart, well behaved, and considerate, he knows where and when to go.

Skeeters bat dog Kuvo at work in his Parrothead shirt.(Twitter.@kovubatdog and @SL_Skeeters)

Skeeters bat dog Kuvo at work in his Parrothead shirt.(Twitter.@kovubatdog and @SL_Skeeters)

Better trained than some humans. (Many want to tell them exactly where to go)

  • “Deputies searching for teen that allegedly urinated on shelf at Walmart” (Porter, TX)
  • “Police seek woman who urinated on potatoes in Walmart” (Pennsylvania)
  • “Walmart shopper gargles mouthwash, pits in it, and returns to shelf” (California)

Obviously followers- not leaders – of the “bad attention is better than no attention at all” cult.  Dunderheads of the Facebook crowd.

Only 3 weeks until school returns. Will we make it?

All the bad press humans are getting should worry people. AI is slipping to snap up jobs everywhere.

First teams stuff fans inside huge machine operated buildings taking away that unique “boys of summer” feel. Then huge video screens show what’s happening because the fans are so far removed from the action. Now owners want to rip away the most basic cherished human element tradition of baseball: yelling at the umpire over his calls!

Skeeters' baseball players and umpires arguing. (Screenshot. click2houston)

The important human element: Drama and conflict. Makes the day and the conversations days afterwards. We want to encourage human conversations, right? (Screenshot:click2houston)

The “robot umpire” focuses on an electronic strike zone individualized for each batter based on their batting data. The Trackman system uses Doppler radar to track track pitches traveling through the strike zone, then quickly notifying the umpire by earpiece, giving him a strike, ball or “no-track” call. The umpire then announces the call given by robot, makes his own call on the “no-track” calls, and checked swings he sees.

Like or not, robot umpires are here to say for rest of season. A trial run for the big time.

Robot umpire at baseball stadium . Sugar Land Skeeters (screenshot. Click2houston)

According to the Skeeters’ new robot umpire, “Be there or be square.” (screenshot. Click2houston)

Can Meat Puppets be far behind?

“The eerie ‘forced exoskeleton rave’ where dancers’ bodies are controlled by robotic suits” and by the DJ controlling the music

Bet the players’ sports unions and agents are already wondering about the potential for “robotic enhanced” athletes…

Just how will salaries be determined or paid. After all, which is the important participant, the player in the suit, or the controller?

That Fortnight video game star might find actually himself in even higher demand in the sports world.

The next quandary would be who gets to post about it on Facebook/Twitter: the human manipulated, the controller, or the robot? Hey, AI has rights, deserved credit, and likes attention, too, right?

Other uses for robotic enhancement will naturally emerge. Maybe in the justice system.

If exoskeletons can control dancers even against their will, is there any chance Judges could mandate criminals or teens “too young to understand their actions and consequences” receive some time in robotic training suits?

You know what they say about repeating behavior establishes muscle memories and, then, new habits.

Nah. No chance. While social justice warriors might initially get charged with the idea of reforming individuals, shortly the ACLU would short circuit with “Cruel and unusual punishment”.

Dog and woman reporter, Charly Edsitty sitting together smiling (screenshot: abc13)

“You keep the robot umpire,” says Kovu. “I’d rather chat with the ABC13 news reporter, Charly Edsitty. The human touch is preferable.” (screenshot: abc13)

With a robot umpire, exoskeleton players, and ball dogs, is human fan attendance required?

Ask Siri or Alexa if the fridge has chilled the beer enough yet.

Fetch, puppy, fetch!

Nothing like sandlot games or the touch of a real live thing.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dog in Hawaiian shirt. Bat dog Kova.(Sugar land Twitter (2SL_Skeeters)

Kova in his favorite game day shirt. Yes, he does go into the stands for hugs.(2SL_Skeeters)


  1. Kate Crimmins / Jul 31 2019 7:18 am

    This one is packed. The food stuff grosses me out. I had the experience of someone drinking half my Starbucks latte and putting it back on the counter (I had ordered ahead). Now I’m totally freaked out when I order ahead. People are nuts. Wolves bring up their young better.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2019 10:03 am

      I had forgotten about your coffee experience – that was certainly unsettling.
      The Porter juveniles have been identified – one 15 yr old charged with felony food tampering. Take a hit from wolves, parents. Sit down and snarl about how hard life will be if you don’t engage brain before action. Geesh.
      The potato woman turned herself in – drunk charges among others.
      Some big developmental step has been skipped somewhere in childhood causing a lack of understanding…maybe the words “No”, “Bad behavior” and “Really bad idea”.
      Sick of adults wagging fingers and saying “unacceptable” – it doesn’t work for toddlers as they are clueless of the meaning and need specifics of exactly what behavior must stop and with older ones as they don’t care if they are acceptable or not.
      Yep, release the inner wolves.
      Thanks for stepping gingerly around the spilt words

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Jul 31 2019 10:25 am

        Somehow it ends up being the retailers fault too. Why did they have the potatoes at a height that could be peed upon! 🙂


  2. susielindau / Jul 31 2019 7:40 am

    What is the world coming to???? I’m sure there’s a bathroom in Walmart!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2019 10:09 am

      It’s Porter…ages ago locals referred to it as TX Appalachia, possibly insulting to Appalachia. The big city and subdivisions have arrived at Porter’s porch steps now. Guess some newbies aren’t used to going in the weeds or behind trees if need arises and the provided restroom is too iffy? Wolves are going to insist humans stop insulting them and saying “What? were you raised by wolves?” Thank for hiking this way to chat


  3. The Good Greatsby / Jul 31 2019 11:21 am

    I can’t imagine it will be near as fun shouting at a robot as shouting at a human umpire. I’m not one to shout at a human umpire, but I worry even politely disagreeing with an AI umpire could have long-term consequences. Alexa is always listening. And Alexa never forgets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pied Type / Jul 31 2019 3:00 pm

    I hate to think I’m the same species as those gross individuals you described. Ugh! Eww! Barf! But hurray for bat dogs! Smart and well-behaved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2019 4:59 pm

      Apparently the lovely urchins of the first caper had tried to walk off with a case of beer. Didn’t respect the first law, so no surprise they became Goofus instead of Gallant shortly later.
      Kovu must be the happiest dog ever. What a champ.
      Thanks for pitching a comment across this field


  5. Ally Bean / Jul 31 2019 3:58 pm

    A robot umpire, huh? I dunno. The doggo bat boy I like, but using a machine to call a game seems short-sighted. Part of the fun of a baseball game is seeing how the players and umpires interact. Take that conflict away and no amount of cute dogginess will make up for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 31 2019 5:04 pm

      I’m with you. Baseball is a game – it’s supposed to be fun, with lots of yelling, and “you should have been there” feelings. Human emotion and drama is a key part of it. Sometime 100% perfect and unquestionable isn’t perfect for humans
      Thanks for fielding this remark

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Curt Mekemson / Jul 31 2019 5:22 pm

    I wonder if a manager would get kicked out of a game for shouting at a robot umpire? And what happens when the robot shouts back. I am with the dog. Bark softly and carry a big stick. –Curt



  1. Ready. Aim. Smasho, Sugar | Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: