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League officials support system

PHOENIX -- The Questec tracking system that rankled many
players and umpires last season got a strong voice of support from
major league officials Thursday.

"This system is absolutely critical to the accountability of
umpires to the rulebook's strike zone, and our ability to continue
to reshape the strike zone," said Sandy Alderson, MLB's executive
vice president for baseball operations.

The Questec system has not resulted in fewer strikes being
called by cautious umps who might be tightening the strike zone,
Alderson said.

"There were actually more strikes thrown in Questec parks than
in non-Questec parks," he said. "Your intuition would tell you
that Questec creates a smaller strike zone. The fact is that it's a
more consistent strike zone to which apparently pitchers and others
adjust."

According to a report on MLB.com, there was a higher percentage of strikes thrown and ERAs were lower in QuesTec parks in 2003.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling was fined $15,000 for smashing a Questec camera with a
bat at Bank One Ballpark -- one of 10 major league stadiums that use
the system -- and Tom Glavine criticized the system.

But Anderson said he had heard no widespread opposition.

"I've heard references to scores of players who object to the
system," he said. "That simply isn't true. There may be feelings
that have gone unexpressed, but the fact is that the number of
people who have publicly objected to the system you can count on
one hand."

A report on MLB.com states that the league is contemplating putting similar systems in every
ballpark for commercial purposes, but the official Questec system
might remain in only 10 ballparks for the coming season, partly
because of a grievance filed by the umpires' union and, according the the league's Web site, the financial viability of the system's service provider.

Regardless of the number of parks that use the system, Questec is working to create a single
strike zone throughout baseball, Alderson said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.