NEW YORK (AP) – A move to end a 150-year-old tradition, Major League Baseball has approved the use of an electronic device for catchers to signal pitches in an effort to eliminate baseball sign theft and speed games.
From the beginning of baseball in the 19th century, catchers used their fingers to indicate the type of pitch and its intended position.
As ballpark videos have grown in the 21st century, so have signals – and concerns about how teams are trying to swipe the signal. The Houston Astros were punished for using a camera and hitting a trash can to warn their batsmen about the type of pitch they won during the 2017 World Series title.
“It basically eliminates all the need to create a sign system to give a sign,” Chris Marinak, MLB chief operations and strategy officer, said Tuesday. “You literally just press a button and it delivers a pitch call to the pitcher. And from what we’ve seen so far, it really improves the speed of the game.”
Some teams, including Tony La Rusa, manager of the Chicago White Sox, and Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees, tried the system in spring training because they liked what they saw.
Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka has used it several times in training this spring, including pitcher Michael King against Detroit in Tuesday’s final exhibition game in New York.
“There’s still some stuff we have to work on, but I mean, failing safe always just gives the mark. So, it’s always there when we need it. We’re solving all the problems right now. So, we can always give signs. I am not too worried about it being confusing, “he said.
“I like it. At first I hinted to the king because I didn’t get a chance to talk to him about it, so I started making all the fuss about it. So I just decided to give the signs, and it worked just fine.” Said.
MLB is providing each team with three transmitters, 10 receivers and a charging case for Pitchcom Pitcher Catcher communication devices. It is available in English and Spanish.
“A maximum of five receivers and one transmitter can be used at any time,” the MLB wrote in a five-page memorandum to the general manager, assistant GM, managers and equipment managers on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by The. Auxiliary Printing Press.
A catcher has nine options on his wristband device: “four seam high inside, curve high middle, slider high outside, mid inside, sinker middle, cutter mid out, splitter low inside, knock low middle, two seam low outside.”
A thin band enclosed inside a cap allows the audio to be heard at a consistent level, intended for use by pitchers, second basemen, shortstops, and center fielders.
“When changing pitchers, the manager will provide a receiver to the replaced pitcher,” the memo said.
Receivers and transmitters may only be used on the field and may not be operated during games in the clubhouse, dugout or bullpen.
“Signals communicated via Pitchcom can only be given by game catchers. Signals cannot be sent from dugouts, bullpen, any other player on the field or anywhere else,” the memo said. “Clubs are responsible for the Pitchcom device. If any club loses a transmitter or receiver, a replacement fee of $ 5,000 per unit will be charged.”
About half of the 30 MLB clubs have expressed interest, Marinak said.
“I’m not sure every team will use it,” Marinac said during MLB’s third annual innovation and fan engagement showcase. “I think it’s a kind of personal choice.”
Union chief Tony Clark pointed out that the devices are not mandatory.
Former All-Star First Bassman said in a statement: “It was important for players to be flexible in using technology at their own discretion – or not.” “The boys on the field are in the best position. Decide as an individual whether this is right for them.”
Players will no longer be able to watch in-game video replays on clubhouse television, but will only review videos on iPads controlled by the MLB office. The video will only be updated at the end of each half-inning, and players may return and replay, but may not see the content during a half-inning process.
“Players do not have access to any technology that is above and beyond what we offer in terms of in-game video,” Marinak said. On the iPad. “
A new system of umpires with microphones to explain video reviews to fans through an exhibition game at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. MLB is now taking videos from 104 of the 120 minor league ballpark
The computer plate umpires’ automatic ball / strike system will be used in 10 Triple West Park, Charlotte Triple East and Low Southeast. MLB wants to capture calls on the stadium scoreboard.
Pitch clocks will be used in all small league stadiums, perhaps a prelude to their installation in the big league ballpark for 2023.
MLB has unveiled its new 1,400-square-foot Replay Operations Center in Midtown Manhattan, which opened in 2020 with the COVID-19 injury, and replaces a 900-square-foot facility at SoHo that has been in use since 2014.
The 31 x 29-foot room has 90 46-inch professional monitors and 60 24-inch touchscreen monitors, three desks with six screens behind them for supervisors and administrators, then two more rows with technicians.
MLB displays four high-speed cameras as fast as 60 frames per second and 360-480 frames per second, taking 18 cameras from each ballpark, according to Chris Zagorski, vice president of replay operations and technology.
There is a backup replay center in San Francisco in case of a power outage in New York. A replay room has been set up at the site for special event games such as Dyersville, Iowa, Williamsport, Pennsylvania and London.
Marinak said fans entering the stadium with electronic tickets using the MLB Ballpark app increased from 3 percent in 2017 to 19 percent in 2019 and stood at 56 percent in 2021.
The MLB further stated that the first advertisements for helmets would appear in the 2022 post season. Players agreed on uniform and helmet ads last month, and jersey ads will not start until 2023.