Technology Has Been Activated

By Julian B.

“It’s not necessary.”

“It’s ruining the human aspect in the sport.”

“It’s changing the fan experience of the game.”

These are some opinions from fans and reporters on baseball. It is pretty straightforward that not that many people like the idea of the use of technology in baseball because they like how the game is played without technology. They feel the use of these new tools and techniques is ruining the human aspect of the game.

Different types of technology in baseball are used for different things and for different reasons. The use of technology started all the way back in 1962 when Testar communications were used in baseball. Testar communications is like PitchCom but less advanced because of the lack of technology used back in the day. It was used to prevent sign stealing which is when the other baseball figures out your plays and works around them. When sign stealing started to become a big deal in baseball, technology was used a little bit more than usual. When the pandemic came around, they started using technology even more frequently because players were not able to meet in person as much. Sign stealing and touching players to convey information was happening more frequently than before. So, the use of this advanced technology made the game of baseball easier.

The specific PitchCom device started in 2020. It is used in every baseball game in the major league. The PitchCom is used for the catcher and the pitcher. The catcher has a device on his arm with a button on it that signals to the pitcher what pitch to throw. The pitcher has a sensor in his hat to which the catcher sends information. Attached to this PitchCom is an mph and velocity meter. This tracks how fast the pitcher throws in miles per hour. This is one of the ideas that Ron Manfred, the commissioner of baseball, used to stop sign stealing and other cheating scandals. The PitchCom device also allows other players on the field, such as the shortstop, to listen in on the selected pitch. Another positive benefit of the PitchCom device is that it supposedly speeds up the game. The quick audio relay from the catcher to the pitcher eliminates any confusion with hand signals. This will also give the players on the field a head start on where the ball will go when it is hit.

There was one time the PitchCom was a failure during a game, and that is when it was first used at the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays game. The catcher had pressed the button on the PitchCom chart, but the pitcher didn’t get a sign. The pitcher Shane McClanahan called a timeout and told the catcher Mike Zunino to come to him. They discussed that the machine wasn’t working, and there was no signal. This led to a 30-minute delay in the game because they had to take the machine out of the game. After the game, Shane McClanahan was asked by a reporter, “How do you feel about the failure in the machine?” Shane McClanahan said, “ I didn’t really like the idea the first time. I had a feeling it would fail at some point of usage.” Reporters asked the catcher for the Rays the same question, Mike Zunino who said, “ Hey, that’s how technology is used. It was bound to happen at some point, but you have to have a back up plan because this type of technology isn’t always going to work.”              There are many, many different pros and cons to the use of technologies in baseball. Many people think that it’s ruining the game or it’s not necessary to use technology. People believe players should play the game how it was originally made. Others think that the use of technology is a good idea and prevents sign stealing and different cheating scandals. They also might like to make the game more fashionable, clearer, and safer by using technology. But do these reasons add up? They could have thought of a different way to make the game safe. Even though technology really prevents the different cheating scandals, it isn’t how the game is supposed to be played. Figuring out how to counter different plays and ideas in the game while it is being played is part of the game. If players know the strategies of the other team, according to some people, it will be unfair, and it ruins the game.  So there isn’t a specific reason why but there are many different opinions about baseball technology.

Student Bio

Julian B.

2022 - WoS Kearny - Summer Camp

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