MLB turns to PitchCom to prevent tip pitches

One catcher wears a PitchCom wristband.
Photo: access point

In a sport where some stadiums still adjust scoreboards by hand, it’s no wonder it took a massive sign-stealing scandal for MLB to test the technology. The league announced will allow teams to use PitchCom this seasona device worn by catchers, pitchers, and one to three players that allows them to signal pitches without having to paint their nails and risk having the opposing team decode the sign language.

This begs the question: Haven’t the people who run baseball really seen Casino? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there’s a scene where a couple of scammers are ripping off a Blackjack table using what I assume is a primitive version of PitchCom. However, the MLB device will not require pitchers and position players to know Morse code.

In addition to subverting teams looking to cash in on lax security, he’ll speed up the game in a way that doesn’t disrupt it with tricks like putting a runner on second base early in extra innings. Players on the field equipped with the devices will know which pitch is coming up and will be able to position themselves accordingly. (I guess they’ll be able to use PitchCom to set up a shift until their banishment next year.)

The first returns are as bright as expected. Yankees pitcher Luis Severino and catcher Kyle Higashioka wore it over the weekend, and Severino was so excited he wants to wear it during his first start of the season.

“I think it was great”, Severino he told ESPN. “I was a bit hesitant at first, but when we started using it, it was really good, with a guy on second as well. I would definitely like to use it on my first start [of the regular season]. … You know what pitch you’re going to throw right away.”

Sounds like the parents who finally figured out smartphones or the rice cooker they got for Christmas. Is this what the reception was like when the NFL finally put earphones in helmets?

I wonder why we don’t try a similar device or method for base managers and baserunners, so that they have to go through an elaborate song and dance to send or hold a would-be base stealer. Also, a headset would be welcome for pitching coaches, managers, catchers and pitchers so they can avoid long visits to the mound, but we all know it’s more about stopping so a reliever has more time to warm up than the need to send wise. advice.

Baseball is testing bigger bases in the minors this year to increase safety and promote stolen bases before using them in the majors, and those are the kind of weird, proactive changes they should try.

It’s strange that putting your hand under your crotch and signaling became normalized to the point that the MLB stance was, “This is how we’ve always done it, so if you cheat, that’s up to you, not us.” “. It’s like a teacher telling a class that they weren’t going to check the internet for possible plagiarism and then being shocked when half the class turned in the same paper.

Former Yankees star and current analyst Carlos Beltran said Houston he was wrong for cheating in 2017 during a recent broadcast, and baseball fans and members of the media treated the admission like it was a guy who got away with it and then wrote a book detailing how he would have killed those people. What they did was wildly over the top, but MLB, being largely reactive, allowed it to get to the point where cheating was so blatant it was hitting trash cans and teams were actively warning the Nationals about sign-stealing before of his World Cup. Series against the Astros.

PtichCom should remove the not-so-gray area of ​​whether it’s okay to steal the opposing team’s signals, and thank goodness one less unwritten rule to debate is a good thing.

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