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Monday, September 12, 2022

How Guardians catcher Hedges hacked PitchCom to pump up his pitchers

“My brain is quite obsessive about the catching position,” Hedges said. “It’s tough to turn my brain off. My brain would just start spinning, and I would have all these ideas.”

Even while watching TV or playing video games at his apartment in early April, his thoughts wandered to hacking PitchCom. Could it be altered to pick up the game pace? The default version required pressing two buttons: one for pitch type and one for location. The process could take a couple of seconds to relay the info. If the pitcher shakes off a couple of times, Hedges found it could take 10 seconds to find a pitch they agreed on.

He also wondered if there was a way to deliver psychological boosts to his pitchers during the game. What if he could simulate a mini-mound visit without using any of the allotted five?

“You’ve never been able to talk to your pitcher from behind home plate,” Hedges said. “I’m like, ‘What if we can take advantage of talking to the pitcher in a way without using a mound visit? Whether that’s positive reinforcement - or even negative, if you need it.”

He began to bounce ideas off the coaching staff and pitchers. While he liked that he no longer had to worry about runners on second stealing signs, he missed the emphasis he could add when he placed his fingers down for an old-fashioned pitch call. He wanted to add a human element to the new system.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 12, 2022 at 12:35 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchcom

Monday, August 22, 2022

ESPN was inadvertently airing PitchCom audio during live Sunday Night Baseball interview

During ESPN’s broadcast featuring the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, Boston shortstop Christian Arroyo was mic’d up for a live in-game interview with the Sunday Night Baseball announcing crew. But as the interview was taking place, an automated voice could be heard saying, “four seam fastball up in zone, four seam fastball inside.” On cue, Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta brushed Orioles hitter Austin Hays off the plate with a fastball up and in.

PitchCom is supposed to provide a pitcher with the security that their pitch selections are not going to be picked up by the opposition. It’s safe to say ESPN using PitchCom to inadvertently broadcast a team’s pitch selections on national television would be the opposite intent of the communication system. After multiple pitch selections were broadcasted by ESPN, play-by-play voice Karl Ravech acknowledged the potential issue, cluing Arroyo in to what the audience was hearing.

“We have this real interesting, and I don’t know if we’re comfortable with it or not, but you can hear the PitchCom through your microphone,” Ravech admitted.

“Can you?” Arroyo asked. “Oh goodness. Let me turn that down.”

“You have volume? You can turn that down a little bit?” Ravech asked. “I’d be more comfortable not having that go out across the air.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2022 at 02:55 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchcom

 

 

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