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Jim Furtado
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Technology Newsbeat

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New ‘smart mound’ can help analyze pitchers’ efficiency

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Central Connecticut pitcher Michael Delease was throwing fastballs inside the Center for Motion Analysis and wasn’t getting much movement on his pitches.

His problem was quickly diagnosed by coaches and scientists looking at data gathered by the instrumented pitching mound from which he was throwing, the electrodes attached to his body and the motion-capture cameras in the lab.

A slight arm angle adjustment and moments later, Delease’s ball was jumping.

“Just a couple little tweaks and my spin rate went up by a few hundred RPMs,” the senior said. “It really improved it. That’s leaps and bounds from where I was at.”

Something for those curious about the spread of technology in association with the game.

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, smart mound, technology

Thursday, January 23, 2020

MLB umpires’ union clarifies use of electronics at spring training sites

Hours after baseball commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that an electronic strike zone would be used in spring training games, the executive committee of the umpires’ union clarified that news, indicating that the electronics would not be used in place of a plate ump’s judgment.

Rather, as umpires go through their regular spring work, MLB will be operating an electronic zone for nine games in Florida as it continues to refine its system that is expected to be implemented in the years ahead.

The umpires’ committee released a statement to ESPN on Wednesday evening that read: “Reports that MLB will use ‘robo-umps’ to call balls and strikes in spring training games this year are completely inaccurate. ... Our understanding is that a camera-based tracking system will be running in the background during some spring training games for technology development and training purposes. But any game in which a Major League Baseball umpire is working will have a human calling balls and strikes.”

A Major League Baseball official confirmed this.

An increased use of technology in baseball? Whatever could go wrong?

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires, technology

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Analysis: Baseball has become a prisoner of technology

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology unleashed baseball’s Analytics Era, and now it’s holding the sport prisoner.

AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltrán are casualties, a triple play of hubris. At the cutting edge with the Houston Astros, now they have been cut. Their sign-stealing system exposed, all three managers were deposed within a whirlwind 72 hours this week that raised questions about the prevalence of the sport’s rule breakers.

What’s next in a game grappling with innovation and plagued by paranoia?

Video rooms and dugouts are now monitored by Major League Baseball, like proctors pacing an exam room to stifle students’ temptation to cheat. Bench and bullpen telephones are monitored, Big Brother in the commissioner’s office listening in to assure compliance. Television feeds in clubhouses were ordered to be delayed by a minimum 8 seconds last year to prevent prying eyes from decoding signals in real time.

Prisoners of Technology wasn’t a bad musical, as far as the shows of Bialystock and Bloom went….

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing, technology

Thursday, January 16, 2020

To stop sign stealing, MLB could fight tech with more tech

PHOENIX (AP) — If Major League Baseball really wants to stop its teams from electronically stealing signs, it might consider fighting technology with more technology.

In a sport that’s increasingly driven by analytics and advancements, the majority of signs between players and coaches are still transmitted by low-tech hand signals that have been used for decades. Those hand signals are easily captured by the loads of video equipment around MLB stadiums that are used for television, replays and all kinds of stat tracking.

All that technology can be — and obviously has been — used for cheating. The Houston Astros were hit with stiff punishment on Monday after an MLB investigation found the team used electronics to steal signs during the franchise’s run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season. Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a season and then fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

Boston manager Alex Cora was fired on Tuesday for his involvement with the Astros’ scheme and a separate ongoing investigation that involves the Red Sox.

Is it just me, or does this assumption of a technological solution have the seeds of further chaos down the road in it?

 

QLE Posted: January 16, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: sign stealing, techno ethics, technology

Monday, January 06, 2020

MLB discussing technology to prevent sign stealing

Amid growing paranoia about sign stealing, Major League Baseball is discussing on-field technology for communicating pitch calls and plans to start soliciting feedback from players this spring training, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The commissioner’s office is in the process of developing a handful of prototype devices to encode pitcher-catcher communication, including a wearable random-number generator and lights in the mound, sources said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:30 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: technology

 

 

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