Report: MLB to Test Electronic Devices for Receivers to Signal Throwers | Launderer report
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Major League Baseball has reportedly given the green light to test an electronic transmission device to send signals between the pitcher and the catcher.
ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez reported on Friday that PitchCom’s device had buttons that allow a catcher to call for a pitch and a pitch, which are sent to a receiver in the pitcher’s cap and played in either English or Spanish. . The system will undergo testing in the California Class A league starting August 3.
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Too early to tell if the pitch call device, which is shown here, will be a game-changer. This would eliminate the use of seeker signs. The hope is that it will speed up the games.
MLB sent a note to California League teams stating that use of the system will be “optional but strongly encouraged,” Gonzalez said, as it seeks comment on its effectiveness.
“We believe these systems have significant long-term potential and look forward to seeing how they perform under gaming conditions over an extended period of time,” the memo reads.
The league said the initial response to the device was “overwhelmingly positive” when selected pitchers used it in their spring training sessions.
According to Gonzalez, only the receiver can use the transmitter, and any player found using a batting receiver will be ejected. Receivers can alert the referee to any technical issues with the system and meet the pitcher without being instructed to visit the mound.
As Gonzalez wrote, PitchCom claims that hacking the system is “virtually impossible” due to an “industrial grade encryption algorithm” and minimal data transmission.
“We are delighted to see our PitchCom technology tested in gaming conditions,” company co-owners Craig Filicetti and John Hankins told ESPN. “As avid baseball fans, we saw a clear opportunity to use technology to help solve pacing and board theft issues and improve the game we love.”
This is the latest in a long line of ideas that MLB has tested in the minor leagues in an attempt to pick up the pace of play.
In 2019, the league set a record for its highest average game time at three hours and 10 minutes. The average fell by four minutes last year (3:06) but rose to 3:10 in 2021, for Baseball reference.
The length of the games combined with the continued trend towards the three true outcomes (home run, walk or strikeout) has led typical games to exhibit a lack of variety with some bursts of excitement.
While the pace of the game remained a hot topic, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Sportico (via Audacy’s John Healy) in April, he received some interesting advice from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“The biggest problem is that sports betting is the biggest opportunity for fan engagement. I’m going to tell you a funny story – one night I was coming back from an event and the phone rang and it was Adam Silver. And we were talking about something … and he said, “Rob, you have to stop talking about the pace of the game. Your pace of play is going to be absolutely perfect for sports betting.” And he’s right. “
All in all, finding the right balance between a sport that is good for in-game betting and one that eliminates as much downtime as possible should be the goal, and transmitting devices could help this process.