Saturday 20th April 2019

Baseball's Future is Here and It Is Incredibly Unsettling

Baseball's Future is Here and It Is Incredibly Unsettling

Jesse Dougherty, the Nationals beat reporter for the Washington Post, has alerted everyone to some Rubicon-crossing taking place on an otherwise unremarkable Spring Training day. It sounds like Major League Baseball is willingly allowing our new digital overlords into the compound without so much a second thought, like Dr. John Hammond in Jurassic Park.

This, of course, is how it starts. Smart watch communication between a battery soon becomes Basewars. Have we learned nothing through the years?

Sign-stealing exists. It is a problem for some and not others. Personally, I believe there’s nothing wrong with pilfering through perception the old-fashioned way. Using cameras and advanced technology, however, seems outside the rules of fair play.

But to try to solve the issue of technology with more technology is so shortsighted. And it feels like overkill. Won’t teams find a way to intercept these text messages? Isn’t that worse?

Plus, this seems way more complicated than it needs to be, especially with pace of play such a concern.

More importantly, it is absolutely insane that Major League Baseball and those pushing for radical changes don’t appreciate some of the untended consequences of space age play.

Pitchers and catchers basically texting will make fans feel like they’re on the bus. They can see people with their heads buried in their phones all day long.

Consider this in concert with the robot umps. Essentially, the catcher will be sitting back there diddling around on devices and not framing pitches. The optics will be terrible.

Take this idea and throw it in the trash before someone gets hurt. The machines will eventually win, but there’s no reason not to fight the good fight against unneeded encroachment.

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