The article I chose for this week discusses how the MLB continues to integrate new technology into the training of the players, the fan experience, and the players' apparel. One important point that the article discusses is how Snapchat involved itself in the MLB games last year and what it plans to do with this coming year. This is a result of a "multiyear partnership between MLB and Snapchat that started last year bloomed during spring training when a special "Snapchat Day"...Players were allowed to use their phones before and after the game to send behind the scenes pictures and videos". I find this interesting because I know that this is a huge opportunity for Snapchat as a business and that I would not be surprised to see other social media platforms getting involved with NHL, NBA, or MLS. Another cool topic that the article discusses is how the MLB is still a long way from allowing their players to use the "smart bat", which has sensors in it and "produces 1,000 data points to evaluate every aspect of the hitter's swing." As a former softball player, this is awesome to me. This could change the game completely. You no longer have to have someone watch you hit live, they can just read the data that the bat produced and work from there. And the final aspect of the article that I liked was that the MLB is using technology to protect its players. For example, there is a new fabric that pitchers can wear that can measure the stress on their shoulders/arms to prevent them from having Tommy John surgery. This is good news for teams that worry about the status of their pitchers and the stress that their shoulders endure after every practice and game.
I think there were some important things overlooked in this article. First off, I wish the article mentioned how the players and managers feel about phones being used before the game. I find it hard to imagine that the managers are okay with this because it is so distracting for the players and their warm up process. I also wonder if the players are chosen or if they volunteer for posting these Snapchats before the game. I definitely know some players that stay off of social media and would not be thrilled with this. Secondly, I wonder how successful some of this technology is. For example, I wonder if there has been any studies conducted to see if using the data from the Smart Bats has actually helped any players improve their swings. Finally, I wonder if there's an imbalance between the amount and the quality of technology that each MLB team has. I ask about this because I know that there's already an imbalance in the funds each team has and I believe that this technology should either be available to all teams to make it equal, or none at all.