Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Will iPad Pros Hit a Homerun in the MLB?

If you’ve ever seen the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, you know today’s baseball isn’t the same as it was 50 years ago. We’re using algorithms and computers to find out what can make a team better rather than relying only on scouts. It’s a widely known fact that the only technology allowed in the dugout is a telephone with a cord primarily used to call the GM watching the game from one of the boxes, but Major League Baseball is taking a major step in changing that. The newest addition to a game that’s become America’s pastime is iPad Pros in the dugouts. Is Apple trying to move in on the old-time binders full of pages with information about every player? That’s precisely right.
Everyone knows Apple is a high tech company that has their products used by businesses across the globe, but they’re entering a new field now: baseball. Major League Baseball once forbade the use of technology in the dugouts, but now is welcoming it. The days of using binders for stats on players and positions is gone. The days of having total access to information during a game are just beginning.
iPad Pros in dugouts will allow managers, coaches, and players to assess situations and games like they never have before. “Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said iPad Pros will give baseballs insiders what they need ‘right at the touch of their fingers and when it matters most, during the game’” (ESPN). This partnership is trying to allow coaches and managers to use data analytics to get the most out of their players. By using data analytics, mangers’ decision making processes will become more concise and useful for the team.
Here’s the catch: the iPads are not allowed to be connected to the internet during a game. All data that the coaches, managers, and players want must be downloaded and saved before the game starts. So for everyone screaming this introduction of smart technology is going to ruin baseball, that’s not it’s goal. Rob Manfred is quoted saying, “Our collaboration with Apple on the use of iPad Pro in dugouts and bullpens is part of our ongoing effort to introduce extraordinary technology into our game” (USAToday). The goal of introducing iPad Pros to the dugouts isn’t to take the game to a new level with unlimited technology involved, but to improve on what is being used now.

So after watching the National Football League step up their game and allow coaches to use Microsoft’s Surface 2s during games, Major League Baseball is attempting to keep up with the constantly advancing technological society we’re living in.



  1. I think this is really interesting. Major League Baseball has always been behind the times when it comes to evolving technology and the use of it in the game. They only recently started using instant replay on certain plays. I believe this concept of having iPad's in the dugouts is a great idea. It give the players and managers real time, better information than they may have had before. The National Football league instituted something similar to this with Samsung and it has seen play calling become easier and more efficient. Instead of players and coaches flipping through huge binders of stats and information they will have access to everything they need a few clicks away.
    As someone who played baseball for a large portion of his life I can agree that this will help the game. I think where this can really change the game is when there is a pitching change in the middle of an inning. The batter only has a few minutes to go back into the dugout and learn about who he is about to face. It's going to be very beneficial to the batter to find out everything they need to know much faster. There are all types of things you want to know before facing a pitcher and so little time to learn it so every second counts.
    The exact opposite of that argument is the manager usually brings in a relief pitcher to give the opposition a new look and hope to throw them off. When they're given all the information at the tip of their fingertips it makes it harder to deceive the batter. When it all really comes down to it the pitcher and batter both still need to preform and that is physical talent. Whether the pitcher strikes the batter out or the batter gets the hit it probably won’t have much to do with the technology in the dugouts.

  2. I find this very interesting and cannot decide whether this is a good or bad idea for the future of baseball. On the pro-ipad side, I can see it being very helpful and bringing a new and interesting aspect into the sport. It will allow couches to have more stats on both their players as well as their opponent's players in order to make better decisions about plays, switching in and out players, and other things. Because the world is growing in its use of technology, I believe other sports will also look into the use of technology as well. On the other hand, however, I can see this new use of technology being a problem and being hard to control. There needs to be rules set up on what can be done on the iPad, as well as someone to make sure all these rules are followed. Overall, if the use of iPads becomes legal in the dugout with the proper regulations, I believe it can be a positive influence on the sport.

  3. The concept of using iPad Pros in the dugouts during Major League Baseball (MLB) games is very interesting, and shows a great deal of acceptance towards an advancing technological society. The use of information technology (IT) in sports, in general, has increased astronomically, mostly to eliminate the chance for human error. For example, instant replays, have been established in case the referee or umpire accidentally miscalls a play. The use of the iPad pros in the dugout is a smaller change, and more towards to improve the efficiency, conciseness, and organization of managers’ decisions on the diamond.
    I feel that, along with the rest of the IT additions to sports, many people have had opposing views to these additions claiming that the games themselves are being completely changed, and eliminate what some feel is a major part of sports, chance. In this case, the use of the iPad Pros doesn’t bring a huge effect to the game itself. Sure, it may help decrease human error based on their organization of player profiles, but it is really used as a means of quicker decision making, thus speeding up the tempo and accuracy of the matchups in a game. The fact that there is no internet access with the iPad Pros during gameplay shows that the MLB isn’t trying to create a technologically enhanced game, but to merely make it easier for the staff of each baseball club to get information on certain players.
    The main issue that I feel could arise from the use of the iPad Pros in the dugout during gameplay is the amount of information each team will have about the other. If the amount of accessible information was equal between the iPad Pros and the original binders used, and the use of IT was mainly for quicker decisions, then I feel that this change is for the better. On the other hand, if the iPad Pros offer access to videos or certain pitchers and hitters to get insights on their playing ability, then the concept of surprise by the change of certain players to a position is eliminated. Other than this potential flaw, I feel that this blog was very interesting and insightful.

  4. I think that this concept is very interesting. The positive side for using the iPad is that it provides the players a different view while they’re in the dugouts. They can have a digital copy, instead of a hard copy of their opponents’ stats. Another positive is a visual image of different plays that the team might use in order to help them during a game. I think it is wise that the iPads aren’t connected to the internet due to hacking and other situations of leaking information. This also poses as a con to the idea of using iPads, due to who may have access to the iPad and what information the team has collected. It is curious to think about the information that the iPad may contain, because all of these stats may be found online, and may be in the dugout as a hard copy, rather than a digital one. I think this a great innovative idea to use, because it is connecting an American pastime with our current technology. Instead of having various printouts of stats in the dugouts, this is a compact way for the coaches to carry information, but it also allows them to provide different visuals to the players. As this becomes more popular, it will be interesting to see how this may change the game, and how the coaches and players react to this.

  5. I think that this is a very interesting idea. Baseball is known for being a great old-time sport. I agree that it will give players and coaches a different perspective when looking at the field and is fair at that same time since the other team also would have the same information at their fingertips. In a world where technology has been growing in importance in daily lives, it also is in sports as well, plays in such games as hockey where movements of the puck are going so fast the naked eye can often not be able to pick up on most plays, coaches are able to challenge calls through their iPads, then can be reviewed and correct calls can be made. In baseball, I believe that this would be similar, coaches would be able to have a wider view of the field at one point in time, statistics would be readily available and no access to the internet increases the technology aspect without providing too much information to teams.However, how will internet usage be managed? What would be the penalty for such actions? Would this be the first step into then allowing more technology? and if so how would hat change the game?


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