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The SportsTalk Shop: Technology in Baseball

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Technology is all around us, and the sports world is no different. But one may be surprised to know to what extent modern day electronics—whether good, bad or indifferent—are impacting high school sports today.

I have to admit I am certainly on the fence with using so much technology when it comes to sports. I think there are definite advantages when used correctly (television graphics, instant replays, a certain amount of statistical information). I also think graphics, replays, statistics should have its limits and frequently feel bombarded with national networks trying to overplay all their toys, often taking away from the game itself.

But on a local level, there are quite a few advancements that people may not be aware of, and some benefits that local baseball fans may find quite appealing.

Here are some local great baseball minds talking about the advancement of technology in baseball on both the local and collegiate levels, and then we have a few more ‘tech tips’ you might find interesting.

A few other items concerning technology in baseball:

• HS coaches can now stand on the field (many managers are third-base coaches) and, with a click of their fingers, can input data, trends or unique facts that can be used later in the game (e.g., there are programs that track pitching trends what can tell you watch pitch a pitcher is more likely to throw in certain situations, and where he is going to throw it)

• Coaches—again while on the field of play—can look up histories or past tendencies of a given player and, even if they’ve never seen him before, notices an opposing player’s strengths and weaknesses

• Parents and other family members who normally work during baseball games (most high school and college games start between 2 and 4 pm) can follow along with in-game statistics, scores and highlight updates, thereby getting real time results, which is especially helpful if he/she wants to get to the game in-progress

It is a bit bizarre to occasionally see coaches or even players glancing down at their cell phone in the heat of the action. There are also a few old school coaches that still ban cell phone use entirely when they are on the field of play and insist that it is more of a distraction for young people, which far outweighs any positives from using technology.

What are your thoughts on technology in baseball? Is it good for the game, or does it distract you from enjoying America’s Pastime? Share your thoughts with us via email (RCNSportsTalk@rcn.com) and tune in to talk sports with us every Thursday live at 6pm on RCN-TV.