Over at CBS sports David Brown details a new trial which will allow teams to use tablets while in the dugout.
Taking advantage of a new and progressive rule in Major League Baseball, the Cardinals are among several teams using an iPad tablet in the dugout during games, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. After outlawing use of the technology in dugouts during games until recently, MLB has come around, inviting every team to try out the tablets, with “strict restrictions,” over the final weeks of the regular season. Not every team has accepted yet, but it’s an open invitation during this trial run.
It’s long past time we allow teams to use tablet devices instead of printing out stacks and stacks of paper which will change daily. By moving digital, not only are we reducing our reliance on paper, but teams will have access to a greater array of information from which to make decisions. The obvious downside to all of this is concern that these devices may be used for communication. To me that seems like a small risk to take. The league won’t allow these devices to be connected to a network while in the dugout. (Although really I’m not sure how they could possibly monitor that unless the devices are supplied by the league using only league installed software and actively monitor their usage.)
As for the Cards, manager Mike Matheny says the technology has helped cut his prep work in half with some statistics, while players and coaches used the tablets to check hitting spray charts and other similar scouting material they usually stash on paper in thick binders. Dugout personnel also use it to check information on all of the new players promoted in September. The tablets are all about consolidation, ease of use and more efficient learning.
Anyone want to take bets on the first manager to get caught playing Angry Birds during a blow out loss? My only surprise to this, besides just how long it took them, is that MLB decided to launch this trial in the middle of a playoff run. What were to happen if we were to find out a team was abusing this to help advance to the playoffs? Couldn’t they have been better served just waiting until Spring Training?