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MLB

MLB to allow anti-signal-stealing device in regular season

MLB is set to allow the use of a new signaling device between catcher and pitcher in the upcoming regular season, per ESPN’s sources.

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
MLB is set to allow the use of a new signaling device between catcher and pitcher in the upcoming regular season, per ESPN’s sources.
Jayne Kamin-OnceaUSA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball is set to allow pitchers and catchers to use a signaling device that will help avoid sign-stealing, according to ESPN sources. The new electronic communication system will allow signaling without needing to use hand signs.

Other MLB stories:

MLB: Using technology to fight cheating

The gadget, created by PitchCom, is made up of a push-button pad on the catcher’s wristband, and sound transmitters in the catcher’s helmet and sweatband of a pitcher’s cap.

It will permit the catcher to communicate which type of pitch should be thrown and where it should be directed using the buttons, with the pitcher receiving the suggestion directly in his ear.

The system will accommodate up to three other members of the team, on top of the catcher and pitcher.

The apparatus aims to lessen the use of worn technology by using bone-conduction in the transmitters. This means the audio will bypass the ear canal while still managing to be heard.

Early positive reviews from MLB players

The invention has received favorable reviews from players who have tested it this spring, particularly the New York Yankees, who used the device in games last weekend.

The MLB will reportedly approve its use for the regular season as a signaling option for players, who will still have the choice of using more traditional signals using fingers.

The PitchCom technology comes in the wake of sign-stealing controversies in the league. There was a clamor to create guidelines that would prevent baseball sign stealing particularly after the Houston Astros scandal in 2017.

The World Series champions were found by the Commissioner’s Office to have used centerfield cameras to steal the opponent’s signs and determine pitches for their hitters when they were at bat.

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