Technology in the MLB

It’s Opening Day! One of the greatest days in the year. The day when every boy and man can begin again to take the first step on the road to the World Series. As America’s Past time, baseball holds everything good about the country wrapped up in a beautiful diamond shaped field.

Despite the old world appeal of baseball, it, along with the rest of the world has risen up to include the absolute best in technology. MLB was considered to be behind the technology curve until the MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) division was founded by over 30 clubs who own it jointly. This division has allowed baseball fans to become much more interactive than before.

Fans can stream video live, download countless apps with the mlb.com app being the best, watch a game from their iPhone, iPad or laptop. All these capabilities seem simple and easy to the consumer but how this information is accessed by us is quite complicated. The giant nerve center of the MLBAM is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market. With it being filled with walls of servers, iMacs and monitors, the MLBAM is the source where all MLB action flows from.

In addition to the various ways we are able to watch games and view video, we are also able to see real time stats. Such as the Fox Sports pitch tracker “FoxTrax”. FoxTrax shows the speed of the pitch, speed at a certain distance from the plate, measurement of descent and measurement of break. I’m not quite sure we need all this information but nevertheless we have it.

It’s a given that I’m a technology fan, but I must admit that I wish baseball would have continued to lag behind a bit. To me, baseball is old school. It brings be back to a time when I’d sit in my dad’s lap eating hot roasted peanuts out of a paper bag. It reminds me of feeling the warm sun on my face from underneath my ball cap. Please MLB, don’t take those memories from me or from the kids growing up with baseball now. I miss the days of the scoreboard being changed out by hand. And umps making their own judgment call; they probably have the strikes calculated electronically now.

I guess I want my cake and I want to eat it too. Let me enjoy baseball like I’m a kid again but also don’t take away my mlb.com app because I want to make sure I can check scores while I’m sitting in traffic.

Written by Mary Ryan