In a world that is constantly seeing technology become more advanced with each passing day, it’s good to see sports leagues apply that technology during games and practices.
The NFL was the first league to begin using tablets last season when they struck a $400 million deal with Microsoft to make the Surface the official tablet of the NFL.
Now it looks like MLB wants to follow the same path, but with something different — the Apple iPad.
During this past weekend’s series with the Cincinnati Reds, the Mets became the first team to start using the iPads in dugouts proving that MLB is looking for new innovative ways to improve the game.
“Each iPad is loaded with the Mets’ full scouting book — normally a three-inch binder full of information.”
“Each day, the Mets tell a Major League Baseball official what they want on there. The information must be given in by 3 p.m. for a night game. No PDFs, no video and nothing that could allow for information to be relayed live in real time is allowed. Even the home screen of the iPad is cleaned so that only access points to the data are seen.”
“The information is then loaded onto the iPad and given back to the Mets around 5 p.m. When returned to the Mets, the iPad is enclosed in a steel security box and opened sometime before the game.”
“Then every night, after the game, the iPad is returned to the official and scrubbed. The next day, the sequence begins anew. T.J. Barra, the team’s manager of baseball research and development, handles the process.”
Last month, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost was questioned by MLB after some concerns with his Apple Watch, a personal gift from MLB for managing the All-Star Game, but was allowed to use it because its only a watch without a phone nearby.
MLB called Ned Yost to ensure he didn’t use his Apple Watch during games. He said, “When you’re away from your phone, all it is is a watch.”
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) August 18, 2015
Afterward, Apple Watches became approved only to team staff seated on the bench.
It’s unclear how much more helpful the iPad can be when there’s already instant replay, teams having access to video, specific information during a game, and players going into the tunnel during games to look at video during innings in a room located just dozens of feet away.
Whatever the case may be, it’s more than likely the iPad becomes an entry point for Major League Baseball to begin using more technology in the game.