Colorado Rockies: MLB discussing technology to prevent sign stealing
On the heels of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal as well as the Boston Red Sox sign stealing scandal, Major League Baseball is looking into technology that would help prevent real-time sign stealing.
Despite the Colorado Rockies having a very quiet offseason, there has been plenty of things brewing in the past few weeks. A few of them have encompassed the entire sport and the sign stealing scandal with the Houston Astros has been one of, if not, the biggest.
The investigation into the Astros looks to be coming to a close within the next few weeks but, yesterday, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported that three anonymous sources say that the Boston Red Sox also stole signs during their 2018 World Series Championship season.
As a result, MLB is hoping to quash the possibility of real-time sign stealing using technology by using technology to prevent it.
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According to Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports, Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office “is in the process of developing a handful of prototype devices to encode pitcher-catcher communication, including a wearable random-number generator and lights in the mound.”
They also say that one consideration for the technology would be that teams would have “the ability to accommodate coaches dictating pitches from the dugout.”
Some ideas mentioned in the article by Keyser’s sources are “a wearable random-number generator (similar to a push password used for secure log-ins) that corresponds to which sign in a sequence is relevant.”
With that process, the dynamic of a catcher putting down a sign for interpretation by the pitcher would still be present but it would overlay “with a level of secure encryption that would be virtually impossible to decode even with a dedicated software program.”
Another possible change would replace the finger system. It would use in-ground lights on the mound. With this idea, “catchers would have access to a control pad that corresponds to a lighting panel visible only to the pitcher. A certain button for a certain light sequence for a certain pitch.”
Obviously, there will need to be some more developments before this is implemented but the commissioner’s office has “plans to start soliciting feedback from players this spring training” so, perhaps, they could start this here soon.