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Some MLB Managers Will Call Their Bullpens Via Cell Phone Next Season

  • Jordan Rabinowitz

Before we continue, I should probably remind you that Major League Baseball still doesn’t use expanded instant replay. OK. Let’s go on.

Technology is coming to baseball in a weird way in 2013, as several ballparks will somewhat abandon the corded wall phones managers use to call their bullpen, and replace them with cell phones. The move is a part of MLB’s partnership with T-Mobile, and will eradicate the few steps managers had to take from the steps of the dugout to the phone on the wall. True, unadulterated progress.

It’s a shame the league hasn’t made more necessary technological advances, or else something like this wouldn’t seem so frivolous and silly. In reality, it’s actually kind of cool. The wall phones were almost comically archaic, and while cell phones will be comical for other reasons, I’m looking forward to all the new memes the people of the Internet are sure to conjure up. Here’s the MLB’s press release:

Under the agreement, T-Mobile will provide MLB with a new On-Field Communication System, powered by T-Mobile’s powerful nationwide network technology. The first use of this technology will be in a wireless voice system connecting managers in select Major League dugouts to coaches in bullpens. This dugout-to-bullpen system will start to roll out in 2013 and the new On-Field Communication System solution will offer greater mobility as well as options for future innovation within the game.

Just in case you were wondering about the seemingly biggest issue, reception, don’t worry. That worn down starter won’t be in the game one minute too long, seeing as teams will still leave the classic wall phones in the dugouts as a contingency plan. Coincidentally, the MLB is concurrently trying to tackle its ballpark reception problem.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball still doesn’t use expanded instant replay. Just felt like I needed to remind you of that again.

[h/t Big League Stew, Getty Images]


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