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Dialing up the bullpen just went wireless

  • David Whitlock

A partnership between Major League Baseball and T-Mobile was revealed today at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Baseball dugouts might have been the last bastion in America still using the traditional receiver with coiled cord and clunky base, but no more.  Beginning this season, managers can simply call (or why not text) the proverbial bullpen coach with the player they want to warm up or bring in.  An interesting business twist to the deal is that teams will have to opt-in, given that many may have partnerships with the “Big 3” carriers (Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint).  So could this put teams at a competitive advantage (or disadvantage)?  I presume the systems would be set up by stadium and teams would be using the same, implementation details are still sparse.

You have to wonder how security might work for this, is there any way that the system could be hijacked or errant calls placed to the bullpen phone?  What about a manager making bullpen calls from the clubhouse after being ejected? Or that prankster lefty bullpen guy stealing the phone and taking silly photos?  In the age of Twitter posting phone numbers of reporters or other figures of public interest, mathematics says it’s bound to happen!  We could see something like this!

-Dave (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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