iPads are coming to Major League Baseball.
Players and managers will now be able to analyze film, stats and other data in real time thanks to a multi-year agreement between Apple and MLB, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The league initially rebuffed the idea of this sort of technology in the dugout and bullpen, fearing it would compromise the integrity of the game. However, the MLB’s stance has shifted, and Commissioner Rob Manfred told CBS, “We think technology will make the decisions faster and better.”
NFL fans have already seen firsthand the impact a sponsorship deal like this one can have. Microsoft partnered with the league back in 2013, and that led to NFL sidelines rife with the company’s Surface Pro tablets. That partnership has had its troubles, but shots of players and coaches using these tablets to strategize have become commonplace. Baseball fans should expect a similar effect when they tune in.
However, baseball is the sport known for its traditionalists — let us hope no one puts a microphone in front of Goose Gossage when he hears about this latest development. Many managers are likely to be set in their ways, and hold off on the full integration of this technology at first. But once the clever teams who embrace the iPads start winning games thanks to real-time technology, even the most conservative managers will follow suit.
Within a few seasons, if not sooner, iPads should be as regular a part of the game as batting gloves or eye black.