Mets’ Max Scherzer says PitchCom should be ‘illegal’ after admitting its first use against Yankees

In the wake of the signal-stealing scandals—not to mention a series of lesser controversies that might not have been the case—major league baseball began using electronics to transmit signals from catcher to pitcher and back. It’s called PitchCom. A fair number of teams have used it this season and it seems to be up to the bowler whether they do or not.

Mets ace Max Scherzer is not a fan, in principle.

“That’s what I’m going to say at PitchCom,” he said (via Newsday). “It works. Does it help? Yes, but I also think it should be illegal. I don’t think it should be in the game. Stealing signals is part of the game. For me, I have always felt proud to have a complex system of signals and have such an advantage over other shooters.”

He completed.

“The fact that we take this out of the game and put the technology in, now you can’t steal signals per second, the bowler can’t have the advantage of having a complex system. It’s part of baseball, you’re trying to crack someone’s signals.”

This will be music to the ears of many old school baseball fans.

PitchCom uses a sleeve worn by a catcher to deliver signals to the pitcher, and possibly up to three players, via the earpiece. The casing has buttons, not unlike a video game controller. There is obviously one button for each layer, and then once the catcher pushes it, everyone wearing the earpiece hears either the name of the pitch (“slider”) or a custom word for each step.

As Scherzer mentioned, tag-stealing has always been a constant part of baseball, which is why shooters and anglers learn to hide tags at a young age. It was there a long time ago The rules of the rules in place (yes, some are not written) on themAlso, like:

  • Using technology to steal tags is illegal and totally over the line.
  • Hitting looking back at the catcher is bush league and is punished by the bean ball.
  • If a team is bad at hiding tags, moving them from a runner-up to a hitter is acceptable and really encouraged.

There has been increased sensitivity about this issue since both the Astros 2017 and 2018 Red Sox won the world championships and were later Involved in scandals related to those seasons. Others have also been accused. Of course, this is not new. Bobby Thompson’s 1951 film “The Shot Heard Around the World” generated controversy associated with it, as did the Cleveland in 1948, the White Sox in the 1960s and a host of others.

On this front, I found it interesting that Scherzer made the point about taking pride in preventing an opponent from stealing signals. The 2019 Nationals have defeated the Astros in seven World Championship matches. The MLB has since found that the Astros weren’t using the technology to steal signals during 2019, but the Nats were preparing as if everything was on the table. Via The Washington Post:

There were some layers to the NATS plan for Houston. First, each pitcher had to have its own set of tags, and Yan Gomez and Kurt Suzuki had to be familiar with each one. So the employees printed out the cards with the codes and wrapped them. Hunters could put them in their bracelets, like the NFL quarterback with his playing calls strapped to his forearm, and bowlers would put them in their hats. Each bowler had five sets of cue, and they could change it from one game to the next – or even hit to another, if needed. Using the group labeled #2, but worried that the Astros were getting ahead? The bowler can signal the catcher to move to group number 3.

Citizens also decided that they would use multiple cues regardless of whether or not there was a runner on second base. Nobody on? runner in the beginning? Let’s make sure the catcher goes through a series of tags anyway, just in case.

This is probably where Scherzer’s argument is most important. There are a lot of trainers in the crew to get around such things on the banners. Achieving this kind of success in the face of a powerful attack would definitely bring a sense of great pride, especially if you thought they were trying to steal the cues and failed.

The flip side of this might be the belief that it’s an unnecessary waste of time when they can simply use PitchCom and spend their time planning to play specific hitters and detailing the promotion plan (how long the starters should go, how they line up Bullbin, etc.).

Perhaps it boils down to whether or not one believes that preventing signal theft should be a skill. Scherzer seems to think it should be.

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