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Apple Will Provide MLB Teams With iPad Pros for Dugout Use

Apple and Major League Baseball have agreed to a deal that will see the sports league's coaching staffs use iPad Pros in dugouts to make better use of data during games, according to The Wall Street Journal. Baseball managers and coaches have traditionally used notebooks, pieces of paper and binders to keep track of data.

mlbdugout
A pitch frequency chart in the MLB Dugout app
Teams will be able sift through performance stats from current and past seasons, weigh potential pitcher-hitter matchups, look at “spray charts” showing where a player is likely to hit a ball, even cue up videos of plays from previous games.
Each team will receive 12.9-inch iPad Pros with rugged cases sporting the team's logo. MLB's Advanced Media division, with assistance from Apple, have built an app called MLB Dugout, which will serve as the central destination where managers and coaches can look at their data. "We're not just replacing binders with tablets, we're actually helping them do things that weren't possible before," Phil Schiller, Apple SVP of marketing, told the WSJ.

For instance, players will now be able to watch video of pitchers during the game rather than having to retreat to the locker room. New York Mets' third-base coach Tim Teufel noted that the app will likely come in handy when the "game changes in unexpected ways," like when a pinch hitter steps up to the plate or a relief pitcher subs in.

The Dugout app will serve up proprietary data for each franchise, which means each team will only draw upon their own data rather than league-wide data well. The app will be preloaded before each game, but the MLB eventually hopes to update the app so that data could be provided in real time. The app was tested during the postseason last year.

The deal is similar to the one Microsoft signed with the NFL, putting Microsoft Surface tablets in the hands of NFL coaches and players on the sidelines. That deal was initially marred by glitchy tablets and announcers repeatedly calling the devices "iPads" rather than Surfaces. While the NFL required that the Surface tablets be shown on the sideline during each game, the MLB is making iPad Pro use optional. However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he thinks most teams will use them, saying that he hopes they'll help speed up the game.

The MLB has embraced Apple's technology before, adopting iBeacon technology in 2014 and outfitting 20 ballparks in time for that season.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: MLB
Buyer's Guide: 12.9" iPad Pro (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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17 weeks ago

So Apple gets the MLB.

And Microsoft has the NFL.

What Google will get? The NBA?


I believe they have partnered with the NSA.
Rating: 38 Votes
17 weeks ago

Regardless of the merits of such app/setup for everybody's sanity sake would not it be better if MLB simply banned all electronics in the dugout? No waste of money on hardware and software and everybody can simply enjoy the game. I am 100% sure that these apps will add nothing to the enjoyment of the fans so what's the purpose?


Did you not read the article at all? It's for the coaches. Not the fans.
Rating: 14 Votes
17 weeks ago
So Apple gets the MLB.

And Microsoft has the NFL.

What Google will get? The NBA?
Rating: 8 Votes
17 weeks ago

Regardless of the merits of such app/setup for everybody's sanity sake would not it be better if MLB simply banned all electronics in the dugout? No waste of money on hardware and software and everybody can simply enjoy the game. I am 100% sure that these apps will add nothing to the enjoyment of the fans so what's the purpose?

It's not meant for the fans. Its merely market placement. The NFL and Microsoft have sold the Surface pretty well. Plus MLB has always seemed to be good partners with Apple (or at least MLB Advanced Media). Being the statistical game baseball has become, I can see this being a nice tool for the pitching, batting and bench coaches, along with getting some market placement for Apple.

MLB gets some free devices, becomes "current" with tech (which they'll see as a plus against their 'old timer' rep), probably gets some advertising change from Apple. Apple gets air time during MLB games, and circulates some 12.9s to show it can be a "laptop replacement" (even though it still doesn't).
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago

I am 100% sure that these apps will add nothing to the enjoyment of the fans so what's the purpose?


If your team is - like many teams nowadays are - using advanced statistical analysis to improve their performance, and if these iPads give your team better access to that analysis, your team will play better. If your team plays better, it will likely win more games, and the fans will definitely enjoy that.

On the other hand - if your team is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim... you're right, it's a complete waste since no app can out-perform Mike Scocia's "gut" in his humble opinion. But, hey, you still get to watch the best player in baseball roam the outfield on a daily basis.
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The NFL deal with Microsoft was over two years ago, yet I believe it was just a few months ago during the playoffs that there were glitches and malfunctions with the Surface Pros on one sideline that required everyone to put them down.


Yup, I think it was when the Panthers beat my Seahawks. Plus it was especially funny that - finally - the announcers consistently and correctly referred to them as Microsoft Surfaces during the repeated mentions of the malfunctions.
Rating: 6 Votes
16 weeks ago

Doesn't make sense for baseball, perhaps recording pitch counts and what not, but there's really no need for such technology. I think baseball saw what the NFL did, and was wanting to copy them - Apple gave them a better deal then Microsoft.



I am not sure how much you follow baseball but baseball is wayyy more stat driven than football so if anything it makes more sense.

I actually create stat tracking apps for both sports and baseball outsells football 5:1.
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago
Regardless of the merits of such app/setup for everybody's sanity sake would not it be better if MLB simply banned all electronics in the dugout? No waste of money on hardware and software and everybody can simply enjoy the game. I am 100% sure that these apps will add nothing to the enjoyment of the fans so what's the purpose?
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago
I am glad Apple are doing this. Those poor players get paid a pittance and have probably spent half their careers dreaming that one day they can Own an iPad. Is there a charity for them that I can donate to?
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago


Each team will receive 12.9-inch iPad Pros with rugged cases sporting the team's logo.


I know they'll be in rugged cases, but I would love to see their faces when Apple ships them a cubic ****-ton Rose Gold iPad Pros since that seems to be the only colour Apple wants to promote these days.
Rating: 5 Votes
17 weeks ago
Now everyone in the stadium will be on an electronic device, even the players! ;)
Rating: 5 Votes

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