WASHINGTON — Consider Andrew Knizner’s pitchcom transformation.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher heard the talk, but never once laid eyes on A PitchCom tool Until more than a month into the 2022 MLB season. The Cardinals were the last team to implement anti-signal-stealing technology, which allows them to communicate with a pitcher and three other pitchers with the push of a button.
“Before we used it, it was like, ‘Oh, I could never use that, call the game normal,'” Kneizner told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m not going back now. It’s that simple.
“It’s very second nature.”
Most major leagues adopted PitchCom during the inaugural season. This season has introduced baseball fans to images of a pitcher covering his ears with his glove to hear orders and other instrument-related fouls. It has generally received positive reviews, even from skeptics like Max Scherzer, who thinks that Peachcom should be “illegal”.
Vin ScullyThe voice of a broadcasting legend will never be forgotten.
Holy Grail:The Wagner T-206 card will sell for $7.25 million
Maybe the Cardinals are late to the party because of veteran Yadier Molina, a 40-year-old future Hall of Famer who orders a staff of loudmouths like Bobby Flay in the kitchen.
“I think maybe that had a little bit to do with it,” Kneisner said. But now with so much token stealing scandal and drama everyone is trying to take advantage – which always has – this puts it out of play. .”
Molina’s longtime teammate, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, praised Pitchcom. It has a lot of meaning, but unfortunately it should never be used.
“I heard a couple the other day say that stealing signs is part of the game,” Wainwright said, referring to Scherzer’s comments. “I couldn’t agree more.”
Scherzer prides himself on using complex signals with runners on second base — the first scenario in which Pitchcom was created — and considers it an advantage. But Wainwright thinks PitchCom maintains a competitive spirit.
“(Stealing tokens) can be part of the game. I wish it wasn’t part of the game. It doesn’t need to be part of the game. It takes away the best part of the game in my opinion,” Wainwright said. “The best part of the game is the one-on-one hitting against the pitcher.”
Wainwright’s one concern is that, come game time, pitchers often can’t hear the umpire’s orders to put their pitchers in their covers — although some have developed their own methods.
“It will be interesting to see how it fares in really loud environments because it’s hard to hear when it’s really loud,” Wainwright said.
Craig Filicetti, founder of Pitchcom, says the audio improvements have been made by improving the software in the devices and how sound engineers can better reduce crowd noise. There’s still “more room to go,” Filicetti said.
“We think we’ll be ready for it,” he told USA TODAY Sports.
Filicetti and partner John Hankins designed and built each unit. There are only two individuals who work with MLB teams and provide system support regarding PitchCom. The hours are long.
The two teams have calls with two or three teams a day to help clubs build “tracks” — PitchCom’s order of options — for their needs. Filicetti and Hankins meet with league officials twice a week.
Philicetti said user error decreased as the season progressed. In the past, delays were often caused not by the PitchCom itself, but by players forgetting to turn the receiver on, the device not charging properly, or simply forgetting to put the receiver in a cap (or somewhere else).
It’s not stupid, but players get the benefits.
“The only downside to this thing is that you get some technical glitches over and over again,” said Knijner, who often doesn’t need to adjust his stance to call out cues, a welcome relief to his lower body. “But that’s too little.”
Knysner likes how different he can be with the place; In addition to the Voice Type command, PitchCom has nine boxes for Voice Location.
“It’s efficient, it’s faster and it’s clearer, I think.
Location was initially a concern for some big league catchers when it came to PitchCom. But Hankins said players had the ability to identify locations — another example of players becoming more comfortable with the technology.
Placing the device behind the holder’s shin guard, for example, is an innovation at club level. The New York Yankees used Pitchcom to improve their run defense. According to The Athletic. Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Senzel credits his stance and improved defense on Pitchcom using one of his receivers.
“It’s all about Peachcom, man.” Senzel is in April.
Cleveland quarterback Austin Hedges programmed the device to be positive. It’s clear yet.confirmations are returned to the pitcher.
The system’s flexibility and seeing teams employ PitchCom in their own creative ways is the most rewarding part of a PitchCom campaign for its founders.
“We love the way teams are taking this and making it their own,” said Hankins, who said softball prototypes are being developed. Other systems with less developed software are available for travel baseball and are cheaper, Filicetti said.
PitchCom silencing the skeptics, from Scherzer to the Cardinals, the believers is another reason to celebrate.
“I never have to worry about whiteness on my nails, so that’s a plus,” says Kneizner.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.