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PitchCom is an app that allows users to pitch their ideas for free. The company has a price of $1 per minute.

At first, Texas Rangers closer Joe Barlow was dubious about PitchCom.

The electronic gadget, which sends pitch signals from the catcher to the pitcher to prevent sign stealing, is new to Major League Baseball this season, and Barlow wondered what might go wrong. The speaker at the PitchCom made his headgear uncomfortable to wear. Catchers were concerned that batters might hear the signals in their helmets. Players were worried about troubles with radio connection, or what would happen if crowd noise drowned out the music. However, the device’s promise rapidly overcame Barlow’s initial reservations.

“This is larger than I expected,” Barlow remarked of the device’s initial impression. “‘Put it in my hat,’ I said, ‘I don’t care.’ You’ve been knocked about in the past, and you’ve wondered whether your stuff isn’t on, if you’re tipping your pitches, or if they’re stealing your signals. Now you realize it’s all on you if you get banged about.”

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A series of finger gestures by the catcher has been relaying messages to pitchers for more than a century, from Cy Young to Max Scherzer. However, for the 2022 season, MLB digitized the experience by providing backstops with a remote control on their wrists and pitchers with a speaker in their headwear that vocalizes the signals, perhaps providing an additional degree of security against sign-stealing. Stealing signs has always been a part of baseball’s tradition, but it’s been a heated topic in recent years as clubs have used technology to get an unfair edge, most notably the Houston Astros and their infamous trash-can banging controversy.

Barlow’s transformation from PitchCom critic to enthusiast is similar to that of many other baseball teams. Every pitcher on clubs like the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees now uses it, and their reasons for doing so vary from competitive benefits to a quicker tempo of play to less tension on the mound, according to ESPN.

“It’s something we all like,” Yankees reliever Michael King said. “We want the catchers to give us indicators more quickly. We’re discussing it, and I’d want to know it straight after he returns the ball to me. It allows you time to consider the pitch and throw it confidently. I go into the game knowing that the catcher is thinking something completely different than I am.”

This advantage isn’t limited to pitchers and catchers. Each team is allowed to employ three more ear pieces, which are usually divided to the second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and center fielder. To prepare for plays, Rangers utility man Brad Miller used to attempt reading the catcher’s signals, but now he uses PitchCom to predict where a ball would be hit.


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“You used to be able to miss the indications if you weren’t awake the whole time,” Miller said. “It’s a lot simpler to be on every pitch and think to yourself, ‘Hey, Aaron Judge is up there, you know if it’s a fastball, it’s definitely going one way, and if it’s a curveball, it’s probably going the other way.’ It’s a gentler approach. We’ve said that among the fielders and pitchers as well: If you’re not utilizing it, I can’t believe it. What exactly are you up to?”

Some clubs and players have embraced modern technologies with zeal, while others have opted to remain with tradition. Kendall Graveman, a reliever for the Chicago White Sox is still on the fence about using PitchCom.

“It’s possible that I’ll utilize it one day. I’m not dismissing the possibility “Graveman explained. “I still feel you can do it the traditional way if you can alter up signage and be extremely creative. That is what I am attempting to achieve. I believe it will develop and get cleaner, and I believe it already has. It was a tad sluggish for me when I used it during spring training. I want to go to where I want to go when I foot on the rubber. Since then, I haven’t attempted it again.”

Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays has said that he would never utilize PitchCom.

Manoah remarked, “Baseball is baseball.” “It’s OK to be techie about certain things, but I’m not here to speed up the game. My goal is to win games. I’m not going to be perplexed by a PitchCom or have batters walk out of the box every two seconds because the game is moving too quickly.”


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Graveman and Manoah’s views on PitchCom are in the minority among the players ESPN talked with, but the technology does have potential for improvement. When transitioning between pitchers with various arsenals, Blue Jays catcher Zack Collins noted the gadget may have some complications.

“There aren’t many glitches,” Collins said, “but it would be wonderful to personalize the buttons toward the pitcher so we can work a little quicker.” “Fastball, slider, curveball, change-up, knuckleball, and splitter are the buttons, and most people don’t throw a knuckleball.”

While most players are happy with the way PitchCom works, Miller feels the machine’s vocals might need more spice. Miller proposed that the Rangers’ PitchCom utilize the voice of a front office employee, while the Philadelphia Phillies use the voice of catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Miller said, “We really need some visitors.” “George W. Bush was just here the other day. Like a famous GPS, he has to do PitchCom voices. Denzel Washington should be acquired by the Dodgers. That is the next stage.”

Jesse Rogers of ESPN contributed to this report.

PitchCom, a new technology that uses your smartphone’s microphone to detect the pitch of your voice and then generates a musical composition based on that pitch. Reference: pitchcom hat .

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