MLB vs. sign stealing
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The Houston Astros allegedly used technology to steal signs, and now MLB wants to use technology to rid sign-stealing from the Earth.
Driving the news: The commissioner's office is currently developing multiple prototype devices to encode pitcher-catcher communication, including a wearable random-number generator and lights in the mound, per Yahoo Sports.
- The wearable random-number generator "would preserve the existing dynamic of a catcher putting down a sign for interpretation by the pitcher, but overlay it with a level of secure encryption that would be virtually impossible to decode."
- "Alternatively, the finger system could be replaced by in-ground lights on the mound. Sources with knowledge of the idea said catchers would have access to a control pad that corresponds to a lighting panel visible only to the pitcher. A certain button for a certain light sequence for a certain pitch."
Between the lines: The simplest solution would be earpieces that allow pitchers and catchers to communicate, but Yahoo notes that pitchers found them "distracting and uncomfortable" in initial minor-league testing last year.