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Hi-tech Baseball

by Matt Smith

There is a great article on MLB.com today all about the technology used to track pitches during a game.  This is the technology behind the brand new Enhanced Gameday service and taken advantage of on FOX’s coverage of the playoffs.
I’m not the most technically-minded person but I guess this is a similar sort of technology that is used in Cricket (and now Tennis) for the “Hawkeye” system.  The key with these systems is being able to use them in a way that actually takes you inside the game, rather than distracting you from it.  As I mentioned in a previous post, with the Enhanced Gameday system you can really get a sense of the battle between the pitcher and the batter.  In particular you can search back to a hitter’s previous at-bats while the game is in progress, watching where the pitcher makes adjustments or keeps getting the hitter out in the same way.  So long as we don’t get overloaded with the technology, it can only be a good thing for baseball fans.

St Louis fans won’t care how they see the action so long as they get the win tonight against the Mets in game six of the NLCS.  It’s worked out brilliantly for the Cards, with Chris Carpenter taking the mound in what could potentially be the decider at Shea.  The Mets are on the brink of seeing their great season come to an end in their own backyard, and if that’s not an incentive to fight for their lives, then I don’t know what is.  It should be a cracker, and you can see FOX’s “FOX TRAK” replays live on Five’s coverage tonight.

Writing about Five, the new Five US channel has kicked off. It looks as though some sports replays will be included on the channel (e.g. an hour-long highlights show of the Monday Night Football game), but the 01.00 shutdown time decreases the odds of scheduling time being filled with live sports events from across the pond. So long as coverage continues on Five then I’m sure everyone will be happy.

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