MLB approves iPad use just in time for the playoffs

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MLB teams can now play with iPads in the dugout.
MLB teams can now play with iPads in the dugout.
Photo: Keith Allison/Flickr

Major Leaugue Baseball doesn’t have a great reputation of embracing Apple products on baseball diamond, but starting this week, teams will finally be allowed to replace their paper binders with iPads to look up everything from statistics, scouting reports, spray charts.

Teams were given the MLB’s blessing to start using iPads in the dugout during games, however there’s a catch: teams can’t connect iPads to WiFi during games, and all info must be downloaded before the first pitch.

One team already planning to implement iPads into the dugout is the St. Louis Cardinals, whose manager, Mike Matheny, uses up to three iPads in pregame preparation and scouting. The Cardinals have always had stacks of paper will all the information they need, now they’ll be able to pull it up on an iPad screen.

“If they want to see what somebody’s tendencies are in a two-strike count against left-handed pitching, they can come over and open up that file and see it pretty quickly,” Mike Matheny told MLB News. “We’re very open to new technology. We’re just trying to figure out how this can help us because we have so much stuff that we have made our routine. We’re toying with it. I think that over time it will be what information can help us with in-game decisions.”

Players have already started using the iPads in the first games being played today. MLB has informed teams iPad use will be permitted during the postseason as well, marking a quick warming toward technology, after the league tried to ban Kansas City Royals coach, Ned Yost from wearing his Apple Watch at games earlier this season.