Major League Baseball might be all in on incorporating Apple technology wherever possible, but it has its limits.
During last week’s NL Wild Card game on Wednesday, game cameras caught Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto wearing an “illegal electronic device” in the dugout, which transpired to be an Apple Watch. Although the wearable was reportedly left on in error, and wasn’t being used for anything related to the game, Prieto has been fined for the incident.
The exact amount of the fine hasn’t been revealed, but a statement from MLB notes that it will be donated by the Office of the Commissioner to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
The Apple Watch is banned as part of a broader ban on certain internet-enabled electronic devices, which also includes iPads with scouting reports and videos, from being used in the dugout. Following a 2015 incident with Kansas City Royals coach, Ned Yost, all 30 teams have been warned that future future infractions may incur major penalties — including the possible loss of draft picks.
MLB and Apple working together
So long as you’re not in the dugouts, however, Major League Baseball has been proactive about incorporating Apple technology into its games. In 2016, Apple signed a multiyear deal with MLB to give an iPad Pro to coaching staff — so they can easily access performance data, weigh up possible pitcher-hitter matchups, analyze where a player is likely to hit the ball, and even look up videos from previous games.
Apple is a big part of the fan experience, too. In 2013, MLB installed iBeacons at 20 U.S. ballparks to offer iOS-using spectators point-of-interest mapping and other relevant contextual information. The following year, a deal was struck which added Apple Pay to several MLB stadiums in time for the 2014 World Series.
Last week, the Oakland Athletics began testing a new NFC ticketing system that lets Apple users scan their iPhone or Apple Watch on the ticket reader, much like they would to make an Apple Pay purchase. This is likely to roll out to other teams in the future.
Source: CBS Sports