Jonah Keri of Grantland sat down with Billy Beane to talk about a great many things. One of those things: the future integration of technology into the game. Here’s Beane, either looking into the future or willfully trying to give old baseball writers coronaries:
“There will be an IT coach at some point” in the dugout, crunching numbers in real time and sitting right next to the manager, Beane said. The A’s have yet to actually create such a position for very practical reasons. “It would be an extra coach, and [MLB] is pretty strict — we aren’t even allowed walkie-talkies,” Beane said about league restrictions on how many coaches a team can have, and what kind of contact they can have with the outside world during games. “But I believe at some point this will happen. There’s too much data that’s available not to want to use it.”
Absent access to a laptop or a smart phone during the game that may be of limited utility. But given that big binders are allowed I’m not sure why a laptop shouldn’t be. And if you have that information, what’s the harm in having someone there feeding it to a manager?
Apart from, like I said, giving old baseball men coronaries.