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Can tech prevent cheating in Major League Baseball?

Answer: The league is going to try to find out.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has had enough of people attempting to steal pitching signs, and it’s turning to technology for a solution. Starting this season, all teams in the league will have the option of using the PitchCom system instead of using traditional hand signals when pitchers and catchers communicate.

The PitchCom system is fairly simple, involving a transmitter that the catcher wears on their forearm and a receiver that the pitcher wears tucked inside their cap. The catcher presses buttons on the transmitter to indicate which pitch to throw, and the pitcher hears the call through the bone conduction tech in the receiver. Teams will be able to program the system to use code words rather than the actual names of the pitches for an added layer of secrecy.

Each team will receive three transmitters and 10 receivers, though the system is optional to use for now. They will be allowed to use one transmitter and five receivers at any given time during a game, and they can only be used by players on the field. ESPN reported that the system was well-received by players who tested it during spring training, and about half of all MLB teams have expressed interest in using it.

“I think it can be beneficial when it comes to August, September and October and you’re pushing towards the playoffs, with all the scouts in the stands and eyes on you trying to decipher what you’re throwing,” said Dallas Keuchel, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. “It’ll be nice not to have to go through several sets of signs.” Just don’t forget to charge it before the game.