September 3, 2018

MLB Says Pitchers Can Carry And Refer To Note Cards In The Field

On the day after umpire Joe West confiscated an index card from Phillies reliever Austin Davis, Major League Baseball officials stated that pitchers are allowed to use note cards on the field, as long as doing so does not delay the game.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler:
I think it's great that our pitchers are able to have their game plans on them. I think it takes a lot of mental focus, takes a lot of bandwidth to get out the best hitters in baseball, and when you can just take a little of that off your mind and put it on a card, I think that's helpful for pitchers and good for baseball.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon:
I didn't understand why it wasn't permissible. As long as [the card] is not attached to some kind of device that can alter or doctor the ball, it's no big deal. ... Who cares? If you're looking to accelerate the game, having information in the back pocket of a pitcher might help accelerate, eliminate a trip.
This is something I create. We have our meeting where we go over the hitters. I take that information and put it on a card so I don't have to try and memorize it ... [I can] just take a glance and go.
Maddon added:
The part I would be concerned with is you take the observation power of the player out of it also to the point where they become so reliant and spoon fed as opposed to understanding what they're seeing in front of them. I believe in information, I believe in possibly being reminded but I still like the idea of players looking in the dugout. I like that connection between on the field and the dugout and your coach.

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